Big house with tiny garden - would you buy?

(60 Posts)
hattyyellow Mon 23-Dec-13 16:04:48

We are rapidly running out of space in current home. Have seen a house in a nearby village, just in our price range, with so much space. But a tiny garden, half of which is filled with driveway (although it's a really quiet rural village, off street parking really not an issue so you could lawn it a bit more..)

DH grew up with small house and big garden - we grew up with bigger house and small garden - never bothered me as we had open land nearby to run around on. How do you reconcile these different things? We have a good relationship, but this is starting to strain it a bit - as we are squished in to our current place and can't afford a bigger place with a big garden..I work from home which currently means sitting at kitchen table when kids are at school and then sitting on our bed when they're at home as we can't fit a table in our bedroom!

Sorry this is two questions in one! But really interested to hear any views. I've booked a viewing for this one, hoping it might win him over...

YoungBritishPissArtist Mon 23-Dec-13 17:03:18

Enough space in your house is far more important than a sizeable garden. If you did move, I assume you'd stay there for a few years?

hattyyellow Mon 23-Dec-13 17:05:36

It rains so much of the year as well - probably spend more time indoors at home than outdoors..I think DH is picturing himself as Good Life type but he rarely has time to do anything with our garden and I don't imagine that will change for quite a while with our DC being young..

Our budget isn't massive for the area we live in so it's rare for us to be able to afford something this big. The vendor has 4 children who are now all nearly grown up, so obviously worked well as a family home for them..

Viewing booked for Friday, will keep you posted! Thanks all.

noddyholder Mon 23-Dec-13 17:07:47

If you lose the parking space and get a landscaper to look at it you would be amazed what you can achieve in a small space. I have had several gardens and used none of them really bar for a glass of wine in summer. Ds always at park tbh or skateboarding when he was young.

mistlethrush Mon 23-Dec-13 17:09:44

Are there any allotments in the village?

justaweeone Mon 23-Dec-13 17:10:50

Can you link Op?

hattyyellow Mon 23-Dec-13 17:11:49

Good thought Noddy. Plus this village has wide proper pavements - unheard of in most villages around here - so the DC could actually scooter up and down without needing to cross the road - at the moment they can't do this..

Earningsthread Mon 23-Dec-13 17:15:44

I did do this and it is a solution that worked well for us. I am not basically that interested in gardening but I am anal and I wouldn't have put up with an untidy garden. So a big garden would have been a big pain for me. We have a lovely stone patio thingy to sit out on and when it is sunny, the garden is a sun trap. I think a lot of people would prefer to have a smaller garden, tbh.

OrganixAddict Mon 23-Dec-13 17:16:57

I would.

We face same dilemma (but in the city). We can afford an extra bed / bathroom just about but not with a big garden.

DH thinks this is a problem but a wise friend asked me when I was last in the garden and its true, we hardly use it. Yard / courtyard with a bit of space for table / chairs and shed for bikes etc would do is fine.

Mandy21 Mon 23-Dec-13 22:35:59

I wouldn't but then I have active children / husband who love to be in the garden. If it works for you then it may be worthwhile but think about how long you'll stay and how difficult it could be to sell in the future. I imagine most people (sweeping generalisation) that most families looking for a family house want a decent sized garden. Those dimensions sound too small to me.

thetigerwhocametoteax Mon 23-Dec-13 22:40:25

We have a biggish 4 bed house and a small garden and it works well for us. It probably a big as the one you describe but we've also a tiny patio at the side as well. We've enough space for our toddlers to pootle about on scooters, hanging the washing out and a few pots. I did get an allotment in the village when one came up last year but its an embarrassing weed ridden hole as we've never any time to look after it blush

LeonieDeSainteVire Mon 23-Dec-13 22:53:41

Personally I wouldn't as I love gardening and that's the reason we have a massive garden and a too small house! But if you aren't interested in gardening then focus on the house. I also agree that it is amazing what a good garden designer can do with the tiniest outdoor space, it really is how you use it, not what you've got. smile

Sounds like the house is right for you in all other respects, so worth taking a chance on the garden - perhaps your neighbours may consider selling you a strip of their land at some point?

Also, to confirm the orientation and levels of sunlight you're likely to get, just input the address on Suncalc and then move the time around to see how the shadows fall etc.

MrsAMerrick Tue 24-Dec-13 07:34:59

We had a similar dilemma 8 years ago when we were buying, we were torn between a small cottage with the most amazing garden, in a tiny village with no real facilities, or a much bigger, fairly ugly 1960s house with a garden a fraction of the size, in a village with shop, pub, GP, butchers etc. Didn't help that we were looking in June and the cotrages garden was filled with beautifilflowers whereas modern house had overgrown garden.

in the end we went for modern house on grounds that we were likely to spend more time in house than garden, plus more facilities in village. We have not once regretted it. And in fact, despite really liking gardening, we can't even keep on top of the 100 foot garden we have so god knows what we'd have done with the cottage garden.

When we moved we stuck a trampoline in the garden, but our dc spent a lot of time at the local park which is 5 minutes away. They were 7 and 9 when we moved, so within 12 months could take tgemselves off there.

I would go for it as long as you have enough space for a table and get some sun, and put your dh name down for an allotment.

Twiddlebum Tue 24-Dec-13 07:48:44

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but have you thought about the resale factor?? A large house with a small garden maybe ok for you but will be a nightmare to sell on next time you plan to move. I grew up in a village and the large houses with small gardens were always on the market for ages!! Just something to consider!

hattyyellow Tue 24-Dec-13 10:05:38

It is tricky. DH would prefer bigger garden and smaller space (although he is mild hoarder and admits we are running out of space). DC would currently prefer bigger garden but I think in a few years time would prefer smaller garden and to be able to walk to friends houses/park/back from school bus etc. At moment there are no other families in walking distance, we have to drive them everywhere..plus when DC are teens they're going to surely prefer smaller garden and to be able to walk -- be turned down repeatedly at bar of -- local pub..

I think I'm going to be outvoted on Friday. sad

But resale is a factor. House has been on for at least a year I think. Not sure if that's slow moving in this market as haven't really been looking actively up until now.

hattyyellow Tue 24-Dec-13 10:06:29

Ooh I like that suncalc gadget - very clever!

Kitttty Tue 24-Dec-13 13:10:12

get you husband to rent an allotment and a garage for his stuff. If it has been on over a year -- just offer low. Sale and resale is about pricing -- if you buy cheap be prepared to sell cheap - reflecting the compromise of a small garden. Also be realistic that it might take longer than average to shift (assuming you have priced it low) as you will have a smaller pool of potential purchasers who would be interested - so factor in time.

Kitttty Tue 24-Dec-13 13:18:16

I have a massive garden - never again - money pit - I look outside and get all stressed as it looks like another pile of work to do - like another house to maintain. Have since given up on the expensive gardeners - ley children just trash it -- football pitches, dens, trampolines, slides, swings, climbing frames wendy houses, paddling pools, water slides, cricket pitch, badminton net, bikes, etc....they have had a ball -- just before we move will get it re-landscaped.

But I do love the privacy a large garden affords especially with my 4 kids, puppies, all their mates and cousins tearing about making a racket and a mess - so would make sure you are not overlooked and that the you can enjoy the outside space....also do you have views? I would be happy with a small patio/deck to have lunch outdoors - it their was a view

NoComet Tue 24-Dec-13 13:31:44

A big garden is a massive amount of work, even if you only mow the lawn and cut the bed he and don't grew anything (Well we do grow nettles and other weeds).

Out in the sticks it's great to have swings and climbing frames, but with a park round the corner, it's not worth it.

DD2 12 does still use the garden be cause she is a mad keen gymnast, so the latest grass is used for cartwheels, the swing has been replaced with rings and we have a huge trampoline on which she does frightening things.

antimatter Tue 24-Dec-13 13:41:58

would the monty spent on moving pay for extension to your current house or an office in the garden?

is the school in the village primary your kids go to?

laughingeyes2013 Tue 24-Dec-13 13:42:00

It all comes down to your taste and needs.

I'm in a lovely house but postage stamp garden which makes me feel miserable! Before I had a less nice house but fantastic garden which made me feel peaceful everyone I looked out of the window or stepped outside for coal for the fire. Gardening and sunbathing was also therapeutic and I miss both of those massively. But if that doesn't float your boat then you won't miss it.

myron Thu 26-Dec-13 21:59:03

A small garden will be easy to maintain. You need to be a keen gardener to put in the hours required for a large garden. We spend hours weeding/mowing ours plus have a tree surgeon to annually trim our mature trees which also form one of our boundaries. It's just about manageable and we have approx an acre. Our ancient fencing came down last year on one side - having to replace 150 ft of fencing was painful especially the week after Christmas! Very glad we opted for the concrete posts and gavel boards in light of the recent stormy weather rather than the wooden ones. My dc do love the garden in the summer though and it's great for inviting people over for a BBQ.

MoreBeta Thu 26-Dec-13 22:11:14

hatty - we rented a big house and very big garden while DSs were small until they ended primary school. Then this year we bought a slightly smaller house with small garden as DSs have hit age 11 and 13 and don't use the garden anymore. They play sport at school and have no interest in kicking a ball in the garden anymore.

TBH at age 5 - 8 I really think you need a garden until they get older though.

We bought our house tis year as a place to retire - we are planning head and we don't want a big garden to look after. I don't mind gardening but it is not my passion. One that is big enough for us to sit in the sun on a lounger is all we need.

ThatIsIt Fri 27-Dec-13 18:28:58

I would go for it too, gardens are a lot of work.

If it has been on the market for a year, then don't offer full asking price.

horsetowater Fri 27-Dec-13 18:39:22

I don't think a small garden is a problem for children if they can scooter outside and go to the local park by theselves (eventually). But you need to be honest with yourself. A proper big patio with seating needs around 3m x 4m. This would be just for seating. I suggest you go out to your garden and decide what kind of space you would feel comfortable in when it's really hot weather or you have lots of people round.

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