What did you compromise on when buying a house and did you regret it?(80 Posts)
Clearly we cannot find the perfect house, but aren't clear in our minds what we should compromise on.
If we but a house in our perfect area it will be a lot smaller than what we want, it too small to fit all our
junk things in, so we'd have to have an enormous clear out. We could move a bit further out, get a either a good house with smaller than perfect garden, or a great garden and smaller house, or we can move a lot further out and get the house and garden, but have a longer commute and rubbish traffic.
We are not tidy people and have too much rubbish, to I worry that with too small we would never get tidy.
Do we just hold on for longer and keep looking, but risk prices going up (and they are going up in this area)? We are confused.
Go for a smaller place with good storage, meaning built in cupboards, shed, garage.
Compromised on a garage as the house has a cellar for storage
I really wish I had a garage
We currently live in a house with no storage having moved from a place with a garage and two built in cupboards the size of small rooms (which we did not own, came with DH's job).
IME I would not compromise on storage.
Compromised on style of house. Would have ideally wanted an old house but ended up with a bog standard 60's estate to get the town we wanted. No regrets at all. We redesigned the interior and are currently extending. We're 15 mins walk from primary, 10 mins from secondary, have great neighbours and are very settled. Go with the area you want.
I would always prioritise location over size of house/garden. With good storage you can adapt to a smaller space. But being in the right location is worth lots of other compromises IMO.
We have just bought in a fantastic location. The house is not lovely now but with work and imagination it will be great. Similarly the garden is much smaller than I really wanted, but we will make it beautiful.
The location and amenities make these compromises worthwhile. Hopefully
We compromised with area, had to move because in addition to that we had the neighbours from hell!
Our current house isn't perfect but I feel all the faults are fixable, whereas I could never be happy in the old house because no matter what we did it wasn't in the right area and never would be.
I would go for the area you want - and have a really if clear out when you move out. And another when you move in.
To be blunt, my experience with non-tidy people is that no amount of storage will make them tidy.
I would rather have the smallest, least appealing house in my desired area. Think location, location, location!!
Great house. Good size. Great garden. Everything pretty much perfect. But parking Spain and wish I had a drive.
Parking is a pain. Wish I had a drive.
We moved from a detached to a semi, ideally wanted another detached but compromised due to the rare semi rural location in the city. No regrets. We also lacked a garage but luckily had room to have one built.
We bought on the main road, next to our perfect area. Couldn't get a house in quite the perfect area and this was about £40000 less for a decent size. Do we regret it? Occasionally, but not enough to move as this mortgage is nearly paid (fingers crossed).
Semi rather than detached and yes we did.
Now house hunting and we will compromise on space if need be just to be detached.
We compromised on area. It's early days but I do miss my old town. Still, we got a big old house which would have been totally unaffordable for us in old (very desirable) town. Hopefully as time goes on we will settle more. Sorry, this post isn't very helpful!!
I truly believe in gut instinct.I viewed so many houses but walked in this one and just i.e. it didn't tick many of our boxes but has a lovely view and felt like my home from day i.e. only problem is the neighbours on one side
Compromised on size, garage and parking to get the area we wanted, happy with the compromise because now in the recession we still have an easily serviceable mortgage rather than a bigger payment for a bigger house.
I compromised on the period/original features....I would love a Victorian property with garage and garden, but it would be to £££ so went for a '50s property instead.
We compromised on location/area. DH doesn't regret it but I do and always have done. I tried to compromise on the 'sensible' choice but I have never settled here (been here 3.5 years) and now feel trapped as DS has a good school nearby where he is very happy. But I dislike the town we live in, it's run down, no centre to it and nothing particularly nice about it. It's not where I want to settle and bring up my family. We moved from a town I really liked in a beautiful area, where we had a very small house. We have a much bigger house here but I don't think we need the extra space. We need to clear stuff out, and the extra space is just more cleaning for me to do! The one thing I do like is the size of the garden, with two DCs aged 5 and 3 it is great to have a garden they can actually run in with space for trampoline, slide, swing, toys etc. It was something we decided we really wanted to have.
But it is true: put location first for sure!
Never compromise on location. We are in smaller than we would like to get as central as possible. For us, location is everything.
We compromised on location - we are in a lovely area, but we need to drive more & walk less. I feel it was worth it for the particular house (& garden) we got, but not necessarily for any other of a similar price in this area - the house we got was just right for our family!
On our previous house, we compromised on location, and grew to love where we lived.
For out present house, I knew as soon as I got the details that it was the one. Ironically, when we drove through the village, we rejected it initially as its nothing special to look at. However, its a great village to live in.
I think in your situation, I would go for the middle option. ie. not tiny house or big house, but good house in between.
I think it depends on what stage of life you're at and how long you intend to be in the house.
Last 2 houses were about the houses and space - both bought before we had children, for the most part we were both working full time (no time
inclination to socialise with neighbours, just wanted nice houses in good locations for work / entertaining with friends etc).
When we were looking for houses (when we bought this house) it was 100% about the location - aiming to be here for a v long time, now have 3 children, needed to be close to outstanding school, walking distance to local amenities, cul-de-sac, 'nice' neighbours etc etc so we've compromised on size of house, interior, price (right at the top of our budget). Don't regret it, occasionally pine for a bigger house when we have lots of family and its not really great for adult socialising (all separate rooms downstairs - would love a big kitchen diner). We love it here and I really feel like we've put down roots.
Location - the plus is that it's lovely and quiet and friendly out here, but public transport is limited and expensive (almost £7 for a 5 mile each way journey and the journeys that are doable, even on 2 buses are at the whim of the bus companies as there is little or no subsidy) and Internet is slow and expensive.
Number of bedrooms. We settled on a 2 bedroom house because it wasn't actually much smaller in square footage than the 4 (tiny) bed one that fell through - both bedrooms are properly double bedrooms. We have the two boys now, though and they fight like cat and dog (both have ASD) and really need their own space.
We have the option to extend up, above the kitchen extension, to create another bedroom and an upstairs loo, but given the location thing it's not worth the hassle.
Shared driveway which has occasionally had its issues, but it is far outweighed by location.
Also wanted on old house and this is modern. Much easier to heat and maintain so no regrets.
We went further out of our desired area but got a great house and big garden.....7 years on I realised I had never felt 100% settled and actually still felt quite isolated - plus kids can't just 'pop to friends'. We are now taking the plunge and moving - great location, gorgeous period house but no storage....aaahhhh!
Location, location, location - every time for me!
Bought a flat instead of a house. Only been here 5 years and already spent £10k on a lease extension, insurance is through the roof because we can't choose cover, service charges are high. I think a more expensive house would have been cheaper but now we can't afford to move
We only viewed the house we live in to rule it out, it looked awful from the estate agents photos and it wasn't in the village we wanted.
We couldn't buy in the village we wanted because we wanted a period property and there are only a small number which are all ££££
We were about to buy a house on the edge of the city, a Victorian terrace with on street parking and a small garden backing onto a canal. It had been owned by a joiner and his wife so had amazing built in storage and 4 bedrooms.
Instead we visited this place, walked in through the door and looked at the vaulted ceiling and said wow. We went home and put in an offer. It isn't our dream home, the bedrooms are too small,the garden is tiny and the extension with it's beautiful vaulted ceiling is freezing in winter but it is a very quirky house because of it's history and it is chock full of period features.
We compromised on loads, I was being a bit of a house snob when we first started looking - then reality set in. I think me and DH were both looking for different things in a house. My advise would be keep on looking until you get 'that feeling'. Then you know any compromise will be the right ones.
I think we looked at about 50 houses and the only one we both got 'that feeling' about us the one we are in and don't regret it at all.
Our main compromises were size of garden & lack of of road parking, also catchment area which isn't ideal but no way could we have afforded where I wanted so not much we could do about that one. We have lots of open space very close by and are in a very central location which makes the compromises well worth it.
I had a wish list of a 4bed, master en suite, big kitchen, that you could walk "around" the ground floor, a study, a bigger hallway than we had and a conservatory.
Found a house with everything bar the conservatory.
Could put one in but cba now and would rather save the money towards retiring in Greece
'Character' and size to get the perfect brief stagger of a commute (i.e. location).
Never regretted for a second, though I didn't have children in that house. However, we have similar issues with the house we currently live in, which wasn't my choice; it really is pretty small as houses go; but I am grateful for the location every day.
We compromised on location, but I don't regret it. For the first couple of years I found it hard not to be in the location we had moved out of, but it was a choice of staying in the same location and getting a slightly bigger flat, or moving further out to a less posh area and getting a house.
We had the neighbours from hell in our "desirable area" flat and I'd never have a flat again.
Semi not detached
2nd reception room
...... I will let you know
We had to pass on the old Georgian vicarage genre, and it's an acre short of what we need to get DH pootling around on his aspirational sit on mower. Also no clock tower, no wine cellar, no wig room, we are really slumming it.
We compromised by buying a really manky doer upper when we didn't want the work right now (todder, careers, pregancy, the usual reasons). I have had moments of screaming fury about our decision but we've soldiered through it and I think it was the right thing to do.
We compromised slightly by getting a terraced house rather than detached or semi-detached as planned (though we did end up with one more bedroom than intended which was nice!). Sometimes we have slight noise issues but not enough to make us regret our choice. Like others have said, location has proved the key thing. We absolutely love the area that we live in.
We got everything we wanted - garage, good sized drive, nice enclosed garden, 3 beds, good storage, utility room and 1200 sqft in the location we wanted. Location being the most important.
The compromise was style and we have ended up with a bungalow not a house. We have only just exchanged so not in yet but I am getting used to the idea plus we will extend into the loft to make it a chalet bungalow in a few years so end up with almost perfection. The house isn't particularly pretty from the outside but I can live with that!
We compromised on size of bedrooms to get a better house/location/garden overall.
Storage is a bit of a pain at the moment, some clothes have to live in the spare room or loft, but we plan to extend in due course so it's not the end of the world and we love the house/garden/location otherwise.
Character, but got v good size, light, location.
Turned down similarly priced character option as less good location and couldn't afford to buy and do up, only buy.
We compromised on the condition of the house. It's the right size in the right location but is pretty much falling to pieces. Needs a new kitchen, bathroom, roof, could do with rewiring, every single part if the house needs redecorating. We can't afford to do everything at once as the house was top of our budget so we'll have to live in it like this for a while. But I don't regret it because in 5/10 years time this will be the perfect family home we always wanted.
I'd say find something in the right location that needs work.
We compromised on price, haha. Got the mortgage to match.
We've lived in 4 houses in the last 5 years (renting) and location has always been the most important factor for us.
We compromised on location in order to buy a house that ticked all our other boxes... And 4 years on we are putting our house up for sale to move to the location we always wanted, though due to an upturn in our finances we can now
just about afford the house and location.
Compromised on garage, no of bedrooms, commute (for me), size of rooms, and condition of house. Hmm that sounds like a lot!!
In return have got character, light, big garden, partial sea view, v close to centre of lovely small town, detached, and opportunity to extend fairly easily. We both walked through the door and just knew we wanted it.
Oh and DH's commute is very good
Lots to think about,we have spent a wild and exciting evening on Rightmove (may add have to add some spurious property porn later, with its own chapel and priest's hole).
We think we may have found 2 we could compromise on, one is a bit smaller than we'd ideally like, but not stupidly so and is in budget and great location. The second we would be compromising on having enough money to be able to eat and there's no garage or other external secure storage.
DD is 4, so I really want a garden she can run round in and a house that we could get tidy if we really tried, even with the junk.
We compromised on the size of the garden. Not sure yet whether it will be worth it. We do have the option to give ourselves more space to play by ripping out loads of plants.
Everything else was right about this house - location, storage, size, etc.
Oh yeah, and we got a semi rather than detached (see previous neighbours from hell post). Our neighbours here are lovely though. We initially wanted a house that would last us at least 5 years - we've now been here 14 and no plans to move.
Location (couldn't afford a house where we really wanted to be so had to be further out of town), and character. The house is perfectly OK and has everything we need but it's a 1980s box which I hate. It also has a garden which we wanted for DS but it's all work and no pleasure for us. I'm desperate for DS to grow up so we can move back into town!
What seems the 'perfect location' can of course change as your needs and family change - and the place itself can change too.
I have been in my current house over 20 years. It was perfectly located before I had children: beautiful, semi-rural, with a view I love and lots of lovely walks; all the shops I needed daily within walking distance in the village; on a train line to commute to work in the city...
It was still perfectly located while my kids were young: streets safe to play out in; countryside close at hand to explore...
But now they are teens, the location is becoming a problem: there's not much to do without traveling; I've learned to drive, and am often a taxi service, esp. for my younger teen; last buses back from town set off before last orders, and it's much too far to walk; open countryside is not as popular with teens as younger kids; there's a lot of hanging around on street corners, and drugs like skunk and m-cat are too easily available; they have the same village friends they had when they were 5, mostly, and that's not always good; any mistakes they make (and DS1 has made a few) become public knowledge and are hard to live down - I see adults stuck with the reputations they gained when they were 15... There are few part time jobs... The high school, which was 'good' ten years ago, is now in special measures... And that's only the factors that make village living difficult for them; there's more that affects just me...
So we're looking to move closer to town, where the boys can get around more easily and be more independent... And I'm looking forward to a house with fewer stairs, a garage, and a much, much bigger garden... Tho I'll miss my view...
Get the house with the smaller garden. Gardens are overrated imho, we have a massive one and the weather's hardly ever good enough to be in it and it takes ages to mow it.
DD was of an age where she played out in the garden for only a short period and I'm bored of the chickens and the veg plot now.
DD now goes to the park with her mates rather than be in the garden.
We compromised o the garden. Great house, great location, on a decent sized plot, but the back garden where the kids play is small (we have a trampoline and playhouse, decking so it's useable).
Our reasoning was that as the children get older, inside space becomes more important. We don't intend to move until we downsize. There's a park down the road which the older ones can now go to alone.
I would like a bigger garden, and it bugs me. BUT it was a logical compromise worth making.
I would go for the house that is slightly bigger but has a small garden. If the only drawback is the garden size, that sounds good to me.
We bought a house that had a tiny kitchen and always intended to extend it but couldn't face the hassle. If I could go back in time, I wouldn't buy that house, but there was hardly anything on the market at the time and we'd sold and moved into rental and were desperate to buy.
We went for location, big garden and room to extend, compromised on existing space.
A second bedroom for a garden. I really appreciated the garden but dreamt constantly about "finding" a second bedroom! I moved eventaully (and have too many bedrooms now) but still have that dream of finding more rooms in that original flat. I always enjoyed the garden though and did not regret chosing it over a bedroom.
I have compromised on two houses and regretted it both times. The problem was location with both.
We compromised on the garden. We are on a main road through our small town. Outside space is small enclosed patch of
weeds grass out front with zero privacy and a paved area out the back which is about prison cell sized.
But, the weather is not good 90% of the time and we have 4 bedrooms. One of which is a playroom. Huge kitchen. Ensuite master. Plenty of storage. A lot of upgrading required but nothing too offensive atm while the dc's are small. We can grow into this house. And, once we've done the work, it will be worth more than we spent.
No garden also forces us to go out which I would not do if I could just open the door and throw the kids outside.
We choose location so bought a small house that needed loads of work. It's wrong for us. I need space and I love to live clutter free but if you have a largish family (we are a family of 5) they is generally a lot of stuff, no matter how ruthless you are.
A small house can feel stressful if you like to keep it tidy as it becomes a massive effort to keep decluttering. I have no place for bedding, no tall cupboards for brushes, limited place for the washing and no place for our books.
We bought this place because we felt we had no choice..rented place was being sold so it was a panic buy and I overruled my instincts - never would I do that again!
We have a great location, compromised on garden and kitchen size (I misses my loverly old huge kitchen-diner, waaah!) and age of property (wanted a period place, house is less than twenty years old. Chipboard ahoy. Sigh.)
However, the garden is becoming "ours" and we will use the space carefully to maximise it. Love the size (it's much bigger than the period properties we couldn't quite afford). And though I initially lusted for a semi-rural village, I know that when they are teens the bus stop is only fifty yards away amd lots of their friends will be a walk/bike ride rather than a car ride away. It was the location and space that swung it for us here, so no regrets about our compromises (so far!)
Did not compromise on anything at the time I bought my house (got everything I wanted - spacious, cul-de-sac, low maintenance garden, big kitchen diner, utility space, park and amenities nearby). However I have not loved it due to the age of the house (lots of problems) and have not thought about secondary schools, which is a big regret.
My next house is going to be in a quiet suburbia next to good secondary schools. Will compromise on convenience and amenities. Will have to drive the train station every day. This is a bugger but hope it will give a better background to my kids. Also people would say I would compromise on character but I cannot wait to live in a 60-70s house.
Actually with my next house which I am now looking to buy I will compromise on commute, being far from amenities (we want to move from south London to a quiet suburb), smaller living space, no utility space (washing machine in the kitchen - brrr), small (claustrophobic) garden. And all this for being in what is considered nicer non-problematic area with good secondary schools.
I am starting to wondering whether it is not too much of compromise!
I say go with gut too. We found the house that we thought we'd buy then came to see this one just to make sure we wanted the other & felt at home here instantly even though it was smaller-think if you can adjust the space to suit you. Our house has 4 beds but 3 are small, 1 child & No.2 due in 4 weeks so they can have small rooms & as we need a guest room we're converting the playroom into a guest suite.
I'm a hoarder so storage is important but so is outside space for kids. Personally not bothered about drives/garages but some people really are-it's what works for you. Calculate travel time etc. We live in a great house because we moved from Manchester to rural town in Nprthern Ireland to enjoy family life more so I guess we sacrificed location in a big way depending how you look at it.
No regrets, although from the outset I was aware of the maximum I could do to this house, e.g. My eye on converting the garage next as want to be here for 5 years plus!
We went for location (conservation village) and seriously compromised on size of rooms. The kitchen was tiny but we have knocked through to the dining room and extended the front room. It has been a lovely home for more than 10 years but we are on the move now closer to DS's school and DH's workplace (which is opposite direction to 10 yrs ago).
Our garden is far too small. But we had sold and had 10 days to move so went for it.
We compromised on the state of it. We got the size, type and location we wanted but anything " done up" we couldnt afford. i fell in love with it but dh was less keen as it needed tons of work to make it liveable.
Moved in with 2 dc under 3. Lots of building work including rewire and heating.
Madness in retrospect but we are happy here.
Well today we have seen 2 we like, but there are compromises
House 1 - absolute top of budget, no money for anything else ever, big house, great condition, off street parking, but on vey busy rd, very nr junction with another busy, no garage, garden ok, not huge. Not sure where visitors would park. 4th bedroom is in loft and stuffy.
house 2 - in a beautiful rural village, about 8-10 miles from city centre. Old house, big 4 double bedrooms, big lovely garden. Good condition, longer commute. Comfortably in budget, would be able to afford to eat
House 2, definitely! How long would your commute be? Mine is an hour - it used to be 15mins but it's well worth it.
We compromised on location the first time we bought and it was the biggest mistake of our lives. It's taught me (years and thousands of pounds lost later) that space, a garden, storage, lack of work needed... Nothing is more important than location.
We compromised on garden sized and house style (semi detached instead of detached). The small garden is fine for the 3 year old. It is a bit frustrating for the 9 year old that he can't play football out there - but he goes next door, to the park and to organised football after school. To be honest, it is dark and rainy most of the year anyway..but I still suffer from garden envy just a little bit...
But surely if you have a huge garden you could buy a huge shed for your rubbish at the beginning and extend later on if you really needed it?
We compromised by buying a house close to a busy road, and needing heaps of work - most of the house is untouched since it was built in 1952, apart from a dodgy 'sun room' extension in the 70s. We gained a detached house with four good-sized bedrooms close to a good primary school, in catchment for a very good secondary school and easily commutable to work/amenities though. Worth the compromise IMO.
The graduand - house 2 definitely!
we compromised on the garden. Much smaller than the acres we wanted, but very glad now that we now have a manageable garden with plenty of areas for all of us. Couldn't have compromised on style though. We had to have an old house, nothing later than 1930 for me. Although I would liked the lower heating bills!
House 2 in every way OP, the thread is unanimous!
plus you really need to eat and more space is better than a stuffy loft bedroom. Which do you "feel" is best?
House 2 no questions asked. How long will your commute be?
Well it looks like house no 1 is out, appears the vendors are being less than honest about certain things
House no 2, still lovely but might be too far out, one of the reasons for moving to this town was to cut down on commuting, commute would be around 40 mins, could be more as traffic can be bad.
It's just so tough as there is so little on the market, it's not even like we just can't afford things, there isn't much for sale at a higher price either,aarrgghh
We compromised on the large family kitchen & the location. I also didn't get the large utility (there is a small one), pantry & linen cupboard I wanted.
It's still got a large kitchen but it's not quite the layout we were looking for but still fab.
Location is further out than we initially wanted but I think it's actually a better area.
It feels right too.
We just moved in two weeks ago from a big old character house in the wrong location. Love the new house and location, it just felt right to all of is. It is much smaller bit intelligently laid out with lots of storage but the main family bathroom is downstairs; I would prefer it upstairs with a downstairs cloakroom. At least we have an en-suite.
We only looked at houses in our chosen location and this one won as it had the nicest location of all thr houses we saw and ticked the essential boxes (4 bed, playroom, cloakroom, reasonable size garden,).
We compromised a bit on style as I prefer period houses and this is 80s but I am enjoying it being much easier to maintain. Two of the bedrooms are smaller than I would like but fine and there is no kitchen diner but we will knock through. Definitely wouldn't compromise on location.
Well we are going round in circles, price of house one has been reduced, making it more reasonable.
We have also found a project house, DH is really up for it, I'm really nervous
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