Friday, August 01, 2008

Can't Sell, Wont Sell

Earlier in the year we decided that we would sell our house and move to something a bit bigger. Even though there were concerns about the state of the housing market we decided to go ahead and put our house on the market. Seven months later and after countless viewings we gave up. It's not that we didn't have interest in the property, we had offers on the property that we would have accepted, except for the fact that those offers came from people who couldn't sell their own houses...

So what went wrong? The house is in a very nice area of a very nice town. It's a modern house in excellent condition. The decor is neutral, the garden is well kept and it has plenty of parking. Two years ago the demand for houses in our street was so high we had letters from estate agents every week asking if we wanted to sell. We even had people knocking on our door asking if we wanted to sell!

So what did go wrong? The first time buyers disappeared overnight,that's what the problem is. Without first time buyers the whole houseing market grinds to a halt. The sudden lack of cheap mortgages due to the credit crunch combined with lots of negative press about the housing market meant that first time buyers either couldn't buy or were scared off for fear of buying at the peak just before a crash.

What happens now? Fortunately for us there is another option, we can extend our current house. We have been looking at loft conversions a while and have decided to convert the loft and extend outwards with an extension to the kitchen.

And it seems we are not the only ones, all of the builders we have spoken to are very busy at the moment. Taking our house off the market was a huge relief, the constant viewings quickly become a chore and were taking up too much of our spare time.

It's a great feeling knowing that we are now in control of our destiny again, it would have cost us around £15,000 to move with all of the taxes and fees, that money can now go towards improving our existing house. Our loft will convert into a great size bedroom and with four velux windows will have a nice light and airy feel to it.

My advice to anyone looking to move home is to wait until the market improves, it's not so much the prices that is the problem, we dropped our asking price several times, it's the lack of liquidity in the market that makes it so difficult to move.

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