A self build house project diary
by Oliver Cannell

What a load of bankers!!

It's been a long time since the last post, so let's bring you up-to-date.

The good old Credit Crunch. We all know what it's about... we all know who caused it (mostly)... and we're all too bored and fed-up with hearing about it. And we're all especially bored with it being blamed for everything from increasing prices, spending cuts, reductions in services and the banks getting away with daylight robbery! But hey, enough of the doom and gloom (for a few minutes) let's get down to the update.

As you know back in April 2011 I put my little house on the market, having completed the decorating and making it look all lovely and presentable for prospective buyers. Nice. I opted for a flat fee, online only, estate agent, to save some money and I was quite confident that there would be plenty of viewings and it would be sold in a couple of months at the most.

In the end, I think I had about 4 viewings and it took 9 months to sell. Boo! Admittedly I priced it high to see what would happen - but only as high as I had seen similar properties at, over the previous 2 years. But obviously the good old credit crunch had created a very quiet market - not many people moving in general - and everyone looking for a bargain. It didn't help that the Stamp Duty was at £125k, as in the end, that is what I had to sell it for. I was hoping to get £135k-ish but unfortunately nobody was making any offers even close. Reluctantly I accepted the offer, just to get things moving, so I could get started with this self build.

So I moved out of the house, in Swindon, mid-December 2011 and into a rented flat in Basingstoke (with my girlfriend). New adventures. The plan at that time was "set up camp" there for about a year-ish to 18 months, while the build was happening and then to move into the new house either before Christmas 2012 or Spring 2013. Haa haa... very funny!

Not only had the credit crunch caused a 9 month delay in selling my house - as well as getting less for it than I'd hoped - but it had also been somewhat slower than usual on the work front. As I work for myself, I only have myself to blame, but it did feel like I was busy 2010-2011 so wasn't conerned in any way about being able to apply for a mortgage. Once the accountant had completed my company accounts for that year though, things weren't looking so peachy.

I was somewhat lead-down-the-garden-path by what Buildstore had originally said they could offer, in terms of a self build mortgage, and about how everything was calculated, and as things took a little while to get to this point, I think I had dealt with th 3 different people. As it turned out, the figures in the company accounts weren't good enough for them to even entertain the idea of them offering me a mortgage. So my dreams came crashing to an abrubt halt! The gutting thing was, if the house had sold sooner, I would have been able to use the previous year's company accounts, to apply for the mortgage, which would have made things definitely doable. So now I was stuck in no-mans-land.

A friend, who was also building their own home at the time, recommended I try their mortgage broker. He had managed to work his magic on their behalf to get them a good self build mortgage, so I arranged a meeting. I knew my figures weren't great, but I was confident he'd be able to find something to suit my needs. Alas, during the summer of 2012 it was confirmed that I didn't have good enough figures to move forward.

At this stage, there were 2 options available - sell the plot of land or wait until the current financial year was done and see what the new company accounts would bring. The former option certainly wasn't my favoured option, as would mean losing a lot of investment (time and money) in all the design work and planning already completed. So, I figured it would be better to try and make the year as profitable as possible (work-wise) and see what the new accounts could do. Pedal to metal... and fingers crossed!

During all this time, by the way, I was having to repair fencing around the plot, keep up with site insurance and also extend the planning permission for another 3 years, as the initial planning permission was up. The neighbours have been very patient and are all looking forward to house being completed, so I had been keeping them in the loop as well, with info as it became available.

Fast-forward to spring 2013. The latest company accounts have been done and they are looking MUCH better. Dare I say, excellent, compared with the previous year. 😊

So now we're at the stage of talking to the mortgage broker again and seeing what we can do. The figures look peachy so it's just (don't speak too soon) a case of finding a lender who's happy to dish out the cash!

Drum roll please......

Next entry: Researching other Self Build mortgage lenders (Tuesday 27th August 2013)

Previous entry: Yet more fencing erected to replace dodgy boundary wall (Friday 17th June 2011)

Post a comment

  (This will not be published)

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Buy Patio and Natural Stone Sealer