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To want to sell the house that we just bought?

(33 Posts)
toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 09:35:36

Probably I am in a moaning mood today. Have been trying to reach peace of my mind for a while with no success. We just bought 2 bed Victorian mid terrace house. The house hunting process nearly made me ill. We were initially after a 2 bed maisonette, found one, then pulled out (I think pulling out was a mistake but my DH did not like it much anyway), then were outbid from several properties that we loved, and this seemed like the “last chance” of affordable house in our area. The house itself is OK, quite large and as you say with potential and character, but also needs a lot of work (did not look that bad when the former owners were still there with all the furniture).I am currently doing small redecorations for us to be able to move. I can see that the work there will never end, all bits will have to be redecorated/replaced eventually. I wish we had bought something smaller, less character, less stylish and more affordable, like smaller flat or ex-council house. I think I was a little naïve thinking that when you do things yourself (I am keen learner in DIY), it is going to be cheap, but it is not. Also I thought that if I buy a house, it could be for life, because I hate moving. The problem is I cannot see this house for life, I just hate it and completely don’t want to move in, don’t want to change my postal address or anything to do with it. I just go there in the evenings, do my decorating job and go back home. I was even thinking that we should do minor decoration and sell, even if it will be clearly with the loss. Then agreed with DH that this is not wise and instead arrange to take a lodger to make us more comfortable with money. The only thoughts I keep having is “we will sell the house as soon as the lodger moves out”. It is like my whole nature says it was a mistake buying it at the first place (somehow it did not look a mistake when we were making an offer…). Even if I assume we will be fine with the money, I just cannot accept the house. Not that something is wrong with it…. it is just probably me…

Firawla Thu 10-Sep-09 09:44:43

if you can cover mortgage by renting it, or nearly cover it.. perhaps consider keeping it long term as a rental property, or until prices rise a bit more then sell it? and stay where u r living at the moment?

giveloveachance Thu 10-Sep-09 09:45:05

it is a well know fact that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do, its up there with divorce, so its very natural that you should be feeling anxious and not wanting to change.

It won't feel like your home until you make it and change it to how you would like it. once you start to see the changes take shape you may feel differently.

Are there any other reasons you have for not wanting to move -

Can your DH help out with the decorating so you feel it is a joint project?

What does your dh feel about it?

toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 10:03:17

Firawla, there is absolutely no point in staying in current rental, because current rental is a tiny 1 bed flat (probably three times smaller than the house).
The rent from the house would cover the mortgage and leave us with a bit, but at the current state requires more redecoration that I could afford to do in once.

Giveloveachance, I have noticed it by now!! I mean the stress and exhaustion that the whole process caused. My DH knows that I am always looking for perfection and says “that I am never satisfied with anything”, which is not true (but I am quite picky). He is neutral with the house, because he rarely has these womanly emotions like “love it” or “hate it”. Unfortunately, he can’t help much with decorating, because someone has to stay at home with our 16 months old DS.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 10-Sep-09 10:06:35

Can you just start giving the master bedroom a lick of paint move in there, and do the rest while you live there? You will be saving money on rent while you do this. Plus, I imagine you will also be getting bills on your new place, as you are using electrics and gas when you are there for your decorating?

spicemonster Thu 10-Sep-09 10:06:45

I cried when I went round to the first flat I bought - it was filthy and looked terrible. I was convinced I'd made the biggest mistake of my life. I lived there for 5 years and was blissfully happy

I think it's perfectly normal to feel like that when you buy a house that's not brand new. Sure you will come to love it

lljkk Thu 10-Sep-09 10:31:13

YANBU to be daunted by more than you bargained for, but in other ways YABU.

All houses are always ongoing projects, they are always on the brink of decay. Owning any home is a lot of work in terms of maintenance. I think you're expecting too much, OP. Live in it for a while, fix the things that bother you most first.

ClaudiaSchiffer Thu 10-Sep-09 10:36:55

Buck up girl.

Don't look too far into the future, for goodness sake don't stress out with ideas of it being a forever house.

Get in do a quick paint job - lovely neutal colours or whatever rings your bells.

Then move in and make it lovely. I bet in 6 months you will be delighted with the house (which sounds great to me btw), imagine the 3 of you in all that lovely space.

lljkk is right, most houses are a daunting prospect the trick is just do what you can manage - quickly before you loose your mojo. Then buy some lovely paintings or rugs or chandeliers to give it your own stamp.

toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 10:49:12

QuintessentialShadows, the bedroom is being redone but other things also must be done before we move, like sanding the floor and painting downstairs (painting has to be done before floor according to specialists). I have 1 month until our rental contract runs out. Hopefully, I will love it more after all…

spicemonster, that is exactly how I feel now and it consoles me that your mind has changed and eventually you were happy in your flat.

lljkk, thank you, probably I was expecting too much (or did not negotiate the price enough). I am stuck and I will have to live there, I am afraid. I feel though that I have trapped myself into the situation.

ClaudiaShiffer, thanks for your advice. Atm I feel like I am stuck with my “forever” project and the rugs/paintings stage is very far ahead, I was naïve, silly and I made a mistake at the first place to start with. I cannot wait though when the house will be full of people and lively, maybe then I would feel a bit better…

ib Thu 10-Sep-09 10:58:52

Houses that someone has just moved out of always look terribly depressing. It's rare that I haven't felt my heart sink when I walk into a bare house, that I am to move into, even if it's been recently decorated.

It's true that it always comes as a shock if you do the work yourself just how much you still have to spend on materials, this stuff is expensive! But once you have finished an area, and it's got your furniture in it and you are living in it all will change, I can almost guarantee it.

Jackaroo Thu 10-Sep-09 11:03:30

I'm not sure if this will be helpful. We moved into a house last year that was supposed to be a complete renovation job. Whilst I know my onions in London, we were back on DH's turf, whoc has never done anything like himself, we/I did one house together in London.... but it was the kind of house I was used to, knew exactly what I wanted etc etc. DH hadn't realised it was going to be so expensive to do up, and even then it wouldn't be as good as we would've wanted.

I hated it. Loathed it from the moment we finalised contracts. my big difference (or so I thought) was that I had never done this with children around and it suddenly seemed insurmountable.But it turns out it was just a horrible house and needed pulling down (in oz you do that!).... Then I found I was pg., and just being in the house like that made me cry. So we moved. We moved in 2 weeks before DS2 was born, and even with that monumental stress it was absolutely the right thign to do.

So, I suppose I would give it a go, but listen to your gut instinct. It's not just about decorating by the sounds of it; you were originally looking for something very different weren't you.

We ended up being out by the amount of a stamp duty, no small change, but completely worth it. Oh, and in saying out loud "we made a mistake" we didn't feel as stupid as we expected to, and others didn't make us feel dumb either... I had been worrying that it would look incredibly flaky or something.

Good luck, but know you are allowed to change your mind!

PS People look completely baffled when they realise we've moved again, just nobody does that. For some reason if the issue is big enough we feel we just have to put up with it. We had far more disposable income before this (ie, some), but I'd rather be on a limited income in a house I love, than have cash flow in somewhere that makes me miserable.

ElectricElephant Thu 10-Sep-09 11:05:36

When we got the keys to our first house (2 bed terrace too) I was devastated - there were lots of things I hadn't noticed on the viewings, and it looked totally different once it was empty (and was a total mess).

We're currently in the middle of renovating it, and I love it now. It's not our forever home (too small) which is a shame, as we've made such a difference to the place and I love it now!

Prinpo Thu 10-Sep-09 11:22:56

I'm with Jackaroo, you are allowed to change your mind and, for me, my gut feeling about a house is important. Having said that, you are putting a lot of expectations onto this house (in terms of staying there forever, etc.) and perhaps what would help would be to be completely pragmatic about the whole thing so that you do what you can with the time and money available and then move in and take it one step at a time from there. You can take the pressure off yourself about whether it's a keeper or not and just see how you feel 1 or 2 years down the line when it's looking better and you've lived there for a while. Agree with all other comments about how dreadful houses look to begin with. Most of us are probably in that situation of needing to do work to the house but being a bit short of time, money, skill and enthusiasm. smile

toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 11:36:32

ib, I will print your “almost guarantee” and hang on the wall, just to cheer me up!

Jackaroo, sorry to hear your negative experience. Did you move into rental or bought another house? I wonder do you love where you moved afterwards, was it any different experience?
My house is becoming much bigger project than I was expecting before. Atm it seems “bearable” if I split costs within long time but I also want a life to live, not only be engaged in forever-decorating. I already acknowledge my mistake (although not ready to tell to my parents yet…) and feel better because of that, but selling at the moment is practically impossible, because nobody will pay the price we paid with the current state (didn’t noticed many things when viewing).
I currently live with a calming imagination in my head – this is my temporary house, I will be housesharing with the lodger, benefiting financially, and we can move once save enough for a move.

ElectricElephant, I am in the same position as you were, plus it seems that we overpaid for not noticing things during viewings, and we suffer now from being left without spare money and the terrible state. I am happy to hear though that you are loving your house now, probably because you have made it your own.

eleveld Thu 10-Sep-09 11:37:57

We've been in our current house 2 years now.

We looked at loads and when we viewed this one, even though it was really old fashioned in decor etc, we both just had immediate gut feel that we had to have it. Couldn't wait for the sale to go through.

Then the day came when we got the keys. I walked in, looked around at this now empty house and thought Oh my god it's horrible what have we done? I seemed to see so much wrong with it that I didn't see before.

It's true what someone else said on here, a house looks so different when it has been emptied - you see all the faults that the furniture hid.

I am happy so say that we started doing it up and I am now blissfully happy. Our gut instinct was absolutley right, it was just a bit of a shock when we realised how much work did need doing. But we're gradually doing it and it's great because it's making it exactly how we want it - rather than putting up with another house that had just been decorated etc but wasn't your taste.

Hope something similar happens for you

ElectricElephant Thu 10-Sep-09 11:41:00

toja, yes - we bought at the top of the market 2 year ago as well, so we've probably lost about 20% of the value shock

There was so much we didn't notice on the view, no aerial, rot in the Victorian conservatory, light switches in very odd places, bad heating, no thermostat. But all of that is gone now (but not forgotten just yet grin

Do the house in order of what rooms you use the most, we got the living room done within a week or so so we had a sanctury to retreat too when the rest of the house was in a state.

toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 11:49:37

Prinpo, thanks. I am trying to look at it pragmatic, but it is no-win situation for me. I spent 5.5k for purchase costs (legal, stamp duty, surveys etc.) and would spend around the same, if not more, if I have to move again. I will probably have to invest up to 10k just to get the same price for the house, with the housing market being so vulnerable. Being pragmatic means taking the lodger, repaying some off the mortgage, waiting until tube comes into my area (couple of years probably) and minimizing our loss. Being pragmatic means staying in the house for a couple of years and trying to make things look better. I feel completely trapped.

toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 12:26:46

ElectricElephant, I don’t want you to feel bad about your 20% off the value, but if it was me I would probably be slightly…hm.. upset?
I also did not noticed how the walls were badly uneven, cat’s pee smell in the kitchen (probably will have to have all kitchen floor replaced), rotten conservatory window frames and that the conservatory windows were from plastic that is literally falling out, lighting upstairs does not work (it was daytime when we viewed and I did not bother to check assuming that a family with 3 children would have lights in their bedrooms and bathroom). The garden looked bigger at the first. I did know that the neighbour was to erect a big garden “office” during last weeks before we got the keys, which looks a massive con from our garden.

ElectricElephant, you must have spent a lot to do all work. I hope you don’t have to move as of yet!

toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 12:27:47

I did know - had to be I did not know

ElectricElephant Thu 10-Sep-09 12:30:56

argh, the cat pee smell - our conservatory floor was reeking of the stuff, and the concrete underneath ~scowl_

oh, of course I feel awful about it, we have a mortgage that we can hardly afford and and it's pretty awful, but we aren't planning on moving for another 3 years at least, and in that time we're hoping it'll pick up a little bit and we should be able to add some value in the meantime.

There's no point worrying about it at the moment, I do like the house, it's in a lovely area and things are OK at the moment.. i'll worry about it when I need to

dinkystinky Thu 10-Sep-09 12:58:05

Bought our house 2 years ago at the top of the market having been outbid on other house we loved down the road - came to view it several times and won an auction by massively overpaying, but it ticked so many boxes (nice high street, near lovely park, good local primary school, manageable sized garden, tonnes of period features, nice neighbours, lots of families in the area) we talked ourselves into liking the house. Then moved in several months later and HATED it with a passion - discovered lots of things that the other people's furniture had hidden as well as the fact it had slugs and mice inside <they really need a bleurgh emoticon>. So we covered up the worst of the issues, toxed out the slugs and put down micetraps and started to live with it and began planning what we'd like to do - the aim was to move out for 6 months, gut the place and totally redo it. Got all the plans drawn up and approved - then Lehmans collapsed, so we decided to put everything on hold and wait till the markets start recovering and just did the most urgent maintenance jobs. And you know what, while there are still times I dislike particular bits about the house, on the most part now I tolerate the bits I dont like and actually actively feel affectionate towards it at times - though as soon as I get the chance and can raise the finances I am gutting it and getting it done they way I want it to be. It helps that my DS1 loved the house from the first moment we moved in - and that DS2 was born here so I have some lovely memories associated with the house already.

What I'm trying to say is that you have to deal with things as they come - you may find when you move into the house and live with it, you will start to like it more. If it ticks lots of your boxes already, you probably will like it more once you've got most of your jobs done and its the way you would like it to be.

toja555 Thu 10-Sep-09 13:31:14

ElectricElephant, that is a very right idea to worry about things when it comes.
How did you managed to get the cat pee odour out? Our conservatory is tiled and cleaning did help, the smell is almost gone, but kitchen dinner floor is pine floorboards (how nice I thought when I was viewing) and the smell comes from everywhere (how did I missed it or managed to ignore when I was viewing?).
I badly need to fix the floor and the smell, but I cannot afford the builder, so there is one of the points where I am stuck.

Dinkystinky, I know what you mean by “Hate with a passion” I would like to have a second baby, but will have to choose – baby or refurbishment – cannot afford both and can hardly afford one or another. Great for you. I am not even sure anymore if it ticks all the boxes. The area is average (matter of luck if we get into a good school), the neighbours are non-standard, the garden is on the smaller side and after all, when you start hating it, you just hate thinking that there absolutely nothing good about it.

somewhathorrified Thu 10-Sep-09 13:56:55

Everytime we move we walk in to the house after completion turn to each other and say "what have we done?!". Houses that need work always seem daunting, especially when you start to do the basic calcuations in terms of cost. Try to remember this is just a building, four walls, a roof with foundations, just like any other house. It's funny but we always start with the living room as we spend most time in there with the lights on. It really helps to have one room which you are comfortable in, even if it's not going to stay that way. Throw some paint on the walls, put your pictures up, a rug on the floor...I call it a sanity space. Everything else can wait.

BalloonSlayer Thu 10-Sep-09 17:35:08

I haven't moved house a lot (only 3 times) but I have had the same experience every time.

I've been really excited, then when I walk into the empty new property I think, oh God, how did I ever think I'd make a home here.

I'd go back forlornly to the old house to pack up and think, well this doesn't seem like much of a home either. I have no home < wail >

Then when my stuff is in the new house, it looks like home and I think, ahhh, here you are!

I wonder if the reason this place doesn't feel right is because your stuff isn't there. I think you might feel much better once you have moved in.

BTW, white wine vinegar, mixed with water, one part vinegar to three parts water is good for neutralising cats' piss. (And human piss, but hopefully that's not an issue.)

willowstar Thu 10-Sep-09 17:58:36

hmmm....we just moved into a semi-derelict farmhouse...while we were viewing it and going through the hell of sorting out mortgages, deposit, insurance (high flood risk area) I didn't let myself think about the negatives because I know that in the long term this is going to be a beautiful home. we went from a lovely modern rental - all neutral colours, clean etc...to a ramshackle heap with 70s decore and several major bodge jobs that we hadn't noticed till we moved in. the first couple of days/nights we were in shock, that horrible sinking 'oh my god that have we done' feeling...but now 6 weeks down the line we are making progress and I absolutely LOVE it. I think the difference is that I know it will take us a good 3-4 years to get the house and garden/wilderness sorted out. We don't have much spare cash so are just doing it bit by bit. maybe you need to step back and just make a couple of rooms livable and deal with the rest later?

for what it is worth, I think it is good to live in a place before you do too much to it. I had some ideas before we moved here that now that we have been here a few weeks I am not so sure about and have changed my mind on a few things. so I would say do the minimum and move in. when you see your own things in it will feel different...then just keep your eye out for bargain days at the big DIY stores and don't expect too much of yourself. it will come right and if not the money and effort will pay off in time when you come to sell it.

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