Buying a site: a cautionary tale (1 Viewer)

egg_

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Me and Niamh spent years looking at houses, and didn't find anything that both met our needs and was affordable ... our needs are kinda particular, cos we both work from home, also we want to be near Niamh's family and she wants an acre of ground to grow vegetables and keep chickens.

So we decided to look for a site. Around Niamh's homeplace there are "local needs" planning restrictions, which means your parents/siblings must live (and have lived for 10 years) within 4km of where you want to build. Saw a few places that were outside the radius, then finally, last June 12 months, we had a call from someone who was willing to sell to us. We met the owners brother on the side of the road, and made an offer which was transmitted to the owner, got a phone call that that was ok, and so we thought we were in.

Then we had to draw up a contract with the owner, at which point he demanded more money (despite having already agreed a price). We haggled and haggled and eventually offered him a bit more, shook hands on it in front of his family and that (we thought) was that. The site was surveyed, a map was drawn, contracts were signed. We paid an architect to design the house, applied for planning and eventually got it.

A mortgage isn't too easy for us to get, seeing as we're both self-employed and I've only been self-employed since Jan, so our only option was to go through our accountant who is a broker for TSB. We wanted to build a timber frame house, so we told this to the mortgage providers, and when our letter of offer arrived they wanted a letter from whoever was manufacturing the timber frame to confirm that company was on their approved list. But they wouldn't tell us who was on the approved list. At this stage we hadn't even put the plans out to tender, so even if we knew who was on the list (we managed to get a few names out of them eventually), it'd take a while to get quotes etc, and time was something we didn't have cos there was a stipulation in the contract that we had to pay within 14 days of a grant of planning and it says "time is of the essence in this regard". So we applied for and got a credit union loan, but between the jigs and the reels and our solicitor being on holiday for a week, we ended up being 2 weeks late with payment.

And then, we hear that the vendor is refusing to sign the papers. This is after us spending 3 grand on an architect, solicitors fees and 18 months of rent ... and we owe a few more grand to an enginer we took on to do detailed drawings of the house after we thought the sale had all gone through. And, here's the kicker - it transpires that the contract is null and void cos we were late. So I've spent the last week or two going over to this old farmer in his 70s trying to talk him into changing his mind. He's offered us 85% of the site for the same money.

:(
What to do? We've offered to split the difference with him, and he's having none of it. Changing the boundaries of the site fucks up our planning, but we're kinda willing to take a chance on changing them a little bit (but not as much as he wants) as it's still bigger than the minimum site area. We've been nice, we've told him how much we've spent, we've pointed out that the difference between what he's offering and what we want isn't going to be even noticeable to him but will mean a lot to us, we've pointed out that he shook hands on the fucking thing and signed a contract, and he just says "I kneeooow, I kneeooow" and then says "I'll give ye this bit here, and that'll be it done with". Finally today we've threatened him with court, cos we don't think he knows the contract is not binding, that's the latest, dunno how it's gonna work out

Anyway, what a cunt. And the moral of the story is - don't trust a man like this. It's not that he's greedy or malicious (really - he's actually an alright oul divil when you talk to him), but he's just in his own fucking world and is impossible to deal with, and we are finding out to our cost
 

hanley

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egg_ said:
And then, we hear that the vendor is refusing to sign the papers. This is after us spending 3 grand on an architect, solicitors fees and 18 months of rent ... and we owe a few more grand to an enginer we took on to do detailed drawings of the house after we thought the sale had all gone through. And, here's the kicker - it transpires that the contract is null and void cos we were late. So I've spent the last week or two going over to this old farmer in his 70s trying to talk him into changing his mind. He's offered us 85% of the site for the same money.

:(
What to do? We've offered to split the difference with him, and he's having none of it. Changing the boundaries of the site fucks up our planning, but we're kinda willing to take a chance on changing them a little bit (but not as much as he wants) as it's still bigger than the minimum site area. We've been nice, we've told him how much we've spent, we've pointed out that the difference between what he's offering and what we want isn't going to be even noticeable to him but will mean a lot to us, we've pointed out that he shook hands on the fucking thing and signed a contract, and he just says "I kneeooow, I kneeooow" and then says "I'll give ye this bit here, and that'll be it done with". Finally today we've threatened him with court, cos we don't think he knows the contract is not binding, that's the latest, dunno how it's gonna work out

Anyway, what a cunt. And the moral of the story is - don't trust a man like this. It's not that he's greedy or malicious (really - he's actually an alright oul divil when you talk to him), but he's just in his own fucking world and is impossible to deal with, and we are finding out to our cost
thats sickening shit.
this whole sites/housing fiasco thats going on in this country is completly beyond a joke.
only solution:kill that farmer, how greedy do you have to be at 75?
 

roxy

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Shit Cormac, that's awful.

My sister and her boyfriend are having the most ridiculously hard time just trying to buy a fuckin property down in Kerry. Sale almost complete at this stage after months and months and months of unecessary delays and completely bizarrely unreasonable stuff. Nothing to with planning or councils - just the seller is absolutely out of his godamn TREE and the solicitors are even throwing up there hands saying "can we please have this fuckin knobend committed". And apparently this is his second move in 2 years and his last sale was also an incredibly farcical drawn-out nightmare for all concerned too.

I look forward to this stage of my life in years to come. :rolleyes:
 

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