Would you choose a flat over a house if you had older children?

(91 Posts)
Spottybra Wed 28-Aug-13 18:59:29

DH and I are considering leaving the leafy suburbs for something in or nearer a city when the DC are older. Right now where we are suits us. We have parks, woods, boating lakes and all manner of nice things on our doorstep for our young family.

But given the lifestyle we like, sporty activities, days out, museums, dining out, theatre, comedy clubs and a place to come home to, we are wondering if loosing a garden would really be a big loss. We rarely use it and expect to do less in it when the DC are older and have sporting, music and other extra curricular activities.

Is heating a flat cheaper than a house? Do you currently choose to live in a flat over a house? If so, what are the advantages and/or disadvantages?

LynetteScavo Wed 28-Aug-13 19:10:41

I wouldn't give up somewhere to sit outside.

nomorecrumbs Wed 28-Aug-13 19:12:29

I need a garden. I'd freak at having to use a park out in the open every time I wanted to feel the sun on my face!

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Wed 28-Aug-13 19:17:39

We are childless and have a city flat and wouldn't change it for the world - although I occasionally have a hankering for stairs. That said, if it were any other flat than this one I would probably be whining about it. We don't have any sideways neighbours and are on the top floor so don't get much noise, which I think would be an issue if we were surrounded by others; we have outdoor space by way of a terrace (a non-negotiable for DH) and we have no maintenance issues as they are dealt with by our management company (we pay about £1800 pa in service charge).

When my nephews come to stay it works quite well - they aren't kept up by noise with us all being on the same floor and they don't complain too much - possibly because of our proximity to central London.

The one thing that bothers me is that we don't have gas so our heating bills aren't cheap, though they are less than when I was heating a house so I guess it's all swings and roundabouts. I miss my gas stove though. I think this is normal for new build flats.

We won't move from here - it's low maintenance, easy and a great location - and the areas finally on the up. Even if we had children I think we would stay here.

primallass Wed 28-Aug-13 19:21:48

No I would never give up having a garden.

I have lived in flats and all types of houses.
Even now with 3 children I'd be happy with a tiny garden (to hang out washing). We use parks & beach more than garden.

When kids are older we definitely plan to move to the heart of a city. I would be happy in a flat or a terrace even though we have detached house now.

I want to be going out like Spottybra, not staying at home cleaning and gardening.

Also in my experience flats have been much cheaper to run. Gardens are costly to maintain. And flats may have lower council tax. But there might be large unexpected bills to maintain the building - that you have no control over.

Spottybra Wed 28-Aug-13 20:16:40

Thanks for the replies.

The only thing I would miss about a garden is a place to eat breakfast in the sun. A terrace would probably do the job perfectly well.

I do hang my washing out. Would need to consider that.

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Wed 28-Aug-13 20:34:59

Because we're top floor and not overlooked our roof terrace gets sun all day long - perfect for breakfast, lunch, supper and anything in between. We also hang laundry out there. There are plenty of flats out there with housing type amenities smile

labellover Wed 28-Aug-13 21:14:56

Living in a flat needn't mean no outdoor space - lots of newbuilds have terraces or balconies, and older conversions can have gardens.

We don't have outdoor space and that's fine with teenage DCs. A few flats in this block have terraces (which are overlooked by our windows) - they get used very rarely, either due to poor weather or the residents being out most of the time. It doesn't seem worth the extra premium to me. We have a similar lifestyle to the OP and the proximity to tube, cultural/leisure facilities and amenities makes it worthwhile. I am not really a sun worshipper so have never been the type to sit out in the garden on a hot day, but I'd go out to festivals/spend a day in a big park. It would be nice to have somewhere to hang out the laundry (but in this block close to the City, I suspect they wouldn't approve of me doing that anyway).

We have gas heating/cooking and our bills are very low (£40 a month DD for both elec/gas).

jamaisjedors Wed 28-Aug-13 21:30:47

I would, definitely.

We have a big house and a very big garden and it feels like all the upkeep has taken over our lives.

I think DH would struggle without a garden though...

jamaisjedors Wed 28-Aug-13 21:31:36

In fact, when I got back from 3 weeks holiday recently, I actually cried (the shame!) at all the work there was to do, painting windows, the gate, trimming and pruning and weeding etc.

NoComet Wed 28-Aug-13 21:35:34

Never, I lived in a flat when we first got married. Like other posters I found no out door space really freckled me out.

Also you couldn't walk across our kitchen if leaving early without waking down stairs unless you took off your shoes.

No I like a nice detached house, in the country.

GooseRocks Wed 28-Aug-13 22:52:24

Never. Even pre-children I longed for a house in suburbia. Couldn't go back now. Flats are claustrophobic to me.

FromGirders Wed 28-Aug-13 23:00:08

We've been living in flats since ds (now 10) was six months. We've had a garden both times, but not with immediate access.
I'd always rather have the bigger house space a flat cangive. We went to the park a lot when dc were younger, now they don't need supervision, garden ia no longer relevant.
Suburbia is a soulless desert, especially for children.

GooseRocks Wed 28-Aug-13 23:04:45

Soulless desert? You're looking in the wrong places girders.

FromGirders Wed 28-Aug-13 23:06:11

I lived in a "naice" area as a teenager.
Very little to do, or anywhere to go.

FromGirders Wed 28-Aug-13 23:07:26

Horses for courses I guess.
I like your use if the word claustrophobic - that's how I feel about suburbia. Gives me panic attacks.

GooseRocks Wed 28-Aug-13 23:12:06

I'm proper rural these days. Suburbia the stepping stone. You'd really hate it!wink

Kids love it but they're genetically pre-disposed to be country bumpkins...

Some flats do have communal gardens ( with gardener - how ideal!).

WhataSook Thu 29-Aug-13 08:13:48

We rented a flat when we first got to London and it's the only flat I've lived in that didn't have a balcony...and I hated it! I used to look down at the neighbours in their garden when making our bed and wish it were me outside!

We now have a house with a small garden and I love having outside space (small enough that it's very low maintenance!). I am in two minds though about flats, with a lovely biggish balcony and no neighbours above I could see myself living in one. And I'm pretty certain if I hadn't been pregnant with DD we would have bought a flat not a house as I always thought DH and I were 'flat' people smile

flow4 Thu 29-Aug-13 08:31:03

I have two teenaged boys and have just moved out of a house with no garden, where they lived all their lives. My youngest rarely went out at all, and my eldest hung around on street corners and in other public places - and I didn't much like either...

In a house with no garden, it was sometimes like living with caged animals, especially with my eldest. Already, after less than a month in our new house, I notice that if he gets agitated he goes out into the garden, as if walls are simply too much for him... Previously, he'd storm off 'out' or make holes in the walls.

My youngest has already had camping sleepovers - soooo much better than bedroom ones, from both our points of view - more fun, quieter, less intrusive and safer than 'wild' camping...

If you ask me, gardens are brilliant for teenagers!

We live in a Victorian conversion. It's huge. And we have huge communal gardens too (maintained by a gardener) :-)

And we are stones throw from city centre.

I love it.

We plan on having our first baby here and then putting flat on market so we can move to a house.

Only disadvantage to my flat is three flights of stairs. With a pushchair.

I think you can make either a few flat or a house work. Depends what you want and on the actual flat or house.

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 08:41:11

I live in a house in suburbia and we intend to move back into the city where a flat will be all we can afford. My dd is 10 so I want to be closer to decent secondary schools where she can have a bit more independence without long bus journeys. I am really looking forward to living near the metro, friends, shops and restaurants etc. I have to drive everywhere at the mo.

wordfactory Thu 29-Aug-13 08:42:47

We have both [princess emoticon] and spilt our time between the two.

I should say that whilst I love the flat in town with all its access to culture/entertainment/transport, I wouldn't want to do it permenantly, especially with kids. And a dog.

As this Summer has been so georgous, both my teens and their friends have spent an awful lot of time in the garden. It's the best place for all those long uncordinated limbs ! And I love to be able to just step outside, drink my morning cuppa, or my evening glass of wine out there.

ResNullius Thu 29-Aug-13 08:43:26

I really wouldn't even consider it.
Flats always have people above, below ... or both.
Even if you are trying to be quiet, teenagers can sound like a herd of elephants so there is always the potential for noise complaints.

Let alone the potential to have an actual herd of elephants above you, or a bassoon player, in training, below.

Each to his own, but there are a lot of downsides IMO.

<<admits to bias, as made the opposite move - as soon as pfb could toddle>>

No, I'll move to a flat when they've left home, but I wouldn't move to a flat with older children out of consideration for my neighbours. Teens are noisy (musical instruments, loud TVs) and mine have the tread of an elephant. There are always at least three others in the house at any given time - usually meal time! - and I wouldn't inflict ourselves on a downstairs neighbour.

Exhaustipated Thu 29-Aug-13 08:49:30

We currently choose to live in a flat in an amazing city area rather than move to the suburbs. We do have no upstairs neighbours, a balcony and a communal garden. And enormous park opposite! We do have chats about moving to a house, to get more space, but we couldn't get a house in this area on our budget and I don't want to give up this location-its brilliant for us and the kids- museums, cafes, green space etc. There is always somewhere to go without driving.

I am tempted by a big house with a big garden in the burbs sometimes though. . Our kids are little and I am slightly worried about when they get bigger.

Silverfoxballs Thu 29-Aug-13 08:50:19

Joint maintenance can be a pain in the bum. Having regs such as outside of building must be painted evey ten years or the roof leaks and your all chipping in.

I would consider renting a flat but not buying one.

MmeLindor Thu 29-Aug-13 09:10:17

Yes, in fact we are actively planning on doing this.

Perhaps not until they leave high school, as I wouldn't want them to move school to the area where we would like to have a flat.

We lived in Germany for many years, and flats are much more common and 'acceptable' - I find here there is a bit of snobbery about apartment living. 'Can't they afford to buy a house', was a comment we heard about my PILs living in a flat.

It would have to have at least a balcony, if not a terrace. Although our first flat in Germany had a huge living room window where we could sit in the sun. That would be enough for me.

TooMuchRain Thu 29-Aug-13 11:35:37

I would definitely choose a flat in a central location over a house in suburbia - as long as the flat had a terrace/balcony and was on the top floor.

MrsJohnDeere Thu 29-Aug-13 11:51:55

Never, but a garden is one of the most important things abut a house for me.

Sounds like it might be the right choice for you though.

CharlotteBr0nteSaurus Thu 29-Aug-13 11:58:04

if there was room for a tumble drier, then yes I'd happily live in a flat again. I'd miss line drying though <laundry obsessed>. I wouldn't mine losing the garden otherwise - TBH it's just another room to maintain. And most flats would have some sort of outdoor space, whether a balcony or communal garden.

I am a confirmed city dweller though, and would always prioritise a city location over space, within reason.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Aug-13 12:03:59

I live in a large and elegant city apartment in Paris and I think that there are huge advantages - not least, far less maintenance than in a detached house, and having everything on the doorstep. DC can get around on their own with public transport once they are 11 or so.

Gardens are lovely when the sun shines but a nice park is truly irreplaceable for playing with friends.

MortifiedAdams Thu 29-Aug-13 12:06:40

We live in a flat with a toddler and probably will remain here. Mind, it is ground floor with a yard. Brilliant location - 5mins walk to the park, 15mins walk into the city centre. Great transport links.

A house with a garden and a third bedroom (which wpuld be a boxroom), would be in suburbia which wouldnt fit our lifestyle.

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 13:20:06

I get an EA email update everyday as I am searching for the perfect place, near schools, decent terrace, modern fixtures and fittings etc at the right price. There are some lovely places about but usually too pricey. I thought I found a bargain today - big rooms, 2 baths, south facing terrace. But the reason it was so cheap was that it was right near the Brussels ring road, and it was built over a petrol station! Who would live over a petrol station? I'd be terrified of fire/explosion etc

LynetteScavo Thu 29-Aug-13 18:21:41

Bonsoir, I have to disagree about a nice park....where I live the children in our road play in each others gardens. Which means I can stay in my house doing what I like such as surfing the net. It would drive me mad if I had to accompany my DC every time they wanted to play outside. Although I appreciate lots of people who can afford to live in an apartment in Paris can also afford help with their DC.

Of course we don't have great shops/restaurants/museums on our doorstep, and if it were the choice between a house in the suburbs of Paris, or a flat in the center, I would choose a flat in the center.

However, I don't have the choice, because of house prices, and can't afford a flat in a capital city. Thankfully we are only 50 mins from London. I think London is a bit different from Paris, as there are more houses in the center.

I sometimes dream about where I would live if I lived in certain cities in the world, and actually put a lot of thought about whether I would want a view of central park if I lived in NY, or would I rather have a large house i the suburbs. grin

wordfactory Thu 29-Aug-13 18:24:09

We have a lovely park near us in town, but it's not the same.

You can't pop in and out as you feel like it. You can't take your dinner on a plate. And you can't wear your bikini (or I certainly couldn't)...

Bonsoir Thu 29-Aug-13 18:28:24

Lots of bikinis and an awful lot of picnics in our park! Plus jogging for teens and loads if friends for all the family...

wordfactory Thu 29-Aug-13 18:32:39

Bikinis for me are now strictly for a private villa or my garden!!!

I have swapped to a halter neck one piece for any sunbathing involving the general public. It's only fair on them!!!!

BackforGood Thu 29-Aug-13 18:34:35

I wouldn't consider it - especially with teens, but I'd be very hesitant even if I were on my own. It's the noise aspect (both hearing others, and worrying about disturbing others) as well as the lack or your own, private outdoor space.

wordfactory Thu 29-Aug-13 18:37:03

That's it for me. The lack of private outdoor space.

I love a nice walk in the park, and a picnic. But it's all so public. I don't relax in the same way and nor do my kids. In fact when we're in town they don't spend nearly half or even a quarter of their time there that they would in the garden.

For example, they're both in the garden now!

Bonsoir Thu 29-Aug-13 18:38:42

I'm not personally a bikini person but if you are, you can, IYSWIM.

I like the chilled lifestyle in our park. DD's school is in it and the school families hang out there in a big way. Right now everyone is coming back after the summer holidays and it's so great to bump into everyone. More laid back than having to arrange to meet up.

expatinscotland Thu 29-Aug-13 18:40:29

Yes! If it meant the only way to get my older children into a top school, I would.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Aug-13 18:41:19

I'm not personally a bikini person but if you are, you can, IYSWIM.

I like the chilled lifestyle in our park. DD's school is in it and the school families hang out there in a big way. Right now everyone is coming back after the summer holidays and it's so great to bump into everyone. More laid back than having to arrange to meet up.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Aug-13 18:44:03

And there is WiFi in the park...

LynetteScavo Thu 29-Aug-13 18:48:26

WiFi in the park? envy

LynetteScavo Thu 29-Aug-13 18:53:16

I used to live in a lovely large house Victorian town house in the town center, with an incy-wincy garden. (Half of the garden had been taken up by the garage). There was a lovely park in the same road, just a few meters away. We decided to move when I was pregnant with DC2....I found going to the park three times a day a bit much. I always thought house would be perfect for a family with three teenagers.

noisytoys Thu 29-Aug-13 19:03:32

I own a city centre flat it is great. And the joint maintenance costs are ideal. We have just had a bill for £370 for re rendering, painting, new masonry and door number signs and a new front door. There is no way we could afford that if we owned a house and had to pay the whole price.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Aug-13 19:10:34

Personally I like living in a city with teens. They can go out and about on their own and there is loads for them to do. DSS2 has just landed at the airport and making his way home on his own while DD and I are having a quick burger on a terrace...

Spottybra Thu 29-Aug-13 19:52:57

Definitely leaning towards the flat when they are older after your comments. I imagined one with a terrace or balcony overlooking a park.

Will have to remember the downside about upstairs and downstairs and ask about soundproofing.

reelingintheyears Thu 29-Aug-13 22:03:41

Give me a garden any day, you just can't shag Al Fresco in the park, well you can but it's not advisable.

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:05:53

No private outside space is definitely the thing. I can cope without a garden but need a decent balcony. They do this on the continent though generally especially the newer builds. In Brussels, apartment living is the norm for most apart from the most well off. I have to trade my small garden for a shorter commute, better access to schools, facilities etc. Dh is less convinced than me.

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:07:38

Outdoor shagging Reeling? You will be dogging next! <<tuts>>

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:09:37

You might bump into Bonsoir in the park?

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 29-Aug-13 22:14:46

Shagging? shock

BOF Thu 29-Aug-13 22:18:46

I've done the elegant apartment in the capital thing- and I mean actually right in the city, not some godforsaken outlying area overlooking the ringroad, Portofino, and I would still choose to live in a bigger house without traffic noise but close to lots of amenities and transport links. The population is less transient, and there's more of a community feel. You can still live near theatres, independent cinemas and beautiful countryside (and the beach!) if you are prepared not to fetishise the prestige of a capital city. I know quite a few people who like to brag about living in the big city, when what they really mean is that they are in the arse-end of nowhere but they just about qualify for a city postcode. The reality is that lots of those places are ugly and the roads are practically gridlocked.

reelingintheyears Thu 29-Aug-13 22:21:50

Dogging in The Purbecks every year Porto, you jealous? smile

TBH, i'm getting a bit long in the tooth for all that sex malarkey grin

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 22:30:29

Dogging in the Purbecks? Where are the Purbecks? Are they within the peripherique?

Portofino Thu 29-Aug-13 23:23:41

Spotty, I have lived in new builds for the last 7 years. No issue with noise. I thanked The Lord for that at one point when dd decided to make it sound like she was being murdered every hair wash.

solarbright Thu 29-Aug-13 23:54:56

With a good park on the doorstep... I'd move to a nice flat in the city in a minute.

kiwik Fri 30-Aug-13 00:29:37

I live in a city suburb (five minutes on the bus to CBD), and am fortunate enough to have a pretty reasonable size garden.
We lived in an apartment pre-DCs when we first moved here, with access to a roof terrace (shared by whole block), which I loved.
If we didn't have the DCs and the dog I'd love to live in a smaller space - so much easier to maintain and keep clean.

We spent two years in NYC where we lived in a tiny apartment with absolutely no outside space, and window unit aircon. I felt really confined and was constantly going out to avoid being at home.

BackforGood Fri 30-Aug-13 00:42:37

Bonsoir said :
Personally I like living in a city with teens. They can go out and about on their own and there is loads for them to do.

I absolutely agree with you there Bonsoir, but I don't see living in a house with a garden, and living in a City as being mutually exclusive. I live in a big City, with all you could want close at hand, and have a garden.

GoshAnneGorilla Fri 30-Aug-13 00:42:45

Considering we are a small and densely populated island I find it baffling that flats aren't more popular.

I would consider it, as long as I had a nice balcony, or ideally a roof terrace. I wouldn't be into a communal garden.

BOF Fri 30-Aug-13 00:50:20

I spend a lot more time in my lovely local park round the corner than my tiny garden, but it's nice to have the option. I think you really miss private outdoor space when you don't have it.

Bonsoir Fri 30-Aug-13 07:07:23

BackForGood - where I live there are very few houses with gardens and you wouldn't get anything for under €15 million (and even then the garden would be dreadfully overlooked). That's why, for most people, it is incompatible.

fanjobiscuits Fri 30-Aug-13 07:11:43

I would go for a garden flat, flat with access to a shared garden, or somewhere right near a common

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 30-Aug-13 07:14:51

Depends on the flat. I wouldn't live in a large block (unless it was one of those mansion blocks in SW6...), but we live in a ground floor flat that is the bottom half of a large Victorian house, so we have very high ceilings and direct access to a private garden that's as big as any of the houses on the street. Neighbours above us and to one side - not really any different to being in a terrace. We plan on living here pretty much for ever - we couldn't afford to buy similar sized house on this road.

I live in a counicl flat with my dp and my dd(15) we only have 2 neighbours one on each side we live above shops that close at 5 pm we have a large balacony that has room for a picinc table and room to place a double blow bed thing that dd used to sunbathe we have room to hang washing up

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 30-Aug-13 07:25:40

flat. Have friends in this block.

house

Both v close to where I live. They're about the same size, but the flat feels a lot more spacious, looking at the photos.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 30-Aug-13 07:26:39

And house only has tiny outside space.

BobbyGentry Fri 30-Aug-13 09:02:17

I lived in a guarded gated community, with communal landscaped gardens, in a first floor flat with small garden - no complaints, high quality living in the city and safe. Flats are lease hold and not freehold which is the only big downside.

hyperspacebug Fri 30-Aug-13 11:06:59

We moved to a flat in the city in Manchester when I was a teenager and I loved the city and being near everything so much. And it was a busy popular suburb (so not just some soulless nondescript full of 1930 houses) we moved away from! We were car-free household and always were though so I guess benefits of city living was glaring to us.

My husband and his brother never really hung out in garden (both were nerdy boys who just didn't do football or something) when they grew up and it took me ages to convince him that we needed a house with garden for two young boys to run around in.

I guess it depends on your children's personalities obviously! Which city are you talking about if not secret?

BackforGood Fri 30-Aug-13 11:11:55

Yes, but Bonsoir, you live in France. 'Apartment' living is more typical there I understand. Here in the UK, (where I'm presuming the OP is, as most posters who aren't, say so) that is not the case.

Bonsoir Fri 30-Aug-13 11:21:01

We have a flat in a mansion block in West London and it's very nice too! And in a great location for all sorts of well-known schools.

hyperspacebug Fri 30-Aug-13 11:23:14

Even in UK - at least in London and Manchester city centre, houses with garden are unlikely (if Zone 1-2 London, you'd have to be really loaded to have any private garden). And in Manchester you'd have to go through belt of rough areas before you get anywhere that can be called a nice suburb. Birmingham has nice semi-urban options though. No idea bout other cities. Again, depends which city it is!

MinimalistMommi Fri 30-Aug-13 13:09:44

Can't you downsize to a smaller house with a courtyard garden, somewhere to dry your washing, sit outside? I couldn't live in a flat. I'm in a terrace of cottages now and you can sometimes hears thing from neighbours even though the walls aren't paper thin so to have noise from potentially above and below as well isn't something I would be comfortable with.

MinimalistMommi Fri 30-Aug-13 13:14:43

We downsized from large house in suburbs to small cottage in city centre location two minutes from large park and river and it's great for the children. We have a tiny courtyard.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 30-Aug-13 15:20:04

There's a big difference between having a garden that is big enough to sit outside in and dry the washing, and one that is big enough for the kids to play cricket and football in. Lots of places in Zones 1 and 2 have the former sort of garden; round here (Zone 3) even paying a couple of million ££s doesn't necessarily get the second type of garden.

MinimalistMommi Fri 30-Aug-13 17:36:12

That's shocking families

noddyholder Fri 30-Aug-13 17:54:06

We have but we have a roof terrace

nomorecrumbs Fri 30-Aug-13 17:58:37

The answer to London houses/flats without gardens is always "but you can go to lovely X Park!" but who would want to substitute dog crap, needles, rubbish, and random annoying people for the privacy of your own outdoor space?

The house I grew up in had no garden. I have vivid memories of trying to get some sun by hanging out on the window ledge and sitting on the front doorstep, but the latter was really awkward because of all the passers-by (it was a main road) sad I definitely am trying to persuade DP of the necessity of having a garden to call your own.

LynetteScavo Fri 30-Aug-13 18:32:55

I've just remembered the house I grew up in had no proper garden. No grass, anyway. As a teenager I really wanted to sunbathe, but couldn't easily. (Again we lived a few meters from a large, green park, but it's not the same). I was jealous of people who could play in sprinklers in their garden.

My first house was much smaller than the one I grew up in, but had a small garden with a lawn. I felt like I was giving my DC a better childhood than I had, because I was providing a garden.

We now have a large garden. It's a bugger to maintain, as I'm always fighting brambles. You need a damn big garden for cricket though. And golf, so DS2 recently discovered.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 30-Aug-13 21:47:59

MinamalistMommi I comfort myself by thinking that at least it isn't a recent trend for small gardens, as with most new builds: most of the houses here have their original gardens, and they just aren't that big, land being at a premium in London 130 years ago as today.

LolaCrayola Sun 01-Sep-13 04:09:20

Reelingintheyears, how dull, surely you want more excitement than your own garden in suburbia. Yawn.
We will definately do this when the kids are older OP, I think having things for teens/young adults to do is far more important.

LolaCrayola Sun 01-Sep-13 04:16:26

Nomorecrumbs, which parks in London have dogshit, needles and rubbish? Have you never left your suburban enclave?

goodasitgets Sun 01-Sep-13 04:41:44

I have an apartment in a small block (4 of us)
Ground floor, private garden and its a new build. The patio doors open onto the garden. It's not huge but plenty of sunbathing room and room for a tableland friends
I never hear upstairs, it's well soundproofed. Occasionally I hear the pipes when they drain the bath but that's it

RCheshire Sun 01-Sep-13 10:44:24

Would depend on the house and the flat. Detached spacious house with good public travel links into town/city vs cramped apt with four adjoining neighbours and a teenager with a drum kit = house. Cramped mid terrace with no public transport links or local stuff for teenagers vs spacious apt with one adjoining neighbour = flat...

Fwiw other things being equal my ideal is probably city centre when children <2; countryside between 2 and 11ish, suburbia from then to 14; town/city after that.

Not a very realistic series of homes for most though!

Bonsoir Mon 02-Sep-13 07:29:06

My local park is maintained to standards to which I could never dream of maintaining my own garden.

I always lived in houses with large gardens when growing up. I rarely went in the garden beyond my early childhood. You can't do much in most private gardens - there is so much more space for playing in a public park.

cestlavielife Mon 02-Sep-13 23:41:33

Flat with garden or patio in central location . they do exist.
Love mine (sadly it s not mine tho and to buy I will end up with some place prob a flat but outside space for a table chairs and BBQ is a must )

redandblacks Tue 03-Sep-13 15:01:01

It depends on how uptight and self-conscious you are. I could never lie down and truly relax in a London Park even though many people do. I occasionally nod off in my back garden and (other than neighbours) would not really want to be seen like that in public.

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