The day our current period of lockdown started the estate agent, who had originally valued our house for sale at a healthy figure, emailed me with some unwelcome news.
As a result of the banks' intransigence over their lending policy on houses of non-standard construction it seems that our house is now virtually worthless.
The agent had consulted with their directors, surveyor and Council of Mortgage Lenders representative and concluded that it is highly unlikely that they will be able to find a buyer for it as it stands.
The only value it now holds is as a potential development plot, just under half of the original valuation and barely enough to buy a tiny starter home on a new estate, or a small flat. Not really what we wanted.
So, we have to make a decision on what to do next.
We could just stay put until we both conk out, which P feels could be sooner rather than later if he has to keep up with the house and garden maintenance. We would probably have to start paying for gardeners and handymen to do all the jobs that he has always done until now. Plus we still would not be close to shops and amenities, which was the main reason for moving.
We could get someone to draw up plans for a replacement dwelling and apply for planning permission. One option is to then offer the plot with permission in place which should make it easier to sell, albeit at a low price, or to get a loan and go ahead with the new build ourselves then try to sell at a profit. I feel exhausted just thinking about the expense and hassle that would entail.
We can't do anything until this lockdown is lifted but we shall try to get a second opinion then.
Until then we are in limbo.
I hope that spring comes soon to cheer us up.
Hi JayCee. Would it be possible to get permission to make your house into flats and you could sell them or rent them out? Could you make the gardens less labour intensive? I would definitely sit down with an architect and see if you could see how much of the building you can keep in a new build/conversion. Another options could be to rent out your house/flats and you rent somewhere nearer to town?ReplyDelete
Thanks Dave. There are strict planning rules here so that kind of development in a rural area would not be allowed. I think you are correct, we may end up renting if all else fails.Delete
Oh I'm so sorry to hear that. How disappointing for you. Back to the drawing board but I'd get a lot of advice from various people too. Could you get a large 'summer' house in the garden to take up space and you can enjoy the benefits? Plus, any house you get will need maintenance probably so unless you know there are big jobs upcoming I would discount that. Would Citizens Advice be of any help I wonder? It all seems a bit drastic. Good luck with your decision making. xxReplyDelete
It is a bit of a disappointment. Our retirement plans dashed by the banks.Delete
Never mind, something will turn up, as Mr Micawber said.
Oh no .... that is so awful for you. Would it be so bad if you stayed put ? Spend a bit of money on making the garden easier ... have food delivered etc? I’m sure you will get all the advice you can when things get easier and a solution will come. Nothing ever seems to go smoothly does it ? XXXXReplyDelete
We should really be counting ourselves lucky that we still have a warm, safe place to live - and great views too xxxDelete
Occasionally see houses for sale saying "cash buyers only due to non standard construction" so they do sell but as you say makes them worth less but not worthless. What a problem. Hope things become clearer once covid is overReplyDelete
Thanks Sue. Our agent thinks that cash buyers would be put off because of the difficulty when they come to sell on.Delete
We just have to see what happens when things start moving again.
How disappointing. Hugs.ReplyDelete
Thanks Marjorie. I suppose there could be worse things happen.Delete
It's the same in my area (West Wales), cash buyers only, yet these houses offer incredible value for money.ReplyDelete
Ours would be a real bargain if it would sell at the amount the agent suggested to somebody who actually wanted to live in it rather than knock it down and rebuild.Delete
Oh that is horrible! I entirely sympathise with you. I had no idea that your house was of "non-standard" construction. I know that you have got quite a lot of land so could you possibly apply for planning permission for TWO building plots? It's all hassle you could do without so how about cracking open a bottle tonight?ReplyDelete
You read my mind YP. The bottle is already cracked open!Delete
Purely to toast the arrival of little Phoebe of course!
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
That's very disappointing news. I hope there is some solution so you can enjoy more ease in your remaining years.ReplyDelete
I am sure we shall sort out something eventually xDelete
What a pain. I guess what a lot of people do in these situations is probably rent it out and use the income to pay rent on a rented property.ReplyDelete
However... We've been thinking very positively about staying put and finding ways to adapt the house to our needs. We've also got a big garden and we've given a lot of thought as to how to make that easier to manage. As for shops, all through lockdown we've been getting Tesco deliveries - and using other local suppliers who deliver. I doubt we'll go back to shopping ourselves as much as we used to.
We have found it impossible to get food deliveries - all the slots are permanently booked up. I am sure we shall manage somehow though. The rental option seems to be something we need to consider.Delete
I always said that when we move we need to be near shops but I havnt been in a shop for nine months.What a nightmare.Our house is up for sale but our problem is we have two huge trees in the garden with TPOs.We think we have a buyer but she keeps talking about the trees.Fingers crossed for us and you.ReplyDelete
I think a second opinion is crucial.Someone with more experience may see a way out for you.Heres hoping.
Thanks, and hope your buyer isn't put off by the trees. It is the same here. We cannot remove any of the trees around the property - and we have loads of them!Delete
How awful. I can well imagine how you feel. I have no advice. Just (((hugs))). Hopefully you will get a solution of some sort.ReplyDelete
Thanks Addy. It helps to just write about it. Get it off my chest, so to speak.Delete
I am sure it will all sort itself out in the end.
I was going to say to get a second opinion but you are already thinking of that. I have never heard of such a thing and have nothing to add to all of the many suggestions you are getting. I will wish you best of luck and hope it all works out for you soon. So sorry for your predicament!ReplyDelete
Thank you Ellen xDelete
Non-standard doesn't mean sub-standard or the building would have to be condemned surely. How do owners and builders of architectural flights of fancy get funds or sell their homes/creations? I'm willing to bet there's a specialist lender out there somewhere but you might have to do some research to find them. I've had to find specialist insurers before. Don't rely on brokers to know all the answers to non-standard questions. Start digging around, UK has one of the largest and most diverse financial services markets in the world. Don't give up hope yet. xxx Mr TReplyDelete
I think it would be much easier if we were part of the UK but our financial services market is much smaller and has far fewer options. All the friendly building societies here were gobbled up by the big banks and they now have a stranglehold. Not many options for buyers here and any specialist lenders have very high rates.Delete
The penalty of being a small island jurisdiction.
I am sure it will turn out ok in the end, not knowing anything about building land prices in IOM or demand for good plots. Here old places demolished on good plots for a replacement house make big money. What will be will be.ReplyDelete
Yes, we are just waiting for things to return to some sort of normality and then see what can be done.Delete
I am so sorry Jaycee - I am sure you could do without all the worry at a time like this. I do to some extent agree with Rachel - just have a bit of a breather and get two or three other opinions. Best wishes.ReplyDelete
We shall certainly be asking for several more opinions, after our enforced breather!Delete
A homeowner's worst nightmare, not being able to cash in on your home's equity. Good luck with your plans going forward.ReplyDelete
Yes, the perceived equity formed a large part of our retirement plans.Delete
Time for Plan B...or C.
What about letting? Could its monthly rental not finance another mortgage? What is the nature of its 'non standard construction'? You must be extremely peeved.ReplyDelete
p.s. I think most of us feel 'in limbo' at the moment, even if we have no house to sell.Delete
Peeved is perhaps an understatement, Cro.Delete
Oh no. This pandemic really complicates just about EVERYTHING, doesn't it?ReplyDelete
And I also meant to say in our country, they do not expect old homes to meet current construction codes. They are 'grandfathered', because the house predates the codes. Without knowing what the problem is, I'm going to wonder what exactly the problem is. Do you have such a thing as 'land contracts' over there? Something that allows someone to pay you a monthly fee in a rent to own. It has risks of course, and I would suggest that you have a lawyer draw the paperwork up to minimize those risks. You might also consider renting it. We have a number of rentals, and we find that carefully vetting tenants before choosing one to rent reduces a lot of problems. Don't get in a rush, do your background checks. Most of our tenants stay with us for years. We are very blessed to have found them.ReplyDelete
Thanks Debby. We have a lot to think about and shall certainly seek advice.Delete
I think the current pandemic situation just makes it all seem worse, but I am sure we shall be able to work something out.
That really is a bummer and I hope that you eventually find a way out. Certainly there have been a few suggestions by your commenters.ReplyDelete
Just for interest you are not alone in the non-standard construction situation. The. Scottish Highlands and Islands are full of non-standard construction homes and mortgages are getting much harder to find for them. The homes don't have to be old either. It's not just mortgages either. It's also insurance.
It does seem a shame when most of them will probably last longer than some of the shoddy new-builds we have seen being thrown up around here.Delete
An ultimate Catch-22. So very sorry that you are in this position. Hope, fervently, that a second or third opinion brings you a better solution. Fingers crossed--will add toes, too.ReplyDelete
One of my cousins and her husband bought an old house on a large plot, got planning permission for a new house in the garden and had it built, moved in and demolished the old house and had another new one built, then sold both and moved. It involved a lot of borrowing but in the end they made a big profit. The thing is, though, they were in their late twenties when they did it, and did some of the work themselves.ReplyDelete
Yes, not sure we shall have the energy for all that now. We shall probably apply for planning permission then sell for whatever we are able to get.Delete
I am so sorry to hear this news, JayCee. I hope you're able to come up with a cunning plan...Delete