Author Topic: Walker Group (Scotland)  (Read 18594 times)

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anthyboy

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Walker Group (Scotland)
« on: November 21, 2014, 10:14:26 am »
Hi,

I have just registered and I am after any information on the Walker Group - specifically the site Meadowcroft Falkirk?

I have looked through the forum pages and can no reference to this company, here or on any other review site!

Any help much appreciated.

Thanks


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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 01:23:10 pm »
Like most people I have never heard of them!
It looks like they have just six sites all in Scotland.
My advice would be to talk to people who have already moved in on the development you are considering.
Make sure there is a ten year NHBC warranty, not a warranty by another provider.  The NHBC don't allow any old house builder on their register.
No NHBC - No purchase.
Don't believe a word the sales staff say and audio record everything for your own protection in case there are any disputes later on - you will need proof!
Finally, if you do buy, get your home independently and professionally snagged before you legally complete.
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anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 02:41:59 pm »
Cheers,

It does have NHBC warranty and I have emails stating everything we have agreed on.

I have been looking for ages at new builds, I like this company so far as I know exactly what comes as standard as per their website. Many don't state it as far as I can see anyway!

Just can't find any reviews on them, one way or another and this worries me a little for a company of 40 years.

I go for a look in a few weeks and will come back to keep people informed!


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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2014, 09:27:26 am »
Most people take to the Internet to complain.
The fact that after 40 years there are no reviews is probably a good thing.
They don't appear to  build many homes each year so can take more care to build then properly?
Ask them for their HBF Customer Satisfaction Survey information.
It's not published as they are small, but they may have taken part in the survey if they belong to the HBF.
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anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2014, 08:12:51 pm »
Just been quoted this for solicitor's fees on £ 223,000 house purchase:
 
Warners House Purchase Costs
Warners Fee ... £550.00
VAT ............... £110.00
 
Registration Dues of Disposition............................................................................ £480.00
 
Registration Dues of Standard Security.................................................................... £60.00
 
Land & Buildings Tax........................................................................................ £1,760.00
 
Registration dues of Second Charge Security............................................................ £60.00
 
Registration dues of Ranking Agreement.................................................................. £60.00
 
Registration dues of Minute of Agreement................................................................ £10.00
 
Search dues... £45.00
 
Bank Transfer fee................................................................................................. £30.00
 
Advance Payments fee........................................................................................... £10.00
 
TOTAL OF FEES AND OUTLAYS .......................................................................... £3,175.00


What do you reckon? seems comparable

cheers

Anthony

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2014, 07:41:33 am »
Taking out the "Scottish" Stamp Duty that means legal costs amount to £1,413 which seems high.
Using the Legal fess calculator  here, it works out at £950 legal fees and £2,230 Stamp Duty to buy a £223,000 house in England.
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anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2014, 12:47:30 am »
My house is not due to be ready till April/May and the stamp duty in Scotland changes come into force by then! Also I am using the Help to Buy 1

Charges seem correct as per the Scottish government website, though if the solicitors made the application via Automated Registration of Title to Land (ARTL) then charges for Registration Dues of Disposition will drop from £480 to £360, and the other charges drop from £60 to £50. This would save me about £150 overall.

Not sure why you would have a Registration dues of Second Charge Security?

I have emails stating what exactly I will be getting, I have my discount in writing as well. Mortgage broker answers question correctly to which I know the answers to, solicitors seem comparable in price terms, I can find no bad comment about Walker group anywhere!
Have I found the only half decent new build company or am I being naive and not looking hard enough?

Will keep people posted & updated!


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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2014, 06:25:55 am »
You need to knock on doors of existing buyers of Walker Group new homes.
That is the only way you will get an honest and fair reflection of what this company is really like.
Trusting to luck and what you have been told by them is being naive!
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anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2014, 02:56:27 pm »
I thought I would give an update on my dealing with Walker Group!

I have been to see the site and the show home which is the same style of house I am buying and I was very impressed. It is a lot bigger than I was expecting (yes I know the tricks they use to create the illusion of more space).

I was also  handed a copy of the Plot Reservation Form, Reservation Checklist, detailed floor plans, Walker group customer charter booklet with FAQ in it, Consumer Code for Home Builders & details of the NHBC warranty plus aftercare information.

I spoke the site manager (who had been with Walker group for 30 odd years working his way up from when he started out). He answered questions correctly that I knew the answers too (from this site), seemed relaxed and not stressed out at all. I asked about using a professional snagging inspector prior to me taking ownership and he didn't appear to have a problem with it!

I took my time to go around the area and talk to people already moved in and everyone appeared very happy and more than content with their aftersales care!!

My only gripe at moment is the sales lady didn't mention about the yearly charge for common areas prior to my reservation fee being paid a few weeks ago!  But reading other stories, maybe I shouldn't be to picky.

Missives are going through at moment which will then tie me to a contract to buy.
Also sent a few questions to their sales office, just to see how they respond, PSB:

Quote
Jan,
Really good to finally meet you and see the site and show home!
I have a few questions for your site manager to confirm to me about plot 26

1) Timber frame has been fully preserved in line with current building regulations, including drill holes & cut ends?
2) Moisture within the timber frame was at 20% or below prior to being covered?
3) Confirm plot 26 has and will be built in line with current building regulations, including where it states "should be" this will be taken as a "must be"  (for example: DCP should be of a minimum height of 150 mm above ground level)?
4) Confirm estimated completion date either April or May 2015?
I will also be using a professional snagging inspector at the pre-inspection meetin. I spoke to the site manager about this, please confirm it will not be an issue?
5) I require a copy of building control inspector's notes that have been done so far, plus full report at the pre inspection meeting.

Jan, I also spoke to site manager about having a door put in from hallway to garage. He stated that the build was too far advanced for this. Can you ask him again about this as it seems a bit stupid to complete a really good finish in the hallway in the full knowledge I am going to need to spoil it!  I haven't really had any choice on this house yet and looking at the build stage,  I can't see it being too much of a stretch of issue to achieve this!

I have funds ready to be transferred to Warner's once my questions have been answered, this if we act quickly should have the Missive's completed prior to Christmas which would be great!

Finally just confirm that there are no other costs that I don't know about?  Such as  maintenance of common areas!
Looking forward to hearing from you Jan, I'm in all day tomorrow!

Kind regards

Anthony


Should be interesting in what they come back with!!!!!!!!!

I will keep everyone updated as process goes through.

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 01:23:45 pm »
Clearly, you have found out and learned a great deal from reading the information on this website.
Thank you for your kind donation.

The information Walker have given you is no more or less than the standard required. They have already breached the Consumer Code for Home Builders by failing to disclose pertinent information before you reserved, namely maintenance charges to common areas.  So you are not being picky at all!

When looking for a snagging inspector, I would recommend Martyn Maxwell at www.brickkickers.co.uk.
It is not a good idea for the snagging inspector to carry out his inspection at your "pre-inspection meeting" with the site manager.  For one thing, his inspection will probably take at least a couple of hours.
In addition, the "pre-occupation" visit is for the site manager to show you where everything is how the heating works etc and for you to satisfy yourself that the home is in fact ready for you to move in.
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anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2015, 01:21:13 pm »
PSB, Answers to my questions for the post 20 December 14

Hi Anthony

Happy New Year.

Back to work today and have received the following answers to your questions as follows:

1. All timber supplied with the kit are preservative treated in accordance with BS 5268, Part 5, 1977. We are obliged to comply with the NHBC Standards which require surfaces which have been treated with preservative and subsequently cut (or drilled) to be re-treated with preservative on the cut surfaces.

2. We don't check the moisture content prior to covering so cannot confirm this.

3.  Plot 26 is being built in accordance with current building regulations and NHBC Standards. Both Falkirk Building Control and the NHBC issue certification, upon completion, to confirm this.

4.  Cannot confirm completion date until colours are released.

5.  This will not be an issue.

6.  You would have to take this up with Building Control direct.

7.  As already explained there are factoring expenses. £142.60 plus vat on purchase and thereafter annually £142.60 plus vat. Your solicitor will confirm.

Kind regards

Jan

anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2015, 01:30:50 pm »
Just a little update!

Everything seems to going to plan.

Missives concluded and my house is due to be built around mid April.

Just by chance my brother in law, has just started working on the house next door - so can keep a real close eye on it.

I hope this gives an insight into Walker Group as when I started there was nothing out there!

Let's hope Walker Group continue to play ball or all will be revealed.

Regards

Anthony

anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2015, 03:03:20 pm »
Well I have now moved in and thought I would give my overall impression of Walker Gp. I am very happy with my purchase and things have gone very smoothly overall.

Yes they are like all the rest in terms of making the sale - I spent couple of weeks playing cat and mouse haggling over price!
I did do couple of no-no's from what is advised on this site. Firstly I used their recommend Mortgage Broker in conjunction with extensively conducting my own research and found he was able to get me a really good deal which I couldn't beat. Also if you are applying for help to buy, a good Mortgage broker will be really helpful and there seems to be a massive gulf on what you can borrow going to a broker rather than direct to a bank. Point to note they are not priests and don't assume they won't pass onto the housebuilder what you can afford - they will.
I don't just mean the eligibility check being passed over, but specific information on how much you will be able to borrow! Funny enough Walker Group seemed to know exactly the amount they needed to give me in discount to enable the house to be an option, some would say coincidence if you believe in that!

Secondly I used their recommended solicitor, again a big no-no! As you need to know that it's 100% your interest they are looking after and I would advocate this, but in my particular circumstance I was not from the local area and didn't know any other decent ones, so again researched the company and found no issues about them online.

Overall the house is stunning in my opinion, I did use an independent snagger prior to me completing on the property and he did find a fair few snags but non of a serious nature which gave me confidence in what I was buying. The finish inside was to an OK standard but I was very picky as you need to be and got all snagging rectified in a timely manner. Main points where finish on some of the paintwork and I made them do some of the window reveals again.

Site manager has been pretty good in dealing with any issues - but just be aware if its simple fix problems it an easy choice for him, anything that requires extensive work I would imagine a bit more of a fight on your hands.

Most important things I have learnt are:
1. Do you research on everything - site, company, solicitors, Morgage brokers, snaggers, NHBC standards. Arm yourself with knowledge and they are less like to try and have your pants down!

2. Have evidence - Email everything and store them safely. Anything I conducted was done via emails.

3. Be necky when haggling.

4. Make them aware of the type of person you are, I left them in no doubt that if I got a 'shite' house I would spend all my time costing them money. I would have no hesitation in making a scene at their show house with potential buyers, posting accurate details bout them online or letting them no that I have legal cover and would take them to court if needed (I haven't needed to resort to this measures in anyway shape or form).

5. This website has been invaluable and a must read for first time new build buyer.

Thats about it - I would recommend Walker Group if you are looking for a house in Scotland. Any questions please ask!!

Regards

Anthony

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2015, 08:47:13 am »
I am pleased that everything worked out for you alright, despite you using the house builder's suggested solicitors.
This is not just a no-no it is reckless.  You will have no idea what was in your best interests and may have been compromised or not mentioned to you.

At least you found this website and were able to make an informed decision and learned what you needed to do to get the best possible new home from a housebuilder - the whole aim of my work here.

Did you also follow my advice and use Brickkickers for your snagging inspection?

I am not sure I would recommend Walker Group.
Others would be well advised to check the posts on this forum and elsewhere online!
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anthyboy

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Re: Walker Group (Scotland)
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 12:33:30 am »
No I used sitesnagging I tried to get Brickkickers but they didn't get back to me. Must be extremely busy!!

As I stated, I agree with not using their recommended solicitor but in the absence of knowing someone competent myself and doing my own research I found no red light flashing at me - but can I guarantee 100%, no I can't.

All I have tried to do is give some detail on a house builder which is sadly lacking anywhere I have tried to look, even on this extremely detailed web page.

Cheers for your help!