morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
morbane ([personal profile] morbane) wrote2016-03-09 10:04 am

House-hunting and general progress report

It is a lazy-ish Wednesday morning at home, because, this year, I have been added to the people in my team at work who will be occasionally rostered on to mid-week 2pm-10pm shifts. I am enjoying this very much. I am not much of a morning person. These night shifts are also very handy for doing errands in town or scheduling dentist/optometrist/vet check-ups.

Of course, in 15 minutes, Joel and I are off to see another house. By my count, this is house #41, because I can recall 40 other separate addresses we have visited, but I may have missed some. It's getting a bit tiring, and house prices continue to rise. I'm hopeful about this house, which looks beautiful and offers stunning views, but I'm not looking forward to the feelings immediately following, of high-energy hope and effort (study its documentation, order more documentation, research, talk to people) balanced against the need to always be willing to walk away.

On a fandom front, I am behind with Yuletide things, but have a plan for some of them. I have two beta jobs in my queue, one half-done. I have my assignment for Once Upon a Fic, which I am mulling over. Yes, I caved and signed up for that even though I had resolved not to sign up for anything in Feb/March. I had a lot of fun last year and I expect this year will be the same - the trick will be balancing that and Jukebox. And lurking around the edges of Night on Fic Mountain, of course!

Jukebox - I urgently need to revise the FAQ so that I can get the brainstorming post up this weekend. I am so looking forward to this! I love this exchange.

I'm almost current with Agent Carter - just the last episode to watch. I've had mixed feelings about it. Plenty of action, interesting hi-jinks, interesting character arcs - but ugh to the love triangle plots.

What I am in love with is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Described as a "dark feminist comedy musical" show, it lives up to all of these. I am rooting for everyone, despite their goals being incompatible; I love every messy, flawed person on this show. It is full of sharp, yet compassionate wit.

I hate watching things in which the characters frequently embarrass themselves, including in professional situations, and yet I will watch this show, because it keeps earning and keeping my trust. Everyone gets called on their behaviour. There are no scenes where something apparently "funny" happens and I think, yeah, but in real life that would be awful - because the characters all around our heroes react with appropriate wariness, or discomfort, or other signals that this is not okay.

Well, with some leeway for the musical numbers.


I didn't quite finish typing this before we had to go see the house. It is a good house! It is smallish, but I like its use of space (neither relentlessly open plan so that everyone in the house knows what everyone else is doing at every moment, nor a claustrophobic array of unnecessary turns and narrow corridors). It has A++ views, excellent proximity to public transport, and nice, practical, kitchen and bathroom arrangements. Now for all the next steps: asking my lawyer to check the title, commissioning a builder's report, reading through the builder's report commissioned by the agent, giving my financial advisor a heads-up...

Now I am going to send some emails, do the dishes we didn't quite have time to do before leaving the house, and go to the gym.
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)

[personal profile] elanya 2016-03-08 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
*crosses fingers for good house news!*
benedict: (good omens)

[personal profile] benedict 2016-03-09 12:32 am (UTC)(link)
*does the house dance for you* may it rain houses
isis: (squid etching)

[personal profile] isis 2016-03-09 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
Housey house good luck vibes!

(we are looking at land on which to build a house, and the lawyerly steps are even more ridic. Argh.)
nishatalitha: image: lots of ladybirds crawling up fencepost.  white rope is wrapped twice around top of fencepost (Default)

[personal profile] nishatalitha 2016-03-09 09:35 pm (UTC)(link)
Good luck! It's an exhausting process and 41 houses is a lot. Hope this one works out for you.
dhampyresa: (Epic shit happening on the internet)

[personal profile] dhampyresa 2016-03-09 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)
What gret news! :D
inevitableentresol: plant in field, romantic (Backlit cow parsley)

[personal profile] inevitableentresol 2016-04-08 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
House hunting! Woo, exciting. But incredibly tiring. I did it about six years ago and hope to stay put for some time yet and never have to do it again.

But I got a nice new view out of it as well. It's so satisfying to be able to look out at the end of a day and enjoy it. I hope all goes well for your hunt.

I bought when the recession hit Ireland hard. House prices were crazy cheap, gone down 50% in six months, but getting a mortgage took another six months. The bank kept asking for extra reports, when it was obvious they were just stalling because of the crash, but we still had to pay for all those extra reports or give up. It was about two years until we moved in. Hopefully yours will be a lot faster.

Make sure you pay extra for a thorough building report. A cheap building report is a false economy for sure.
inevitableentresol: plant in field, romantic (Backlit cow parsley)

[personal profile] inevitableentresol 2016-04-14 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
Well, there's no point in getting a building survey after you've bought the house. Too late then. You're stuck. But if you do find anything beforehand you can also use it as a bargaining tool for price. We did with ours and beat the seller down. There was extensive damp damage in the walls and floor of the house, but we'd intended removing all the floors and wall plasterwork anyway and building a huge extension so it actually made no difference to us.

Considering that some issues (subsidence, dry rot etc) can cost tens of thousands to put right, if they ever can be, a building report is beyond necessary. After all, you're probably going to be paying off this purchase for decades.

We also had our mortgage pre-approved but then the recession hit and it didn't mean much. The bank then told us they could still withdraw the offer any time.

The worst thing about spending hundreds on multiple building reports, plus handling fees on top, was that there was still no guarantee that we'd get the mortgage at the end of it. And at a time that we were trying to save all the money that we could so that we could get a better mortgage by having a large deposit.

It all turned out for the best in the end. Buying during the peak of the recession may be a huge hassle but financially it's great.

Slow but sure is the way to go. There's no point skimping or rushing it from your point of view.

Of course, the agent just wants their fee as quickly as possible. Our estate agent hid all kinds of serious things about the house from us. It was pretty brazen. I asked her point blank about some of them and she didn't even answer, she just laughed nervously like it was a joke. Luckily, our building report was thorough and we were prepared to have a lot of work done anyway.

Agents will hide everything they possibly can that might prevent a sale. The house we bought had also been done up to hide the problems, thousands and thousands spent to make it look like there was nothing wrong - new carpets, a new kitchen etc - which we immediately had to rip out so we could fix the walls. Take care!