Author Topic: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.  (Read 12187 times)

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makertaker

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Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:15:30 pm »
I'm buying my first house and there's a new Taylor Wimpey development not far from me, it's the perfect location for me for my needs so I viewed the showhome and negotiated the price / incentives and have reserved.

Now I know theres a lot of horror stories out there, but I've also heard good things about them too, I think some of the problem is that when people move in to a house and are happy with it they tend not to go on a forum and praise the companies. I just hope that mine won't turn into the nightmare that some unfortunately have.

Now one of the incentives I got thrown in was for carpets and vinyl, now i know this is fairly standard as they'll just bulk buy cheap stuff, and I also know that there will be a massive mark-up on all their options. They valued this at £3,000, so I can either have my house fully carpeted and vinyl or have the voucher for anything else I want from them.

So my question is, would I be best off getting all the carpets done by an outside company and get better quality for less money? I can imagine it being a nightmare to carpet a house once your furniture is in! If I go down that route I will then have an options voucher for £3,000 to spend with them, advice for what I should spend that on?

I plan on just getting the standard specification house from them as I know they stick a massive markup on everything they sell as options, and I know i'll be able to upgrade things myself with trusted tradesmen at a later date, but lets say I get my carpets from someone else and I then have that £3,000 to spend with them, what would you recommended I get with it?
I probably wouldn't mind paying for a few extras myself on top of that if there are things that would be recommended to get whilst the house is getting built and where it won't upset things when it's completed, things like sockets etc.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


makertaker

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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 11:02:01 pm »
In addition, another incentive they gave, which is a common one, is money towards solicitors fees if i use a recommended one. Is this a mistake to use someone who will get a lot of business from Taylor Wimpey? Or would it still go through smoothly? What could go wrong?


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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 10:30:08 am »
Also another incentive they gave, which is a common one, is money towards solicitors fees if I use a recommended one. Is this a mistake to use someone who will get a lot of business from Taylor Wimpey?
Or would it still go through smoothly? What could go wrong?

Yes! This is one of the biggest mistakes a new home buyer can make!
It is never in the buyer's best interests to do this.  House builders will always state it is "easier" "quicker" and "will go through more smoothly" - all benefiting the house builder not the new home buyer. 
With just one solicitor acting there is a clear 'conflict of interests'  - against the SRA Handbook rules.
You need your own appointed solicitor to look after your own interests not help the builder with a quick and easy sale. 

There are reasons why you should NEVER ever use the house builder's suggested or recommended firm of solicitors .
You will lose all control over the process and the solicitor will not act in your sole best interests.
Bribing you with a cash "incentive" to do so is disgusting and against both the spirit and requirements of the Consumer Code for Home Builders requirement 2.5.

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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 11:55:29 am »
I'm buying my first house and there's a new Taylor Wimpey development not far from me, it's the perfect location for me for my needs so I viewed the showhome and negotiated the price / incentives and have reserved.

Now I know theres a lot of horror stories out there, but i've also heard good things about them too, I think some of the problem is that when people move in to a house and are happy with it they tend not to go on a forum and praise the companies. I just hope that mine won't turn into the nightmare that some unfortunately have.

Now one of the incentives I got thrown in was for carpets and vinyl, now i know this is fairly standard as they'll just bulk buy cheap stuff, and I also know that there will be a massive mark-up on all their options. They valued this at £3,000, so I can either have my house fully carpeted and vinyl or have the voucher for anything else I want from them.

So my question is, would I be best off getting all the carpets done by an outside company and get better quality for less money? I can imagine it being a nightmare to carpet a house once your furniture is in! If I go down that route I will then have an options voucher for £3,000 to spend with them, advice for what I should spend that on?

I plan on just getting the standard specification house from them as I know they stick a massive markup on everything they sell as options, and I know i'll be able to upgrade things myself with trusted tradesmen at a later date, but lets say I get my carpets from someone else and I then have that £3,000 to spend with them, what would you recommended I get with it?
I probably wouldn't mind paying for a few extras myself on top of that if there are things that would be recommended to get whilst the house is getting built and where it won't upset things when it's completed, things like sockets etc.


First of all, the horror stories are real, real people with real problems that this company in particular, seems either unwilling or unable to sort out for their customers with any degree of urgency.  True there may be many people who never register on forums like this and tell there own story, perhaps they cannot be bothered or more likely they are unaware at present just how bad their new home is!

Whilst you may "hope that mine won't turn into the nightmare"  there are things you can do to minimise the risk. Carefully choosing your house builder being one too late for you!  You would be well advised to read most of the pages on the main website as you will benefit from the advice and information.
 
One thing I would strongly suggest is that you have your new home professionally and independently inspected and snagged before you legally complete and move in. I only recommend Brickkickers.co.uk and you would also be wise to read up on various articles I have written on the blog too such as Choosing a snagging inspector and The shocking standards at Taylor Wimpey  You could also have a look at what people are saying on the Facebook Group "Unhappy New Home Buyers"  and BBC Watchdog about Taylor Wimpey

Regarding the £3,000 "voucher" sales staff always have "negotiables" they can offer to achieve a sale. You can rest assured that you are still paying for anything "given" as part of a "deal" but a voucher for Optional Extras is a new one on me and quite clever as you are giving the money to Taylor Wimpey not using the saving to spend on anything. 

You are quite correct, carpets vary in price from £4.99/m2 to over £45/m2 so you get what you pay for.
House builders carpets are nearly always at the cheaper end, many not even lasting 2 years. So buy good quality wool carpets with a good quality underlay like Cloud 9 Cumulus 11mm, which I personally recommend!   Do also be mindful that should you have any plumbing floods or extensive remedial works required after you carpets have been laid they might get ruined.

As for which incentives to go for only you know what you actually want but there is some good advice in the link above.  Anything that is best done as the house is built like burglar alarm wiring, extra TV telephone of electrical sockets, external lighting etc are always a good idea.  Most of the fittings or supposed upgrades are always too expensive to justify.

Finally,  I have spent quite a while replying and given you plenty of links to the main website and blog which I hope you will take the time to read along with the other information provided.  It is really a pity that people always ask on forums when a simple online search "house builders optional extras" (#1 in google search results) or "using the house builders solicitor" (#2 in google search results) would have got you to these links and helped you.
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makertaker

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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 07:02:11 pm »
Thank you so much for your reply, I really appreciate it.
From what i'd find out from google I was going to pay the extra to avoid using their recommended solicitors. Just out of interest what could actually go wrong with using theirs? As i'm sure a lot of people fall into the trap.

I know the horror stories are real i've seen a lot of things about the company from looking at google these past few days, such a horrible thing to happen to you when you're spending so much money on something.
Thanks for the advice about getting the house professionally snagged before signing, I will definitely do that.

With the voucher/carpets, I realise on the face of it it seems like "oh nice i'm getting £3,000 off them" but technically i'm getting very little off them, so my plan with that was, rather than let them put cheap crappy carpets down that will only last a year or two, spend my own money on top quality carpets (thanks again for the brand recommendations) and then use the £3,000 voucher on options from them, things like extra sockets/aerials etc that i'd like putting in, that way even though there an absolute rip off i'm still getting them done.

I certainly won't be paying for upgraded kitchens or bathrooms as i know years down the line I will be able to do it myself for cheaper, i'm a stonemason by trade so I could even make tiles myself out of some nice limestone etc.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply and I will definitely check out the links. Just in case there is nothing on them...I have a meeting with the site manager next week, any advice for what I should be asking him ?
I've read that it's a good idea to try build a good relationship with them

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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2014, 09:26:39 am »
As I said, read the information on my website!
I spent over 8 years writing the content for people just like you.
If you can't find what you are looking for, try the search bar on this forum and Home page of the main website.
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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2014, 12:43:32 pm »
also another incentive they gave, which is a common one, is money towards solicitors fees if i use a recommended one. Is this a mistake to use somone who will get alot of business from TW? Or would it still go through smoothly? What could go wrong?

Taylor Wimpey CEO Peter Redfern has just clarified this point in an  email to me this morning and I quote:

[QUOTE:]"With regard to sales processes, our policy is and remains that incentives offered to customers are not subject to using particular solicitors.   We do put forward a suggested panel of solicitors, who understand the new homes process, because they can offer a good service to customers, generally at a fixed price.  This is not a single firm, so in choosing this route, the customer still has a choice.  However if customers wish to use a different solicitor they are entitled to do so, in which case our policy is (if such an incentive is being offered on the particular site or plot) to make a fixed contribution to those costs.  Since your email, I have reinforced this policy again with all of our sales teams."[/QUOTE]

So to be clear, it is most definitely NOT Taylor Wimpey's policy for  aon site sales advisors to make discounts or incentives conditional or subject to using one of Taylor Wimpey's suggested or recommended firms of solicitors.  Further, if a buyer prefers to use their own choice of solicitor, then the incentive discount  would be provided as a contribution to these costs.

 
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makertaker

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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2014, 09:34:49 am »
This could have been a misunderstanding on my part then, but basically when I reserved my plot I was given their list of 3 recommended solicitors (two were just different branches of the same firm!) and told they would speed things up etc and that if I used them I would get £450 towards costs. If I used another solicitor of my own choice I would not get this contribution.

After your advice I chose my own solicitor, told Taylor Wimpey and they said on the phone I wouldn't get the £450 contribution, which I agreed to. I  then when I went into the site sales to inform them of the name of my solicitor and I was told I would actually be getting the £450 contribution even with using my own. Result!

Had my site manager meeting yesterday which I felt went good. He told me about his history with the company, how long he'd been in the role, how he would deal with things and me. He went through the complete build process (which having a history in construction I already knew) but at least I knew what he was saying was correct!
 
He then went through the whole site plan with me, explained where my plot was (my plot is in the first section they're doing) he then went on to explain where the site offices were, where they would be building next, and how I would be affected. For example when they build on the section next to mine they are building a separate access road to minimise construction traffic down my street.

He explained that there is a house that backs onto the house next to mine with a garage that backs onto their garden, so even though they aren't building that house yet they are getting the concrete base laid and a privacy wall put up so that there would be no disruption to our properties when they complete that house and garage.

We also went through the stage my build was at, that it was running on schedule and when the different fix stages would be complete (weather depending) and so when I would be able to choose options etc.

Last thing he was very helpful with possible suggestions I had for the layout and ideas I had that were a bit different from the norm and ways that I could do these things.

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Re: Advice needed regarding buying a house and options.
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2014, 11:39:30 am »
So that's all good. then.  You have a 100% fully independent solicitor, acting only on your behalf and you even got the £450 cash back too.

Perhaps you would consider Making a donation?

It sounds like you have a really good customer-focused site manager.
A rarity these days.
I would still advise you get your new home independently inspected and snagged though before moving in.

New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.