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...

hattyyellow Sun 29-Dec-13 21:48:00

Yep. After a final last attempt discussion of potentially negotiating right of way changes with neighbours we have admitted defeat. Hoping the spring will bring a better option. Thanks so much all for your help and thoughts and happy new year!

blueshoes Sat 28-Dec-13 21:54:36

Big house with a small garden in our area is frequently turned into rental flats because families would shy away from such a house and only flat renters don't really care. You have been warned about the difficulty in resale.

We had an intermediate terrace (3/4 bedrooms) with a small steep garden and it was a devil to sell, which we eventually did after 10 years of putting it on the market 2-3 times, with one sale that fell through. We weren't in a hurry but the moment we got a buyer, we moved heaven and earth to make sure we did not lose the buyer.

I think you will find it much harder with a 5 bedroom house because that is a forever house and people who buy forever houses tend to want the gardens, even if they don't spend a lot of time in them.

MoreBeta Sat 28-Dec-13 20:56:50

This kind of property is becoming ever more common. Lovely big house with the garden chopped off and a second house built in the garden.

Usually a cash strapped elderly resident who does not want to move out of their home so sells off the garden or builds a granny flat next to the existing property then tries to sell the main property or give it away to their children to avoid IHT. It ruins the main house and just devalues it.

Avoid. No one will buy it off you.

MillyMollyMama Sat 28-Dec-13 01:26:59

Sorry. Just read your update. Shared access is a real problem. Avoid. There will be a house for you somewhere.

MillyMollyMama Sat 28-Dec-13 01:22:25

I think there is a problem with a spacious house on a tiny plot. If it has not sold this is probably why. You could be stuck with it. I think family houses should have a family garden. Not a huge garden, but enough space for play and eating in some privacy. It sounds like the space is at the front and side which would also bother me. What is at the back?

Kitttty Fri 27-Dec-13 23:57:39

Dont touch it - my cousin has a similar situation - bitterness with neighbors day and night

Oh, that is a shame - shared access over a small space is not a good way to go.

Hopefully the next one you see ends up being the right one for all of you.

ThatIsIt Fri 27-Dec-13 21:05:08

oh what a shame. I take it that it is a no go now? Can you link to it?

VivaLeBeaver Fri 27-Dec-13 20:51:30

I think access over the garden would be a deal breaker for me.

I viewed a house like this once and it put me off. Your neighbours could turn out to be arseholes and you can't stop them been in your garden, could leave gates open, etc for kids/dogs to escape.

hattyyellow Fri 27-Dec-13 20:49:38

Thanks so much all. Went to view today. Inside, just amazing. We currently have small 3 bed cottage with limited communal space and reasonable garden. Have to drive anywhere.

This place was so so beautiful. 5 bedrooms. Beautiful tiled hallway. Huge windows. Converted attic with so much storage. High ceilings. Aga. You get the idea. Nothing like this comes up in our price range around here.

Outside - heartbreaking. DH admitted that before we got to the garden that he was pretty much sold and was convincing himself he could handle a small garden. Another property has access straight across the small garden! So the driveway is actually shared and comes right across from the gate and across the space up to their front door. The second property was some kind of additional cottage so they could only make an entrance round the back.

Heartbroken. We've been trying to work out some way of buying off the other people or creating a walkway around the edge of the garden, but I think it would be too tricky. They can't get to their house without going through this shared outdoor space. Kids weren't keen on the lack of garden space, we are trying to convince ourselves we could live effectively with no garden. But it's probably a losing battle!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

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

Ooh I like that suncalc gadget - very clever!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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