Ok here we are…

Posted on November 12th, 2007 @ 20:27 in Uncategorized

… apparently Mr & Mrs Smith is on at 9pm so I might as well watch it. Which means I need something to do for the next 83mins. So here I am.

The most obvious thing to write about is the flat, the one I am supposedly buying, but God I think I’d rather pull out my fingernails one by one than think about this any more than the absolute minimum required.

But I’ll try to give you a bit of a summary anyway. Like what’s been going on so far and where exactly I am stuck at this moment in time.

  • Decided to take the flat and made an offer around the end of Sept… I made my final offer, the one that was accepted, on the 25th of September.
  • Chose a solicitor recommended by one of my work colleagues because she said he was good and approachable and nice.
  • Had to find a property surveyor next because I wasn’t gonna buy a place without getting a survey report. Got a quote or two online, was advised by the estate agent (!) to ask the solicitor. Did so, contacted guy who was recommended to me. He said he’d send me his offer and I’d have to accept in writing, and he wouldn’t be available the next week but could do it the week after that (mid-Oct).
  • Never received offer. Got worried. Phoned him (left voicemail as he’s never ever available) then found out the Royal Mail was on strike. Left another voicemail asking him to disregard my earlier one since strike etc. Didn’t hear from him.
  • Still no quote after another few days. Phoned him again saying “well by now it can’t be the strike” (voicemail again of course!) and when he called back it turned out he hadn’t sent it by post anyway, but had just dropped it through my front door! Except he’d got the fucking number wrong!!!! Jeez why didn’t he pick up on that when he got my messages?!?!?! 8-|
  • So he fiiiiinally offered to email the quote, but of course by now he was booked up for the following week again, plus was away for the week after that. (| So the earliest he could do was the week starting 29th Oct. Over a month after I’d originally had my offer accepted. 😐
  • I went back to the estate agent to let him know this and he was expectedly unimpressed. I let him know it was him who’d told me to ask my solicitor for a recommendation in the first place. We decided together that we’d stick with this guy since starting over would probably end up taking even more time.
  • Hooray! He did in fact view the flat on the 30th! Things were finally moving!! Funnily enough solicitor-guy left me a message that very same day asking what was happening and should we proceed… so after I asked surveyor-guy if he’d give me a generic “yeah there are some issues but go ahead” I authorised solicitor to go ahead and make his… whatever it is. Search fee application.
  • Survey guy said he’d send me the full written survey by the end of the week. Course he didn’t, but I had it by Tuesday afternoon the next week. And it was worrisome. Main issues being heating, insulation, and condensation (those three are linked of course). The scariest sentence was “there is a concern that current heating is not adequate for the size of the flat to provide comfortable living conditions.” I wanna be comfortable dammit!
  • This confirmed my suspicions from when I went to see the flat again after the tenants had moved out and saw that they had left a separate electric fan heater in the lounge – suggesting they’d needed this to keep the place warm enough. (ok by now my bullet points don’t really work anymore. nevermind, they break things up nicely!)
  • Sooo I freaked out for a day and a bit, had loads of people tell me not to let them get away with this, consulted my solicitor and my survey guy and ended up lowering my offer by £3,000 to £157,000. Murray estate agent didn’t seem too shocked or surprised (tho he did argue a bit of course) and said he’d submit this to the vendor.
  • Seller was less impressed of course and wanted to know what on earth I needed those £3,000 for, so I emailed Murray a long list of all my concerns. Of course I made it sound a lot more dramatic than it was since I wanted them to appreciate all the issues I was willing to accept, but that there were a few things I wasn’t.
  • Seller didn’t quite see things the same way of course and said he’d offer me £500 so I could “buy a new radiator for the lounge”. *scoff* I’m surprised he didn’t say “here’s £20 so you can buy yourself a scarf and some socks!” 😐 Seller is pissed off tho apparently – he was happy to have a cash buyer cuz he thought that would make things quick and uncomplicated, and now it’s dragging on and on. I’d of course much prefer to have all this shit behind me too.
  • So this is more or less where we stand now. I’m now supposed to
    • call the property managers to ask dozens of questions cuz estate agent guy is too lazy and I know if I ask my solicitor to do it he’ll take ages.
    • get quotes for replacing the radiators so that I can argue my case that £500 is far too low for anything but the most minimal improvement.

    I did some of this at work earlier, tried to wrestle my way through Austin Reed’s ridiculous VR system – “if your property consists of less than 11 units, press 1… if your property name starts with letters A-G, press 1…” – seriously WTF, just give me a bloody person already! Also called various electricians, earliest appointments for an estimate early next week – or they don’t answer the phone to start with. 8-|

So there we go. I am never buying a flat again. At least not in this life. 😐

I’m hating hating hating this, it’s making me ill, tired, cranky, depressed, scared, and of course convinced that whatever I decide is the wrong decision. If I insist to have the price lowered and he refuses, I end up not getting the flat, losing some £1000 in various fees, and having to start the whole thing all over again! Yet if I give in (which right now I am oh so tempted to do just to get this whole shit over with) I may spend years in a flat that’s costing me a fortune in heating costs, and curse my decision every single day.

Oh and it’s now the next day btw and I ended up not watching Mr & Mrs Smith cuz my reception is exceptionally shit again for a change.

Now I will go to bed.


Val said on Nov 12, 2007 at 10:00 pm

LMAO – this is very entertaining to read, but, of course, a pain in the arse to experience! Was scheming to call you now but it looks like you’re in bed :-/ I’ll give it a try tmw (too lazy to email and explain things – am a slow typer 😉 )

stagiaire said on Nov 14, 2007 at 12:02 pm

To be honest, I’d back out. This does not sound good. Heating issues do cost a lot of money, and if the heating doesn’t work well you might even end up with “Pilz” in your apartment additionally. The heating should be okay at least.


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