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House at bottom of our budget or top?

(24 Posts)
Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 20:29:30

Would you buy a house that has been done up completely (modern, brand new everything with a great flow and layout) and big enough to snugly fit your family but it is at the bottom of your budget OR one that needs quite a lot of work, has a weird layout which actually makes it look smaller, doesn't look as nice and is at the top of your budget but has slightly larger rooms and a larger, nicer garden? We have a baby and a toddler and are NOT good at and hate renovations. WWYD?

FiveGoMadInDorset Sat 08-Apr-17 20:30:29

If you don't like renovations go for the first one

Ginmakesitallok Sat 08-Apr-17 20:31:29

Why would you buy a house at the top of your budget which needs work done??

Gizlotsmum Sat 08-Apr-17 20:31:56

First one if you can't do it up yourself or keep looking and find something in between?

Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 20:37:28

Ginmakesitallok because I can see the potential of the more expensive house (it COULD look like the less expensive house if it had work done to it) and would then we would have a larger garden, larger bedrooms and a house to grow into. It also looks a lot more pretty from the outside and the houses around it at further away. The bottom of the budget house has more houses close to it, it does not look as pretty from the outside, the garden is smaller and less versatile (it is not flat but has lots of stairs) and the rooms are smaller but everything is DONE exactly as we would want it. Nearly nothing comes up in our town and we're very specific about the area we want to live it. My head says go with the bottom of the budget house but I'm wondering whether it might mean we'll have to move again in 5-6 years time.

MrsLettuce Sat 08-Apr-17 20:37:50

Yes, first one or keep looking

Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 20:39:34

OH and I enjoy going away on holiday and want something easy to clean and maintain. DH especially hates doing work on the house. He prefers BB (bottom budget house) for that reason.

Believeitornot Sat 08-Apr-17 20:41:19

Keep looking.

I canfishind anything more depressing than buying an expensive house, which you can't afford to renovate with dcs.

newmumwithquestions Sat 08-Apr-17 20:41:33

If go for the big one with a wierd layout. But we don't mind renovations and I would love love love a bigger garden.
From what you've said the smaller one would be better for you. Building work is very messy, time consuming and expensive.

SofiePendragon Sat 08-Apr-17 20:49:16

It sounds like the first house has issues that can't be changed (too small, overlooked, small garden. How stretched would you be at the top of your budget? Is your income likely to increase in the next five years (increments etc)? Does the second house need to be renovated for safety/structural reasons or just cosmetic? Even if the first house is perfect now, it will still need work to keep it looking nice and if you have to move again or extend in future that will lead to additional costs.

MadeForThis Sat 08-Apr-17 20:53:13

No 1

Renovations will always always cost more than you expect.

If the only difference is slightly bigger rooms I would go for the first house every time.

CMamaof4 Sat 08-Apr-17 20:56:37

Personally I would go for the first one, We bought a house to do up, and It hasn't been fun living in a building site with kids, Although the end result is amazing and we have substantially increased the value of our house, I wouldn't recommend doing it if you don't have to, Living with all the dust and the dirt that accumulates from the work needed doing, having to get skips to rip out kitchens and bathrooms, Having to live without a kitchen was actually hell whilst getting a new one put in.
All the tools and materials that need to be stored, I don't know how much of the work you are planning to do yourself but every bit of time you are doing up the place you realise in the end you are missing out family time, My husband had a long time off of doing up the house as we wanted to do more family time. We are finally on our way to completing it, and looking to move, I would never buy a doer upper again.
Whilst the kids are little I want to concentrate completely on making the best memories with them, not on my house.

Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 21:33:30

CMamaof4 that's exactly our thinking - family time is so important to us and we want to spend more of our money on travelling with the children than being in our house. The idea of spending every weekend working on and renovating is not our idea of a fun time. We're currently in a tiny 'couple and a baby' house with two children that we decorated to look absolutely beautiful and maximised the space to the limit in. We're under offer and absolutely must move this year or we will go a bit loopy...

House 1 (bottom budget)
-Nice area walking distance to school and town
-beautiful fixtures, gorgeous kitchen, underfloor heating, bright airy rooms, immaculate finish, open plan, we can just move in
-rooms a good size but too small to fit big wardrobes in (I can sense a clothing cull coming!)
-OH who works from home once a week will need to use the smaller bedroom to work in so if we have guests the children will have to move into a bunk bed in the smaller single bedroom as there is no study
-smaller garden slopes but still nicely done with beautiful views and low maintenance
-a main road not far away so there is road noise when in the garden
-other houses are close so could probably hear neighbours (but not really see them)
-not that pretty from outside

House 2 (top budget)
-Very pretty house from outside
-smallest house in the road of very lovely bigger houses
-far from main road so no road noise but still close to town and walking distance from school
-has been a rental so desperately needs new carpets, paint throughout, new fixtures and fittings
-weird layout (very 'boxy') downstairs but we could add an extension in time to link up the boxy rooms into an open plan layout (money, mess, etc).
-larger rooms for more storage
-rooms darker than house 1 even on sunny day so could benefit from better lighting. I found the house quite dark and depressing on the cloudy day I viewed but that could just be the bad dark decor too!
-kitchen brand new but not my style
-large lovely flat garden
-separate study plus bedrooms for children and guests

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sat 08-Apr-17 21:43:57

If you found House 2 dark and depressing, I think that outweighs the positives you describe.

Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:00:46

Thank you, you have been very helpful! x

CMamaof4 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:18:27

So difficult isn't it, Hopefully one will come on the market that is perfect for you!

tadpole73 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:19:36

Think you've answered your own question on reading this. First option

Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:22:47

Thank you CMamaof4! I'm really hoping this year will be our year!

Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:23:41

Thanks tadpole73 x

Pansiesandredrosesandmarigolds Sat 08-Apr-17 22:24:24

Neither. First house has impractical garden for kids and doesn't sound like you like it much. Second sounds like a nightmare.

imNew1985 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:24:41

Schools? Catchments ?

Busybee1234 Sat 08-Apr-17 22:29:18

First house already has small children living there and they fenced / zoned areas for them to play in with a very nice play area. We tend to go out most weekends anyway for walking and activities rather than stay at home. House 1 is completely open plan downstairs which brings the 'outdoors in' a bit as there is lots of room to move around without feeling squashed inside and it is very light with big windows. But I would prefer a flat garden if I'm perfectly honest, however where we live there is always something that is a con in our price bracket if one wants to stay in town.
Both are in catchment for great schools.

PickAChew Sat 08-Apr-17 22:29:55

If it needed work, I' be looking for lots of wiggle room and well below the top of our budget, even if it did have the potential to be a much better house!

I've noticed that many houses that are "done" aren't worth the premium, anyhow, since it turns out that there's something big like no room for my tumble dryer or a tiny integrated fridge freezer with nowhere to put a free standing fridge and freezer. If a neat looking kitchen turns out to be shit, then it's a good chunk of our max budget to put right, unless we want the fridge and dryer in the livingroom for a year or so.

PickAChew Sat 08-Apr-17 22:40:04

And, reading on, I owuld completely discount house 1. if the house that would be fab but a complete money pit is already at the top of your budget and the one that is pristine at the bottom, then given that it's only April, something in between is bound to crop up.

I think you also need to house hunt with a mind as to whether you're looking for a house to see you through the primary school years or right through until kids leave home. If the latter and oyu can get over the lighting, then house 2 might be OK - as you said, it has a new kitchen, just not an appealing one. If it's big enough, you can shuffle round while you work on bits. The only offputting thing there is the fact that you don't actually like doing work.

But, if a too small house that's all done to your taste comes in at the bottom of you budget, then you'd probably find something a wee bit bigger but not as desperate as the one at the top of your budget, if you held on a bit.

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