Would you live in an ex-council house if it meant being mortgage free?

(90 Posts)
huffpuff75 Thu 10-Jan-13 20:35:23

Just wondering what other people's perspective is on this. Basically my question is as above, ex-council house on a small estate in a desirable (to us anyway) rural village, with very good primary school nearby, good but not outstanding secondary, large garden, much larger house than we would get for the same money in non ex LA properties. There are a handful of properties fitting that description available in our two target villages, some we'd be completely mortgage free, others would require a small mortgage. Thanks for reading!

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 11:01:42

If we'd went for the same size of house but in the style of new build, we would be talking somewhere in the region of £250,000. Way out of our price league!

Trills Fri 11-Jan-13 11:03:57

So... why would you not then?

An area can be a good or bad area regardless of whether it is ex-council or not.

A house is a good or bad house regardless of whether it is ex-council or not.

How does the "council" bit make a difference? Is this a snobbery thing? Are you asking MN "are you snobs and will you judge me for this?", is that the question?

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 11:19:09

Nothing wrong with the OP asking a reasonable question to others, really. Anyone with sense would choose a cheaper property if it meant they could have a less stressful life worrying about money all the time.

Worley Fri 11-Jan-13 12:06:19

mines ex council.. massive gardens. solid brick walls. high ceilings and Victorian cast iron fireplaces. there are only two council terraces in the village so we stick out compared to the older farm terrace we're next to. but for the price of my mortgage I would not be able to live in the village and have such good standard if life..
compared to the brand new estate built on edge of village.. with their tiny room and driveways you can get a family size car on to. I'm happier where I am.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:09:45

I was shocked at how tiny the 'master' bedroom was in a lot of the new builds when were were house hunting a few years ago....you get so much more for your money with ex-council housing!

Solo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:11:55

Yes I would! ex council houses (that were built for the council) were built very well and are generally 'bomb proof' iyswim? you'll rarely find any problems with them structurally.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 14:15:00

"you'll rarely find any problems with them structurally"

Very true, solo. They are built extremely well. I don't know many people in my circle of friends who live in a new build. Most prefer the ex council builds for they are structurally sound, as well as within most budget ranges for working families.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 14:15:39

If we'd wanted a new build, I'd have had to go back to work earlier than I wanted to (no thanks).

nellyjelly Fri 11-Jan-13 14:22:39

Depends on area. My parents bought their council house which was lovely, on what was a nice estate, with some lovely neighbours. However the neighbours either died or oved on and the council houses were then rented out again........some of the new tenants were OK but lots werent't. Poor DM and DF found themselves on a worsening estate, with a growing crime rate and a drug dealer next door. They now can't sell their house.

Guess am just saying be careful. Location is the key as others have said.

yuleheart Fri 11-Jan-13 14:24:13

We bought an ex council house (semi), three beds, 100ft back garden, extra downstairs toilet, drive and front garden for way less than a new build or non council house.

Had to sell as the walls were paper thin, you could hear everything next door - tv, radio, talking, even when they turned the light switch on and off on the party wall.

Would I buy ex council again? sadly not.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 17:09:36

We've been lucky to have great neighbours where we live, so fortunately it has worked out well. True, there are rough areas (other side of our village is rough, we are apparently in the 'nice' part), but you'll get that in any town or village regardless of the type of house. Many housing associations are now built in the same vicinity as new build developments, so the LA residents and private residents are next to each other anyway.

Narked Fri 11-Jan-13 17:18:31

Depends on the area. Property is an investment, particularly when you'd be buying it without a mortgage. I'd want to make sure it was easy to sell on if my circumstances changed.

IrnBruTheNoo Fri 11-Jan-13 17:21:28

"Had to sell as the walls were paper thin, you could hear everything next door - tv, radio, talking, even when they turned the light switch on and off on the party wall."

Same with a friend of mine who's in a new build (terraced). You can't win!

MrsDeVere Fri 11-Jan-13 17:22:00

I moved from council into ex council.

I have a lovely little 1940s house with a 65' garden.

Loads of character if you like utility, civil engineering type character...and I do.
grin

I live in East London and get this...I live round a green! A lovely big green that the kids can play on and the only cars that come in belong to residents.

The security is good because the gardens back on to the gardens of the houses behind and the houses face each other so your front door is in full view of several neighbours.

I know this street was known as the roughest in the area years ago. My friend wasn't allowed to play here. It is very quite now. It is a mix of owned, council and privately rented.

I had no idea which was which until the council did major refurbishment. Those who pretended to own their own house for years got caught out then grin

Narked Fri 11-Jan-13 17:26:55

'It is a mix of owned, council and privately rented'

That's the other thing to look at, the ownership. If it's a mix then you'll find it easy enough to sell on - it's already attracted private landlords.

Ex council in aldbury is £650,000 so yes, of course.

HDee Fri 11-Jan-13 17:33:41

No, I wouldn't. I probably am snobby but I grew up on council estates until I bought my first house at 21/22.

I find them ugly, and one or two bad families on an estate make it hideous for everyone. Same could be said for owned houses but it hasn't been my experience. I've never had to put up with some of the shit in my own houses that was common in the houses I grew up in.

I also like my own four walls and I've never seen a detached council house yet. (but have seen detached new-build HA homes).

insprognito Fri 11-Jan-13 17:50:00

Yes I live in one, built 1900s big rooms high ceiliings 2 gardens (back one 40ft).I love it, nice area and was one of only 2 where we are for some unknown reason.
Am not mortgage free though but you can't have it all I suppose.
As others have said it all depends on the actual property and area. I can't see why it matters who owned it previously tbh. Maybe the stigma comes from the idea of them being located on council estates that are traditionally in less well off areas?

dashoflime Fri 11-Jan-13 18:29:03

"one or two bad families on an estate make it hideous for everyone."

Yes, was my experience growing up as well.

I actually live in an ex council flat on an estate now but I was very anxious about buying here for that exact reason.

Its only because I knew people on the estate who could reassure me about it, that I went for it in the end.

Having said that: our end of the estate is lovely. Real family atmosphere. I feel very positive about my children growing up here. smile

huffpuff75 Fri 11-Jan-13 20:19:06

Hello,...
loads of positives, and just a few negative. To trills who asked if I was being a snob, it has nothing to do with who owns a property, just the location on an 'estate' and potentially the mix of people that could let such a property down. I wanted to gauge opinion as looking long term and resale can be a problem if you get it worng as nellyjelly said. I'm not talking about a standalone property that just happens to have been built by the council - those are exceptions to the rule I think. Thanks all for the input!

Mum2Fergus Fri 11-Jan-13 22:25:51

We move to an ex Council house next month. Quiet village location directly opposite a great wee primary school. We looked at 2 new builds in same area but we're getting 50% more sq ft with the Council one and a huge garden.

Mum2Fergus Fri 11-Jan-13 22:29:08

Also, we currently rent a new build and the next door neighbour and the ones 3 doors along are an absolute nightmare! Noisy, messy and police never away from one of the doors! So you can ger them regardless of where you end up.

Murtette Fri 11-Jan-13 23:43:59

Do you have any idea what percentage of the estate (and how many of your direct neighbours) are council tenants or own privately? If the latter, then, in many ways, its no different from living anywhere else as they're responsible for the upkeep, you can only deal with them directly if there are any problems (so you can't go to the council & make a complaint).
I lived in a series of ex-council properties in London (inc DHR which was my favourite) and found it quite a shock when I moved to a non ex-council one as the rooms were smaller, there was no garden and it just wasn't as solid.

edam Fri 11-Jan-13 23:53:45

Yes - our last house was ex-council and it was far better built than the 1970s house we have now. There used to be far stricter standards for council houses than for the shoddy rubbish developers managed to flog. It had lovely room sizes, loads of storage including big walk-in cupboards on every floor - I was very fond of that house.

TeapotofDoom Sat 12-Jan-13 00:05:09

I live in a council house - that's still a council house. It is one of a stand of four in the middle of nowhere, with a very scenic view of a lake (about twenty metres from our front garden). These days it would be prime, millionaires' row. No-one can ever overlook us. Two of us are still tenants and two owner occupiers - one of those was born in the house, and tenant of it for years. 100 foot gardens front and back. We have no intention of ever moving - neither do our neighbours.

When I was a home owner, I had a nice Victorian terrace with plenty of character. But neighbours who made our life such hell. This house lacks character but is in such a stunning location, and has such huge gardens, and lovely neighbours and that's the trade off. We do have coal fired central heating.

I live in the middle so one neighbour is a tenant, the other a home-owner. The previous home owners were dog rough, but the ones who live their now are lovely. Council tenant the other side is lovely. I've noticed in villages round here when an ex council house comes up for sale, it's fairly unusual. I can only recall one coming up in the nearest village in the past five years. But often the pretty picture postcard cottages come up for sale, and the following year, back up again. So there seems to be stability.

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