It's like buses - 2 came along at once. WWYD?

(63 Posts)
LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 06:21:20

House hunting is going better. But this week has put the cat amongst the pigeons.

House 1. Newish build (5-10 years). Detached. On an estate. Large rooms, flows very well. 3 good doubles and a single. Large kitchen diner. Downstairs loo. Small walled garden. On the edge of town, DD could walk to primary and secondary (half mile or so). Great house but no character£200k.

House 2. 1930s Semi. In a village 3 miles from town. Smaller rooms but again flows well, separate dining room and a conservatory. 3 small doubles. No downstairs loo. Larger very private garden. Village has a pub and a primary school just in walking distance, there is a school bus for secondary. Lots of green fields and potential to expand for utility/loo. Bags of character and quirks. £240k

We saw house 1 first and it blew all the others out of the water - until we got to house 2. Now we just don't know what we want. DH thinks house 2 could be the 'forever' home, so is worth the extra. I agree that I can't see myself on a new build estate in my 60's, but loved the space in house 1, and the price is excellent.

We can afford house 2, but I'm not convinced its worth 40k more than house 1. Maybe 20? Or I'm possibly just a miser!

It really is a location vs house dilemma. WWYD?

Sittingbull Fri 06-Dec-13 06:24:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bunnymother Fri 06-Dec-13 06:28:57

House no2 - sounds like you will actually love it, not just think it was a sensible purchase. £40k is only 20% more - is it 20% more in your heart? Obv it needs to be a wise buy, but I've lived in houses I don't like and houses I love. Only the latter for me from now on.

LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 06:39:12

Bunny, that's definately it. House 1 is the 'head' purchase, it's got loads going for it and it is the sensible buy. House 2 is the 'heart' purchase, it's less house for more money, but it's a lovely house.

I worry about DD too - would house 2 be too isolated for her as she grows up? Will she moan about being 'in the sticks' when she is a teen (although the village has lots of family homes, so I would expect lots of kids around).

MrsPnut Fri 06-Dec-13 06:44:07

Is there a bus service from the village to the town, and not a once a week one!
We live in a village 5 miles from the city and as dd1 was a teenager, we have been a bit of a taxi service but having a decent bus service means she could get back and forth by herself.

I'd go for house 2 because I hate new builds, our house is 300 years old and we love it.

LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 06:48:01

I think so MrsPnut. There is a bus stop almost right outside the gate, but I'd have to check the timings. I don't really know the area at all - we've pretty much stuck a pin in a map and come up with Stourport!

I didn't/don't like new builds either, but this one blew me away. Haven't seen that much space in one before. It is very well done.

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Fri 06-Dec-13 06:58:13

There are benefits to both
New Build - simple structure so less goes wrong, decently proportioned bedrooms, priced well
Old House - beauty and style, land, interesting style

However I am now priced out of selling up anytime in the future and the only thing that makes it ok is that I adore (utterly and completely), my flat. I will make the sacrifice on a third bedroom or a bit of grass because it is the style and location I always wanted. If this flat never increases value, fine. I will see out my days here.

If I were in a house I didnt love, Id be climbibg the walls now and freakibg out at possibly never being able to sell

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Dec-13 07:05:54

Hmm, my gut feeling was house 1. I like character too, and had you said the house which was 40k more was a beautiful old house which could be made stunning I'd say go for that, but to my mind a 1930's semi doesn't have THAT much over a new build, although it is slighter nicer. But 40k more? And it sounds a lot smaller. Space is important, especially with growing children.

I guess in the end it comes down to location, but my advice is not to write off living on a estate. I was a bit snobby about it, but we now live on a estate and you know what? I really like it. The roads are quiet and it's easy to walk around - I'll be able to let the kids walk around on their own when they're older. And there are lots of families, meaning there are loads of others children for mine to play with, which I think is lovely. Of course, the village you're looking at could be just like that too!

LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 07:08:12

There are benefits to both and therein lies my problem grin.

If they were the same price, house 2 every time - we'd have the cash to expand and make more space. It really would be the perfect house.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Dec-13 07:10:54

Sorry, posted too soon. The town location would be a pro for me too - I grew up in a village a few miles outside the main town, caught a bus to school etc, and I hated it as a teen. The buses were hourly at best, and often i would have to catch two to get to friends' houses. It was a total pain. That said, my parents were extremely unwilling to give lifts, which you may feel differently about!

DorisShutt Fri 06-Dec-13 07:16:25

Can I chip in and point out that house 2 is semi-detached. You will therefore have neighbours through the wall - and these neighbours will change every time they sell up.

We lived in a semi and loved our old neighbours, but then the new neighbours who moved in not so much; to the extent we felt forced into moving.

While it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me being semi-detached, noise really can wreck your life.

MinesAPintOfTea Fri 06-Dec-13 07:35:11

How about making a cheeky offer on house 2? If they reject it and you as time wasters you have a backup plan but if you can get it for closer to 200k would that make your mins up?

LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 07:36:49

Fruit, it's part of what worries me. It may be the perfect location for us, but what about DD (although I don't think 3 miles is too bad). I'd be the one doing all the lifts. Right now I don't think I'd mind, but in the future...

Doris, we are in a semi now and have very inconsiderate neighbours. We hear every bloody arguement - and they have a lot. But with it being a 30s house I'd hope the walls were thicker. Nightmare if not.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Dec-13 09:28:18

The other thing is would say is, you think you would want to extend to make house 2 perfect for you. Fair enough, but I would factor the cost of the extension in to the cost of the house - extensions cost ££££ these days, and you might find, with the high asking price, it just doesn't seem worth it in the end.

Do you absolutely love the location of house 2? Because from what you've said, you would need to considering the higher price and smaller space.

cavell Fri 06-Dec-13 10:04:08

We live in a village about 3 miles from the nearest town, and I find it a PITA to have to drive everywhere. It didn't feel like that when we first moved here, but after a few years...

For the extra £40k, you could spend quite a lot on House 1 to make it look and feel more the way you would like it.

As for "forever" homes... well, this was meant to be our "forever" home but we are hoping to move next year (after almost a decade). Things change and maybe priorities change and so it no longer suits our needs. I think it is more sensible to think in terms of what would be best for the next 10-15 years.

What are the schools like near the two houses? We didn't really consider schools when we moved home (primary or secondary) and that turned out to be a big mistake, for various reasons.

LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 10:13:29

Thats another issue Fruit. The first house needs nothing doing to it. No, it doesn't have any character but it does have a lovely big kitchen/diner, a downstairs loo and I would turn the single bedroom into a 'laundry'. It has all the rooms I need and the space I crave. The garden is crap though and all I would see when I look out the window is other houses.

The second house doesn't have a utility or downstairs loo. For me space for a drier and a loo is very important. I can cope with smaller bedrooms, but the practical issues, not so much. If we bought it then I would want to extend at the side to be able to fit in a utility room and downstairs loo. So we'd be paying £40K more and spending another ?£20K to make it 'fit'. However the house 'feels' right, I can a woodburner or open fire and when I look outside I see open spaces and asparagus fields.

I think (because I am actually finding this quite hard) that if the price of house 2 was lower, say £220K then I would find it easier to justify, because we could make it right but not go over our (self imposed) price limit of £240K. It's going over that limit for the sake of 'character' that I am having a hard time with.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Dec-13 10:23:40

Is it a money issue? I mean, would a house which was big enough, had character, and was in the town cost too much? I know the answer is almost certainly yes, but if not then waiting for the right house would probably be the best bet.

If money is the problem (when is it not?!) then I think go with your gut feeling, but put in a really low offer on 2 if you go for it - maybe start with 210k with a view to settling at 220 -230k. That's 12% off asking to start with, which is low but not offensively so.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Dec-13 10:24:45

Btw, that's what I would do because it would really bug me if I paid too much, it's entirely possible you're not as tight fisted as me!

pinkdelight Fri 06-Dec-13 10:43:12

House 1 will be way better for kids growing up. Otherwise you'll be a taxi service. I don't get the 'forever home' thing when you're still fairly young. Why do you want a house you can be 60 in? Don't you think you'll ever fancy a change again? House 1 sounds way more practical, better value, and although you say it's a head/heart thing, from your initial description it sounded like you liked House 1 a lot too.

LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 11:07:38

What are the schools like near the two houses

House 1 has an outstanding but very large Primary about half a mile away. The Secondary is across the road from the Primary and is also currently outstanding and has a very good rep.

House 2 has a good Cof E school in the village that is just over half a mile from the house. It is smaller and seems friendly. There is a high proportion of Roma, but that doesn't bother me. The secondary is the same one as house 1, but it is a school bus journey away. The school bus goes from a stop about 100 yds from the house.

Fruit, we made an offer on a different house that was in the town and had character and space. We went 5% under and that was really stretching us. The vendor wouldn't even consider it, said it was asking price or nothing. She has since withdrawn the house from sale and told the EA she is putting it back on in the summer at a higher price. I'm worried that the market is picking back up, so offers under wont be accepted.

Pink, being a military family the truth is that we are just fed up of moving. We are in our 40s now and have moved every two years for the last 24! DD is 8 and has lived in 4 houses, in 3 countries and has been to 2 schools. We really, really want to settle and the dream was always a 'forever' home. If we buy the first home I would expect us to move again once DD is grown. If we buy they second home I doubt we would.

mistlethrush Fri 06-Dec-13 11:13:07

Are the living rooms on the connecting walls? My 20's semi is wonderful because the rooms we use most (kitchen, sitting room, our room, DS's room) are not attached - and it is rooms that we use less that are attached.

AngryFeet Fri 06-Dec-13 11:19:17

I would go for house 1. We have just bought based on the secondary we want our kids to go to. We have chosen one they can walk to. It makes life a lot easier and their friends will all be close by. Plus it is a 20 min bus journey to the main town centre which is being rebuilt soon.

We didn't get our 'ideal' house but we got the space we needed in the right location. Everything else can be changed over the years with decorating, extensions, conversions etc.

The garden thing is a bugger (we are not overlooked and can't see other houses due to large trees). Is there any scope to plant large trees to make the garden more secluded?

LtEveDallas Fri 06-Dec-13 11:47:41

Are the living rooms on the connecting walls

Yes they are mistle, and so would our bedroom be. DD's and the spare aren't.

Is there any scope to plant large trees to make the garden more secluded?

Not really, no AngryFeet. It's very small and you couldn't really do anything to it. Even our petrol mower would be overkill! It's overlooked by 2 houses. It is walled which is a nice touch, but tbh I can't see myself spending any time in it. The house is large in direct sacrifice to the garden I think - we saw other houses on the same estate with slightly bigger gardens, but the houses were much smaller.

God, this is so hard.

PrimalLass Fri 06-Dec-13 12:15:34

I would go for 2 but be prepared to do a lot of taxi-ing late at night, or pay for taxis. 3 miles isn't much - I lived 15 miles away from my high school and where my friends lived, which was a pain but also ended up giving me lots of freedom as a teen.

I have a tiny garden and it is rubbish.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 06-Dec-13 12:19:30

After what you've said about schools, I think 1 sounds miles better. And the layout sounds more suitable for a growing family - I couldn't do without my kitchen diner, a separate dining room would be a complete pain.

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