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Victorian semi or showy new build?

(50 Posts)
CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 02-Jul-11 21:52:10

Argh, what to do:

House no 1. Fell in love with a Victorian semi. On busy road but dead quiet inside. Garden a bit noisy but park opposite. Near station etc.

House no 2 is in a different area, in a small 'estate' of newish builds. Ticks all the right boxes for number of rooms, garden etc. Very clean and 'proper, a bit bland but I can see why it would resell much quicker in years to come.

Shall we be practical and go for no 2 or go with the one we liked? Any thoughts? We plan to stay 6-7 years at least.

coastgirl Sat 02-Jul-11 21:53:58

Character for me every time! We live near a busy road and although you can hear the traffic in the garden and front rooms, I honestly tune it out. It's just a 'main road' though, not a dual carriageway or anything.

I start to feel all claustrophobic in new builds. Everything's too even and the ceilings are so low you don't feel like there's enough space, even when there is.

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 02-Jul-11 22:02:23

The noise of the road didn't bother me too much. You could only hear it in the garden and it was just the sound of the city, life nearby. The road has a 30 mph limit. The parking would be difficult, though, going in and out of a main road.

LaGuerta Sat 02-Jul-11 22:09:18

Victorian definitely. Have you checked the new build out for noise travelling between rooms and floors? I remember staying at a friend's new build the night before her wedding and was staggered by being able to hear every word her sister and her were saying to each other at 5am! Victorian properties tend to be much more solid IME

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 02-Jul-11 22:14:05

House no. 2 didn't sound noisy. In fact, there was nothing wrong with it (50K more than no. 1). Just not sure I'm ready to live in an estate of smart houses for bourgeois people. In a way it's an easy option as there will always be someone wanting to live there. I think no. 1 is more of a house you need to love, but easily donesmile

LynetteScavo Sat 02-Jul-11 22:29:12

The one you love.

I moved from a Victorian town house to a detached new build. Worst thing I ever did in my life.

CristinaTheAstonishing Sat 02-Jul-11 22:33:49

Lynette - why do you think so? Is it stifling or just the comparison with what you had? Did you find the Victorian house dark or cold in the winter?

SecretNutellaFix Sat 02-Jul-11 22:36:40

Victorian.

LynetteScavo Sat 02-Jul-11 23:27:24

Um, yes the Victorian house was bloody freezing, although not dark. The garden was tiny, and we only had parking at the rear for one car (which would have been OK, actually, as we only bought a 2nd car when we moved). It did need some money spending on it (like a new roof grin, but I was happy there.

The thing I really hated about the new build was having to drive every where...even to post a letter, as they hadn't yet put in post boxes. Popping to the shop or park just didn't happen, if we ran out of cat food or I fancied some chocolate it became an excursion. It wasn't so much the house I hated(although the kitchen and bathrooms could have been bigger), but the location. I also realised that my friends who lived in town did so because they couldn't drive, and weren't able to casually pop by..sad. When we sold that house we rented a new build closer to the town centre, and I was a lot happier. (But the neighbours there were fantastic and it was right next to a post box and near a fabulous takeaway grin).

BehindLockNumberNine Sat 02-Jul-11 23:35:56

Victorian, every time.

I personally find new build estates soulless and would hate to live on one.
I love the personality of Victorian houses.
Rooms tend to be bigger in Victorian houses.

Also I find Victorian properties sell faster and for more money than their new-built-on-estates equivalents. (not professional opinion, just avid rightmove browser)

kalo12 Sat 02-Jul-11 23:39:19

new build - you can make it super chic and zen

those victorian semis dark and dusty. i moved in to one and moved straight out, thought i loved it but grew to hate it in the 9 months we were there

CristinaTheAstonishing Sun 03-Jul-11 06:05:08

Thanks for all opinions.

House no. 2 is no further from a small parade of shops than house no. 1, walkable. So I can't fault it in that respect. (You can sense I'm looking for reasons.)

The Victorian hasn't got a good energy certificate, so it might well be freezing in winter...

BLNN - you are on to something there. I checked on nethouseprices and the asking price for the Victorian is more than double the purchase 10 years ago, whereas house 2 is only 10% higher than 5 years ago. Admittedly, one bought just before house price increase, the other at the top.

Kalo - current owners have lived there 10 years and checking further on nethouseprices it seems so have neighbours on both sides, so we're thinking it must be a nice/good place to live.

We'll try and drive round there this afternoon, take the kids to the park, check it out for grafitti etc, have a walk around the neighbourhood, maybe to one of the schools for distance.

mathanxiety Sun 03-Jul-11 06:21:01

The people may be there for 10 years because they wouldn't get the price they paid for it if they tried selling.

If the Victorian is cheaper that's the one I would pick. Could you ask the owners for a record of their heating bills?

mathanxiety Sun 03-Jul-11 06:21:23

Oh have just seen the Victorian is 50K less expensive.

SleepyFergus Sun 03-Jul-11 06:44:46

We live in a new build and never again. These houses IMO are not but to last. We can't hang anything weighty (mirror, shelves) easily because the plaster board Walls are flimsy and crumbly. The floors squeak, but not in a nice old floorboard way and the general condition of the house after 12 years is poor.

To me the victorian house would be better. More solid!

SleepyFergus Sun 03-Jul-11 06:45:11

Built not but!

FriskyMare Sun 03-Jul-11 06:55:56

Victorian every time for me too. As it is £50k cheaper could you not spend a few £k replacing windows, loft insulation etc to make it more energy efficient? I love the high rooms in our Victorian/Edwardian terrace.

LadyGoneGaga Sun 03-Jul-11 07:14:14

I love period houses but after 8 year of freezing winters, drafts, leaky roofs and all manner of other little probs we are over it. Going to a 1980's detached overlooking fields on a little estate. But in my area you pay a definite premium for period.

We will have to see - we may end up hating it and moving back in a few years!

thingsabeachanging Sun 03-Jul-11 07:21:35

My husband refuses to look at new builds. His reasoning? He knows how they are built as he built them as part of his apprenticship!

Also the mortgage company said if we were thinking of buying a new build they would not lend over 75% of the value as opposed to 90% of any other property!

wonkylegs Sun 03-Jul-11 07:53:07

As long as the Victorian one has no major problems ( huge amounts of damp or structural problems) I'd go with that one everytime.
Victorian houses easier to live with IMO , generally bigger windows and higher ceilings = more light, some are badly decorated so don't make the most of this fact but the structural basics are there, paint you can change.
New houses are mean! Low ceilings and small room sizes, usually have bugger all storage ( it costs money) .
From a professional point of view (architect) I'd always go for the older property (then spend a few quid - making sure attics insulated, new coat of paint. Do this as soon as you can, otherwise if you are anything like me, you may never get round to it) , the basics underneath, space/structure are usually better than a new build and these are things you can't change
For reference we have an Edwardian terrace - we've had to replace the roof (didn't cost that much) but otherwise we love it

CristinaTheAstonishing Sun 03-Jul-11 10:17:00

Thanks for all the feedback, I'd never had the 'bug' for older properties but after this one yesterday I think all others will seem so plain. We'll have another look from the outside today & have a walk in the neighbourhood. We measured the cars and they should have enough space on the front drive (which would need to be covered over, currently only space for one car but I think neighbours may have 2). House 2 OTOH has its own garage etc and it's just so ... safe. I suppose there's always time to slide into safety in years to come.

northerngirl41 Sun 03-Jul-11 10:28:12

Look at this thread - no one has come out to say buy the modern house, which is what you'd be looking at when you eventually came to sell. The modern house's advantage at the moment is its 10 year build guarantee and it's newness, both of which will have vanished when you come to sell.

Lizzylou Sun 03-Jul-11 10:37:03

I am with general consensus, we moved from a Victorian end terrace to a detached newbuild.
We were on a busier main road with not much garden but by god I miss high ceilings and period features. I love the location of our house now, but do not love the actual house, it's bland in all honesty.
Next move will be period and in quieter location. When my ship comes in!

noddyholder Sun 03-Jul-11 12:21:10

Definitely the period house. They don't have to be cold and draughty at all. sash windows can be refurbed and floors and roof space insulated and they just are nicer homes.

dragonmother Sun 03-Jul-11 15:51:32

I think the depreciation is probably higher in new builds - a bit like cars.
When they are all shiny and new they look good but after 10 years or 15 they start to look naff and dated. A period house won't have this.

Do check the traffic at the Victorian house at different times of the day though.

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