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to hate this house so much

(145 Posts)
venus9150 Thu 29-Oct-20 13:28:02

We moved into an old end terraced property a year ago. It's lovely and big, quirky, our neighbours are fantastic and at the time I loved it. Over the last year that has soured dramatically. Our previous house was built in the 1980s, it was cramped and box-like but nothing ever went wrong with it! This new house has little cracks all over it, small patches of damp, it creaks, has numerous 'house sounds'. Structurally it's fine but I feel like there's an insurmountable mountain of medium-sized jobs that need doing and I'm terrified something big will go wrong, like it'll need a whole new roof or something.

I just want to sell it and move to a newer house, even if that means a smaller property. DH thinks I'm mad and loves the house. He says we can just do little bits at a time but I can just see a never ending stream of jobs and feel like this house will just suck up all our spare cash forever!

I know if I push I can get my way but I don't know if that's fair to DH. Anyone in an old house who loves it? Is it possible to grow to love a house when I hate it so much?

OP’s posts: |
nc1962 Thu 29-Oct-20 13:31:02

I love my old creaky house but there certainly are a lot more jobs that need doing. I'm now so attached to it, nothing would persuade me to move!

nc1962 Thu 29-Oct-20 13:32:37

I would add - needing a whole new roof is very very rare. In 45 years I haven't, there was some water through the ceiling a while ago after heavy rain but that was because some felt under the tiles needed fixing.

MatildaTheCat Thu 29-Oct-20 13:33:29

It will be great when you get on top of the bigger issues. Old houses do need constant maintenance but I love mine. If the roof was fine when you bought it it shouldn’t suddenly need replacing.

You sound overwhelmed. Maybe a prioritised list would help.

PenCreed Thu 29-Oct-20 13:33:38

My ILs bought a brand new house two years ago. It has major problems with the roof over the bay window at the back, when we were there earlier this year in heavy rain water was streaming through it. New is no guarantee of not having problems.

When we moved to our house the list of jobs needing doing seemed huge, and it wasn't a project house by any means. By the time we'd decorated some of the rooms in ways we liked, it all seemed much better. The list isn't as insurmountable as it seems! Houses always need something done, but not always urgently.

MudSmudge Thu 29-Oct-20 13:35:33

I love our character property. Modern build houses just don't feel like home. Get the jobs done and it'll be fine. Not to mention, friends of ours purchased a new build a year ago and it's pretty much falling apart at the seams so you wouldn't be any better off in a modern build.

keeprocking Thu 29-Oct-20 13:37:20

Minor problems are to be expected with an older house, you have to accept that older houses, like people, come with more problems. The structure is probably far sounder than a new house, it's already stood there for a long time, your newer houses will probably have a life span of 50 or 60 years.

CremantCharlie Thu 29-Oct-20 13:37:57

A lot of new builds have problems, so you will probably have problems and small box like rooms.

YukoandHiro Thu 29-Oct-20 13:40:22

I know exactly how you feel. Bought Victorian 3 bed maisonette five years ago. Loved it at first. Two children, no garden and lockdown later I am so bloody fed up of it and desperate to move. Everything breaks and is hard to fix, the damp is endemic, it's going to be a pain in the arsed when we finally sell as it's pricey (big flat in terms of square footage, nice after in nice area of zone 3) yet not actually a house. We were going to move this year but then covid plus I had a difficult pregnancy so we decided to hold off. Don't know when we'll be able to afford to move now.
Over it.
No advice, just solidarity.

Goosefoot Thu 29-Oct-20 13:41:37

venus9150

We moved into an old end terraced property a year ago. It's lovely and big, quirky, our neighbours are fantastic and at the time I loved it. Over the last year that has soured dramatically. Our previous house was built in the 1980s, it was cramped and box-like but nothing ever went wrong with it! This new house has little cracks all over it, small patches of damp, it creaks, has numerous 'house sounds'. Structurally it's fine but I feel like there's an insurmountable mountain of medium-sized jobs that need doing and I'm terrified something big will go wrong, like it'll need a whole new roof or something.

I just want to sell it and move to a newer house, even if that means a smaller property. DH thinks I'm mad and loves the house. He says we can just do little bits at a time but I can just see a never ending stream of jobs and feel like this house will just suck up all our spare cash forever!

I know if I push I can get my way but I don't know if that's fair to DH. Anyone in an old house who loves it? Is it possible to grow to love a house when I hate it so much?

I totally get your feellings, I am also in an old house and one that needs some serious work, and it is making me anxious.

I think though your husband is largely right. The thing is to just keep up with jobs all the time, and keep an eye on when big jobs will need doing.

I'd also say that a 1980 house isn't that young, and if it doesn't already it would also soon need similar constant upkeep, and roof replacement, and so on.

Fckingfuming Thu 29-Oct-20 13:42:22

Another saying newbuild houses don't come without problems. I don't own one, mines 80+ years old, but I know a few people with newer houses that have nothing but problems, including leaking roofs/windows/guttering etc, problems with sound, can't hang pictures/TV on walls, kitchen/bathroom not fitted correctly, crumbling paths, collapsed drains and flood risks, etc. Get on top of the bigger jobs first, then work on the smaller ones. It'll soon come together.

ShaunaTheSheep Thu 29-Oct-20 13:44:51

Mine is early 1900s and has lots of minor bits and pieces that probably need attention but nothing desperate. I regards as a home, not a show home so live with the quirks. Embrace it, look up the best way to deal with damp patches (likely to be caused by condensation if you have double glazing, so airing is essential) and romanticise the noises as the house’s friendly ghosts not mice or ambient plumbing.

Goosefoot Thu 29-Oct-20 13:46:09

Oh, and something else I have realised with my recent move - I would not underestimate the impact that covid might be having on your feelings about the house. It seems weird, but not being able to get out and generalised anxiety about everything will, I think, transfer over onto something like a house without it being obvious. So things that might have been mildly concerning before get blown all out of proportion. Especially if you haven't been able to meet people in the normal way.

venus9150 Thu 29-Oct-20 13:49:22

Thanks everyone! I know you're all right, sometimes you just need to hear it. A prioritised list is a simple but great idea! At the moment everything is a jumble in my head.

I don't think covid has helped, I'm trapped staring at these jobs all day everyday!

OP’s posts: |
OohThatCat Thu 29-Oct-20 13:52:51

I feel you, ours is around 100 years old and while I love the look of it, theres always something falling apart! We've had to replace the roof twice in 8 years thanks to incompetent fucking builders

Damp is always a problem here, as is shifting and cracks. I've decided this year I'm going to learn now to fix the cosmetic stuff so we don't have to get handymen out constantly. Also something to do should another winter lockdown hit. The damp I try to combat with hanging wardrobe bags, airing out and installing vents.

roastedsaltedpeanut Thu 29-Oct-20 13:53:43

Patches of damp could be caused by lack of ventilation, rather than structural damp. Impossible to tell with so little information. Try turning up the heating and open the windows more anyway.
Creaks and sounds is more difficult to determine. It could be serious or harmless. I imagine you didn’t have the house surveyed when you bought it, which is why you are worried about a roof replacement? Paying for a detailed survey will set your mind at ease and help you work out a priority list to sort out minor issues.
You love the space, the neighbours, I assume the location and garden too. Those are the most important things.

Fallsballs Thu 29-Oct-20 14:01:10

I’ve moved from a Victorian terrace to a newer house (about 50/60 years old now) and I am relieved. My old house was full of character but the problems outweighed the character and I was very stressed. I didn’t realise how much until I moved. There was always something going wrong, not catastrophic but it was always cold, patches of damp and I didn’t have the resources to fix it. I had hanging damp catchers, I couldn’t use some spaces, cracks appeared and it never felt clean no matter what I did.
But I was able to make the decision by myself, I do understand how stressful it is.

GhostofFrankGrimes Thu 29-Oct-20 14:03:34

I think houses are lottery. You can be unlucky and have problem after problem which gets you down because you just want to get on with your life rather than battle an expensive DIY list. Its why people saying renting is "dead money" versus a mortgage really irks me.

bridgetreilly Thu 29-Oct-20 14:07:06

All houses creak and make noises, don't they? And cracks in the plaster are not something to worry about either. It does sound like you had very unrealistic expectations about what houses are like, tbh. Unless you intend to spend the rest of your life moving from new build to new build (which can also have serious problems), I really think you are going to need to recalibrate your expectations and get used to it.

WeAreFromThePlanetDuplo Thu 29-Oct-20 14:07:21

Can you just focus on doing one room at a time, OP? And go for the one with the biggest impact, eg hall or living room, so you really see the benefit of the money you've spent?

Having a seemingly endless list of things that need doing in every room can be overwhelming.

Ninkanink Thu 29-Oct-20 14:07:42

Yes we live in a lovely old house with plenty of ‘charm’ (that’s what I call it - I genuinely love the higgledy piggledy quality of it) and my DH sometimes finds it quite stressful because just like you he gets overwhelmed with all the little jobs, and a few big ones, that need doing. However the house itself is perfectly sound, it’s just a matter of prioritising and saving and making sure we always have a buffer to get important things done straightaway.

I love our house - we both do - as far as I’m concerned the niggles and stresses are worth it to be able to live in a beautiful house.

I’m so excited to decorate for Christmas - we’ve lived in flats for several years and haven’t been able to have a wreath on the front door or lights outside, or a separate dining room etc etc. We’ve got a lovely bay window and the tree will look fantastic!

Went off on a tangent there...but really, don’t be disheartened. Find joy in the small charms and beauties and just relax a little.

GiraffeNecked Thu 29-Oct-20 14:09:05

Know what you mean. We got one room 'done' - the living room - so we have one space to retreat to and it gives us hope the rest of the house will be fine. We got decorators in and they filled the cracks, put lining paper up, patched up the holes - and it looks amazing. We might not be able to afford to do that with any other rooms but we know what it can look like.

Make a list - ask for recommendations of local handy man type people - unless you are good at DIY. And work through it. Concentrate on the stuff you like!

I''ve been doing the front garden so it looks good when we arrive and I can do that myself.

NotQuiteUsual Thu 29-Oct-20 14:10:23

I sympathise, we own an ancient mid terrace and it is a constant stream of little jobs. Lots of ventilating it, even if piss poor weather too. Just today I was discussing with next door and their awful damp problems. They have some masonry that needs doing though, so fx that'll improve things.

I wouldn't change it though. I love the history attached to our home(it was built as housing for miners in Victorian times) I love the area, the neighbours etc. Old houses need loads of tlc and are full of surprises, good and bad. It is a little intimidating though.

Audreyseyebrows Thu 29-Oct-20 14:15:09

I live in an old farm house. It’s definitely quirky but I love it. We fix things as and when we need to and keep a separate savings account for the house.
Show it some love and it will love you back.

I lived in a new build, it was never a home. This from the beginning was home.

serialreturner Thu 29-Oct-20 14:15:27

Our tenement was built in 1908 - I'm never moving though everything needs done.

We are currently being entertained by the rather interesting language of the scaffolders taking down the stuff that was put up to re do the roof at about £5 million ....

It has so much character. And space.

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