Fri 13 Jul 2018
John German's Marketing Manager, Katy Storer is currently experiencing every house hunters' worse fear, the dreaded sealed bid scenario...
Today is the day, I find out if my offer on a property has been accepted or not, having gone to best and finals...
For the past few years, to save for a house deposit, I have forsaken fancy holidays abroad, become quite tight in terms of buying presents and said no to umpteen nights out with friends. My wardrobe has most definitely seen better days, I honestly can't remember the last time I bought something new to wear to work. It has been a struggle to say the least, however on the plus side, I've now learnt how rewarding saving can be and learnt how not to waste money on things that in the grand scheme of things, add no real value to how I live.
Working for John German Estate Agents, I have seen at first hand the astronomical rise in house prices. Having been in the industry since 2011, the area in which I live West Bridgford, has become very expensive to buy. It appeals to many, from growing families, wanting to be in the catchment area of the outstanding schools, to young professionals loving the idea of being so close to an array of quality bars and restaurants. There's a real cosmopolitan feel to the place and it is always buzzing with life. West Bridgford comes even more alive when England play their Test Matches or when there is a friendly T20 match at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground. The River Trent is literally on the doorstep, going for a run around The Hook up to Holme Pierrepont is lovely, and free... ideal for me who is on a tight budget!
So this is my dilemma, everyone wants to buy in West Bridgford, and as a first time buyer the prices seem too way out reach for me. I don't have the option of the Bank of Mum & Dad or a distant rich relative about to pop their cloggs and give me a slice of their inheritance (if only, sorry Aunty Alice). This hasn't put me off or dampened my dream of getting on the property ladder. Instead of worrying about finding my dream home, I will look at the most sensible options available to me at the moment which means looking at flats and somewhere further afield to West Bridgford.
Ideally I want to live in South Nottinghamshire, it has great routes for the M1 and Loughborough where I work, although I am not ruling out other areas of Nottingham and am also considering Mapperley where you do get more square footage for your money. For me to stay in the West Bridgford/South Nottinghamshire area, flats and apartments seem to be my only option budget-wise.
I've viewed a couple in WB, but the lease was too short on one of them and the other one, in my opinion way, was over-priced and needed a lot of updating. I've also viewed a tiny cottage in the lovely village of Ruddington. Although I would absolutely love to have my own cosy little cottage, I would have been stretching my budget too much and the layout wasn't great. With this in mind, I've now narrowed down what is important and achievable for me. I'm looking out for a property with two double bedrooms, a long-enough lease not to give me the headache of paying for an extension and low service charges.
As most house hunters know, once you start looking, checking for new listings on Rightmove becomes a daily ritual. After months of looking with very little coming on, a two bedroom maisonette caught my eye, with a decent price (within my budget) and large looking rooms, I called up the agent to book a viewing straightaway. I just knew this one was going to be popular with other buyers too and wasn't surprised when I was told that 8 other parties were going to view it on the same Saturday too. On the day of the viewing, eager to show my interest early, I called and offered on the property as soon as I had viewed it, going in at full asking price and also popping into the branch to give them my ID. Unsurprisingly whilst I was sat there, the negotiator was on the phone taking another offer on the property. I tried my best with lame jokes and chit chat to get the answer to my million dollar question, "what had they offered?" to no avail. Instead I was told it would most likely go to best and final offers, in other words sealed bids.
Come Monday, that is exactly what had happened, all interested parties were asked to send their final offer along with proof of funds to the agent by the Wednesday. I feel lucky to work with one of the best in their field, Sharon Allardice, who has years' of experience negotiating offers and house sales, so asked for her advice;
- Go in at a price you are happy to pay for the property
- Try not to second guess anyone else's offer
- Explain to the agent why you want the property and how proceedable you are
- If it doesn't happen, it wasn't meant to be
So here I am today, checking my emails on average every 10-15 mins, waiting for the verdict.....Either way I'm nervous, will I lose the property I really want or will I officially become a grown up (aged 33 & 3/4) buying my first home?!
"To Lizzie, Thank you so much for encouraging me to view a house I wasn't entirely convinced on. It was exactly what I was looking for and I am delighted that it is now mine! "