Readers earlier in the year will be aware that I found myself buying my Dream Home, on something of a whim, at very short notice in January. My plan had been to put the old house on the market last Easter. Things haven’t gone entirely to plan, as I’ll recount.
First off the old house needed a bit of TLC. Nothing major, but not something I have to bother with on my other valuable assets. This took a few weeks, and prevented me selling the house at the start of the year.
Secondly, I got quite a significant shock when I got the house valued. This being London, the first and almost only step required to value a house in a given postcode is to measure its square footage. Measuring is a very slick process these days involving lasers. But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got the plans back : they were 500 sq ft short. Shurely shome mishtake? Alas not. I’ve been labouring under a misapprehension for about fifteen years about the size of my old house.
500 sq ft in North London is worth over half a million squids so this was quite a blow. In many ways I’m glad I hadn’t realised this when I was looking at new houses, but I’m certainly relieved I didn’t stretch myself to buy a more expensive Dream Home. Certainly it is a good reminder of one of life’s most important lessons: Check Your Assumptions.
In any case I then had a few of the local agents visit to tell me how wonderful my house is, how exorbitant expensive it will be and how rapidly they can sell it for me. My original strategy was to deploy two agents who between them covered all three of the UK’s large property portals but in the end I ended up with a ‘pile it high’ agent and a ‘classy one man band’ agent both of whom were on the same two portals (Zoopla/PrimeLocation being the one that matters in my market).
The pricing of a house to sell is a fascinating process.
Previous readers will know I’ve spent the last two months unexpectedly buying a house. It’s been quite a journey, and it’s now complete. HOORAY!
This is not just any house; it’s the most overpriced house in its expensive area of London. I have paid a premium per square foot of over 15% compared to any of the immediate neighbours. I don’t anticipate making any return on this purchase for years, and even then I will be lucky to beat inflation.
I’m nearing the end of my Dream Home purchasing odyssey. In fact I have mustered the cash needed to buy the home, and wired it to my lawyer, in good time for completion. Hooray!
What I haven’t quite found yet is the cash for the stamp duty, but I have another month to find that and think the market volatility could help. In any case you can see in my graph below that I have obtained over 100% of the purchase price – I am only a few % away from where I need to be including transaction fees etc.
This means that right now I am the proud owner of over £1m of new debt.