Buying a Flat 2013

I am buying a flat in London. Some things have changed.

There is a property shortage and so seller’s behaviour is less desperate, although I was buying during the property boom of the early ’80s when a failed offer wasn’t a problem but some things have changed. Most annoyingly a number of vendors wish to leave property on the market even after offers have been made and there’s never any proof of any alternative offers.

As a cash buyer, I need to prove funds, this is best done via a solicitor’s letter, so they need to see the money before the letter is signed. I was in a hurry to get this done and it caused me more work than I wanted. If you need documentation issued from a bank this is likely to be slower than you need. Get it done in advance. Rarely do anything the first time you ask, if it can go wrong it will, or is that just when you ask for a pint of bitter in a pub, that means the cheapest, if you ask for a loan with alternative terms, you’ll get the stupidly most expensive. There was obviously an affordability test taken there and they still have some things only done overnight.

Don’t forget the “Buggering people around in the pursuit of their life Act”. The whole world is going to want to see government issued photo-id. Make these copies in advance.

I shouldn’t imagine that the money will  move particularly quickly either, work out how long it’ll take and what paper work they’ll require in advance. They may exaggerate their speed as well.  I had one case where they took up to 38 hours to scan the fax into their system.

Actually, while they charge more for sending a sum greater than £10,000, actually moving the money to the lawyers wasn’t hard. One cheque to get it all in one place, and one CHAPS transfer, which they asked all sorts of impertinent questions.

I have started reading the lease,  and got to “not to use or permit……to be used for any illegal …purpose”, so much for civil disobedience by piracy… although some of piracy is only a civil infringement. So best not run a web site, but downloading is OK?

No satellite aerials? Is there one? Not that I care, but there’s resale value to consider.

Get them to demonstrate all electrics and windows, preferably before you move in.

Negotiate meter reading for all meters, in the circumstances that you are buying from a letting, you are the only person with a financial interest in getting this done and getting the services continued. The meters are outside, so make sure the keys are handed over.

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