Did you compromise on anything when buying your forever home?

(65 Posts)
Piemistress Sat 17-Nov-12 10:19:15

I am having a dilemma. We have sold our house and currently searching for our long term family home (we are in Scotland). There are 3 contenders and I just don't know what to do as each one has something that the other house doesn't IYSWIM. Unfortunately we can't really wait and see if anything else crops up as are having to rely on the kindness of family and friends for accommodation in the interim (we are 2 adults, 2 young kids).

House A is the smallest but has the nicest garden. It is huge, sunny and totally enclosed. It also has a big flat driveway with lots of parking space. There is no en-suite or space to build one (itself not a huge deal as have never had one). It has a conservatory off the lounge and we could use the dining room as a playroom. The downstairs windows would need replacing and there isn't masses of storage. The plot is nice and open and doesn't feel hemmed in and has a nice views front and back.

House B has a lovely feel inside. There is lots of space and a nice open plan kitchen/diner/family room and separate playroom off the lounge. The bedrooms are all big with a huge family bathroom and en-suite and all with built in wardrobes. It would need a lot of work though, the boiler is over 20 years old and both bathrooms need replacing. The front has lovely views but the garden is very overlooked and the back of the house feels very close to other houses. Because the village is on a slope there is a house immediately behind this one which is why it feels so overlooked, it's a big house and sits above this one if that makes sense. The garden does face south and east though.

House C is randomly the house I grew up in! The family that bought it from my parents are moving. I don't know if this would just be too weird or not. It has a lovely south facing open garden, conservatory, lots of storage and an en-suite. It all depends how much work needs doing to it too.

I am hoping after second viewings that my mind will be made up for me but I'm just not sure! With Houses A and B it's garden and open plot versus house and the I have the emotional ties with House C.

Sorry for waffle!

Did you make any comprises at all or just wait it out till the right house came along?

We compromised on the closeness to a main road - we are off the road so is just a traffic noise kind of thing. But the plot/garden is fantastic, it is not overlooked and the house was (albeit in a very rundown state) what DH &I both love architecturally. We have spent £££ on a total renovation - so now we are soon to move into a fantastic, fantastic house on a large, lovely plot. We have road noise we kind of don't notice any more (and if it had been in a quieter spot it would probably have been about £50K more expensive).

I don't think your heart is in house 2. And being overlooked (or feeling overlooked) can be a real blah feeling after a while. In our old house our house felt overlooked (though weirdly due to window angles etc really wasn't) but the surrounding houses just felt a bit "looming" IYSWIM.

Good luck. There will be a compromise on something. There always is. House 1 - could you eventually extend to add extra space?

CMOTDibbler Sat 17-Nov-12 11:07:22

I don't think we'll ever buy a forever home tbh as we are happy moving every 5-7 years, but we've always compromised.

In your case I'd go for a or C - I hate being overlooked, and nice front gardens are a drag as you never actually use them. I think C would swing it though

RedHelenB Sat 17-Nov-12 11:28:06

House C - you know what you are getting!!

Piemistress Sat 17-Nov-12 11:37:44

The problem with House A is that it would be quite hard to extend as the house sits a bit higher than the garden? And a double story extension would cut out quite a bit of sunlight. I am a nightmare! DP would be happy with any of them but I'm harder to please!

House B second viewing today and the other two tomorrow. I think the overlooked garden is exaggerated because we are moving from a house with a great uninterrupted view of fields out the back of us and are in a very quiet cul de sac out the front.

All of the houses are within five mins walk of each other too, mwahhhh.

Piemistress Sat 17-Nov-12 11:38:45

Do you think it would be weird moving back into a house you lived in for 15 years when growing up?i think I will know for sure if it is after tomorrow!

WildThong Sat 17-Nov-12 11:41:56

You have to go with your instict if it is your forever home. We compromised on the internal condition of ours but did get that good feeling from it when we viewed it. We have been here 2 years and still have a long way to go but we have forever to do it so don't regret it.

7to25 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:15:20

internal condition is irrelevant as you will be there forever and do those things anyway!
I think everybody compromises on something, it only matters how important that is to you.
I live in Scotland and don't think gardens are used the same way here as in the south of England.
A colleague of my husband moved here and chose his house for the wonderful garden. they have never used it because of the weather. (west coast)

ClareMarriott Sat 17-Nov-12 15:44:21

If you want space, not to be overlooked and to live on/near a slope, it would seem to point to House C !!! If we could, my three sisters and I would buy the bungalow in Ireland where we spent childhood holidays !!!! Good luck with your decision!!!!!

betterwhenthesunshines Sat 17-Nov-12 17:26:43

Can't advise on your choice, but yes, we had to compromise. The back garden is overlooked ( doesn't bother me). Double fronted house which I just loved on sight, but a narrow hall in the middle - sorely tempted to knock down a wall so one of the front living rooms is open plan as the narrow hall is a real log jam. Not much else as it was flats when we bought it so we made most things work how we wanted!

Piemistress Sat 17-Nov-12 17:37:42

Just been back to House B for a second look and it's not as badly overlooked as I thought it was from the first visit. We more overlook them IYSWIM but there are 2 houses by the back garden. It needs alot of work though which does scare me a little (2 new bathrooms pretty much straight away) and boiler is over 20 years old. My dad came too and pointed out things I hadn't noticed BUT because we plan on staying there till the kids leave home I am thinking long term on work. The owner also showed me plans they had drawn up for an extension which did look lovely! I guess the valuation will reflect what needs to be done.

House A and C tomorrow so am hoping by tomorrow night I know in my heart which one! Because we are making an offer off market will have to pay for the survey ourselves.

Rhubarbgarden Sat 17-Nov-12 19:07:01

House C sounds like a winner if you can deal with the weirdness. I think you'll have to go with your gut feeling really.

Like Fishfingers we compromised on closeness to a road in order to get the architecture and location we wanted - Georgian village houses are always right on the road. There is always a compromise, whatever your budget.

Piemistress Sat 17-Nov-12 19:21:35

My dad walked past House C and said all the wood looked rotten under the roof (under the V bit does that make sense?) Is that easy enough to fix? I think i am in such à dilemma as its so much cash and I just want to get it right. We compromised on current house with traffic noise for great view and never regretted it!

Startail Sat 17-Nov-12 20:36:54

Yes, no spare bedroom, but outbuildings and a big garden.

Really wish we had a utility room, but didn't know then quite how much washing 2 older DDs cause.

Startail Sat 17-Nov-12 20:40:32

Oh and meant to say C if you won't feel odd making it your own.

A if too many ghosts.

Themobstersknife Sat 17-Nov-12 20:51:11

I will stick my neck out and be a lone vote for House B! The lovely feel is key for me. Storage for me is another key point. We are a little overlooked but we are in the house more than the garden, although we do use the garden a lot. I suspect our neighbours are more annoyed at us in the garden whereas we are not really aware of them. We compromised on not having a kitchen/diner/family room as that was top of our list, but we have the potential to create that further down the line. But then I grew up in the smoke and have lived in urban areas since so never had the lovely views.

Mandy21 Sat 17-Nov-12 21:15:54

From your original description I'd also go for House B. I'd love the big house, lots of storage, big bedrooms, big bathroom, ensuite, it wouldn't matter a jot to me that we were overlooked. Even if you use the garden quite a lot, you live in the house day in day out and so thats my priority. If its a forever house, you can do the work over time (voice of experience - 2.5yrs in this house and we still have the peach bathroom suite blush!)

Piemistress Sat 17-Nov-12 21:25:49

Thank you all! Will revert tomorrow after second viewing of A and first of C (since I left home anyway!)

myron Sat 17-Nov-12 23:15:37

House A for me. Decent plot size and not being overlooked are huge pros! You can renovate/extend over time especially if you planning to live there long term.

tedglenn Sun 18-Nov-12 08:46:22

Agree with rhubarb that whatever your budget, there is always a compromise. This move, we have our biggest budget ever and our budget is generous for the area we are moving to. In theory, we could afford our perfect house (i.e. through the process of saying 'here's a house at xx, move it away from the main road and it would cost xx more, give it a bigger garden and it would be xx more, give it nicer views and it would be xx more etc etc). But 9 months of searching shows me that the perfect house doesn't exist! You'd find one with all the features above, but it would be dark inside or back on to a scratty neighbour. So I think you are right not to hang around looking for the 'perfect' house.

The compromises in the house we are buying are: a tiny hall (stairs straight ahead, so have to go through living room to circulate through the house); less land than i wanted; and not my preferred style (it's Edwardian).

In your situation, I would buy A (or C if it suited your family dispassionately, away from the emotional ties).

Piemistress Mon 19-Nov-12 13:41:37

So, went to see the old family home last night. Felt a little wierd especially as they haven't done anything to it bar paint a couple of rooms. The carpets were still the same and the kitchen looked exactly the same! I was hoping that after seeing the house my our decision would be easy but it's not!

Ultimately I prefer House B inside, the layout is lovely with playroom off the lounge and open plan family/diner, 4 bedrooms (all decent size but one significantly smaller) and the front one has a great open outlook with view of some hills and the sea (past the houses in front as above them on a slope). However the en suite is attached to a bedroom at the back not the nice front one so no idea how much that would be to change. Plus the boiler is over 25yrs old. It's just the huge house behind it I can't get over! I think it would always bug me?? The front of the house has a lovely open aspect it's just the back that feels really hemmed in.

Parents old house is probably the same size wise just a different layout. No open plan kitchen/diner like I would like (don't think could change it as supporting wall inbetween), huge lounge and has a conservatory. We would make the dining room the playroom. All bedrooms are a really good size and en-suite is off the right bedroom. All the wood is rotten under the eaves so guess we are looking at least £5K to replace that with plastic facias (not sure of spelling) but the garden is more child friendly, very enclosed, sunny and private. That's the only thing that's swaying it really. Internally the amount of work needed on both houses is the same (new carpets, bathrooms, decor etc). I don't really feel especially emotional about it being my parents old house (especially as it was sold because they had split up). There is a lovely open aspect out both the front and the back.

DP says he's happy with either! I'm definitely more fussy!
ARGHGHGHGH!

I can't link to schedules as it's an off market sale (nothing suitable where we like so I put an advert in the paper and had a few responses)

Hemmed in. Bad vibe there. If this was relationships and an emotive term like "hemmed in" was used we would all be saying "leave the bastard" grin.

I have never been in this position over houses - but I would seriously write a list of pros and cons for each house. Start factually (bedroom sizes etc) and then do an additional bit of more emotive terms.

Leave the lists for a bit (an hour, a day) and then go back to them.

Then, ignore the lists completely and go with your instinct. Though to be honest how you write the list will probably subconsciously reveal your instinct too.

And if all offer too much of a compromise then walk away.

kitsmummy Mon 19-Nov-12 13:58:18

Can't the kitchen/diner in your parents house be opened up by taking the supporting wall down and putting a steel beam in in place?

Piemistress Mon 19-Nov-12 13:59:37

I think ideally I might wait longer but the problem is we are moving out of our house in 2 weeks and staying with family and don't want to take advantage of their goodwill by staying with them for toooo long. Am back to work from maternity leave in March/April so would ideally have moved into our new house by then.

I think deep down my heart likes in House B BUT I know the 'hemmed in' feeling would constantly bug me , I love the house but not the plot. The view from the kitchen window sink is just a fence so I can't see the kids playing from their either. I don't think the perfect house will exist and I know I have to compromise on something. Sigh!

Piemistress Mon 19-Nov-12 14:01:05

kits I think it could. My long term plan with either house would be to build an extension sun room on the back and have a big open plan room with the kitchen and dining room. We are planning on being in this house till the kids leave home (at least), the youngest is 5 months so a good while!

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