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to not want to buy a do-er upper home when DC are young - or maybe ever?!

(55 Posts)
stuckindamiddle Tue 04-Mar-14 17:02:38

Many of my friends with small children are doing major renovation work to their houses - extensions, loft conversions, new kitchens etc. We're just in the middle of getting all the interior paintwork done by a pro - walls and wood - and between the dust from the sanding prep, the primer fumes and needing to keep small DC away from wet paint everywhere it's proving more than enough for me.

Once we're done with this there's nothing else major to do (hopefully!) but this isn't our forever home and we'll need to move in a few years for more space as DC grow.

I'm realising now that we'll need to rule out anything needing total renovation or anything more than cosmetic personalisation as I find the mess and inconvenience too much. We'll either have to pay a premium for the work having been done already or even - gasp! - consider a new(ish) build, which I don't generally like due to them being on high density developments and a bit identikit.

Am I being pathetic or do others feel the same?

apermanentheadache Tue 04-Mar-14 17:04:21

We bought a doer upper in your exact position. I love our house but would be in no hurry to do it again, for all the reasons you mention ;)

LastingLight Tue 04-Mar-14 17:08:13

DH and I are both rubbish at DIY so we would never buy a do-er upper.

expatinscotland Tue 04-Mar-14 17:10:09

Nope. Would NEVER buy a fixer upper.

Good grief no, doing up is not for everyone and you often pay a premium for it anyway.

Cleartheclutter Tue 04-Mar-14 17:19:37

I have done it with small DC and would never do it again - utter nightmare sad

iggymama Tue 04-Mar-14 17:22:35

Before having DS we bought very run down house that needed gutting, thinking we would have a lower mortgage ready for a family. It was a money pit, cost more money and took far longer than we hoped, to say nothing of the huge stress of both working full time and working on the house. I would never do it again. By the time DS was born our marriage was dead, I am not being flippant when I say the strain of doing the house was a contributing factor.

I would love to live in a new house, well insulated and with plenty of light, space and storage.

PrinceRogersNelson Tue 04-Mar-14 17:30:43

We always buy doer uppers. Get a lot more house than we could afford otherwise and love the feeling of pride in what we have (well the builders but designed by us) done.

However we are in week 3 of our supposed 2 week bathroom being done and I am sick if the dirt, noise, lack of washing space and people I don't know being in our personal space. And we still have the kitchen to do (sob)

Balaboosta Tue 04-Mar-14 17:34:48

Another one here. Yanbu - doing up a house did for my relationship too.

Crowler Tue 04-Mar-14 17:39:53

You're leaving some money on the table, but it's good to know what you want.

Steben Tue 04-Mar-14 17:40:26

I couldn't and wouldn't because I know for a fact my marriage wouldn't survive, I am not practical or hands on in the least and lack patience. Dh is but the arguments that teeny tiny bits of DIY cause make me realise we wouldn't manage a dooer upper! We also put an offer on one once and were outbid THANK GOD. However I admire those that do do it and think the sense of satisfaction must be immense

Northernlurker Tue 04-Mar-14 17:44:31

It's fine if you don't have to live in it. Friends bought one a few months ago and moved in with parents for the few weeks it took to get kitchen, bathroom, wiring and windows done. they survived that but anymore would have been tough.

IHeartKingThistle Tue 04-Mar-14 17:51:25

I have a slightly different perspective.

When I was 14 we moved to a doer-upper with, to be fair, lots of potential. They did it up slowly because we didn't have much money. It was a shithole. I lived in a building site for 3 years and then left home to go to uni. It's a beautiful house now but I didn't get to live in it when it was like that and I don't really feel like it was ever my home when I go back.

I know they were trying to make a wonderful family home but my mum said it literally didn't ever cross her mind that I wouldn't be there that long and wouldn't benefit from what they were doing for us. She's always advised me to do the renovations before the kids grow up too much, and that's what we're doing. It will be worth it!

Weird how despite all that I still got the bug for doing up houses!

KinderBoris Tue 04-Mar-14 18:03:16

We are almost finishing ours and have dc aged 2 and 4. It was hard going! At one point the health visitor came over when we didn't have any stairs! grin

We are going to move again probably next year into something bigger but in need of lots of work. DH has a construction company so we can really punch above our weight with houses as he does the work himself very cheaply just not quickly. For those reasons it works for us.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 04-Mar-14 19:16:56

Totally agree with you. I grew up in houses that were never finished - my dad only ever finished them when we we put them up for sale. I hated it and hate decorating. I'd gladly buy a new build and do nothing.

Mintyy Tue 04-Mar-14 19:19:43

Yanbu. We bought our Victorian do-er-upper 10 years ago and it is still not done! I really don't think I'd do it again.

I am desperate to move into a fabulous 60s house with parquet flooring.

MomOfTwoGirls2 Tue 04-Mar-14 19:24:12

I'm with you OP, it's not for me either!

paxtecum Tue 04-Mar-14 19:25:30

My friends bought a doer upper eight years ago.
Not much doing up has been done.
They have been living in a shit hole and have now split up.

The state of the house played a large part in the split.

It is also soul destroying trying to keep a building site clean.
Whatever you do, it never looks clean.

Some other friends have spent 30 years doing up a house.
They never had a normal family home when the DCs were small.
They lived in a caravan in the garden for 5 years.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Tue 04-Mar-14 19:27:24

We started ours when DS1 was almost 2, and lived in it throughout. He dropped his nap the day the building work started, due to the noise. Now, it is amazing and about as close to our dream home as we could practically get. We couldn't have afforded what we have now had we not done it ourselves and it's gone up massively in value. So now I am smug whilst friends do it with slightly older kids, or remain in their un-done houses with hideous granny carpets and wallpaper. For us it was worth the pain/stress/hardwork, but easier with just one DC - we did leave an almost 4 yr gap between kids though! (although that wasn't the only reason).

stuckindamiddle Tue 04-Mar-14 19:29:20

This thread is reassuring! smile

Minty - we have a 60s house with parquet flooring... grin

stuckindamiddle Tue 04-Mar-14 19:30:09

Interesting the link between house renovations and relationship breakups.

Chippednailvarnish Tue 04-Mar-14 19:34:13

Just finished a major refurb after buying a wreck. I would agree that it puts a lot of stress on your relationship, but the amount of money we have made on the property has set us up for our forever home, so for us it was worth it.

AngryFeet Tue 04-Mar-14 19:35:43

Hmm this is scaring me a bit! We had no choice but to buy a doer upper as everything else was too small with no space to extend. Luckily the house is very much liveable as it is and the electrics and heating and windows are all new and in good nick but there is a conservatory the length of the back of the house that is basically a shed (single glazed with a wooden frame and plastic roof. We are extending the back first making a larger lounge and a huge kitchen diner. We only have 20k to do this so will be doing loads ourselves. Luckily dh is very very handy and can do most stuff including electrics and plumbing. We have already done the kids rooms and are about to start on the hall. Architects are doing the plan for the extension at the mo and for the loft conversion we plan to do in 5 years time (Plus a rearrange of rooms downstairs - we bought a bungalow). It will cost lots in the end but should be amazing when done and we are in the perfect location. Kids are 9 and 7 so I am desperate to get it done before our eldest is 15.

AngryFeet Tue 04-Mar-14 19:38:15

Obviously the extension will cost more than 20k but we will save more in the next year. We are hoping to do it for 30k and the rest for another 50. So total will be 400k and will be way better than anything we can get for that price around here.

Crowler Tue 04-Mar-14 19:40:52

You have a budget, you either spend the whole budget on a house that's ready or divide it up into a fixer upper/renovation. This is only a normal amount of stressful.

Buying a derelict house that you can't afford to renovate at that time & plan to do piecemeal/DIY is a whole different league of stressful. Of course, the rewards are potentially much greater.

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