Pitfalls to avoid when buying a home

Buying a new house? Mumsnetters share their property-buying errors, in the hope of saving you mucho pain.

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Parking issues can drive you insane 

parking

"I would never buy a house without off-road parking again."

"Never buy a house on a private road close to a school. You will spend a lot of your life pointing out to people that they can't park when doing the school run."
 

Is the layout - how shall we put this - odd?

layout

"We used to have a kitchen and bedrooms upstairs, with the main living room downstairs. I actually loved it, but God it was a pain in the arse to sell - I thought we'd never get shot of it."

"I would never buy a house which opens straight onto the street, or has a front door which opens directly into the living space, ie a house with no hall and porch area."

"Watch out for small kitchen/big lounge. The kitchen always seems untidy and cramped, while the lounge is an echoing void no matter how much furniture goes in there. I'd try to find somewhere with a better balance next time."

"Steps up the garden to the front door are a nightmare when carrying babies, tantruming toddler, pram and shopping. Plus you feel guilty every time something heavy is delivered, and the driver has to lug it up the steps." 
 

Noise. NOISE!

ssh

"I would not move next to a primary school (having been warned about the disruption!) and think 'How bad can it really be?' The answer is: very."

"Never buy opposite a bus stop, especially a first floor flat. The noise!"

"Don't buy a conversion flat with paper-thin walls and no sound-proofing."
 

Windows: surprisingly important 

wonky window

"Try and get standard windows - I always seem to have to buy specially made curtains or blinds."

"Avoid folding glass doors in a room where there are no other windows to open. You don't always want to have to open the doors for ventilation, and they're an utter bugger to find blinds for."

 


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Be realistic about your DIY skills

"No bloody textured wallpaper. It's hideous, a nightmare to get off and the chances are it's hiding a crappy wall underneath."

"Victorian = total money pit that no amount of lovely fireplaces can make up for."

"Never again would I buy a fixer-upper when we don't have enough time, energy, contacts in the trades or money to do the desired work."
 

Sometimes getting what you want can turn out to be A Bad Thing

 

"Beware of nice trees, they produce all sorts of shit - mainly leaves. I spend half the year sweeping them up."

"More bathrooms is not necessarily better. You just have more of the fuckers to clean."

"I would never ever again choose real wood kitchen work tops. Nobody told me that they are really high maintenance and only look nice if varnished/treated regularly."

"Having that third floor means a lot of stairs (and a lot of shouting up and down them!)"

 

So - what would you avoid when choosing your next home, given what you know now? Share your tips here 

 

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Last updated: 7 months ago