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Area or house?

(23 Posts)
Pyjamaramadrama Mon 21-Mar-16 13:27:20

This is a wwyd really. What would be more important to you?

Family with 2 dc. Options are, live in large ex council house (didn't buy it from council before I get flamed), nice house, ideal size, suited to families needs, could potentially completely refurbish and pay off the mortgage in the next few years meaning being mortgage free before 40s. The area is not the best but not the worst, on a busyish road, schools reflect the area as in a couple of good rated schools and a couple of really bad, inadequate schools. Crime rate is probably quite high. Although you don't generally have any problems and it's not far from nicer places.

Or, move to naice area, probably similar sized house but in a quiet cul de sac, prettier houses, potentially better schools, just a generally more scenic, quieter place to live, but would mean taking on a large mortgage, 25 year term, less disposable income and the house wouldn't be any better inside.

TooMuchRain Mon 21-Mar-16 13:34:10

If you are fine with the area you live in now, I would definitely stay. From your description it doesn't sound as though there is enough reason to move and being mortgage free so young would be amazing.

araiba Mon 21-Mar-16 13:35:47

better area every time

PurpleDaisies Mon 21-Mar-16 13:36:30

100% area.

whois Mon 21-Mar-16 13:36:48

Are you happy where you are?

zoobaby Mon 21-Mar-16 13:37:11

The tv shows always say get the worst house in the best area. I'm inclined to agree. But it is a balancing act. No point consigning yourself to misery. Work out whether the amounts are sustainable or worth the sacrifice. A little sacrifice is good, but overstretching is silly and will possibly cause problems elsewhere.

Divathecat Mon 21-Mar-16 13:38:30

Area every time.

howabout Mon 21-Mar-16 13:43:09

We had this. Opted to stay put and the longer we are here the more convinced I am we made the right decision. A further consideration for us was that we would have been swapping a compact urban environment for suburbia.

EllaHen Mon 21-Mar-16 13:46:16

I'd go for area as well.

WonderingAspie Mon 21-Mar-16 13:49:05

Well we went for option a and it's been fine. Although our mortgage won't be paid off in a few years.

Basically DC1 was already at school. We lived on the edge of this area, in a quiet out of the way street, always swore I wouldn't live further in as it isn't the nicest area. School is a faith one so lots of children are from other areas, I wouldn't even entertain the idea of the local non faith schools. Our house was tiny so we had to move and finally had the funds to do so. I looked a lot in an area that was nice and I wanted to live, however the houses were pretty small, pokey rooms and just not much space for quite a bit of money. We didn't want to move DC schools so we started looking closer to school as houses here are cheaper and we could get more for our money. Bought an ex council that has been extended and have a big kitchen, extra downstairs bathroom and a study, big garden and good sized rooms. It's a walkable distance from school and the area isn't actually the bad. The part of the street I live has a lot of home owners, the other end of the (very long) street is a different story and I've heard there can be more trouble that way. I find it very quiet here. Haven't regretted it for a second. I'll never pick a good area over a compromise on the house. But as you aren't compromising, I'm not sure. I'd probably go for mortgage free in a few years tbh.

MyLocal Mon 21-Mar-16 13:49:09

Area for me too, whilst you may have to take out the new mortgage term, a few years down the line you may have the ability to increase your payments and pay it off sooner. We did this, almost paid off but will be 50 not 30's.

irregularegular Mon 21-Mar-16 13:49:10

It's not really house v area in your case though is it? It's area (and slightly prettier house) v disposable income.

Think about what exactly you would have to do without to live in the naice area versus the ex-council house.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 21-Mar-16 13:52:38

We love the house, it's huge and on a large plot. It's not causing us any major problems, but it does mean there's nowhere for the dc to play out, there isn't anywhere nice to go within walking distance. The appeal is being able to pay the mortgage off much sooner.

We were all set on moving but having viewed a few houses, although they are in lovely quiet cul de sacs, they are all the same size or smaller inside, with smaller gardens and bedrooms.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 21-Mar-16 13:54:52

Also, think about the long term.

We moved areas at the start of 2008 from a nice part of a larger OK area - primary schools were good but unless you got into the amazing private school or the outstanding church high school, the high school offerings were poor.

We moved to a "naice" area which has very sought after schools at all levels, nicer area full stop, villagey feel etc.

We bought a very similar sized house, but our mortgage doubled.

Interestingly enough, our old house in the OK area has gone on the market today, at 5% more than we sold it for in 2008. In the same period of time, our house in the "naice" area has gone up by 40%-50%.

So my view is area. I agree you need to work out the numbers, but factor in the long term too. I would guess that your current house is not going to increase in value at the same rate as the other option you're considering.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 21-Mar-16 13:58:21

Yes it's cost too. Although technically we can get the mortgage and afford it, we're both early 30s so would possibly be paying into late 50s and it would be a tighter budget.

Voteforpedr0 Mon 21-Mar-16 14:00:53

Area. leave the cheaper house for someone on a lower income who truly would only be able to select such a bargain.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 21-Mar-16 14:05:05

Namechanged agree that's probably what will happen with the prices. It's a small place so the dc could potentially go to any high school and there are school buses that take them across the city.

It doesn't help that dh isn't at all concerned with schools, he's very much of the opinion that a school is a school, and simply points out people he knows who went to private schools but aren't doing anything.

Pyjamaramadrama Mon 21-Mar-16 14:10:42

Wondering thanks for sharing that. Sounds a very similar situation.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 21-Mar-16 14:13:53

But it sounds as though its not just about schools though (and schools are about more than what you end up doing, its about the people you meet, the friends you make, how you spend your time out of school) - if there is nowhere nice to go within walking distance, and nowhere to play out - do you drive everywhere? Do you have to go to the park when the children want to play football etc?

The other thing is that my eldest is now 10 and we're just at the very start of considering a bit of independence - starting to walk home from school alone after Easter (in Year 6), walking to guides / football etc. I know you can never be complacent, but I'm much happier about doing that here than in old area.

I may be going off on a tangent but its not just about being comfortable financially.

candykane25 Mon 21-Mar-16 14:16:41

Area. I live I. A beautiful cul de sac with lovely views, very peaceful. We could have had a bigger house elsewhere but chose a smaller house here.
Everytime I come home from an outing it makes me happy.

yorkshapudding Mon 21-Mar-16 14:19:48

We were in a similar position to you and went with area. It was 100% the right decision for us. I love that DD can play out in nice surroundings and knowing that, when the time comes, she will be going to a good school. DH goes away quite a bit for work and I feel much safer where we are now. Also, house prices in our new area have continued to rise whereas when we were in the old house I was frustrated that, however many improvements we made to it, the area meant it wasn't going to go up in value significantly. For me, those things massively outweigh any advantages of staying put but of course different people have different priorities and you have to think about what works for your family.

Eustace2016 Mon 21-Mar-16 14:25:12

I would go for the better area. We could have stayed in our last house but we had so many years of working life ahead of us it made more sense to move up, bigger house, quiet road, nicer area and it has been a good idea. the challenge of needing to earn a lot to pay a big mortgage isn't a bad thing - it can keep you on your toes and advance your career.

WonderingAspie Mon 21-Mar-16 14:34:15

See I couldn't go to a house with less now. And in a nicer area we wouldn't be able to afford what we have now as all the seemingly nicer houses have pokey gardens and a tiny 3rd bedroom. Our 3rd bedroom isn't huge but it's good enough for DDs furniture plus toys and so e space to play. I definitely wouldn't swap for a house with smaller rooms, I like the space I have too much. It could also be because we spent 6 years in a 2 up 2 down and there were 4 of us for a lot of that. Now I have luxuries like a hallway, I'm not giving it up grin.

I guess it depends how bad the area is. My perception is mainly from my nan who thinks you will get attacked everywhere and my snobby aunt. I actually know a few people around here now and they are fine. There are rougher families, but I avoid them. There are some rough areas in my city that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. I find the website handy for telling you how much actual crime there has been in your area. Mine isn't as bad as I thought and certainly not as bad as one area I was going to look at some houses in, I cancelled those viewings.

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