To want to move as we have no garden?

(39 Posts)
CityMa Mon 11-Feb-13 10:06:10

We rent a fairly small, first floor, 3 bedroom flat in a lovely area in a great city (not London). We are extremely close to lots of green space including a huge playground, plus shops, library, museums etc. We have two children, a baby and a preschooler. In this area we could only afford a house with garden if we went down to two bedrooms. The other disadvantage would be that the tenancy might be less secure, and the rent would probably be a bit higher. Schools are good, and the preschooler already goes to nursery attached to local school (2 mins away).

I just find having no garden to be a real problem day to day. To get outside we have to go on an outing, albeit a small one,every time. I find it such a pain (literally!) every day getting in and out living on the first floor with the buggy, shopping, changing stuff etc. I have a bad back which doesn't help matters.

DH isn't so bothered by it, but I long for the kids to have a garden to potter around in, and to be able to push the buggy into the house when the baby is asleep! I know we're lucky to have what we have, but AIBU to want to move? Or are gardens overrated?

expatinscotland Mon 11-Feb-13 10:08:44

Move.

noisytoys Mon 11-Feb-13 10:10:45

Hang on in there. I live in a first floor flat with no garden and it is a lot bigger with more rooms than it's ground floor equivalent. It is really hard with pre schoolers to have no outdoor space, but when they go to school they have a lot of time outdoors at school and when they get home they are so tired playing out isn't even on their radar. They just want to flop on the sofa and rest. And they wont be in a buggy for long either

GrimmaTheNome Mon 11-Feb-13 10:13:12

YANBU - I'd try looking for somewhere with a garden but weigh up the pros and cons carefully if you find somewhere - eg wouldn't trade a good school for a garden.

TidyDancer Mon 11-Feb-13 10:14:39

Unless I had a spare bedroom, I wouldn't trade a bedroom for a garden. And as Grimma points out, there are many other considerations to take into account.

WowOoo Mon 11-Feb-13 10:16:14

Gardens are not over rated at all, but they can be quite a bit of work.
I'd want some outside space. Especially with summer on the way as the children can play outside and not mess up the house with toys.

Why not wait until your children are old enough to play outside a bit more independently? Your dc are small and you'd need to be there too..Not a problem for me.

YanBU to want to move, no.

jojane Mon 11-Feb-13 10:18:00

I would move.
We used to live in a gorgeous HUGE 2 bed flat, but with no garden, I had a 2 year old and a baby when I decided we had to move, we no live in a 3 bed semi with a good size back garden, the house is old and no where near as nice as the flat but I don't regret it for a moment, I can hang washing outside, the kids have a trampoline, swing, sandpit etc, we can have bbqs and eat tea outside, out up a paddling pool, I can cook tea whilst watching them play out the window (mine are 6,4 and 2 now). We can put bins outside and have recycling outside the back door, I can leave a child sleeping in a car whilst I unload shopping into the house, etc etc

aldiwhore Mon 11-Feb-13 10:19:16

Having a garden is great, really great, but don't think that your children will be endlessly pottering. Even if they do choose to potter there is still a hassle factor, a steady stream mudtracks running through the house, the wellies on/off routine, the mud pies on you lounge carpet. Not forgetting, in my case, the time my youngest helped me in my veg patch, by digging up every sodding plant, putting them in the kitchen sink and clogging the drains, which led to a MARVELOUS flood of sewage in said garden.

smile I love it, but you sound like you have everything we haven't got here in the country... the grass is always greener (apart from where the paddling pool has been) x

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Feb-13 10:23:22

Personally, I think gardens are overrated when it comes to older children, but are great to have for younger children. We used the garden a lot when the dc were little, but now that they are older and they don't require preparation to get out of the house, they take themselves off to the park, or we go together because the dog has to be walked anyway.

In your position, you could make the most of the fact that you rent and aren't tied to one property. Move and get a garden while your dc would benefit the most from in and will be fine sharing a bedroom, then when they are older and will benefit the most from their own rooms, and can take themselves to the park, you can move again.

VenusRising Mon 11-Feb-13 10:25:21

Don't move.
You'll be looking out at the garden in the rain! If you have green fingers look into getting an allotment, or planting things in the local park. If that fails, get some more pot plants, and investigate getting a clip on greenhouse to your window sills.

Think about the practicalities of storing your buggy in a more convenient way, and go about your back to a physiotherapist.

Your kids will not be using a buggy forever - yes, it inconvenient now to haul everything, but this will get easier in time, and SCHOOLS are more important in the long run.
Three bedrooms and a secure tenancy are much more important than a soggy square foot or two that you won't use in bad weather.

Make sure you get out to the parks everyday, and appreciate the work the garners put in to them!

VenusRising Mon 11-Feb-13 10:26:56

Gardeners, even.... Spell check's running amok!

Flobbadobs Mon 11-Feb-13 10:29:41

Part of the reasson we moved is the garden, I would move if you can find somewhere.

Locketjuice Mon 11-Feb-13 10:42:31

Me too hmm I live in a 1st floor maisonette, its 2 bedroom and all the rooms are huge so I would be forfeiting a lovely big house...for a garden... but I really want one for my son sad
We live fairly close to parks/woods but its not the same sad

Isildur Mon 11-Feb-13 10:43:13

If you're going to be renting, you might find a garden strssy if the landlord wants it kept pristine. Young children can massacre a lawn when it's muddy.

We were in a similar position to you, moved into a house with a garden, and I do regret it (in fact we're moving again now, in the opposite direction).

We used the garden for hanging out washing, and had a paddling pool out for about three days last year, but the children are not that bothered either way. The garden isn't huge, so for proer running around and exploring we still go out to the park/woods/beach.

Because it's rented, we can't have a huge trampoline, or wooden climbing frame, or tree house.

I'd rather a good sized flat with rooms to hide out in, in a good area with museums, a beach and parks.

A bit of grass we can't do anything with it a poor trade off IME.

jojane Mon 11-Feb-13 10:48:02

We rent and have a trampoline, swing, wooden climbing frame with a slide etc so there are landlords that let you use the garden how you want.

GirlOutNumbered Mon 11-Feb-13 10:57:59

Move! We moved from a large Victorian flat on the edges of a park, with sea views to a house in a village, but with a garden AND a shed. I love it. You can't beat having breakfast, lunch and dinner outside when the weather lets you and the kids are always outside.
My husband still misses the view, I don't at all. Nor do I miss the size. Not sharing my front door with others is priceless, as is parking my car on my driveway!

CityMa Mon 11-Feb-13 11:15:37

Thanks v much for the replies - quite a mixed bag! Think I have decided to have a look at a 2 bed house with garden to rent nearby, just to see what the comparison is.

Thing is - then if the baby and preschooler don't sleep well together, we're a bit stuck!

Startail Mon 11-Feb-13 11:28:21

Move
It's not just garden, which are work for how much they are used.
It's losing lugging stuff upstairs.
It's losing the stress of upstairs/downstairs hearing the DCs jumping about.
It's losing feeling embarrassed if DCs decide to throw a tantrum in the downstairs hall or trail mud in to said hall.

A house, however small is your space.

A garden however tiny is your space. If the DCs want to paint or shoot each other with water pistols or have a sandpit they can.

I'm lucky we have a big garden with a swing and a trampoline, but when they were small the DDs mostly rode a digger round and played with their water table just outside the kitchen.

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 11:55:17

We didn't have a garden for the first 6 years of ds's life (first floor flat) then we moved and now have one and tbh looking back things would have been SO much easier with one, I'm not sure how we managed without one. Life is just easier with garden ime smile

happymschicken Mon 11-Feb-13 11:57:54

We have a 100ft garden which was lovingly looked after for 20 years by the previous owner.

I'm trying my best not to kill everything in it but nothing beats she sheer joy of harvesting the raspberries and blackberries last summer while my son ran round making camps and splashing about in the paddling pool on the one hot day we had (!)

Ok, I'm painting an idealised picture but I can't even contemplate not having a garden. It's good for the soul and is a lifesaver when the weather gets better as I just leave the back door open and the DCs can run in and out.

Having said that, we moved from a small 2 bed to a larger 3 bed so I can understand the need for more inside space.

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 11:59:47

Plus you can get a trampoline and they are FANTASTIC at keeping the kids entertained, it was the best thing we ever bought.

drownangels Mon 11-Feb-13 12:00:22

I have no garden and I live on a main road.
I lived here before I had children and it is never been a problem.
I have enough room to string two washing lines and I have two sheds, one for bikes and one for camping stuff. The primary school is 1 mile away and the nursery is 2 miles away.
To me your problem is space in the house. However your local community is a big advantage.
You won't need the buggies and changing stuff for ever, it soon passes (too quick, some may say)
I say hang in there.

stopgap Mon 11-Feb-13 12:05:59

I hear you loud and clear. We live in a seventh floor apartment, and even though we have an outdoor space, it's 25 x 25, concrete and holds limited appeal for our toddler. I would love to have a garden, but gardens are nowhere to be found in our city, so we shall have to stick with negotiating umpteen layers, loading up the buggy and schlepping to the park.

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 12:09:10

Oh and the other think is that when we moved it seemed as though I had more time as ds would play out and I would get on with cooking/ HW etc - we used to go to the park every single day when we lived in the flat but obviously couldn't get on with any jobs.

lollilou Mon 11-Feb-13 14:14:36

With kids your ages I would consider moving. The outdoor space is great at least you will be able to put a few toys out there and maybe a paddling pool even if the garden is small. Are there no 3 bed ground floor flats around your area?

tinygreendragon Mon 11-Feb-13 14:19:12

I lived in a flat with no outdoor space up until 6 months ago when I moved into my house with a small garden and I could never live without outdoor space any more. Being able to just wander out the back door and have a cup of tea in the sunshine is blissful. Plus being able to grow my own herbs and other food stuffs is saving us money in the long run and highly rewarding. smile

MrsKoala Mon 11-Feb-13 14:22:15

We moved last year to a house with a garden. Spent 2k on sorting it out (overgrown, tree stumps, no grass etc). I was heavily pregnant and wanted somewhere to go with the baby. It turns out as the only house on the street with no pets all the local cats use it as a toilet. Don't bury anything, lawn covered in turds all the time. The smell is so foul in the warm weather we can't even open patio doors because of the smell. Complete waste of time and money. angry

PrincessScrumpy Mon 11-Feb-13 14:26:44

We have a garden that is ok but too small for big trampoline and lots of running. We have a play house, tiny shed, slide and space for a picnic and paddling pool, however, we're about to make it smaller as we are putting a conservatory on the back. The above will still fit but be more crammed in. We've decided that as most of the year it's raining we may as well use the space all year round.

We looked at bigger gardened houses but for our budget, the houses were smaller as we have 3 double bedrooms and most have tiny 3rd bedrooms.

It's about balance and what works for you. We do live about 2 minutes walk (at toddler pace) to the park though.

AbyCat Mon 11-Feb-13 15:57:10

Move - we've just done the same, gone from a large 3 bed flat to a complete wreck of a house that is probably going to bankrupt me but it is so worth it to be able to park right outside my door, wheel the buggy in and not have to wait for DH to get home to lug the buggy & all the shopping up the stairs as I can't leave the DC alone in the flat while I do that, and we couldn't leave buggies or shopping in the downstairs hallway of the block of flats at all.

We did move away from our area though to get the 3rd bedroom, but as DC isn't in nursery/school yet, it's not so much of a problem.

CityMa Mon 11-Feb-13 16:31:27

Thanks again all. Reading these replies I am really reminded of why I want a garden so much, and to have a ground floor entrance. The idea of moving with a baby and 3 year old is exhausting, but perhaps it would be worth it. Would have to either a) move out of this area and move DS preschools or b) drop a bedroom.

Any thoughts on these two options?! Everyone's been so helpful so far smile

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 16:33:01

I'd drop a bedroom if the two dcs can share. A garden is more useful imo.

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 16:34:03

Oh if it's only pre school then I would move, are the schools ok if you move area?

Timetoask Mon 11-Feb-13 16:50:41

Do you have boys? Garden is great, thy love kicking a ball!

CityMa Mon 11-Feb-13 16:59:11

Yup, three year old is a boy. Think he would love a garden tbh which compounds the guilt!

Valium- schools would depend on area we move to, but probably good as they are mostly pretty good in this city. Will have to have a big think!

valiumredhead Mon 11-Feb-13 17:03:24

Jus move then - don't stay for a pre school that he will be leaving anyway soon to go to school! In fact, better to do it now so he can start primary with his mates.

miemohrs Mon 11-Feb-13 17:16:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StanleyLambchop Mon 11-Feb-13 17:40:46

I would move to get a garden, kids get so much out of them, one of mine was out today pottering around in the sleet!! But then iIwould quite happily squish my family into a broom cupboard if it came with a couple of acres attached!!!

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Mon 11-Feb-13 17:42:42

Move out of area, but check the local schools first to make sure there's an option you could live with.

CityMa Mon 11-Feb-13 21:33:46

Thanks all. Yes, I think either staying put or moving out of the area are the best options. No point really moving somewhere smaller around here, even if it would come with a garden.

DH still saying he would probably prefer to stay put - maybe I should show him this thread!

Thanks again for the advice smile

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