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RedsfanUk

Buying a NB

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Hi,

 

In the middle of a house sale that's hopefully being completed very soon (weeks) and I'm looking at buying a NB. I was thinking of visiting the various brokers...but one narrowboat came up for sale right on my doorstep that I've been to view(it would save money rather than having to transport one up) A 60ft trad 2006 Nick Thorpe boat up for 48k,looks very nice. I wonder could someone give me some advice as I'm completely new to this.

 

Now its present mooring is on our local dock lands which doesn't require a CRT license or bss. After speaking with the owner he's just used it as a floating apartment and it's not moved in 4 years since he bought it. Its has around 550hours on the engine(the bay look clean) but hasn't been serviced since 2016. He said it's no survey since he bought it 4 years ago. 

 

Now my plan is to be on the canal (marina during the week and weekend cruising) after purchasing a boat.  So I would need to have this bss done. The engine not being serviced since 2016 is a major red flag even though it hasn't been moved and has been on shoreline all this time? I would for sure get a survey done,but what other red flags would there likely to be about a boat that's been stood still for so long? 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Edited by RedsfanUk

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Has the engine been runwhilst the boat has been moored? I would not be happy if it has not been I'm also concerned about the lack of servicing. Proceed with caution on this boat.

I would still go and have a look at other boats at around the same price and up to £10k more. The more boats you see the more you will understand about them.

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14 minutes ago, RedsfanUk said:

In the middle of a house sale that's hopefully being completed very soon (weeks) and I'm looking at buying a NB.

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

My instant reaction is you are jumping the gun. House sales always take three times as long to complete as you hope. Don't invest much time and effort into this boat as the chap is quite likely to sell it long before you are actually in a position to buy. Or do you actually have enough cash in the bank already?

 

 

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Hi and thanks for the replies. 

Yes you're quite right it could take longer to complete the sale of house.  But all is in place for quicker one,no chains etc.  Anyway fingers crossed. 

I just wanted to get a heads up and start looking now,I do have somewhere to live in the event I don't find a NB for now,and because the boat was so close I guess that tempted me to go view it. 

The seller of the boat knows my position so we'll see. :)

Edited by RedsfanUk

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12 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

My instant reaction is you are jumping the gun. House sales always take three times as long to complete as you hope. Don't invest much time and effort into this boat as the chap is quite likely to sell it long before you are actually in a position to buy.

Not sure I agree!  This weekend last year, we put the house up for sale, within two days we had sold at full asking price, which we had thought was optimistic, and the purchaser  wanted to be in for Christmas.  We lined up three possible boats so we would be ready to run when we exchanged.  Come 1st December, we thought we’d be good until the new year, but then suddenly got told on the 10th, exchange today or its all off!  Luckily all three of our short list were still available, so we offered low on all of them and took the best deal, had her skippered from Cheshire to Worcester and moved aboard on the winter solstice!  The rest as they say, is history...

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There is such a lack of properties coming on the market unless its a turkey it will sell quick. Imo.

 

Has the boat been blacked at decent intervals? Is it sitting next to shorepower feeds? Has it a galvanic protector?

Edited by mark99
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Hi and thanks

The owner told me it is ready for another blacking to be done(3 years ago was last one) yes I think has a galvanic isolator. It's right next to shorepower feeds. 

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1 hour ago, RedsfanUk said:

Hi and thanks for the replies. 

Yes you're quite right it could take longer to complete the sale of house.  But all is in place for quicker one,no chains etc.  Anyway fingers crossed. 

I just wanted to get a heads up and start looking now,I do have somewhere to live in the event I don't find a NB for now,and because the boat was so close I guess that tempted me to go view it. 

The seller of the boat knows my position so we'll see. :)

On average, it takes about 3 months for a house sale to proceed from an acceptable offer to completion. It can happen a few weeks quicker, as per Dreamers experience, and it can take much longer - it's only an average. I often found that buyer and seller "agreed" a completion date between themselves, and thought that made it cut and dried. Usually very disappointed, and looking for someone to blame when they discovered that what they had agreed was completely unrealistic.

 

If you are in the middle of the sale, presumably the buyers survey has been done, they have had any additional inspections required by the surveyor carried out, (if any), and they have negotiated the price down a bit, (or not, as the case may be), and they have either got their unconditional mortgage offer or are close to it. Their solicitor will have a contract along with your answers to the various standard questions, and will have applied for the local search, or may even have received it. Given that most parties want at least a couple of weeks between exchange and completion, and there could be 2 or 3 weeks from being "in the middle of a sale" to exchange of contracts, if the above things haven't yet happened, you might be nearer the start of the sale.

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56 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

On average, it takes about 3 months for a house sale to proceed from an acceptable offer to completion.

 

This is exactly my experience having bought and sold quite a lot over the years. Have sold two so far this year and both took three months as Richard says. Am one month into the process of buying another and nowhere near exchange yet. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, restlessnomad said:

I  think selling your house to buy your first narrowboat is a bit risky thing to do, would rather buy a cheaper narrow boat and put house on rental market.

It's something I've wanted to do for some time to be honest, and I'm mortgage free and want to live afloat,worse case scenario and I don't like it,I lose some money on the boat,but at least I have tried it. But I can't see how I wouldn't like it,I have spent countless hours walking by the canal in all kinds of weather,been on boating holidays and loved it. 

Thanks for the replies guys.

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33 minutes ago, RedsfanUk said:

It's something I've wanted to do for some time to be honest, and I'm mortgage free and want to live afloat,worse case scenario and I don't like it,I lose some money on the boat,but at least I have tried it. But I can't see how I wouldn't like it,I have spent countless hours walking by the canal in all kinds of weather,been on boating holidays and loved it. 

Thanks for the replies guys.

Just be aware that, if you dont like it, you will not only lose money on the boat...... there are costs involved in selling and buying a house, as well as the possibility that prices may increase while you own a boat, rather than a house.

 

In 1987 I sold a house and didnt buy another - the equity was used to invest in a business. When I was able to buy a house again a couple of years later, it cost me an extra £10,000, (50% of the selling price of the previous house!!), to replace like with like.

 

On that day, when I lost a real £10,000, I promised myself that I would never not own a house again, (if at all possible).

 

As long as you are reconciled to the possibilities, all will be fine :)

 

If you haven't exchanged contracts, it isn't too late to do things differently.

 

1) Remortgage the house for the boat money, then rent it out in the short term, (which could become the long term). 2) When you sell, buy the boat and use the remaining cash to buy a cheaper house as an investment. 3) something else :) 

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15 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

In 1987 I sold a house and didnt buy another - the equity was used to invest in a business. When I was able to buy a house again a couple of years later, it cost me an extra £10,000, (50% of the selling price of the previous house!!), to replace like with like.

 

 

And nowadays to buy a house you have to pay the govt's gouging rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax. When you bought back into the market in 1989 you prolly paid zero or a trivial amount. 

 

 

Well into four figures or possibly five, depending on the price.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RedsfanUk said:

It's something I've wanted to do for some time to be honest, and I'm mortgage free and want to live afloat,worse case scenario and I don't like it,I lose some money on the boat,but at least I have tried it. But I can't see how I wouldn't like it,I have spent countless hours walking by the canal in all kinds of weather,been on boating holidays and loved it. 

Thanks for the replies guys.

sure, different people have different mindself and circumstances. I am more of a risk averse person. A house gives me a mental anchor, that no matter what happens, I will not be homeless.

I would still say you have not continuously lived in NB, so cant really say you will like it long term, holidays are casual flings, she is probably at her best self and you are full of hormones... :)

Anyway, looks like you have made up your mind, so best of luck.

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1 hour ago, RedsfanUk said:

It's something I've wanted to do for some time to be honest, and I'm mortgage free and want to live afloat,worse case scenario and I don't like it,I lose some money on the boat,but at least I have tried it. But I can't see how I wouldn't like it,I have spent countless hours walking by the canal in all kinds of weather,been on boating holidays and loved it. 

Thanks for the replies guys.

That's fair enough but as a novice you ought to buy something that will sell easily should things not work out as you hope.  A 60 foot trad wouldn't be my choice.  Go and have a chat with brokers, - most of them will tell you cruiser stern boats 57 foot and under are easiest to sell, with the "reverse" layout being in vogue at the moment.  Avoid anything that looks DIY, however attractive it seems,  and don't fall for something with an unusual internal layout.  Doesn't really matter what engine it has unless it's something really odd. 

 

If you take to the life then after a few years you will develop your own idea of the perfect boat - believe me, however much you think you know what you want, you don't.   

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I am several years away from being in a position to buy a narrowboat, not just for financial reasons but because I'm extra cautious about everything I do - sounds like nearly the opposite of you in fact! I am not yet looking at boats in person because I don't want to waste sellers' time, but I am doing everything I can online to learn about pitfalls, warning signs and I am creating tick lists and to-do lists and all sorts. I am also planning on learning other skills such as engine maintenance and basic boat repairs as I would rather be able to do some stuff for myself onboard especially in an emergency. I am thinking of getting a small GRP for next season and will be spending as much time on it as possible, travelling as many waterways as I can before making the commitment to liveaboard a narrowboat full time when I get my inheritance. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind! 

 

I don't own a property, never likely to. Did once, relinquished it in a divorce as I was worried I might not be able to keep up the mortgage, part of me thinks it was the worst decision I ever made in my whole life. However, there are lots of things that happened to me that wouldn't have done had I stayed so who knows...

 

I wish you luck in whatever you decide, plan well - good plans are never wasted :)

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Our house sale, agreed as a cash sale in February, suddenly became a mortgage sale and took until the end of August to complete (the buyer worked out he could earn more from the money than he would be paying in mortgage interest). With that sort of time scale involved anything you might want to buy will almost certainly have gone by the time you are in a position to proceed.

If necessary rent a flat for a few months while you look around and compare boats and prices, don't stick to one area, spread the net as wide as possible. Take your time, potentially this is for the rest of your life, so be careful and buy with your head, not your heart!

Good luck, and enjoy the whole experience, from looking to buying to running aground!

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1 hour ago, NervousPervous said:

I am several years away from being in a position to buy a narrowboat, not just for financial reasons but because I'm extra cautious about everything I do - sounds like nearly the opposite of you in fact! I am not yet looking at boats in person because I don't want to waste sellers' time, but I am doing everything I can online to learn about pitfalls, warning signs and I am creating tick lists and to-do lists and all sorts. I am also planning on learning other skills such as engine maintenance and basic boat repairs as I would rather be able to do some stuff for myself onboard especially in an emergency. I am thinking of getting a small GRP for next season and will be spending as much time on it as possible, travelling as many waterways as I can before making the commitment to liveaboard a narrowboat full time when I get my inheritance. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind! 

 

I don't own a property, never likely to. Did once, relinquished it in a divorce as I was worried I might not be able to keep up the mortgage, part of me thinks it was the worst decision I ever made in my whole life. However, there are lots of things that happened to me that wouldn't have done had I stayed so who knows...

 

I wish you luck in whatever you decide, plan well - good plans are never wasted :)

There are places you can go and look at boats without wasting the sellers time, Wilton will give you the keys to half a dozen to look at alone

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It's been suggested to rent out the house rather than sell it. I'd caution against this. We live in times where buy to let landlords are seen as the lowest of the low. The current government has already legislated in several ways to reduce the profitability of renting out houses. Expect the future to include such things as mandatory costly registration schemes, forced expensive upgrades to meet 'green' targets. Also likely are a further boost of tenant's rights vs those of a landlord. Corbyn has already hinted at the possibility of 'right to buy' at discounts by established tenants. I foresee higher rates of capital gains tax for those selling buy to let properties.

 

I speak as the owner of 3 houses that I rent out. One is on the market, another will go up for sale in the next financial year.

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21 minutes ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

Corbyn has already hinted at the possibility of 'right to buy' at discounts by established tenants.

 

Which will trigger an avalanche of sales and a drying-up of the supply of rental property, the consequence of which will be rocketing rents as demand outstrips supply, and a burgeoning housing benefit budget to match.

 

Next, will come rent controls. Which will trigger another avalanche of sales and a further drying-up of the supply of rental property.... etc etc

 

Was it Wilson who tried this last time around? I was too young to remember!

 

 

Oops forgot my point. Might be a good idea to hang on to your rentals rather than sell, as rental income is what its about. I doubt the right to buy thing will ever come to pass. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
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23 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Which will trigger an avalanche of sales and a drying-up of the supply of rental property, the consequence of which will be rocketing rents as demand outstrips supply, and a burgeoning housing benefit budget to match.

 

Next, will come rent controls. Which will trigger another avalanche of sales and a further drying-up of the supply of rental property.... etc etc

 

Was it Wilson who tried this last time around? I was too young to remember!

 

 

Oops forgot my point. Might be a good idea to hang on to your rentals rather than sell, as rental income is what its about. I doubt the right to buy thing will ever come to pass. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indeed, it's not exactly joined up thinking.

 

I've had them for 6 years, they have virtually doubled in value. I'm at a stage in my life where I'd rather have the cash in the bank rather than the hassle of buy to let. OK, I'll get 2% on my money rather than the current 12% but I have a simple life, the sale of one of them will take me up to when I get various pensions. Might just keep hold of one of them. 

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2 hours ago, The Welsh Cruiser said:

It's been suggested to rent out the house rather than sell it. I'd caution against this. We live in times where buy to let landlords are seen as the lowest of the low. The current government has already legislated in several ways to reduce the profitability of renting out houses. Expect the future to include such things as mandatory costly registration schemes, forced expensive upgrades to meet 'green' targets. Also likely are a further boost of tenant's rights vs those of a landlord. Corbyn has already hinted at the possibility of 'right to buy' at discounts by established tenants. I foresee higher rates of capital gains tax for those selling buy to let properties.

 

I speak as the owner of 3 houses that I rent out. One is on the market, another will go up for sale in the next financial year.

 Have watched the horror show 'cant pay, we'll take it away'. :)

What is the biggest pain point of buy to let btw, in your experience? Because you have already bought it, stamp duty and surcharge are not issue for you.

 

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I don't wish to hijack the thread but I do feel I ought to stand up on behalf of us poor beleaguered good tenants.  I had to move 8 in times in 15 years due to short tenancies and ended up having to settle in the only long term tenancy I could find which involved living with a 50 year old fuse box, a leaking roof and no heating. I managed to land a housing association property with an assured tenancy and finally felt safe for the first time in 8 years. It's not the same as having my own house which as I mentioned I also had once - but it's a world away from the hell of private rentals - which as far as I'm concerned should be for students and pre-marital couples only. No human can achieve anything in life without secure housing and adequate food. Anything any government can do to ensure healthy and stable living conditions for it's citizens is fine by me.

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14 minutes ago, NervousPervous said:

I don't wish to hijack the thread but I do feel I ought to stand up on behalf of us poor beleaguered good tenants.  I had to move 8 in times in 15 years due to short tenancies and ended up having to settle in the only long term tenancy I could find which involved living with a 50 year old fuse box, a leaking roof and no heating. I managed to land a housing association property with an assured tenancy and finally felt safe for the first time in 8 years. It's not the same as having my own house which as I mentioned I also had once - but it's a world away from the hell of private rentals - which as far as I'm concerned should be for students and pre-marital couples only. No human can achieve anything in life without secure housing and adequate food. Anything any government can do to ensure healthy and stable living conditions for it's citizens is fine by me.

I have the same conclusion as you except I never had any issues when i was a tenant. Consequently I don't see buy-to-let landlords as immoral monsters. Its a business, I, as tenant, would try my best to get a good deal, they will try to make as much money as possible. No hard feelings.

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