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House Buying Dilemma

(35 Posts)
Beccarollover Sun 18-Apr-04 21:23:42

We are looking for new house at the moment.

We want to stay very close to where we are now and our requirements are 3 bedrooms, dining room or big enough kitchen for dining table.

Our budget is 135k for this we can get brand new build at the bottom of our street - things that attract me to this are

The street we live in is lovely and get to stay close by
No decorating or major refurbishment
New kitchen
Neutral Decor
No money to spend on it after initial outlay for fees etc
Neither DP or I are DIYers

Other stuff available in our budget are semi detached 3 bedroomed that need at least some work done to them but are much roomier than the very matchbox new builds.

I cant decide what to do - Im sooo tempted by brand new zero work house but frightened of running out of space very quickly.

On the other hand the house we are in at the moment is titchy tiny so any improvement in size will be huge.

Can anyone help me to come to a decision?

GeorginaA Sun 18-Apr-04 21:31:19

I'm personally a big fan of new build, although I do miss my older (bigger) previous house. However, the maintenance side I truly don't miss, and it was a real pain to sell on. I've lived in a brand new flat (which was gorgeous) and a new (second-hand *grin*) house now and they are certainly much less hassle. Having brand new kitchen & bathroom is really nice.

Downsides: having to pay out for new curtains, carpets, light fittings, bathroom fittings - the sorts of things you don't always factor in and can end up costing a small fortune. Having a much smaller garden. Less space (although, ime much better use of space in terms of fitted cupboards etc).

Do a tour around several types of houses in your price range and then go for gut feeling. I think you always have to make a compromise somewhere when you buy a house.

Hulababy Sun 18-Apr-04 21:31:59

I'd have to go for the new build as DH and I are rubbish at DIY so unlikely to be able to do much to refurbish an older one. And I like the new, modern looks personally.

Is the new one much bigger than what you have? And is the extra space usable space? And what about storage areas?

Codswallop Sun 18-Apr-04 21:39:57

loads easier to clean

i love new houses

Kittypickle Sun 18-Apr-04 21:47:18

Having got an older house which needs work doing and children the same age as yours, go for a new house - this place is a money pit & getting work done with a baby around the place can get nightmarish. Stick a conservatory on in a couple of years if you run out of space.

toddlerbob Sun 18-Apr-04 21:50:15

Now live in a new house and loving it - although it is pretty big. Very easy to clean, no DIY. Make sure you chase them to fix up any stuff that still needs doing though - new does not mean perfect.

GeorginaA Sun 18-Apr-04 21:51:11

Nooo... we've looked at the conservatory route. 8 grand (and that was the cheapest!) for a tiny poxy room that you can only use spring or autumn without your electricity bill going sky high! For 13 grand we're getting a whole extra 3 rooms with a ground floor extension and year round use MUCH better value for money!

GeorginaA Sun 18-Apr-04 21:51:47

Of course, we're still waiting for the planning permission to come through ...

Codswallop Sun 18-Apr-04 21:57:36

I disagree abut the heating George!
Ours is fantastic and we have taken out kitchen door off . war m and toasty and loevly hearing the rain on the glass today

we have one solid wall on t he side

Beccarollover Mon 19-Apr-04 07:14:13

I definitely want easy to clean, realy dont like the idea of living in someone elses grime.

I really want new build - DP wants older and bigger and I think were going to miss out anyway as there were only 2 left 2 weeks ago

Freckle Mon 19-Apr-04 07:38:03

Do you want easy to clean, but characterless and probably small, or big rooms with masses of character requiring some work?

Personally I'd go for an older property everytime. Depending on what needs doing, it can probably be done over a period of time, so that you are not constantly living with builders. The room sizes are generally much better than new houses (there was a report recently about how we're all demanding bigger beds, but modern houses are being built with ever smaller rooms so the beds don't fit). The quality of the build of older properties is *much* better than new (well, it is round here). I don't know of anyone who has bought a new property who hasn't had to keep calling the builders back because things are wrong/falling apart, etc.

SoupDragon Mon 19-Apr-04 07:53:59

I'd go for an older property every time. IME, new builds feel flimsy, have poor soundproofing and are mean with the room and garden size. I've just stayed in my in laws "new" build and it was just so noisy.

On the maintenance front, my DB and SIL bought a new build and had a huge "snagging" list of things that needed sorting out. These were either missed bits by the builders or problems which occurred as the house "settled". The new-to-them new build they had next had none of these (but was still small and flimsy IMO!). No house is without it's problems!

It's horses for courses isn't it?

jac34 Mon 19-Apr-04 08:27:24

We have a victorian terriced, absolute bags of room and loads of original features.We have three large reception rooms, plus kitchen downstairs, and three good sized bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, our bedroom is huge, we've just bought a superking size bed and still have bags of room in there.It did need work but, they were the kind of things you would get people in to do anyway,and that can be done in time as and when we have the money.We only started doing things before Christmas(we've been here 4 years), and still have lots to do, but we intend staying here so can take our time. We bought before the prices shot up, so have a tiny morgage compared to all our friends, and have trebled our money.
It's ideal for young children as they have their own play room, I just couldn't stand, having a through lounge full of toys that had to be put away at the end of the day, I just shut the door and forget about it.

Freckle Mon 19-Apr-04 08:42:17

Similar here, except ours is Edwardian. We have a massive room (which most people in our street use as a dining room), which is given over to a playroom, with French windows directly onto the garden. My mum thought we should use an upstairs room as the playroom, which would have involved the boys coming in through either the kitchen or dining room, traipsing mud, etc. all the way through, up the stairs, along the landing and into the playroom. Nuts. We have a smaller room off the kitchen which is more practical as a dining room. Lovely high ceilings (which will be good when my boys emulate their father's height). Extra rooms, such as a laundry room (was just a loo, but too big to be wasted as that), cellar, huge loft areas.

Also, another thing to consider is that older properties tend to have decent sized gardens, unlike new builds where the builders assume you only use the garden to grow pot plants.

Beccarollover Mon 19-Apr-04 09:26:37

It is a tough one

The older ones that need work arent even THAT much more spacious - they arent very old just probably about 20-30 years or so so the bedrooms are a bit bigger but not vastly.

I just cant imagine getting major work done with kids and both of us working.

Also - the ones that would need money spent are still up for the same amount as new build so we would buy older one for 135 but then have no money to do anything!!!

Freckle Mon 19-Apr-04 09:34:07

Oh right. I thought when you mentioned older you meant 80-100 years. Houses built in the 70s and 80s probably aren't much different from the new builds, apart from slightly bigger rooms. Mind you, they probably still have better gardens.

Beccarollover Mon 19-Apr-04 09:40:38

Thats the conundrum - brand new and ready to go or not much older, little character, work to do and slightly bigger rooms hmmmmmmmmm

Ive made an appointment to see two tomorrow - one that looks quite a bit older - bay windows etc which looks hopeful.

bunnyrabbit Mon 19-Apr-04 09:48:24

I suppose it really depends if you intend to move again, and if you the sort of person who can love with things not being finished.

New houses are smaller in area, but you would have new kitchen /bathroom /roof /windows /guttering. All the things you normally have to pay out lots for. As GeorginaA points out, you always have the option to build an extension. But this does depends on the size of your garden, planning permission etc. and then of course you need to pay for it in one go (or remortgage). I also feel new builds are flimsy and the sound proofing is generally non exsistent. You even have to use special picture hooks on some of them 'cos the walls are so crap.

Older houses generally have larger gardens and more potential, so if you don't intend to move for a while, you can take your time getting things done bit by bit (and the kids can always be banished to the garden) This is what I'm doing. I've been in my house 5 years and still haven't finished the decorating (although the kitchen, breakfast room, utility room, en-suite, bathroom, windows, guttering, and some building work have been done.. and we've just had our fence redone).

I think you have to look at things in the the long term and decide where you want to be in 5 - 10 years time.


oxocube Mon 19-Apr-04 09:50:37

I'd go for older (ie Victorian, Edwardian) every time if possible. Loads more character IMO. Whereabouts are you buying Becca? I was born and bred in Newcastle - lived there for 25 years - and am really shocked at the recent price rises there. Fab if you already have property there though. About 12 years ago, we lived in Heaton, in a turn of the century flat which I loved and then we bought a tiny new build flat near to the Quayside which looked gorgeous when we bought it but we soon outgrew it and I wished we had gone for another older but bigger property. Good luck and have you had an offer from the girl who came with her mum? Did your de-cluttering work

Beccarollover Mon 19-Apr-04 09:55:52

Im looking in Brunswick Village/Brunswick Green/Dinnington/Wideopen/Kingston Park/Possibly South Gosforth - none of these areas offer nice big old houses they are all fairly new but I want to stay in the area due to DD's school etc.

The house we are in now is a 6 year old 2 bedroom mid link - it is very small and I think Id regret a new build if all it had extra to this was an extra bedroom.

I dont plan on being at the next house for too long - probably 3 years or so as at the moment keeping costs low is the priority as Im working part time until kids are in school - once they are at school I will have more earning potential and we can then go for the "family home" we would both love.

Beccarollover Mon 19-Apr-04 09:56:26

oxocube - I lived in heaton before I moved here in a tyneside flat and I could practically fit my whole current house into one of the bedrooms lol

CountessDracula Mon 19-Apr-04 10:00:29

watch out for 80's houses, they are often very poorly built.

Our last house was a very unusual and fantastic 70's townhouse, very solidly built with lots of intresting features, not a box - just because you are going for modern doesn't mean you have to have a featurless box!

If you are looking for room/space I would just go for whatever is biggest and appeals to you but doesn't need strucural work, surely you can deal with getting the place painted/new wooden floors or carpets? Just work the cost of it into the budget and buy accordingly

oxocube Mon 19-Apr-04 10:00:33

ooh, which street Becca? We were in Rothbury Terrace which I loved. Before that, DH was in a HORRIBLE tyneside flat on Simonside Tce, by the fruit and veg shop on the corner and the No 1 bus stopped (every 3 minutes!) right ouside his bedroom!

Janh Mon 19-Apr-04 10:05:41

becca, my niece has that lovely Victorian terrace in back garden though

Beccarollover Mon 19-Apr-04 10:06:40

Ohhhh I know the place you mean and the number 1 bus

I was on Addycombe terrace

CD - yes carpets, decoration etc are fine but not sure if the budget allows - its so tight its ridiculous but going down even a fraction on the house price and we are then only going to be able to get ex council.

The one we saw yesterday would need at minimum new windows, kitchen, bathroom, gardens done, recarpeted and decorated throughout - was on a really gorgeous street and was quite a nice house in itself but we just couldnt afford the work

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