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To buy a 1 bed starter flat rather than a 2 bed?

(20 Posts)
Maria53 Tue 23-Jun-20 00:58:35

Hi everyone, I'm in the lucky position of being able to buy my first starter home. Im under 30 and single and I'm currently living in a nice area close to shops, parks and brilliant transport links. I really like the area a lot, it's one of my favourite areas in the city.

Anyway I'm keen to get on and buy a flat this year. I only started looking 2 weeks ago and so far I've gathered;

- some 2 bed flats/houses are available, but they arent generally in the areas I would want to live in. I would never have chosen to rent in those areas although I have friends that love them.

- the only flats in my price range in the areas I like are 1 bed. I have seen one in my price range but I know it isn't suitable because I used to live in the next street and never felt safe at night.

Ideally I would prefer 2 bed because I can have guests, it can double up as a room for my hobby and whatever else.

I am considering going to view a spacious looking 1 bed in the next street this week but am also wondering if I should wait it out until lockdown eases and more becomes available?

What does everyone think?

OP’s posts: |
cakeandchampagne Tue 23-Jun-20 01:00:49

“Location. Location. Location.” smile

Turkeydrumstick Tue 23-Jun-20 01:03:55

If it’s a nicer area and would be big enough for you then I say go for it. If you meet someone further down the line you could always rent it out. My first home was a 1 bed flat in a city centre and I loved it. I had an air bed that I put in the living room for guests.

Wheresthebiffer2 Tue 23-Jun-20 01:05:26

I'd wait. Lots of properties will not be on the market for various and obvious reasons.

Maria53 Tue 23-Jun-20 01:14:04

Yes that is what I've been thinking. Grim as the reason is...it might be worth holding out a month or 2?

But i am curious to see what people advise as I haven't been through it before

OP’s posts: |
Maria53 Tue 23-Jun-20 01:17:04

Also looking at what properties have sold for in past years (2 beds) they are 10-20k out of my price range). So it looks likely that a 2 bed in the location I want will be a rare find.

OP’s posts: |
ladypete Tue 23-Jun-20 01:22:24

I’d definitely go for a one bed in a desirable area rather than a 2 bed in a non desirable area. I did just that.

Of course take “up and coming areas“ into account, but I personally wouldn’t buy in an unsafe area unless you knew it was being redeveloped and there was funding being pumped into it.

When you move on and you sell/rent it, it‘s highly likely to be new families looking for 2 beds and they’re surely going to prioritise safety.

Maria53 Tue 23-Jun-20 01:27:28

I didn't think of that @ladypete, very good point!

I'm torn on whether to go and see this property. I like the area and the street, it looks spacious etc. But then I may end up taking the first property I see if it fits the bill. It looks bigger & more suitable than other 1 beds I've seen in the area.

Maybe I should just park it for a month or 2 until I see what appears on the market. Decisions....

OP’s posts: |
Gulabjamoon Tue 23-Jun-20 01:56:47

I'd hold out for a 2 bed in a better location.

BarbaraofSeville Tue 23-Jun-20 05:08:51

I'd leave it for a few months, especially if you can keep saving. Chances are that you'll be able to save up that £10-20k, or quite possibly, prices will drop and a 2 bed flat in your preferred area will be in reach. Unfortunately the economy doesn't look good in the short to medium term, so prices are far more likely to stagnate or fall, not rise out of your reach.

A 2 bed gives you so much more flexibility, as well as space for hobbies, guests, a home office or storage of bulky things (bike, sporting equipment, Christmas decorations) so the rest of your home is less cluttered, you could get a lodger if you needed to.

1 bed flats can become hard to sell in times when prices drop, because people can afford larger properties, so buy those instead.

SteppingDown Tue 23-Jun-20 05:11:52

You have absolutely nothing to lose going to view the one bed. I personally think go and view as many properties as you want. It gives you a clear idea of what you won't compromise on.

As for two bed versus one bed - I went two in a less desirable area. It was absolutely fine and in the six years I lived there I took in a lodger. I found a partner. I became pregnant. That flat would have suited us as a small family. As it happens we then moved so that option is always there for you as well if needed.

Good luck at the viewing! Definitely go.

Velvian Tue 23-Jun-20 06:44:52

I'd wait a bit and try to get a 2 bed. If you need to move again in the next few years, solicitor's, estate agent's fees and stamp duty will be money down the drain.

peachypetite Tue 23-Jun-20 06:47:22

Moving is so expensive I’d definitely stretch to a two bed if you can. You’ll probably end up outgrowing the one bedroom very quickly.

Carrotgirl87 Tue 23-Jun-20 06:54:38

The problem with 2 bed flats, in my experience, is a lot of the time they squeeze the second one in and it's the size of a box that's neither use nor ornament and you pay for the room on paper more than it's use, which then equally makes it harder to sell.
I'd always go for spacious one bed rather than tiddly box room x

wafflyversatile Tue 23-Jun-20 06:56:59

How stretched will your finances be? How secure will your work be in the next few years of likely recession?

I'd get a 2 bed if possible. You can rent a room out to pay for works or if times get tough and you can move a partner in without tripping over each other. Or have an office if wfh more.

GlumyGloomer Tue 23-Jun-20 06:59:36

I started with a studio in a nice area. While I was single it was great, but it was a pain to sell. I'm on my third house now (married with 2 dc) and it has cost a fortune in fees and been very stressful. I envy my friends who were able to get into a bigger property from the off.

HowLongCanICallitBabyWeight Tue 23-Jun-20 07:34:27

I started with a one bed in a nice area, it was spacious and walkable to a mainline station 25 minutes from central London, so was always going to be easy to sell. I ended up staying there six years, DH moved in, we saved like crazy and bought a large 3 bed semi with a big garden, 3 reception rooms in a good school catchment, held an open day on the flat and got seven offers within 24 hours. I made very good profit on that flat, but I knew the area and that it would always sell well. The house we're in now we've almost fully renovated and has scope for further extension, we can easily stay here forever if we want.

OneRingToRuleThemAll Tue 23-Jun-20 07:52:21

Can you buy a large one bed and put a wall up to make a 2 bed? I did just that turning a 2 bed flat into a 3 bed flat and it's perfect for our family of four.

contrmary Tue 23-Jun-20 08:19:02

I'd wait a bit and try to get a 2 bed. If you need to move again in the next few years, solicitor's, estate agent's fees and stamp duty will be money down the drain.

But weigh that against the cost of renting for another year or few - that is also money down the drain. At least if you buy now and move again later you will have built up some equity.

Netty909 Tue 23-Jun-20 16:25:49

With leasehold properties you have to factor in all the extra costs like service charge, ground rent and buildings insurance. They can be quite a lot extra per month, sometimes £100+. I would go for a smaller freehold property rather than leasehold if that is possible.

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