To ask if you'd rather live in a massive house in a crap location, good-sized house in a good-ish location or diddly house in a fantastic location?(144 Posts)
First of all let me just make clear I'm very blessed to have a house at all! And very grateful. I know people have bigger 'problems' - this is just a lighthearted thread really.
I'd bet we'd all probably like to live in a massive house in a fantastic area - but that's reserved for people with a lot more money than my family.
At the moment we live in a good sized house in an goodish area but I'd absolutely LOVE to live in a quaint little village...it's a long-time fantasy. However on our budget it would be a diddly (quite crap) house. And DH would be very, very reluctant to downsize. I wouldn't mind so much.
We have good schools, little crime, nice community etc but the suburbs just make me feel a bit sad. I don't think I'll ever really properly love it. Does anyone love where they live? Or is the grass always greener?
We have one DS and another on the way though so I suppose things like a nice big garden are important - again, wouldn't get that in the posh village.
What are everyone else's preferences?
We moved from a bigger house in an okay surburban area (but with crap schools) to a much smaller house in a naice village with great schooling. I have no regrets at all, and after 4 years, still get a warm glow when I leave the big town behind at night, heading home and all the stars appear in the sky, or the view over the river and pretty houses as I return. It was totally the right decision for us.
BUT never ever biggest in bad area, eveer
tough one, i love my house and when im in it i could be anywhere! its an Ok size for our needs....however when i open the front door i feel harrased and stressed.
i did live in small cottage and the feeling on opening door was bliss, immediate beauty, walks right there - stunning and so on, but house was too small. too small for family of four. for us anyway....
I live in a very diddy house in (to me is )a fantastic location,
The advantages far out weigh the disadvantages for us, because everything that is on our doorstep adds to the quality of life, I can fall out the door and be on the water, we have stunning beaches, and rivers, the moors, which is what we use for fun.
Just driving in the rain across the moors yesterday, I was bombarded with beauty, it makes a real difference to your mood,
I also have amazing neighbours, which has to be one of the most additions to living happily.
I have yet to find any property I would move for.
We're currently looking and having to opt for goodish house for decent schools in our price range.
I'm surprised location is so important to people, in a country where there's little choice but to be indoor lot. I'd rather love my home and enjoy being there than live in a shoebox in some overpriced, usually overrated area.
I love supporting an "up and coming" area instead.
medium - we did - I have a reasonable sized house, nice garden, okay schools, local amenities in an okay area ...not posh because I wouldn't fit in in a posh area but I did avoid bigger houses in rougher places
We bought a 2 bed flat years ago in a not so nice part of London because that's all we could afford at the time. 2 kids later we live in a 4 bed house with garden in the same area, a proper family home being more important to us over better location. While it's not a chi-chi area and a little rough around the edges it's grown on me over the decade. Apparently last year our borough had the fastest price growth after Kensington and Chelsea and Hackney and the area is slowly gentrifying.
At the moment, for me its location. I don't drive and love where I live, its the city centre, I can walk to work, there's loads of lovely restaurants and bars, and our flat is great. No children yet (ttc) but there is really only space for 1 dc as we only have two bedrooms and one is pretty small so its not going to be a long term family home which is a shame as there is a lovely park near by and the school is really good.
Having said that, if I won the lottery tomorrow it would be the house. I'd be buying a plot of land in the middle of nowhere and building my big dream house with a massive garden...and hiring a chauffeur
Small place, beautiful location, minimal crime, feel safe even if you were out alone at 3am, pretty, loads of free stuff to do, surrounded by natural beauty. Its not actual that expensive here overall its about middling.
Always location. We spent years in houses that were far smaller than we wanted, rather than buy larger elsewhere and compromise on location.
Location. We could sell up here and get a house in a crappy part of London, or a mansion up north, but... well, no.
Recently we moved to a large house with lots of room in a fairly rough location. Although it was nearish DD's school, the area was quite crime-y but as we had such a big house, we could ignore the neighbours and live in a world of our own. But I do agree that location is important - we've had our wellies stolen twice (of all things!)
With dc we had a decentish house on a reasonable estate with adequate schools, it was never perfect and I hankered after something lovely.
Now retired we live in a bungalow in a cul de sac in a very convenient location which is safe though not pretty.
I will never have my dream house now because we will never afford it. We have no mortgage though and can walk to shops, library, doctor, dentist etc and get on with all the neighbours. I am content.
Often having a 70's house in a nice area is the way to go. 70's houses are generally a little bigger and cheaper then nice old ones.
We have a 70's house in a really great area. It's not THE poshest but very niiiccce and safe and pretty. I'd feel out of place with with all the gentry so have no interest in getting anything different.
Its no fun living in a shoebox, so IMO a good size in a good area is a decent compromise - the real trick is to find an up and coming location so over time it becomes a great area.
Big house, but depends if the area is actually crap, or just considered crap.
I love in a considered crap area, but I am walking distance from
5 primary schools (and a cycle ride from 5 secondary's )
2 big parks and a smaller one at the end of the rd
A mainline station
10 mins from local shops and supermarkets
10 mins from beach and gardens
5mins from library
About 50 restaurants /hotels/pubs within a 20 min walk
Lots of leisure facilities
So if others think it is crap I don't care too much as I have a very good quality of life and a big house & garden
If however a crap area is crap because there is nothing there, then I wouldn't bother .
I'd go for location, although my ideal location is possibly the opposite of what many would go for. DP and I are in a lovely 5 bed house, in a quiet cul de sac, all I can see out of my front windows are trees, in fact one morning I looked out my bedroom window to see a pheasant pootling about in the grass across the street. It's all children skipping in the street and peaceful. My sister, otoh, paid the same rent per month for a small one bed in a fantastic area about a 10 min walk from Dublin city centre. I'd swap with her in a heartbeat. Would much prefer to be in a small apartment in a lively, vibrant area, but our work is here so to move in to the city to commute for an hour out of the city would be lunacy. Though DP and I don't have children and unfortunately are unlikely to, which is probably why I'd prefer the city location. If we had children where we are now would probably be perfect.
We have just moved and as we're renting, we had a certain amount of flexibility regarding house v location. We went for location in the end - the house is lovely, but a bit smaller than ideal so we've rented long-term storage in which to keep our stuff that we can't it into the house.
Have been here five weeks and love it - we have everything on our doorstep and I no longer have to use the car for work. We definitely made the right choice.
Oh - the point was we could afford to buy a much smaller place in our local town in a horrible area. So we stay in our gorgeous rented home.
We rent an estate cottage in a lovely village. We love it, have a fantastic landlord (Our local aristocrat, may or may not be closely related to the royal family ;) ) and my children both love it here (aged 13 and 19 mths). Location for me; I never want to leave my gorgeous cottage. Which I don't even own. But we have a secure tenancy and a free reign to do what we like with the place in terms of making it our own.
Dikker - my DH grew up in a small village like you describe and really resents it now. He found it v isolating as a pre-teen and teen and his (single) mum found it impossible to keep up with transporting him and his siblings to all the activities they wanted to do.
He'd agree with all the drawbacks you highlight and would never live in such a village again.
Depends why the house is crap. If it needs work which you'll be able to afford over time, I'd consider it. If it's not big enough for your family or needs more work than you can afford before it hits crisis point, I wouldn't.
We have an adequate house in a not very special location, but it's convenient for both of us for family and work, and is going to be quite a squeeze when the baby arrives. It'll have to do for now. The next move is still going to be a compromise; it'll have to be in the same mediocre town, and will probably be a new-estate type house. Older, more interesting houses nearer the town centre are a LOT more money for the same amount of accommodation, but we'll make the best of it and hope that one day we can afford what we'd really like.
Location has two aspects - the niceness of the area, but also the commute. The "Commuter's Fallacy" has an actual name, whereby people pick a house with an extra two rooms they hardly ever use (or, in the UK, a garden they hardly ever use) but in a location which costs them an extra hour of their life every working day.
We live in a location that many MNers would consider ropy, but the short (and consistently short) commute to Central London is beyond price in terms of quality of life.
Obviously a SAHM may see it differently.
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