house next to a canal...good or bad?

(32 Posts)
united4ever Thu 22-May-14 08:43:53

Found a nice house. The bottom of the back garden has a regular fence behind which lies the canal towpath and canal. My 2 concerns are this 1, rats and general vermin, don't they live along canals and may stray into our garden? 2, security, is it not an easy escape for a burglar....although there many other houses like this I could see it looks easier than a house not backing onto a canal.

Gemma77 Thu 22-May-14 09:57:24

For me it would be a dealbreaker but only because I have young children and I would forever be worrying that they would climb out the garden and fall into the canal! I'd also be worried about flood risk.

However, if my children were older and if the flood risk was very low then I'd quite like it. You wouldn't have to worry about building work going up at the back of your garden, you wouldnt be over looked, and I image you will have some lovey walks too.

Wildlife is most likely to be voles and they would prefer to live by the water rather than your backgarden... houses in cities/towns are probably closer to rats than you will be!

Selks Thu 22-May-14 10:02:16

I wouldn't due to risk of flooding, unless it is significantly raised up.

divingoffthebalcony Thu 22-May-14 10:03:03

You would probably get unpleasant smells in our garden from the water. I used to live near-ish to a river, as when I walked alongside it during hot weather, the stagnant water smell was pretty horrible. That also had a row of back gardens backing onto the river path.

RunDougalRunQuiteFast Thu 22-May-14 10:04:58

You'll get flies and midges all over your ceilings in summer too - friends bought a house by a lake in winter and had a nasty surprise when the weather warmed up.

RCheshire Thu 22-May-14 10:21:00

I'll differ as one of our previous homes was by the canal and we loved it. There's something about living by water that is very appealing to me.

Yes you need to ensure the boundary is safe if kids, check flooding risk (easy to do for a small fee online) and some summer smell possibly and flies. But you get to walk/run along a canal, ducks etc, noone building immediately behind you.

starfish4 Thu 22-May-14 10:32:48

I would love this.

With regard to crimes, you could look into the question of local crime statistics to get a feel for what the area is generally like. Is there any way you could make the back more secure?

If you decide to go ahead, do ask your solicitor to look into the question of flood risk (should show up on your local search) but he/she may be able to do a more detailed search. You can also get him to ask if the property or the nearest ones each side have ever flooded.

If you're going to get smells or midges, they will probably start now, so see if you can do another viewing on a sunny (preferably warmish) day before you get too far into the transaction.

beaglesaresweet Thu 22-May-14 10:41:01

I'd worry about rats too, OP! also stagnant smell when it's hot. If it was a proper narrow river (fast flowing) then that's nicer.

expatinscotland Thu 22-May-14 10:43:00

No way for me. Flooding, smells, midges, not being able to sell to families with young children worried about drowning, etc.

dippingmytoeinagain Thu 22-May-14 14:16:31

I would love a house backing onto a canal. Would clearly make sure there was a sturdy boundary and lockable gate to ensure no one can get in our out easily. Canals are a lower flood risk than rivers as the water flow to them is controlled via reservoirs rather than them being fed by rivers and streams. Can't comment on midges but the risk of no building in your backyard is a real positive too. As far as rats are concerned, I suppose you would need to be aware off possible risks and be careful of food waste disposal.

I do a lot of walking by canals and spot an occasional rat but again, I suppose it might be area specific. Likewise, never walked along a smelly, stagnant canal but again, probably dependent on the amount of boats passing through.

I am currently house hunting in a village that has a canal and am very grrr that none of the canalside houses are for sale.

united4ever Thu 22-May-14 21:28:55

Good comments, we are going to view it anyway. I guess other buyers will have the same concerns so may allow us a better chance of getting it if we decide it's worth it.

CocktailQueen Thu 22-May-14 21:31:48

We live v close to a canal. There is no smell in summer - canals aren't stagnant but are constantly moving when lock gates open etc. there should be no flood risk as canals have runoff gates and sluice gates etc. get a flood report, check out the security, and have a look!

RCheshire Thu 22-May-14 23:05:49

I should have said that when we lived by a canal there was never any smell.

Emmerdalenut Fri 17-Jun-16 16:37:09

I am going to live in a semi detached by canal. The back is a paved area and has a wall and another high wall behind it. I have read this as I was worried about rats getting in the back which a paved area. I am hoping that doesn't happen. I have often walked by this canal (Leeds to Liverpool canal) in summer and I have never ever noticed a smell at all, only thing is there are little flies but mostly where there are bushes. I am looking forward to the nice walks with my dog.

SecretSeven Sat 18-Jun-16 08:10:04

I lived on a boat for eleven years.

Rats can be a problem, but only because many boaters are untidy. If you keep your garden tidy and don't leave food lying around, you won't see them.

You get midges too, but you don't notice them.

Best of luck in your new home. smile

albertcampionscat Sat 18-Jun-16 09:06:44

Depends a bit. Cute canal with brightly painted barges or dank water no one uses?

thesnailandthewhale Sat 18-Jun-16 09:35:33

I lived in a flat by a canal and loved it - would sit on the balcony reading my book and people on barges would wave as they passed - it was lovely smile
Never had any problems with smell / flooding / rats.

Emmerdalenut Sat 18-Jun-16 10:56:13

well I will be moving soon so thank you for your comments. I will buy tea-tree spray/lotion in case of midges/flies etc and will keep the outside tidy. It is a paved back garden so will not be hard to keep clean and also have a cat who is good at catching anything that moves so the rats wont bother us!
You can see people walking by from the kitchen window, and because theres a high wall they are further up on the canal path so can't see it been a problem. I am looking forward to it.

ceecee32 Sat 18-Jun-16 11:04:34

I live on the banks of a canal - never seen a rat - no smells and even when there was flooding near by the height of the water didn't alter. Security wise - someone would have to row over to my house to be able to get in at the back.

The towpath is on the opposite side so I dont have people walking by my patio doors. My only problem is the weeds that grow on the canal bank spread into the garden - I dont want to use weedkiller as there are fish in the canal.
Its lovely and peaceful to sit out early morning (and this is in Manchester !!)

I dont see rats - but I have seen herons, bats and a family of foxes playing. Oh, and narrow boats and the occasional kayaker.

Emmerdalenut Sat 18-Jun-16 19:03:23

That sounds positive then. Glad you don't see rats!! The garden is small and patio with paving done properly so no weeds can grow.
Thanks for your good post!

MiaowTheCat Sat 18-Jun-16 19:08:36

It would depend upon the area the canal is in for me - I'm a fairly regular walker along our local one and there are houses that are stunning and I dream of - but they're further along there away from the urban problems of trail bikes blasting up and down in the summer and other anti social behaviour. Nearer the more urbanised areas I'd be hesitant.

Actually my main worry would be the downright homicidal swan that's terrorizing our local towpath at the moment!

Emmerdalenut Sat 18-Jun-16 23:53:41

Get your point there as the Canadian Geese are quite vicious if they are protecting their young.

SecretSeven Sun 19-Jun-16 07:27:27

All the geese and swans can do is peck at you. I've never been hurt by one.

Joinourclub Sun 19-Jun-16 07:37:18

Round my way you pay a premium for a canal side home. The canal is very popular with walkers and cyclists and I use it weekly during the summer. I would love to live next door!

cosytoaster Sun 19-Jun-16 07:50:52

My house backs onto a canal, I've never had any problems and would much rather that than back onto other houses. It's great if you have a dog!

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