It's like buses - 2 came along at once. WWYD?(63 Posts)
House hunting is going better. But this week has put the cat amongst the pigeons.
House 1. Newish build (5-10 years). Detached. On an estate. Large rooms, flows very well. 3 good doubles and a single. Large kitchen diner. Downstairs loo. Small walled garden. On the edge of town, DD could walk to primary and secondary (half mile or so). Great house but no character£200k.
House 2. 1930s Semi. In a village 3 miles from town. Smaller rooms but again flows well, separate dining room and a conservatory. 3 small doubles. No downstairs loo. Larger very private garden. Village has a pub and a primary school just in walking distance, there is a school bus for secondary. Lots of green fields and potential to expand for utility/loo. Bags of character and quirks. £240k
We saw house 1 first and it blew all the others out of the water - until we got to house 2. Now we just don't know what we want. DH thinks house 2 could be the 'forever' home, so is worth the extra. I agree that I can't see myself on a new build estate in my 60's, but loved the space in house 1, and the price is excellent.
We can afford house 2, but I'm not convinced its worth 40k more than house 1. Maybe 20? Or I'm possibly just a miser!
It really is a location vs house dilemma. WWYD?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
House no2 - sounds like you will actually love it, not just think it was a sensible purchase. £40k is only 20% more - is it 20% more in your heart? Obv it needs to be a wise buy, but I've lived in houses I don't like and houses I love. Only the latter for me from now on.
Bunny, that's definately it. House 1 is the 'head' purchase, it's got loads going for it and it is the sensible buy. House 2 is the 'heart' purchase, it's less house for more money, but it's a lovely house.
I worry about DD too - would house 2 be too isolated for her as she grows up? Will she moan about being 'in the sticks' when she is a teen (although the village has lots of family homes, so I would expect lots of kids around).
Is there a bus service from the village to the town, and not a once a week one!
We live in a village 5 miles from the city and as dd1 was a teenager, we have been a bit of a taxi service but having a decent bus service means she could get back and forth by herself.
I'd go for house 2 because I hate new builds, our house is 300 years old and we love it.
I think so MrsPnut. There is a bus stop almost right outside the gate, but I'd have to check the timings. I don't really know the area at all - we've pretty much stuck a pin in a map and come up with Stourport!
I didn't/don't like new builds either, but this one blew me away. Haven't seen that much space in one before. It is very well done.
There are benefits to both
New Build - simple structure so less goes wrong, decently proportioned bedrooms, priced well
Old House - beauty and style, land, interesting style
However I am now priced out of selling up anytime in the future and the only thing that makes it ok is that I adore (utterly and completely), my flat. I will make the sacrifice on a third bedroom or a bit of grass because it is the style and location I always wanted. If this flat never increases value, fine. I will see out my days here.
If I were in a house I didnt love, Id be climbibg the walls now and freakibg out at possibly never being able to sell
Hmm, my gut feeling was house 1. I like character too, and had you said the house which was 40k more was a beautiful old house which could be made stunning I'd say go for that, but to my mind a 1930's semi doesn't have THAT much over a new build, although it is slighter nicer. But 40k more? And it sounds a lot smaller. Space is important, especially with growing children.
I guess in the end it comes down to location, but my advice is not to write off living on a estate. I was a bit snobby about it, but we now live on a estate and you know what? I really like it. The roads are quiet and it's easy to walk around - I'll be able to let the kids walk around on their own when they're older. And there are lots of families, meaning there are loads of others children for mine to play with, which I think is lovely. Of course, the village you're looking at could be just like that too!
There are benefits to both and therein lies my problem .
If they were the same price, house 2 every time - we'd have the cash to expand and make more space. It really would be the perfect house.
Sorry, posted too soon. The town location would be a pro for me too - I grew up in a village a few miles outside the main town, caught a bus to school etc, and I hated it as a teen. The buses were hourly at best, and often i would have to catch two to get to friends' houses. It was a total pain. That said, my parents were extremely unwilling to give lifts, which you may feel differently about!
Can I chip in and point out that house 2 is semi-detached. You will therefore have neighbours through the wall - and these neighbours will change every time they sell up.
We lived in a semi and loved our old neighbours, but then the new neighbours who moved in not so much; to the extent we felt forced into moving.
While it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me being semi-detached, noise really can wreck your life.
How about making a cheeky offer on house 2? If they reject it and you as time wasters you have a backup plan but if you can get it for closer to 200k would that make your mins up?
Fruit, it's part of what worries me. It may be the perfect location for us, but what about DD (although I don't think 3 miles is too bad). I'd be the one doing all the lifts. Right now I don't think I'd mind, but in the future...
Doris, we are in a semi now and have very inconsiderate neighbours. We hear every bloody arguement - and they have a lot. But with it being a 30s house I'd hope the walls were thicker. Nightmare if not.
The other thing is would say is, you think you would want to extend to make house 2 perfect for you. Fair enough, but I would factor the cost of the extension in to the cost of the house - extensions cost ££££ these days, and you might find, with the high asking price, it just doesn't seem worth it in the end.
Do you absolutely love the location of house 2? Because from what you've said, you would need to considering the higher price and smaller space.
We live in a village about 3 miles from the nearest town, and I find it a PITA to have to drive everywhere. It didn't feel like that when we first moved here, but after a few years...
For the extra £40k, you could spend quite a lot on House 1 to make it look and feel more the way you would like it.
As for "forever" homes... well, this was meant to be our "forever" home but we are hoping to move next year (after almost a decade). Things change and maybe priorities change and so it no longer suits our needs. I think it is more sensible to think in terms of what would be best for the next 10-15 years.
What are the schools like near the two houses? We didn't really consider schools when we moved home (primary or secondary) and that turned out to be a big mistake, for various reasons.
Thats another issue Fruit. The first house needs nothing doing to it. No, it doesn't have any character but it does have a lovely big kitchen/diner, a downstairs loo and I would turn the single bedroom into a 'laundry'. It has all the rooms I need and the space I crave. The garden is crap though and all I would see when I look out the window is other houses.
The second house doesn't have a utility or downstairs loo. For me space for a drier and a loo is very important. I can cope with smaller bedrooms, but the practical issues, not so much. If we bought it then I would want to extend at the side to be able to fit in a utility room and downstairs loo. So we'd be paying £40K more and spending another ?£20K to make it 'fit'. However the house 'feels' right, I can a woodburner or open fire and when I look outside I see open spaces and asparagus fields.
I think (because I am actually finding this quite hard) that if the price of house 2 was lower, say £220K then I would find it easier to justify, because we could make it right but not go over our (self imposed) price limit of £240K. It's going over that limit for the sake of 'character' that I am having a hard time with.
Is it a money issue? I mean, would a house which was big enough, had character, and was in the town cost too much? I know the answer is almost certainly yes, but if not then waiting for the right house would probably be the best bet.
If money is the problem (when is it not?!) then I think go with your gut feeling, but put in a really low offer on 2 if you go for it - maybe start with 210k with a view to settling at 220 -230k. That's 12% off asking to start with, which is low but not offensively so.
Btw, that's what I would do because it would really bug me if I paid too much, it's entirely possible you're not as tight fisted as me!
House 1 will be way better for kids growing up. Otherwise you'll be a taxi service. I don't get the 'forever home' thing when you're still fairly young. Why do you want a house you can be 60 in? Don't you think you'll ever fancy a change again? House 1 sounds way more practical, better value, and although you say it's a head/heart thing, from your initial description it sounded like you liked House 1 a lot too.
What are the schools like near the two houses
House 1 has an outstanding but very large Primary about half a mile away. The Secondary is across the road from the Primary and is also currently outstanding and has a very good rep.
House 2 has a good Cof E school in the village that is just over half a mile from the house. It is smaller and seems friendly. There is a high proportion of Roma, but that doesn't bother me. The secondary is the same one as house 1, but it is a school bus journey away. The school bus goes from a stop about 100 yds from the house.
Fruit, we made an offer on a different house that was in the town and had character and space. We went 5% under and that was really stretching us. The vendor wouldn't even consider it, said it was asking price or nothing. She has since withdrawn the house from sale and told the EA she is putting it back on in the summer at a higher price. I'm worried that the market is picking back up, so offers under wont be accepted.
Pink, being a military family the truth is that we are just fed up of moving. We are in our 40s now and have moved every two years for the last 24! DD is 8 and has lived in 4 houses, in 3 countries and has been to 2 schools. We really, really want to settle and the dream was always a 'forever' home. If we buy the first home I would expect us to move again once DD is grown. If we buy they second home I doubt we would.
Are the living rooms on the connecting walls? My 20's semi is wonderful because the rooms we use most (kitchen, sitting room, our room, DS's room) are not attached - and it is rooms that we use less that are attached.
I would go for house 1. We have just bought based on the secondary we want our kids to go to. We have chosen one they can walk to. It makes life a lot easier and their friends will all be close by. Plus it is a 20 min bus journey to the main town centre which is being rebuilt soon.
We didn't get our 'ideal' house but we got the space we needed in the right location. Everything else can be changed over the years with decorating, extensions, conversions etc.
The garden thing is a bugger (we are not overlooked and can't see other houses due to large trees). Is there any scope to plant large trees to make the garden more secluded?
Are the living rooms on the connecting walls
Yes they are mistle, and so would our bedroom be. DD's and the spare aren't.
Is there any scope to plant large trees to make the garden more secluded?
Not really, no AngryFeet. It's very small and you couldn't really do anything to it. Even our petrol mower would be overkill! It's overlooked by 2 houses. It is walled which is a nice touch, but tbh I can't see myself spending any time in it. The house is large in direct sacrifice to the garden I think - we saw other houses on the same estate with slightly bigger gardens, but the houses were much smaller.
God, this is so hard.
I would go for 2 but be prepared to do a lot of taxi-ing late at night, or pay for taxis. 3 miles isn't much - I lived 15 miles away from my high school and where my friends lived, which was a pain but also ended up giving me lots of freedom as a teen.
I have a tiny garden and it is rubbish.
After what you've said about schools, I think 1 sounds miles better. And the layout sounds more suitable for a growing family - I couldn't do without my kitchen diner, a separate dining room would be a complete pain.
I think I would go for house 1 because I think it is difficult to go for a forever home when you are considering schools and teens. I would also be very wary of a 1930s semi, they don't have such thick walls as an old cottage and it would really depend if you got on with your neighbours. Also unless they come down 20,000 or less on house 2, then 40,000 more is quite a lot.
The thing is with house number 2 it isn't just the extra cost to buy it but also how much it will cost you to get it to how you want it.
I live in a newish build house, it has 4 double bedrooms, utility and downstairs toilet. It is also detached. And it is our forever home hopefully.
We have recently extended the kitchen because it was weirdly out of proportion with the rest of the house, for a measly 2.5m wide x 3m long single storey extension the build part cost £11.5k.
Then I added a £9k kitchen into it (total new kitchen length is 6m) the electrician & kitchen fitter added another £3k. But we were well aware of this before we bought the house and I had costed it up.
I now have to drive the children to their outstanding primary, (we used to walk) so my petrol costs have gone right up but we live right near to an outstanding secondary which ds1 should attend next year and he can walk to it. Ds should follow on a few years later. As it stands Ds1 is far from his mates but when he goes to secondary there will be children around here that attend the same school.
The head and heart thing is always difficult, but make a list of what you would need to change to house number 2 and cost it up. Plus to cost of taxi/bus to mate's houses.
Ohhh, thats more expensive than I thought for a small extension. Although the dry lining / plastering DH could do.
I think we need to go back up and spend some proper time there. Actually do the walks to schools etc. Go in the village pub and see if its friendly. Check out the parks for other kids and so on.
I can't really see any other way to do it. They both have so many plusses and minuses.
I think the plastering part cost me about £700 for lining new extension, ceiling with insulated plasterboard (who knew you could get that) and then skim coating the entire kitchen. So not that much in the grand scheme of things.
Build costs range from £1000 - £1750 pmsq. Mine was about £1500, we had tricky foundations that required an extra 9 tonne of hardcore!
We are in a 14 year old house due to location to motorway networks and train stations. My sister has a beautiful 1950's semi with bay windows and although I love it, I love my newish build for room sizes, parking, cheapness of heating it, en-suite, utility etc etc
Thanks BeCool, we are still no further forward. Have told both estate agents the quandary so that the home owners know we are considering and not messing them about. I can't see us getting back up there before Xmas now, so I think a weekend visit in the NY is in order.
I'd go for 2. Hands down.
If you both feel it could be your forever home think about the moving costs you'd save. Tax, agents fees, removals etc etc. Perhaps not 40k's worth but still a sizeable chunk.
If you feel you'll be there a good while, you can take your time doing it the way you like it.
You don't sound like you are 40k convinced house 2 is worth it! Nor am I tbh as I think you would want to extend and it's already more expensive. Also the ease of teenage social life is not to be sniffed at
I would go for house 1, simply because it gives your kids more freedom to do teenagery things as they get older. It's a great bet for your whole family right now. Your priorities and ideas about what you want to do once the kids leave home may look completely different in 10 years' time.
I think the freedom perceeved for dd as she gets older is over-rated, even in a town/estate you will still want to give lifts, for safety reasons. UNless the village is tiny, there will be friends there for them, Even in new builds there is no guarantee that they will make local friends.
Go for house two every time. I hate looking at walls and half the year you can be in the garden = we spent a day with dcs and dgcs in the garden last week.
If there is potential to extend you will have a wonderful house.
Is the price fixed or is there room to negotiate?
Noddy, I'm not! Maybe 20k more for the bigger garden and village location, but for me even those are cancelled out by the fact it is a semi with 3 beds rather than a detached with 4.
Struggling, yes if we buy first house we will undoubtedly move again in 10 years, if we buy house 2 we probably won't.
CJel the village is quite big with 2 HA/affordable estates being built currently, so wi be getting bigger. 2 pubs/restaurants, a post office and a castle!
The first house is in walking distance of town shops/schools and is less than 3 miles from a big retail park.
Ohhh but, we love our gardens. In all our homes we have been blessed with bigger ones and DH has always spent
too much money on doing 'stuff' - From DDs playhouse and tree den, to the worlds biggest BBQ and the free range rabbit pad. We couldn't have any of that in the first house.
We definately have to go up again. We've discovered that there is a travelodge just outside the village so we will go for the weekend and spend some 'proper' time in the areas around both houses.
I have been busy though, found out that both primary's have space for DD, what the council tax and water rates are and (more worryingly) that both areas have had recent 'violent and/or sexual assaults' in the postcodes (wish I hadn't looked)
Youmwillmchange in 10 years though. I always go for period but in your case wouldn't. we have only 1 dc and he is at uni now and our priorities while still v much inc him have changed
House 1. Sure you won't regret it. If nothing else,school buses can be a bit of a nightmare, I remember them well! And when you ARE in your sixties,you will be very glad you live in a detached!
still voting for house 2!!! I think unless you live next door to schools there is always travel, and living next to a school doesn't mean you don't travel to other things and who's to say dd will make friends with another girl who lives right near you?, And as for being 60 and in detached, if H loves his garden so much I don't think you will last 2 years in estate house and when you are 60 you will definitely want garden (I'm 54 and love mine)!!
Just thought of something else as well!! Having got to this great age I realise how short schooldays actually are, My grandaughter is now at the same senior school me and her mum and dad went to, I would never buy a house because of the school closeness, within 5 years you won't need it any more and then living by it will drive you mad!!
I am so tempted to ignore these two and look for another one!
Well, not really, I've actually been looking at ways in which we could 'cope' in the village house with less space indoors etc....and I think I am slowly realising that I could cope with less space indoors more than less space outdoors. So maybe I am edging towards the second house.
How did you find out about the violent/sexual assaults?
I think House 1 sounds better, personally. Except the garden. The way you write about House 1 sounds to me like you prefer it, but your DH prefers House 2.
Dilemma! Poor thing. Indecision is REALLY exhausting, I bet you feel drained.
If you are seriously thinking no 2 is affordable at that price and you even have enough to extend then have you been looking at other houses with that budget? These 2 houses are not in the same budget imo. I think I'd carry on looking.
Otherwise house 1 edges it for me for the detached aspect and the ability to walk to schools, shops etc.
Detached vs semi? Oh god, no question. Detached house every time.
Anuvvamuvva, If you go to www.police.co.uk you can put in your postcode and it brings up stats for that area. It wasn't great reading tbh.
If I could have house 1 with the garden of house 2 it would be my dream home and I'd never leave it!
Nemno, we have a self imposed budget of £240K but could go over if needed - but it would have to be a very good reason. We want to spend as little as possible. We are moving to a completely new area without any family or jobs etc. the less we spend the better, but £240k is do-able within our pensions.
I'm not actually sure if there are shops in walking distance from the new build. Can't remember.
With the detached aspect, it's weird but the semi actually feels more private than the detached.
We are no further forward. I have arranged to see both houses again in the NY and take DD with us this time. Meanwhile I am still surfing Rightmove in case there is anything else out there
"we are in a semi now and have very inconsiderate neighbours. We hear every bloody arguement - and they have a lot. But with it being a 30s house I'd hope the walls were thicker. Nightmare if not."
Our last house in the UK was a 1930's semi. The noisy, inconsiderate, loud-mouthed neighbours were the reason I vowed to never live in an attached property again if I had any choice in the matter...so I wouldn't count on the walls being all that soundproof!
Why are you moving to this area if you don't know it, have no friends or family there? How did you select the area? Why not rent for 6 months to see how it feels....would be a good investment of money as moving is sooo expensive. There is no way that house prices are going to rocket. How big are the HA estates being built...do you think that they will urbanise or change the character of the village?
I would go for what YOU want long term. I don't think that you would have any quality of life if you didn't have a a good enough garden - would be like living in a big flat. Sounds like you OH loves the outdoors.
Avoiding being a taxi driver for teens is a red herring - EVERYONE drops and collects their teens all the time (rota with other parents)....so would go for somewhere even more remote if this is what you want long term and would work out cheaper ie getting more for your money.
Why do you need 4 beds with only one child?
This is tricky but as someone who bought house with potential in quiet village near lovely walk etc with no bus service and no schools in walking distance I would say house no 1. I regret deeply our decision to move here. All except DH hates it. Have to drive everywhere, kids need lifts to see friends or after school clubs. Total bloody nightmare. I whinge every day and would love it if we could afford to move.
Truly, the impact on your life of having to give lifts everywhere is major. I had to reduce my hours when working cos of lack of bus service for kids, eg for revision sessions
If buying a semi -- go for "halls a-joining" to reduce noise...
I think No. 1 but from your posts I can see that you really want to go for No.2, so I'd say go for No.2!!
I would go for house 1. We chose our house based on what we thought our children would like when they are teenagers. Big, close to town, excellent public transport nearby. It just so happened to be close to the sea which makes me happy too.
When I was a teenager my best friend spent every weekend staying over at my house. She stayed in a village a few miles from town whereas my parents' house was a 25 minute walk from the town centre.
That is us though.
Hello Kitttty (that felt strange!). We are moving to Stourport because we have to live somewhere, and don't really have huge ties anywhere. All we really want is to be within a good distance of major travel routes (in our case the M5) be able to get to our caravan within a couple of hours, and be able to get to parents/home towns using major routes. Worcester was the starting point up as far as Shrewsbury and the Bewdley/Stourport area looked to tick all the boxes.
We don't need 4 beds, we need 3 doubles - us, DD and DSD/visitors. It just happened that house 1 had a 4th single - that I would turn into a Laundry Room in lieu of a utility room (actually quite excited about being able to do that - how sad am I? )
Yama/overthehill, that's my head/heart issue. Head says House 1 is better for DD and the future teen years, Heart says "but aww, House 2 is so pretty". I'm a taxi service now and she's only 8 - it's gonna get worse...
I am still veering towards House 1 for the ease of more central living, but if it turns out that the village has a good bus service then I'll be happier. It is only 3 miles from town, so not really isolated.
From what I gather there are 32 HA houses being built in the village so not many. Hopefully that will mean lots of kids for DD to play with!
We have found out that there is another house in the village that would be suitable for us, it's not as 'pretty' but it has got a great kitchen, even bigger garden and large lounge. It's 10k cheaper than House 2, so whilst we are not that interested in it, we may be able to use that as a tool to bring down House 2's price if we decide to go that way.
Personally, I think the taxi service duties get much worse from yr 7
I'd honestly go for number 1. I've moved this year & faced similar dilemmas.
We went for the most convenient for schools and couldn't be more pleased with out choice.
I love a bit of character in a house but hate village living. Dsis lives back in home village and can't drive, all fine till they cut the bus service. I live in a Semi with lovely retired neighbours who don't make a sound but I know we are lucky. I think if people can a detached house will always be a winner. We are currently looking to move to a detached.
I'd try and find out more about the family ratio in the house 2 area perhaps? When we've bought houses I've approached friendly looking people, ideally with one of the DC in tow so I don't look scary! And asked them about how many children are in the area. We live in a village and the kids have all really bonded on the school bus, more so perhaps than if they lived in a larger area. They all look out for each other and parents share car journeys/school runs/trips to birthday parties etc. It is do-able..
I'm resurrecting my old thread!
Well in the end, the choice between House 1 and House 2 became academic. We got an email from the catchment school of house 1 that told us there wouldn't be a place at the school for DD, no matter what. Checked the next 3 closest schools - and they were full (and over-bearing) too.
So if we don't move to the village, then we have to look somewhere else entirely.
We went back to the village this weekend. It is lovely. The school is within walking distance of the furthest away houses (although DD moaned continuously about the walk back uphill). The pub was very friendly - DH talks to anyone about anything and was happily chatting to locals. It's a great area for dog walking and is commutable, easily, to 3 major towns.
However. We saw a different house! One I mentioned upthread and unless DH drops a bombshell today, then I'll be offering on it on Monday.
I still love House 2, but the new house has the scope to put our 'stamp' on it whereas House 2 doesn't without extending. Just got to think about an offer now (and finally Eve gets to the point of the post)
House is on at 230K. I would pay that, DH wouldn't. I think it needs maybe 5K spending on it to make it 'mine'. Mostly cosmetic, but it all adds up (new front door, woodburner, skimming ceilings, opening up the fireplace, shower installing, new carpets throughout). I think it's all easily do-able.
DH says 220K shit or bust.
One of my problems with that is I know that the owner paid 221K in 2007 and I know that she had put in new kitchen (bloody fab - I have another thread!) bathroom, shower room for starters. I don't want to offer less than she paid for it - it just feels wrong.
What do people think? Am I just being a wuss because I really liked the owner (and I did - I actually wish she wasn't moving out of the village!) DH thinks I am.
Which house us is the AGA in? go for that one.
Hahaha! Mateysmum, it's the Aga house that I am wanting to buy now - and that isn't House 1 or 2 (but is in the same village as House 2). Just got to argue price with DH now.
I think start at £215k and aim to get around the £220k mark, but if the owner isn't prepared to sell it at that, you'll need to think about what it's worth to you to pay. You should get a feel for what they are looking for after your first offer. Has your DH said why £220k is "shit or bust" ? Sometimes it's not worth quibbling for if it's the house you really want.
I would pay the asking price Olivia, so would be happy to start at 220 and reach asking price if necessary.
DH is a funny bugger. He has to 'win'. If the house was marketed at 250 and he got it for 230 or even 240 he'd be happy, but because it's marketed at 230 he just wont pay it. He drives me mad.
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