Thursday, July 02, 2009

Poverty Bound

At the 100 Women In Hedge Funds event last night, two separate people asked me if I was pregnant (when I was on my fifth glass of wine), and one said I looked it. Damn. Beyond that though, one of my friends, who I shall call Celia, confirmed that she’s exchanging on her property purchase with her boyfriend and that they’ll be completing on the 17th of August. Arg! Another reason not to talk about our buy yet, I would hate it if someone came up to me in three weeks and said “me too!”. This is turning into a bit of a vicious cycle.

Anyhow, the buy is already turning scary. Beyond the ludicrous mortgage repayments, we have also had a letter from the solicitor outlining costs. These would be

Fees £1,175
Stamp £[unsavoury to say but is 4% of purchase price]
Land Reg Fees £550
Searches £350 approx
Banks transfer £17.25
Misc searches £18

To top it off we also had a piece of bad news. When I was speaking to the builders we’re interested in using, one of them mentioned recent changes to planning laws. Essentially, not one really understands it, but it means houses under the Hounslow Council can no longer construct full side extensions. This was a bit of a shock because
(a) 70% of the houses must have them
(b) we wanted to and it would mean losing 10 square metres, which is hefty
(c) it was factored into the house price.

I literally hung up and halted the purchase while I tried to get verification from the council. I called them at about 11 am, only t be told the planning office was only open in the afternoons (what?! Why? Do people not have homes in the morning?). I called at 1 pm, when they were meant to be open, only to be told that the Chiswick liaison or whatever would only be in from 2:30pm. Wow. A two and a half hour window (and if you know what I do, you’ll know why Window is the key word here).

I call them at 2:30pm and the first time, I get hung up on. The next time I get an Antipodean who is instantly unfriendly. She tells me that it’s hard luck, side return extensions have to be within 3m of the ultimate rear wall. I ask if that means the garden wall, clutching at straws, and she tells me it’s the furthest wall of the property from the entrance in the voice of someone explaining to a ten year old that it’s not acceptable to poop in their friends shoe. I try to explain to her that I’m not stupid, just confused as to why a council would restrict local business, property value and legal clarity. She doesn’t understand why not being able to build bigger projects would be a bad thing for the twenty or so local building agencies. She doesn’t understand why smaller houses are worth less than big ones. She doesn’t understand why it is likely to not be a coincidence that she has had the same query for months.

I give up and email the boys. I normally have better luck with them.

The boys do sort of come through. I now have an email saying that I can build three metres out towards the furthest wall of the property (which gains me about a metre and a half or thereabouts). If I stick a shed on the end that doesn’t touch the walls of the house, that is ok. It still is annoying that we can’t do the whole thing although the builders are now trying to encourage me to build a glass structure, which apparently doesn’t count.

Purchase back on!

Running summary of costs:
Mortgage £1,000 arrangement
Survey £1,510 the works
Legal £2,110 approximated
Stamp £Massive
Stress & Anxiety £Priceless

1 comment:

An American Girl in London said...

glad to hear it got worked out! but seriously, i feel like everyone in london who has answers you need are complete morons!! i almost put a hit out on my letting agency because i've been trying to reach them for 3 weeks with no success! useles.