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Would you choose a flat over a house if you had older children?

(91 Posts)
Spottybra Wed 28-Aug-13 18:59:29

DH and I are considering leaving the leafy suburbs for something in or nearer a city when the DC are older. Right now where we are suits us. We have parks, woods, boating lakes and all manner of nice things on our doorstep for our young family.

But given the lifestyle we like, sporty activities, days out, museums, dining out, theatre, comedy clubs and a place to come home to, we are wondering if loosing a garden would really be a big loss. We rarely use it and expect to do less in it when the DC are older and have sporting, music and other extra curricular activities.

Is heating a flat cheaper than a house? Do you currently choose to live in a flat over a house? If so, what are the advantages and/or disadvantages?

Spottybra Thu 29-Aug-13 19:52:57

Definitely leaning towards the flat when they are older after your comments. I imagined one with a terrace or balcony overlooking a park.

Will have to remember the downside about upstairs and downstairs and ask about soundproofing.

reelingintheyears Thu 29-Aug-13 22:03:41

Give me a garden any day, you just can't shag Al Fresco in the park, well you can but it's not advisable.

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:05:53

No private outside space is definitely the thing. I can cope without a garden but need a decent balcony. They do this on the continent though generally especially the newer builds. In Brussels, apartment living is the norm for most apart from the most well off. I have to trade my small garden for a shorter commute, better access to schools, facilities etc. Dh is less convinced than me.

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:07:38

Outdoor shagging Reeling? You will be dogging next! <<tuts>>

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:09:37

You might bump into Bonsoir in the park?

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 29-Aug-13 22:14:46

Shagging? shock

BOF Thu 29-Aug-13 22:18:46

I've done the elegant apartment in the capital thing- and I mean actually right in the city, not some godforsaken outlying area overlooking the ringroad, Portofino, and I would still choose to live in a bigger house without traffic noise but close to lots of amenities and transport links. The population is less transient, and there's more of a community feel. You can still live near theatres, independent cinemas and beautiful countryside (and the beach!) if you are prepared not to fetishise the prestige of a capital city. I know quite a few people who like to brag about living in the big city, when what they really mean is that they are in the arse-end of nowhere but they just about qualify for a city postcode. The reality is that lots of those places are ugly and the roads are practically gridlocked.

reelingintheyears Thu 29-Aug-13 22:21:50

Dogging in The Purbecks every year Porto, you jealous? smile

TBH, i'm getting a bit long in the tooth for all that sex malarkey grin

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:30:29

Dogging in the Purbecks? Where are the Purbecks? Are they within the peripherique?

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 23:23:41

Spotty, I have lived in new builds for the last 7 years. No issue with noise. I thanked The Lord for that at one point when dd decided to make it sound like she was being murdered every hair wash.

solarbright Thu 29-Aug-13 23:54:56

With a good park on the doorstep... I'd move to a nice flat in the city in a minute.

kiwik Fri 30-Aug-13 00:29:37

I live in a city suburb (five minutes on the bus to CBD), and am fortunate enough to have a pretty reasonable size garden.
We lived in an apartment pre-DCs when we first moved here, with access to a roof terrace (shared by whole block), which I loved.
If we didn't have the DCs and the dog I'd love to live in a smaller space - so much easier to maintain and keep clean.

We spent two years in NYC where we lived in a tiny apartment with absolutely no outside space, and window unit aircon. I felt really confined and was constantly going out to avoid being at home.

BackforGood Fri 30-Aug-13 00:42:37

Bonsoir said :
Personally I like living in a city with teens. They can go out and about on their own and there is loads for them to do.

I absolutely agree with you there Bonsoir, but I don't see living in a house with a garden, and living in a City as being mutually exclusive. I live in a big City, with all you could want close at hand, and have a garden.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 00:42:45

Considering we are a small and densely populated island I find it baffling that flats aren't more popular.

I would consider it, as long as I had a nice balcony, or ideally a roof terrace. I wouldn't be into a communal garden.

BOF Fri 30-Aug-13 00:50:20

I spend a lot more time in my lovely local park round the corner than my tiny garden, but it's nice to have the option. I think you really miss private outdoor space when you don't have it.

Bonsoir Fri 30-Aug-13 07:07:23

BackForGood - where I live there are very few houses with gardens and you wouldn't get anything for under €15 million (and even then the garden would be dreadfully overlooked). That's why, for most people, it is incompatible.

fanjobiscuits Fri 30-Aug-13 07:11:43

I would go for a garden flat, flat with access to a shared garden, or somewhere right near a common

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 30-Aug-13 07:14:51

Depends on the flat. I wouldn't live in a large block (unless it was one of those mansion blocks in SW6...), but we live in a ground floor flat that is the bottom half of a large Victorian house, so we have very high ceilings and direct access to a private garden that's as big as any of the houses on the street. Neighbours above us and to one side - not really any different to being in a terrace. We plan on living here pretty much for ever - we couldn't afford to buy similar sized house on this road.

I live in a counicl flat with my dp and my dd(15) we only have 2 neighbours one on each side we live above shops that close at 5 pm we have a large balacony that has room for a picinc table and room to place a double blow bed thing that dd used to sunbathe we have room to hang washing up

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 30-Aug-13 07:25:40

flat. Have friends in this block.

house

Both v close to where I live. They're about the same size, but the flat feels a lot more spacious, looking at the photos.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 30-Aug-13 07:26:39

And house only has tiny outside space.

BobbyGentry Fri 30-Aug-13 09:02:17

I lived in a guarded gated community, with communal landscaped gardens, in a first floor flat with small garden - no complaints, high quality living in the city and safe. Flats are lease hold and not freehold which is the only big downside.

hyperspacebug Fri 30-Aug-13 11:06:59

We moved to a flat in the city in Manchester when I was a teenager and I loved the city and being near everything so much. And it was a busy popular suburb (so not just some soulless nondescript full of 1930 houses) we moved away from! We were car-free household and always were though so I guess benefits of city living was glaring to us.

My husband and his brother never really hung out in garden (both were nerdy boys who just didn't do football or something) when they grew up and it took me ages to convince him that we needed a house with garden for two young boys to run around in.

I guess it depends on your children's personalities obviously! Which city are you talking about if not secret?

BackforGood Fri 30-Aug-13 11:11:55

Yes, but Bonsoir, you live in France. 'Apartment' living is more typical there I understand. Here in the UK, (where I'm presuming the OP is, as most posters who aren't, say so) that is not the case.

Bonsoir Fri 30-Aug-13 11:21:01

We have a flat in a mansion block in West London and it's very nice too! And in a great location for all sorts of well-known schools.

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