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WIBU - to sell and 3 bed house with garden and buy a 3 bed flat?

(60 Posts)
blinkineckmum Sun 05-Nov-17 21:55:11

Our house is freehold. We were looking for somewhere bigger. I have found somewhere smaller. It's a flat and leasehold. BUT it has shared use of a gym, swimming pool and tennis court. I really want to live there! WIB mad?

emsyj37 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:57:41

Yes, you would be mad. Buy a bigger place as you planned and get a gym membership for somewhere fancy with a naice pool, sauna etc.

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 05-Nov-17 21:59:04

Depends what is important to you! Did you need more space or did you just want more space?

Do you genuinely think you would use those facilities enough to justify it? Have you spoken to any current residents about the facilities/availability/how busy they are etc?

SnowBallsAreHere Sun 05-Nov-17 21:59:07

Your share of insurance, management charges and maintenance of the pool, gym and tennis court will be much more more than joining the nicest health club near you.

Dobopdidoo1 Sun 05-Nov-17 22:01:04

Yes, definitely mad. Do you know how much the service charge is? I have a friend who lives in one of those types of complexes and her service charge is £14000 pa! shock

SunnyCoco Sun 05-Nov-17 22:02:04

Yes you would be totally mad
You could join a decent health club for a fraction of the costs of ever increasing service charges etc
And to go From having a garden to having no garden would be horrendous! I finally have a teeny tiny garden and it’s AMAZIng I value it so much

HipToBeSquare Sun 05-Nov-17 22:02:06

Yes. Yes yabu. And I suspect you know it.

We are currently selling and the some of houses I've been tempted by damn you rightmove have been somewhat inappropriate also smile

Topseyt Sun 05-Nov-17 22:10:39

Totally mad. Choose freehold over leasehold anytime.

I would take a freehold three bedroom house with a garden over a leasehold three bedroom flat with communal gym anytime. No question.

Financially it would probably be a poor decision too. High service charge in addition to any mortgage, plus an ever decreasing lease can mean a certain amount of depreciation of the asset, which would be much less likely to happen with your house.

Yes, you would be mad, but I guess you know that really.

blinkineckmum Sun 05-Nov-17 22:35:48

Thank you. That's helpful! I am going to view it and will ask about the service charge. I have 3 children (very small ones) and no time to get to a gym or swimming pool, and would love to teach them to swim. But don't want to make a bad decision.

GreenPetal94 Sun 05-Nov-17 22:38:51

A flat is fab with small children as you can monitor them really easily and not be worried about the stairs. I live in a flat with 0-14 year olds and we loved it.

Is it in the right location though? Near open space / park?

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sun 05-Nov-17 22:39:36

I’d find out about service charges before you visit. They are often extremely expensive. I’d also want to know how long the lease is.

IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Sun 05-Nov-17 22:41:31

“A flat is fab with small children as you can monitor them really easily and not be worried about the stairs. I live in a flat with 0-14 year olds and we loved it.“

We did the same in a bungalow grin. Was fab with small children.

Joinourclub Sun 05-Nov-17 22:41:41

You have 3 small children, you probably aren't thinking straight through lack of sleep. Get a good nights rest and tomorrow filter your searches on rightmove to include only houses with gardens!

QueenLaBeefah Sun 05-Nov-17 22:43:50

Think long and hard about buying a flat with service charges.

I lived in one years ago and it is an uncontrollable expense. Just horrific.

blinkineckmum Sun 05-Nov-17 22:44:48

Yes, the typo in the title says it all! It is a beautiful flat with gardens and very close to our current house. It backs onto the woods.

SaucyJack Sun 05-Nov-17 22:46:48

How much use do you realistically think you'd get from the pool?

It might be financial suicide, but then again it might be the coolest and best thing you've ever done.

Gym membership wouldn't really compare to having a pool on site.

blinkineckmum Sun 05-Nov-17 22:50:36

I would use the pool every day provided it is available for use all the time. I need to find that out. We moved to this area to start a family, and there is no public swimming pool in the town. It is the one thing I have missed most, as prior to that I used to go daily. It would be life changing as I could get fit again and it would improve my mental health. I'll go and take a look as I need to know if it's always open, and how big it is, and if the kids can go in etc. Part of our reason for moving is to be near a swimming pool. The other part is for more space, which we wouldn't get there.

Bambamber Sun 05-Nov-17 23:47:42

Leasehold is a pain in the backside. Our service charge increased a couple of times a year, 2 years running. And on top of that they sent us letters telling us they had overspent (on what we don't know, they never fixed what they had promised to for years), so we then had to pay what they overspent, on top of our ever increasing service charges. Would never go leasehold again unless we had absolutely no choice!

Thymeout Mon 06-Nov-17 00:46:40

Check out the rules for the use of the gardens by unaccompanied children. I bet there are restrictions to avoid annoying other residents. With three small children, you'd be mad to move into somewhere without a garden of your own.

The other problem is the fact that the communal facilities will need constant refurbishment to maintain their appeal. They will wear out before the flats. As time goes by, they will be a diminishing asset and the value of the flat will decrease.

EachandEveryone Mon 06-Nov-17 00:52:10

How thin are the walls above and below? Are they advertised as being family friendly? It may be stifling like staying in a hotel.

GrockleBocs Mon 06-Nov-17 01:03:49

Stamp duty + annual service charge + neighbours above and below
Annual membership of a nice sports club + garden.
I think I'd pick the sports club and garden. Even with it on site and 'free' you still have to go and if you don't you'll feel really guilty every time you walk past

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Mon 06-Nov-17 01:08:39

I would never trade living in my own house for living in a flat. Not a chance.

safariboot Mon 06-Nov-17 01:21:08

I think you'd regret it. All the flashy facilities will mean nothing when you're disturbed by neighbours at night because sound goes straight through the walls and floors. Plus any ground rent or service charge might seem reasonable now but could be raised in future.

As I said on another thread, IMHO if a property is leasehold then you're not truly buying it.

Topseyt Mon 06-Nov-17 01:35:32

We own two leasehold flats in which we have tenants. Leasehold is an utter PITA and you really don't have control over the costs.

With a gym and pool on site plus the communal garden your service charges will very likely be high because the maintenance costs. They certainly are not free, so financially you will take a big hit, probably on a monthly basis. As someone upthread mentioned, around £1,000 per month is not unheard of. If accurate then that could be in the region of £12k per year on an open-ended basis.

Why swap your own private garden with freehold and control of your costs for that? It makes no sense at all, and there are very probably restrictions on the use of these facilities with and by children anyway.

You would almost certainly find it very restrictive.

Theresnonamesleft Mon 06-Nov-17 01:36:01

Service charge for the luxury of using the pool. Anything like the one near us, it's not always open and even then has a number of restrictions.
Communal area restrictions. There's so much we cannot do, its unbelievable.
Getting any works done is a nightmare. At the moment your garden seats are tatty and falling to pieces. Not a problem, you go and buy what you want. Communal, it has to go through the committee, and discussed. Then another meeting to talk about findings. So your simple buying a bench is a minimum of 2 months.

Then repairs to the building. These generally not included with the service charges. So can be a huge shock.

There's also a chance that you won't be allowed a welcome mat, or a plant pot outside your front door.

Restrictions on when you can dispose rubbish.
There could also be restrictions about washing, including when it can be used, and if you have a balcony something to say you cannot hang washing. Plus other restrictions for a balcony usage.

One of the things I really regret is giving up the garden. It's the little things - hanging out the washing. Sitting in the garden on a nice evening. Being free to use how we want. Water fight. Having a welcome mat. The little bit of extra space the garden gives. Painting the front door (a block near here doors can only be painted a certain number of pre-approved colours - red, black, white)

You don't need a gym to get fit. If you cannot find the time at the moment to exercise - bike ride, couch to 5k, team body project, pilates, the dvd's etc, then you still wont have the time to use a gym,.

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