How did you choose your house?

(41 Posts)
suebfg Wed 09-Jan-13 21:20:55

We have been house hunting for ages and can't afford to keep chucking away money on rent. We have seen so many houses now they are all blurring into one.

We've recently found a great house (it is immaculate) but it backs onto a busyish road which is a major offputter as it can get quite noisy.

On the other hand, there are two reasonable houses for sale in very desirable locations but the downstairs space doesn't quite work for us in these houses. Neither have utility rooms and the kitchen diners are smaller than we would like.

Am I being too fussy? How did you choose your house?

We were exceptionally fussy. we looked around but narrowed our search down to.one street. we bunked at my parents for a year saving for a deposit and until something came up on this street. we bought the first property that came up for sale since we had started looking (a year we waited!).

Could you re-jig / extend the properties that arent on the busy road?

Also, an immaculate house means you are paying a premium for work that someone else has done. I like the ability to stamp 'us' on a house.

nocake Wed 09-Jan-13 21:25:34

It sounds like you're looking for the perfect house, which doesn't exist. Start thinking about how you could make houses work for you or how you could change the way you live to suit a house.

whattodoo Wed 09-Jan-13 21:25:50

Looked at loads to work out which location we most loved.

And to agree on which features we would not compromise on (eg parking space, size of kitchen, potential to add value etc).

Then we walked through the front door of a house and fell in love with its character before looking at any of the rooms. Went through hell to get it, but its finally ours. [Happy sigh]

suebfg Wed 09-Jan-13 21:29:23

The two houses in the desirable area are actually next door to one another. The first one hasn't been extended - you could put an extension on it but it has got one of the smaller rear gardens on the estate. The other one has been extended already but it is an extension behind the dining room rather than to the kitchen. So the space isn't ideal for us but it does have a bigger garden than the other house.

If we could choose anywhere in the area to live, it would be this street but we are struggling to find a house there that suits us. (Property hardly ever comes up for sale here).

Could you do some internal re-jigging in the one with the bigger garden , maybe swap the rooms round.

Oh, put some links up!! People will be able to suggest stuff you might not have thpught of.

suebfg Wed 09-Jan-13 21:34:34

Wow! They are both very impressive! Not sure if its the photos but the first one strikes me as being much lighter and arier.

suebfg Wed 09-Jan-13 21:41:06

I think it's the photos - the houses are the same except that the first has been extended downstairs and upstairs to the side.

We went by feeling. You can change a house but you can't change how it feels to be in YOUR house smile

We looked at ALOT of houses and as soon as we walked into our house we both knew we would buy this house and we hadn't even looked around!

I say go for the one that makes you want to look at it again and again. If that isn't how you feel about any that you have seen, look elsewhere...

It is frustrating when you just don't come across what you want but as the saying goes "you have to kiss ALOT of frogs to find your prince" men and houses...

cece Wed 09-Jan-13 21:52:44

We went by feeling too.

Looked at a lot of 4 bedroom houses.
Ended by buying aa 3 bedroom house upstairs. The 4throom was downstairs. Not ideal, but we just loved it as soon as we walked in the front day.

cece Wed 09-Jan-13 21:54:16

Out of those two I'd go for the most expensive of the two. For a little bit more you get an extension and a bigger garden... You can always move the kitchen into the extension and have the old kitchen as a utility room.

Millais Wed 09-Jan-13 21:59:29

It had 4 yew trees in the garden! DH had been trying to grow one from seed for years and there they were- it was a sign!!!

Also it was extendable, needed work, huge garden, good location and right price but those yew trees- they were the thing that sold it.

A few years later we had to cut one down- it was a traumatic moment.

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 09-Jan-13 22:17:18

Agree with Cece. It also has a bigger garden.

Badvoc Thu 10-Jan-13 10:55:29

Decide what is a non negotiable requirement...eg:garden, off street parking etc and then what you are prepared to compromise on.
Because you will have to compromise. The perfect house simply does not exist. You have to make it perfect for you.
Good luck.
(And I would go with the one you can extend yourselves)

Badvoc Thu 10-Jan-13 10:56:33

...we were looking at 3 bed semis and bought a 3 bed detached!
smile

specialsubject Thu 10-Jan-13 11:17:05

my suggestion is the house with the 'but' that is only for you. A noisy busy road is a 'but' for everyone - and it will only get worse. That means if it is wrong and you want to sell it, you have a problem.

the not-quite-right layout can possibly be sorted.

Rhianna1980 Thu 10-Jan-13 11:49:51

Agree on not buying a house on a busy road. My In laws bought a house few years which was gorgeous in every way you look at it , only to find out it was liveable due to the noisy road near by . They ended up selling it straight away.

HappyAsASandboy Thu 10-Jan-13 12:07:05

I saw it on rightmove and knew I love it (from three photos!). Emailed the link to my then DP (now DH), who send a one word reply - wow!

We looked round am it felt like home, despite being an absolute wreck. When we finally moved in, people kept asking if we'd settled in yet - and I was always unsure how to answer. It was my house and I was settled in from the first time I crossed the threshold.

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 10-Jan-13 12:14:57

We went on gut feel after a 15 minute viewing.. Nothing had been done to it for years, but it ticked the important things for us (3 bedrooms, near to parents, and south- facing). We've done a lot to it over the years and I'm never leaving smile

I personally prefer house number one - with the bigger garden smile

BlueberryHill Thu 10-Jan-13 12:33:58

We didn't love either of ours from the beginning. Quite underwhelmed by the one we are in now but it is stone on the outside and has a huge window on the stairs that I liked, we went with it as it was a good value for where we our. I love it now, we are in the process of updating it, I love the garden and the window still. We bought it based on our head but knew we could turn it into a home.

Mandy21 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:16:54

I agree that perfection in terms of a house is v hard to find. There will always be a compromise somewhere.

Agree that the 1st one seems the better deal - I'd knock down the walls between the garden room / dining room and kitchen and have one big space. Having said that, I think the double garage is a bit of a waste of space - I think it leads to unbalanced houses - bigger upstairs than downstairs so you could look to convert part of that at some stage down the line if you need more space.

We were renting in the village we wanted and watching the market like hawks having identified a few roads that were within our price range / had big enough gardens and offered potential to extend. Had a list of must haves (not a very long list to be honest) knowing that we had to compromise massively to get the location we wanted. We have been in the house for 3 years, I don't love the house (but I will one day when its been modernised and extended) but I love the life it has given us - close to school, village centre, fabulous neighbours etc.

duffybeatmetoit Thu 10-Jan-13 14:03:35

We had a list broken down into must haves, nice to haves and don't wants. If a property didn't have everything on the (short) must have list we didn't look at it. It did help focus our minds on what was really important. (For us 3 beds was a must have, 4 beds was nice to have. Downstairs loo - must have, ensuite - nice to have. Etc)

The estate agent we were dealing with had a look at the list and doubted that we'd achieve it but we did. He had a real thing about people rejecting property because there wasn't enough room to seat family/friends for a meal. He thought you'd only have large numbers at Xmas and so it wasn't important if you could only sit 4/5 people at one time. We have people staying regularly and not being able to feed everyone at one sitting wouldn't work for us. So you do need to think about how you live in the space and what your alternatives would be if the house didn't provide for it.

noisytoys Thu 10-Jan-13 14:17:13

We bought in the South East close to London so we bought the one house that had enough bedrooms and was within budget. It was a state and is a slow working progress to make it habitable but we are getting there smile

JanuaryJunes Thu 10-Jan-13 14:19:48

We could afford it, it needed massive amount of work but was detached, in the area we liked, had amazing light and it felt right.

Also, and this is a bit woo, there was a room with the painting my gran had on her wall when I was a child. My mum had just died and I felt it was " a sign". Yes. I know.

Anyway, we viewed it 4 times. Dh needed some convincing but we bought it and are very happy here.

We identified and area and had a list of things we wanted (4 beds, 3 of which had to be decent sized doubles and the 4th could be quite small, a kitchen with room for a table, off street parking) and another list of things we definitely didn't want (under no circumstances did we want a conservatory, for example).

We looked at loads of houses and even considered offering on one that had just about none of the things we wanted but saw that the house was up for rent as a student house (with 6 bedrooms). When this house came on the market, I knew it would be the one we bought. It was in exactly the right location, and had everything on the list but it needed quite a lot of work. Luckily it was quite a bit under our budget. We were the first people to view it and we put an offer in afterwards. The work has been annoying and expensive, but it is a lovely house in exactly the right place for us.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 11-Jan-13 23:43:29

We fell for the 250 year old hexagonal quarry tiles in the hallway. grin

I think unless you've got about 3 million squid you have to compromise on something. We are on a busy toad which is not ideal, but we always use the side entrance which is on a dirt track so the kids/cats are not emptying straight out onto road. Noise isn't really a problem because the rooms where we spend most of our time face the rear. I do intend to get double glazing in a couple of the bedrooms though.

Rhubarbgarden Fri 11-Jan-13 23:44:03

Busy road not busy toad grin

GrendelsMum Sat 12-Jan-13 14:34:57

We saw the house, agreed it didn't meet any of our requirements, and rejected it. Then after going on holiday a month later, we agreed that it had actually been the nicest house we'd seen, went back, found it was still on the market...

fussychica Sat 12-Jan-13 15:27:17

Cheap.
Walked into the hall and knew it was probably the one we would buy even though there were compromises to be made.
Very happy here.

mekim Mon 03-Feb-14 23:16:20

Hi everyone
Could you give me some advise, please?

I would like to know. Is a home with a triangular garden are problem, if it were you would you buy it?

littlecrystal Tue 04-Feb-14 08:35:54

Mekim, I just had a chance to buy one with a triangular garden (and a substation at the back of it) and chose not to. I like standard and straight and it would have bothered me. Also feng shui of a triangular garden is meant to be bad. Is the house square/rectangular though?

Barbeasty Tue 04-Feb-14 08:52:16

We had a spreadsheet.

We listed must haves, eg off road parking for 2 cars.
We listed must not haves.
We listed stuff we'd quite like eg open fire.

Each item on the list could earn the house a point.

If it didn't have a must have, or had a mustn't have, the total box turned red.

We bought the one with the most points, because I couldn't risk losing the sale on our old house.

I did put a box in for "feeling", so it counted for something.

And we cut and pasted the picture of each house at the top of the column so we remembered which was which.

flatmum Tue 04-Feb-14 09:18:55

It was the only house large enough for us all that we saw in our price range! Was a good decision though and I Thibk we knew we would try and buy it as soon as we saw it was spacious. (Everything else was poky)

Noggie Tue 04-Feb-14 09:31:46

We decided to list why we were moving house ie catchment area, more space and wish for a family friendly dining kitchen so looked for houses that ticked those boxes in our price range. Ended up going over our price range a little bit and are now skint but dd at super school, have plenty space and a dining kitchen grin

littlecrystal Tue 04-Feb-14 09:52:55

It ticked all the boxes and was more spacious than others.
5 years on it still ticks the boxes but being a period house it proved too old for my liking and requires too much of maintenance. I am now dreaming of a modern house.

echt Tue 04-Feb-14 10:31:25

Our UK house ticked all the boxes except being on a busy (daytime) road.
The back living room and secondary glazing in the front bedroom made these objections redundant. Big garden, Fab schools, Great transport. Lovely house. We think of it fondly now.

We were "forced" into our Aus house having one month's notice on a rental, so had to buy spit spot. Lots of garden. Right location in same area. Lots of room. Well built.

Drawbacks: bloody weird 70s shed.

We love it.

echt Tue 04-Feb-14 10:32:23

Should say the house is a weird 70s shed.

Actually, the shed was also weird - no door.

LondonGirl83 Tue 04-Feb-14 11:52:06

After many months looking on the market, how the housing stock varied within our neighborhood and recognized what was possible. For instance, if we wanted to be near the park and near public transport, within the catchment of our preferred school and be near the high street, there were literally only a handful of streets that ticked all those boxes. The vast majority of the houses on those streets have very small gardens so we decided that was something we could live with if something we wanted came up there.

For us, deal breakers were being outside the catchment of any primary school, being more than 10-12 min walk for the station, the house had to be period, on a quiet road and it also had to be suitable for extension � we wanted to do a loft and side return extension.

The nice to haves were a south or west facing garden, a large garden, off street parking, double bay windows, and a place needing work (for us that was a plus as it meant we wouldn�t be paying a premium for a kitchen we�d just rip out for the extension work and would allow us to put our own stamp).

We ended up buying in one of our preferred roads, but had to settle for a tiny garden. Off our nice to have list we got a South facing garden and the place was a bargain as it needed work.

Also, when we walked in, even though the house was smaller than we were originally hoping for , we both really liked the feel of it � huge windows, high ceilings, relatively wide rooms etc.

I think you have to spend some time seeing what�s out there to be really confident when you decide to buy. We really do know our area well and knew nothing better for that price would come up and bid over asking to secure it.

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