Owning your own home

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  • Same - needs to be shown to mortgage provider, not EA, in my (limited) experience

  • ‘Since 10th January 2020 when the EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive became active, Estate Agents (and in certain circumstances Letting Agents) are required to obtain proof of funds from you when you submit an offer to buy a property.

    If the estate agent asks for proof of funds after you put an offer in, then they are not only checking that you have the money to actually pay for the property, but also that you haven’t acquired the money through criminal means. You must provide proof of funds if asked for it at this stage.

    Proof of funds can be shown with:

    An agreement in principle/mortgage in principle
    Bank statements of your deposit amount (for mortgage buyers)
    Bank statements of your cash amount (for cash buyers)
    Evidence of you selling a property (if using the funds to buy the new property)
    Evidence if the money has been gifted
    The estate agent can ask you to provide more details of where your money has come from. This is normal practice as all estate agents must conform to the Money Laundering Regulations, and doing thorough checks is standard practice.’

    The proof of funds thing has been more commonplace in the last 2 years. So the estate agent should be requesting it.

  • I helped my daughter with the deposit for a house she was buying. This meant I also had to show where those funds had come from. All a bit of a ball ache for a relatively small sum.

  • Echoing @Pifko

    EA were absolute fucking cretins

    Having them as a link in the AML chain is utterly ludicrous - That should be the conveyancing solicitors' jobs. A

  • Oh I completely agree.
    I question an agent’s ability to spot signs of money laundering, and then even if suspicious, have it stop a potential sale.
    I think it probably is more of a deterrent than stopping dodgy funds from entering the property market.

    Having said that, there are dodgy buyers, dodgy brokers, and dodgy solicitors too.

  • I think it is also worth getting an electrician to review the state of the electrics as doubt these have been touched for 30+ years.

    You can do a lot of this yourself with common sense. Do rooms have enough sockets for modern life? Is the consumer unit fuse wire or something more modern? Are the sockets yellowed and damaged?

    A proper inspection will cost you money and you might as well only spend that money after you own it and the purchase isn't going to fall through unless dodgy wiring will cause you to pull out.

  • Yeah thats my understanding too, seems mental considering they are cunts usually just after that bigger percentage.

  • Yep, new guidance has estate agents involved in AML https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio­ns/money-laundering-regulations-2007-sup­ervision-of-estate-agency-businesses/est­ate-agency-guidance-for-money-laundering­-supervision

    I also severely doubt the capability of the average estate agent to identify money laundering but you have to go along with it. I'd just do a quick email: X is savings, Y is inheritance, Z is sale of these assets, etc

    In a flat where you aren't responsible for structural stuff I'd be tempted to go with Homebuyers. Although if a full survey isn't much more then why not, it's a lot of money you're spending. Is the state of the wiring going to cause you to pull out or change your offer? If not I'd wait until I was in there.

    I'd definitely sacrifice bathroom for a bigger kitchen if it's affordable. Will also likely add to sellability.

    An ensuite is nice if you've got a lodger. Would probably add value but not a huge amount.

  • Did have a few quick questions if anyone has bought a flat in a building like this.

    Do I need a full survey or is homebuyers good enough?

    In the context of flats, it's more useful to figure out how the building has been maintained. You should try to find out what works have happened and when, and what works are planned. Roof not repaired in 20 years? Expect a large bill. No pointing in 20 years? Same again. Surveyors won't do this, they just eyeball shit.

    On the floorplan, want to see what the black bit taking up some of the kitchen is.

    Survey won't tell you, or rather, they'll just guess. It's probably services.

    I think it is also worth getting an electrician to review the state of the electrics as doubt these have been touched for 30+ years.

    If the electrics haven't been done in 30 years just assume they are old and probably need updating.

    Agent was saying there's a few ways to get permission to change floorplan. Worth sacrificing some bathroom for a bigger kitchen by re-jigging stud walls?

    Yes, I would take out the bath and swap it for a cubicle to try to extend the kitchen back a bit. Or you could integrate the kitchen in to the living room. For this size of flat I think that's fine, although some people understandably don't like cooking smells in their chill space.

    Any point in having 2 bathrooms on the same floor in a 2 bed flat from an adding value perspective as the top floor in the building has done?

    Dunno. See what it's like living with one shower then decide.

  • Do I need a full survey or is homebuyers good enough?

    I did something different this time and hired a structural surveyor direct for £100 to come look around the property with me. She confirmed to me via email (i.e. not a report) that there were no issues (a report with issues would've cost a lot more) and I would absolutely do it again.

    On the floorplan, want to see what the black bit taking up some of the kitchen is. I think it is also worth getting an electrician to review the state of the electrics as doubt these have been touched for 30+ years.

    I think that's well worth doing but you might not want to do it as part of the pre-move expenditure. We waited a few months until we had some cash to do ours and it's just as well we did because we had to spend out a lot - none of which we'd have been able to use to negotiate a discount. YMMV!

  • Cheers cracked it with some screengrabs today

  • Can you elaborate on how much of a ball ache and where the chain stopped? So if you say sold some shares to pay for it you'd had for 20 years, would proof of the recent share sale transaction in your name be enough? Good go on forever in theory and be quite difficult to get paperwork for. Like in that timescale of something bought 20 years ago, would you have proof of purchase, and would you have to share where the money came from to buy them at the time?

  • Bristol folk, domestic surveys Jon doesn't do flats. Ashley at the same firm can do it for 855 all in but no availability until September. My solicitor in Sheffield who was going to do it when I was after a house can't (I think doesn't want to) do a leasehold flat.

    Any other surveyor or solicitor recommendations for bristol flats plz? Someone suggested using the solicitors who did the top floor as they'll know about the lease details. This was Ann Davies at Davey Law

  • This is exactly what I was thinking.

  • Cheers. Think I need to keep bikes in that bit so they're not in the lounge (floorplan shows a wall that isn't there..)

    What type of tradesperson can advise on sacrificing some bathroom for kitchen?

  • cheers! So by asking (or getting my solicitor to ask) for receipts and records of works done? I am in text conversation with the lady owning the flat below me so could ask her or trawl through the management company accounts
    .
    What do you mean by services?
    Just asked aggi this but which type of tradesperson can advise on how feasible it is to make the kitchen bigger? If getting a structural survey hopefully they can?
    Think integrating the kitchen into the lounge if the wall between the two is structural might not be possible.

  • Will look into structural surveyor. If they can advise on kitchen re-jigging too that is a bonus. I'm highly likely to get an electrician to have a walk round for not very much because my friend/colleague's son is one.
    Might email the person who did the floorplan to ask...

  • although some people understandably don't like cooking smells in their chill space.

    I'm generally not in favour of openplan, but here it does seem to make sense, or semi-openplan Most important thing is to have a decent extractor fan that is externally vented. I can't believe people are allowed to put in those weird air circulator things which pretend to be extractors.

  • cheers! So by asking (or getting my solicitor to ask) for receipts and records of works done? I am in text conversation with the lady owning the flat below me so could ask her or trawl through the management company accounts

    If you use a cheap solicitor, they will do the minimum required, which would be asking the existing owner for the details of any notices that have been served for major works and the details of any debts for works outstanding as well as the amount and details of the service charge. This is mostly ass covering for them. If you get lucky with your solicitor choice, you can ask them to probe things in more detail, i.e. tell them that upcoming charges are a concern, and that you'd like a good picture of what has been done and what is being planned to be done.

    If you have access to existing residents, they will provide more useful information to you that you can understand. Good questions are

    • how frequently is maintenance done?
    • when was the last time you received a big bill?
    • is the service charge consistent and realistic?
    • any scaffolding recently?

    What do you mean by services?

    Gas / water / electric pipes / conduits

    Just asked aggi this but which type of tradesperson can advise on how feasible it is to make the kitchen bigger? If getting a structural survey hopefully they can?

    A small scale builder. A structural survey won't tell you, really, or at least, that's not what they are for.

    Think integrating the kitchen into the lounge if the wall between the two is structural might not be possible.

    From an engineering perspective it would be possible but I can see how obtaining permission would be hard. But I wouldn't rule it out completely. It might not be a load bearing wall even if it is brick or cinder block. If it is load bearing, its possible to install structural support. How old is the block? Must be quite modern (i.e. last 100 years!) to have a central stairwell?

  • Yep, a builder would be the one to talk to about bathroom/kitchen works, etc. If Bristol is anything like London the chance of finding one may be fairly slim though.

    Are you planning on doing the works before you move in, is it a deal breaker for the purchase? If not I'd wait until you're in there and lived in there for a little bit and then decide what you're going to do and get the builder in then.

    I'd definitely advise knocking on a few neighbours doors and having a chat with them. Partly to find out stuff about service charge, what the landlord is like, the area etc and also to check that they aren't horrible bellends.

  • What type of tradesperson would you look for to repair (likely replace) an external sill that looks like this? (edit: think it's masonry, thought could be concrete, house is c.1900-1910)

    Bricklayer? Stonemason? Window fitter?


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    • 8C80B010-8943-40BD-92F5-C18291DBCA48.jpeg
  • Builder would be my first shout.

  • Surveys...
    Had 2 almost identical quotes for conveyancing on the flat other than survey costs*. Both been highly recommended, one by the person who bought the top floor (not sure if having a solicitor who has recently done one in the same building is an advantage or they might get complacent).

    *One has 5 searches listed (local, coal, highways, drains, environmental), the other misses coal and highways. Are they important, and any searches missing here I ought to get?

    Think on survey going to just get an electrician round and then a damp/woodworm specialist - so 2 mini specialist surveys/pieces of advise, whilst finding out if any major works have been done or are planned.

  • not sure if having a solicitor who has recently done one in the same building is an advantage or they might get complacent).

    I wouldn't worry about this, they will just start from scratch anyway.

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Owning your own home

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