What things have been deal breakers on a house that you liked?

(52 Posts)
CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 13:21:01

I have just had a second viewing on a house and DH saw it for the first time.

We liked it. However, we are hoping for a bigger garden, this one was small and all completely decked. DS immediately said it was too small (and he is used to our postage stamp of a 'garden' that we have now). Also in the main bedroom, there is no room for any wardrobes or drawers. They have big built in wardrobes in the third bedroom, which would be DDs room. I don't really want to have to go in and out of her room forever to get our stuff.

Its a shame as there was loads of storage, it was in a nice quiet street and had amazing views. However I think these 2 things matter quite a bit and it would annoy me if we took a chance and lived there.

What things have been deal breakers on an otherwise nice house?

I am seeing what looks like a nice 4 bed one this week, however, the area doesn't have a great reputation. We already live in this area but we are right on the edge and on a quiet street. The house I am going to look at is more in the middle. The one I saw today was in the same area (D at a good school here) but again it was on the edge.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Mar-14 13:30:06

Bad area, no off-street parking, galley kitchen, only one bathroom, no room for storage.

NormHonal Sat 15-Mar-14 13:35:57

We didn't buy one gorgeous house because it was on a busy main road.

We didn't buy another one we really liked because of lack of parking.

We bought our current place in spite of a small bedroom/ lack of storage, because we plan to extend and fix this longer-term.

A garden we didn't like would have been a deal-breaker for us.

CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 13:39:39

After living in flats for years then a tiny 2 bedroom house, we are finally in a position to buy a niceish 3 bedroom house. A garden has to be a priority. DS in particular seems to love playing outside, he always wants to go in my nans back garden. Although part of me wonders if its because of the novelty factor. He does seem to like going outside in our tiny one so it makes me think not.

patchesmcp Sat 15-Mar-14 13:40:52

We've just had an offer accepted on what will hopefully be our family home for a long time. For us, the must haves were:

Location - we wanted a particular estate because of the schools. We them started to get picky about the location, within that location iyswim, so we ideally wanted something central, although we would have compromised on that for the perfect house.
4 bedrooms and an office for DH who works from home
Garden - we currently have a postage stamp garden which is north facing so with 2 DC this was important. Garden of the house is north east facing but it's big so it shouldn't be a problem. Plus with 2 kids I want shade in the garden

The nice to haves for us were:

An ensuite
A kitchen diner and a dining room (had to have one or the other but having both was a big plus)
A playroom
A utility room

We've actually ended up with a house which meets all our needs. It does need decorating to make it to our taste and the bathroom and kitchen will need overhauling in time but there is nothing wrong with them. Price wise we spent about £40k above what I wanted to spend but hopefully it'll be worth it.

I should add a drive and garage for me would be a must have but all the properties where we were looking had these, so it wasn't an issue.

Good luck and enjoy house hunting!

LondonGirl83 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:42:55

For us the house had to have potential to extend, be in the catchment of good schools, close to transport, close to the local park, close to the high street and local market. We were also only looking at Victorian houses though our area is mostly Victorian but it had to have high ceilings throughout for my very tall husband. Size of garden wasn't that important to us because of the park but that's very personal. Are you sure you couldn't get some storage in your bedroom and store seasonal closing? Could you possibly take the room you are thinking of putting DD in? No in room storage would have been a deal breaker.

wonkylegs Sat 15-Mar-14 13:43:00

We didn't buy a seriously gorgeous house because of the culminating effect of it not being on mains gas, not on mains sewers and not having it's own driveway - access was via a mile long track owned by the neighbours and in poor nick.
I think I could have coped with one of these but all 3 together was too much & I wish we'd known about the issues before viewing. Real shame as it was a stunning house.

onepieceoflollipop Sat 15-Mar-14 13:44:48

Parking. having lived in two streets where it has caused issues. My former (carless) neighbour took massive offence on the rare occasion I parked legally on the public road in front of her house...just in case her son might visit.
She became abusive when I explained I would not use my garage on the nights i was on call, for safety reasons. (walking down a long dark alley alone).
Interestingly my car developed many deep scratches.
Where i live now (small close) people park very inconsiderately making access difficult.
also would want more than one loo, or the option to add a downstairs loo or an ensuite with little difficulty.

imme Sat 15-Mar-14 13:48:12

For us it's all about size and location. Too small and no room to extend would be a deal breaker. A busy road is also a deal breaker. If you know that you could potentially change and improve things it's not necessarily a deal breaker. it also all depends on what are the alternatives. We bought a house with a NE facing garden as everything else was right (size, location, price) and there was a distinct lack of alternatives (this is London so to get size and location for a decent price you have to make compromises elsewhere).

Bowlersarm Sat 15-Mar-14 13:53:03

For us it was garden size (but we wanted a huge country garden), plenty of parking although not necessarily a garage, and not on a busy road.

If I were in your position, I think it sounds too small. You don't want to buy it, and immediately feel hemmed in and cramped. It'll make you want to move again soon (unless there is potential to extend?)

Spickle Sat 15-Mar-14 13:59:12

In our last move we wanted:
Good Location in desirable area.
Good access to rail station and shops
Plenty of off road parking
3 good size bedrooms
Decent size kitchen, lounge and dining room
Potential to extend
Kitchen at the rear of the property and dining room preferably next to it
Good size garden (though not too big/small)

We managed to get all of the above but compromised on garden facing north and although an excellent location, the road is fairly busy but quiet at night. Also the house is old and in need of tlc.

CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 14:06:09

London the bedroom had a double bed (not kingsize which I want when I do buy a new bed) and bedside cabinets either side and small distance to the wall. No room at the end of the bed either. I looked at changed the bed around to the other wall but you wouldn't have been able to get any wardrobe doors open very wide. The third bedroom was definitely not big enough for a double bed so couldn't go in there. I admit is has been a deal breaker for us, that and the garden.

Bowler that's I how I feel. Going from this house, any house does feel much bigger to us but actually when I think about furniture and where things go, it just wasn't big enough.

Next door had out a big conservatory in but it took up the whole top bit of the 2 tiered garden so made it even smaller. Without kids it would be great but with young children (and not completely ruling out the possibility of another one day) it just isn't enough.

If the house isn't massive but the garden is decent and its cheap enough, then extending could be an option but this didn't have that. Shame as it was a lovely quiet street, close to school and cheaper because it is in crappy area, but on the edge so I could live with that.

Shared access. Never ever ever would I touch a house with shared access again.

Close to the good schools - in our area there is one very good secondary and 2 that are dire.
Open Plan kitchen
Option for an extension
Parking
Back Garden secure and big enough for DS's trampoline.
Office space for DH.

Luckily we managed to find all of these things once we saw past the horrid decor (think mock tudor beams and a red kitchen).

CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 14:20:34

Nice gossamer grin.

What do you mean by shared access flibberty? Do you mean a path that you share? One path down to 2 houses?

truelymadlysleepy Sat 15-Mar-14 14:21:02

I looked with my heart; views, feel of the house, pretty garden.
DH looked with his head; amount needed to restore, square footage, parking, deeds
It look us a long time to tick enough boxes for us both.
Keep looking.

superlambanana Sat 15-Mar-14 15:02:37

Found a house with character, stunning views, enormous garden, quiet street, good area, good parking. Rejected it because I noticed to second keeping how the garden was surrounded by about ten other smaller ones and I felt like I was in a goldfish bowl, despite the size. Plus we would have outgrown the house and it would have been difficult (though possible) to extend.

Went for one with character, slightly smaller though still good garden, lovely views though not quite as stunning, slightly bigger bedrooms, and easy peasy to extend though our bank balance disagrees . It was also £25k cheaper. Very glad we made this decision. Compromised on a garage but bought a very big shed instead so DH is happy! Also compromised on decor as it needs a complete overhaul but that's also fine (if hard work).

EddieReadersglasses Sat 15-Mar-14 15:09:30

wonky why was not being on mains sewer a problem? We have septic tank, is a non-issue for us. (we are also not on mains gas but I can understand that would be an issue for some people)
We also have a rubbish shared private road which is not maintained by landowner, and I agree that's a huge pain in the arse!
We are moving next year
Dealbreakers for us would be house and garden too small, living next to busy roads and having neighbours too close!
Due to neighbour issues here we would only live in detached houses in the future angry

whineaholic Sat 15-Mar-14 15:11:27

Garage, ORP. Would never , ever by a house with on street parking.

More than one bathrrom

Large kitchen

Decent storage

Not a newbuild on an estate.

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Mar-14 15:21:28

When I was last looking for a house, my list of requirements was this:
Upstairs bathroom
2+ bedrooms, pref 3
Not openplan (although depending on what was linked with what, I might have been flexible on this)
Decent sized bathroom with airing cupboard
Not a galley kitchen
Room to extend if necessary
Offroad parking
Gas connected
Walking distance to somewhere with shops (I had a paranoid fear of my car being completely out of action and me being stranded!)

My list of strong preferences included:
Older house
Open fireplace(s)
No UPVC, especially the doors
Real wood internal doors

The house I ended up buying had all the above, just, except the off-road parking. BUT I had use of a parking lot behind my house, the driveway to it ran alongside my house, and that was on a goodwill thing with the owners of the lot, which they were happy to extend to me. Sadly that changed when the lot-owner changed, but I had enough front garden that I could demolish it and park on that instead, so I never needed to find parking on the road (although my subsequent lodgers did have to)

The back garden was pretty small though; if I had had to extend, I'd have ended up with no back garden at all. As it was, never needed to. The loft conversion had already been done so I had 3 bedrooms, and there was already a downstairs loo and shower room, as well as an upstairs bathroom (with loo) so no need to do extra work.

Badvoc Sat 15-Mar-14 15:30:32

Small/poorly laid out back garden.
Lack of off road parking
Lack of storage
No downstairs WC

echt Sat 15-Mar-14 17:17:22

I live in Australia, so the deal breakers are different. Most houses have a garage and off- road parking.

No open plan, give me doors.

Heating in every room.

Decent garden space.

Catchment for decent state school.

Near the sea.

We had to buy at very short notice so ended up with all of the above, but, bizarrely it has no hallway. It's odd because the last owner was the man who built it. Also every internal door is cheap, nasty cardboardy wood, though they're still last on our list of things to be replaced.

PlumProf Sat 15-Mar-14 17:23:12

Location (geographically and also locally - eg not on a main road, catchment areas, transport links) and size (including of garden) are the only important factors that I would not compromise on. Everything else can be ultimately changed.

wonkylegs Sat 15-Mar-14 17:34:34

Eddie on its own having a septic tank would have been fine but it was the combination of that, no mains gas & the driveway - each would of been ok on their own but together it was just too much IYKWIM.
The house we ended up in wasn't perfect but at £150k cheaper than the nicer but still not perfect one we've set ourselves a £100k budget to renovate it to be our version of gorgeous.

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Mar-14 17:40:02

echt - oh yes, the number of massively open plan houses here is amazing! It's not doors so much I want, as walls - wall space for bookshelves, shelves, etc. - I don't like to have a lot of free-standing furniture. Our house is half and half - not quite enough wall space for me, but not too open plan and we do have a reasonable number of doors (although not for the kitchen)

I would also prefer not to have a massively "bushy" garden - at least 2/3 of it is unusable, because it's planted with large trees/shrubs to create a wilderness style of garden, and we daren't let the boys go in most of it in case there are snakes under the fallen leaves! DH won't hear of clearing it all though, or really any of it, because it provides screening from neighbours and the road. <sigh>

Octopusinabunchofdaffodils Sat 15-Mar-14 17:41:51

Our requirements were 1. At the closed end of a cul-de-sac 2. With open land nearby for the DCs to play on and 3. In a catchment area for good schools.

We got all of those, and within a fairly modest budget compared to prices in some parts of the country.

RuddyDuck Sat 15-Mar-14 17:49:30

Location would override most things for me. However there are a couple of deal breakers, one being if there was no off-street parking, the other would be if the garden was north-facing, unless it was a huge garden.

Interestingly, before we moved to our current house I would have said a small kitchen (ie too small for a table) would have been a deal breaker but when we saw this house the positives outweighed the small kitchen, so we bought it ( and have now extended, so kitchen is large but we didn't think that was financially viable when we bought).

As long as you have got some outside space which gets the sun, could you not make the most of it? especially if the house ticks all other boxes for you?

echt Sat 15-Mar-14 18:36:26

Yikes, Thumbwitch, do you have snakes? I assume your yard must be open. I'd have thought redbacks in the leaf litter would be a bind, I know it is here.

What you say about wall space stuck a chord; our front room is virtually floor to ceiling windows down one side, so finding space to put in the bookcases, never mind hang pictures, had us scratching our heads.

hyperspacebug Sat 15-Mar-14 20:15:13

2 combined is...I guess it really depends on what you can afford in the area. Do all houses in the area have tiny gardens? Are there streets where spacious houses have bigger gardens that you can afford?

Preciousbane Sat 15-Mar-14 20:18:17

My list is
Big garden not overlooked
At least 2 bathrooms
Decent size hall
Lots of storage
Kitchen diner
Not on a busy road
All or some original features left intact
Off road parking
Garage, preferably double
Some decent frontage to the house

We are struggling as the nicest houses in our town are on two main roads and there is no way we would live on them as very busy.

We had a house that ticked all boxes recently and sale was proceeding but the survey was awful, the search has been going on for 7 months now.

Against all my instincts we went to look at a new development on the edge of a village 15 minutes from where we live. The houses are lovely and tick everything. The main bedroom had a good size ensuite and a walk in wardrobe. The gardens were bigger than the usual new builds but still not as big as we want.

Ranting generally about small bloody gardens in the car on the way back, DH told me to calm down your like a woman possessed.

MrsJohnDeere Sat 15-Mar-14 21:08:01

When we moved recently we shortlisted 4 houses, and bought 1 of them.

Rejected the others because :

Too remote - would spend half our life transporting children around the country once they were teenagers.
Not detached (even though the EA's particulars said they were)
Poor schools (secondary more than primary)
Layout didn't work for us - wanted playroom to be as far away as possible from sitting room, not adjacent.
Kitchen too small with no potential to expand.

foxdongle Sat 15-Mar-14 23:02:01

deal breakers in the past were;
not enough off road parking,
area too far away to walk to schools and town centre,
too much work to do,
garden too huge/too neglected/overlooked,
away from dog walks/parks,
electric station thing behind garden fence,
teeny bedrooms 3 and 4,
big but weird shaped kitchen- just didn't work.

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 04:22:45

echt - yes, we back onto bushland so snakes are a distinct possibility. We've found a baby red bellied black snake in the yard (dead though, might have been dropped by a kookaburra) and seen a live one about 100m up the road while we were collecting firewood. They don't worry me as much as the brown snakes, which are also in the area, but we've not seen one yet. Local friends have had nests of them in their yards though!

Redbacks are an issue, for sure - we have to hose the play equipment out regularly because of them, and the boys aren't allowed to touch the trees either in case of redbacks or funnelwebs. Bloody things! I don't let them play in the leaf litter at all, but didn't know that redbacks hung out there too - thanks for the heads up!

Flibbertyjibbet I am with you on shared access. We looked at a wonderful house off a quiet road, near a pub and with beams etc but it had a shared access drive with the next door property and dh's best friend who was a surveyor told us not to touch it with a barge pole for that reason! sad

echt Sun 16-Mar-14 05:18:02

Thumbwitch your snakey tales got me on the interweb thingy where I unearthed this priceless gem about brown snakes: "Not every brown snake is brown and not every snake that is brown is a brown snake".

Glad that's cleared up then.grin

GhettoPrincess001 Sun 16-Mar-14 05:36:33

I agree with most of the deal breakers. My husband will have nothing to do with shared access - I don't blame him.

He doesn't like kitchen diners either. No matter.

I didn't want to live to near a school or a park. We currently live on the next street from a school but it's the town's posh boarding school.

I like the layout of our house as it has an upstairs where the bedrooms are. My only query was the lounge diner but no house is perfect.

It's also got a utility room to make up for a small kitchen. Unfortunately, that's where the back door is i.e. the kitchen does not have a back door but two internal doors to other rooms in the house.

The things that I can live with on purchasing a house are the things that I cite as reasons to move !

MeMySonAndI Sun 16-Mar-14 05:56:10

My deal breakers are a fish and chips nearby, a galley kitchen and... Long rooms. It is well proportioned square rooms or else blush.

A must for me is the area, it is what really creates the "lifestyle".

LtEveDallas Sun 16-Mar-14 06:31:00

Our 'must haves' changed once we started seriously looking. I had been looking at 4 beds because we wanted 3 doubles (us, DD, DSD) and I wanted a separate dining room. DH said garage and off street parking, but wasn't that fussed about the house. Oh and we both wanted detached.

It turned out that the absolute must haves for us were off street parking, a downstairs loo and a futility room. We were stuck between two houses, really stuck (I had a thread), one was beautiful but had no downstairs loo or futility, the other had both but was directly on an estate road with a tiny garden. On the day we went to visit both again we added a 3rd house simply as 'filler' between the two.

Filler house had 2 doubles and a single, downstairs loo and futility, sep dining room, was a semi, had a stunning kitchen diner and ugly living room.

We ended up offering on the 'filler' - the sep dining room will be used as DD's play/mates room with a sofa bed for DSD and the single bedroom will be our 'dressing room'. It's bigger than the pretty house, smaller than the estate house but suits us perfectly

Thumbwitch Sun 16-Mar-14 07:15:08

echt - whaaaaaaat?? grin

yegodsandlittlefishes Sun 16-Mar-14 07:34:50

OP, at the stage you are at, we went without a garage, had just one (horrible) bathroom (with no shower) with old fashioned decor minimal storage space, tiny kitchen and a very small third bedroom. On the plus side we had a fabulous garden, in a good area (good schools, lots of families, near village centre shops, lots for children to do) lovely outlook, quiet road, and green out front for children to meet and play, and would be able to make a quick sale as in a very sought after area.

I was disappointed at not being able to afford what I wanted when we moved to the area, so we went for something which would be a fun place to live while looking ahead at being able to afford the next place with more room, garage, en suite and downstairs loo, bit of futility, off street parking and private garden.

hyperspacebug Sun 16-Mar-14 08:29:23

We've walked away from gorgeous and spacious houses for being in wrong street. So we limited our search to only streets we wanted. Those streets had all same Edwardian houses, well-proportioned, 97sqm without loft with rooms for extension.

We have written off other nice streets because they contained long narrow Victorian houses.

We had an unforeseen deal breaker on a good doer-upper - single access road to LOTS of houses, and on the way out you have to turn right onto the main road for our routes to school and work. Just didn't appreciate it on maps but it was so obvious in reality.

mannbookeriwish Sun 16-Mar-14 09:07:22

Hah! Well for us, it was the current owner deciding (after offer made & accepted) that she would only proceed if she could add a covenant to allow her to live the rest of her in the house...reader, we ran like the wind, I mean, walked away

mrsddoodle Sun 16-Mar-14 10:34:34

We realised the importance of location. We made the expensive mistake of buying a beautiful house in somewhere that was too isolated, with poor transport links, and an older aged community. It was a disaster for us but would have been perfect for someone else.

Things that bothered me before like 3 storeys or a small garden are not as important now we are within a location that suits our family.

I guess everyone has different priorities - a deal breaker for one family would be different for another.

I think there is generally some compromise that has to be made with all houses, unless you have an unlimited budget or are very lucky.

mannbookeriwish Sun 16-Mar-14 10:34:36

rest of her LIFE...

cupcake78 Sun 16-Mar-14 16:39:46

Overlooked garden, lack of light, poor parking options, small living room, galley kitchen, small garden.

I need light and space.

MeMySonAndI Sun 16-Mar-14 16:49:16

What??? 'anbookeriwish that's hilarious! You need to expand on that! smile

Blu Sun 16-Mar-14 18:10:24

The bathroom downstairs.

No I cannot be dashing through a muddle of DS's 12 yo friends or DP's guests with a towel round me if I need to shower before going out...

MeMySonAndI Sun 16-Mar-14 18:56:15

I couldn't be dashing down in the night either, I'm sure I would kill myself going downstairs in a hurry half ssleep.

Now, tgat reminds me of a 2 bedroom house I saw, nice house, with a single bathroom/toilet: an ensuite.

How does that work???

Make sure the fusebox is in the house!!! Mine is in the garage. I have to keep a torch by the bed in case they blow in the night. I have to go down two flights of stairs, through the hall, through the dining room and kitchen and find the key then go down the courtyard and unlock the garage door....... I then in the dark whilst holding the torch have to reach three feet above me and hold the lid of the fusebox up and push the trip back up!!!! hmm

stargirl04 Sun 16-Mar-14 19:43:29

I'm a first-time buyer in London on the bottom rung so my deal breakers were limited.

They were:

1. Noisy, busy roads
2. More than 15 min walk from a train station (in London people want to be near stations, should ever need to rent it out)
3. Anywhere where I would feel unsafe walking home alone late at night.
4. Tiny, cramped lounge
5. No parking
6. Downstairs toilet only
7. Antisocial neighbours
8. Grubby or dirty communal areas
9. Blocks of flats or apartment blocks that smell of curry (yes, they do exist - I used to live in one!) or urine. (Lots of these!)

I bought a 9-year-old purpose-built flat with no outside space (but with lots of parks nearby) with a good sized lounge, a small double bedroom and single bedroom, on the top floor with a loft. The building, exterior and interior, and communal gardens are immaculately clean and well maintained. With no curry or urine smells grin

It's only 5 mins' walk to the station in a safe neighbourhood, 18 mins' train journey to central London and in a quiet, peaceful cul-de-sac. But there is nowhere to put my pushbike.... ah, compromises!

stargirl04 Sun 16-Mar-14 19:44:07

Oh, and not in my ex's neighbourhood wink

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