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What to compromise on when buying a house?

(29 Posts)
MatLeaveForever Wed 20-Jul-11 18:57:24

I can't seem to buy a house, it doesn't seem to be a buyers market where I am!
We have buyers for our house and are due to exchange in the next couple of weeks - that took forever for us to accept an offer and we took lower than we paid for the house just so we could move on with our lives. We quickly found another house to buy and was all going well until the seller pulled out the other week due to personal reasons.
We looked at more houses last week, even upped our budget slightly so that we had more properties to look at. We offered on one, our highest offer was 94% of the asking price but they refused, despite it being on the market for 9 months! Don't think they're in a hurry to sell and we would have had to spend some money on the house so couldn't go in any higher, although I did want to live there!
Now I can't find anything else to offer on, everything just seems to have too many compromises. There was another house we liked but the kitchen was quite small, although done up nicely, and I'd much prefer an eat in kitchen as I think it would be more practical (we have an 8 month old daughter). Although it could have been extended it sounds like an expensive project and we wouldn't have the extra money to do it for a few years. We're quite particular about the area we want to live in so don't think we'll compromise on that, but at the same time I want lots of living space and don't want to do too much work to a house.
So we'll likely be having to rent somewhere soon once we've sold, as although we have faimly we can stay with I don't want to do that for too long!
Sorry for the long story - just not sure how to know what to compromise on - I keep thinking that if we make do with a house I'll regret it and a perfect one will appear on the market straight after, but also worried that we'll rent for 6 months and still won't find our dream house! Anyone been in a similar situation, what did you do in the end?

KristinaM Wed 20-Jul-11 19:04:15

Everyone has been in your situatio! Unless they are very rich. Because there is mo perfect house and if there was , someone richer than you would buy it. We compromised on the condition of the house and have been doing it up as we have the time and money.after 8 years we still have a lot to do. I don't regret it. But living in a building site can be stressful

minipie Wed 20-Jul-11 19:12:26

We compromised on price and paid far more than our ideal budget - now got huge mortgage. Still not sure if it was the right decision, depends on what happens with our jobs really.

If I were you I'd compromise on doing work. The fundamentals of a house (basic size and location) can't be changed but things like extensions and decor can in due course. Ok you have to live with it in the meantime but you end up with what you want in the end.

HarrietJones Wed 20-Jul-11 19:16:58

Are you my parents?

They have compromised on location & increased budget by 20%. They're compromising on outdoor space & possibly living space. And doing work.

Basically all that is the same as the original brief is the town. And people don't accept offers( even up to 5% under) , people don't get back when they offer or in one case they offered an hour after the vendor accepted a lower one.

It's hard work!

NoseyNooNoo Wed 20-Jul-11 19:19:27

I could have written you post!

Sold our house (almost at a loss), went into rented with nothing to view, offered 93% on a great house which 19 months later is still for sale. We finally bought our house last year and it was a compromise and I worried that the dream house would come up as soon as we'd completed. The reality is that the compromises haven't proved to be comprises after all and only 2 houses have come to market that I would have wanted to view. I also think our house is now better than the one we offered on 19 months ago.

When we walked out of our current house after the first viewing we said it ticked enough boxes, it didn't make our hearts sing but we'd be crazy not to put an offer in on it.

Good luck!

Karbea Wed 20-Jul-11 19:20:49

We've compromised on having an A road behind the house, which means the garden might be a bit noisy, and it's got White posts, not sure about White posts...

Karbea Wed 20-Jul-11 19:21:28

Oh and we paid more than we wanted to.

CointreauVersial Wed 20-Jul-11 19:41:35

As it isn't a rising market I'd suggest you move to rented then take your time - this is not a decision to rush into!

Our compromise was the slightly ugly exterior of the house (unappealing 1930s extended bungalow), very dated decor and overgrown garden. The outside of the house didn't even feature on the estate agent details, but it was hiding its charms! It is huge, has a perfect interior layout, is in a lovely village, and we have (after 2.5 years) just finished transforming it into something much more attractive.

Laquitar Wed 20-Jul-11 20:26:06

Our kitchen was very small like yours. We lived with it for few years, it wasn't ideal but ok, now we have extended and its lovely.

The area is nice but our street not so - it doesn't bother me that much. The next door to us are very nice, i don't care about the rest of the street.

No period details, 60s house - this doesn't bother me at all.

What i wanted, and i got, is semi and parking.

SirenSusan Wed 20-Jul-11 20:43:35

Compromised on busy road, dated decor and well...ugly exterior - we paid less than our budget and have given it a bit of a face lift, it feels like home now despite our fragile beginnings.

MatLeaveForever Wed 20-Jul-11 21:23:59

Thanks everyone, feel much more positive after reading your stories. Maybe the small kitchen house, which is detached, 3 living rms, lovely garden and road is worth an offer after all! smile

KristinaM Thu 21-Jul-11 08:09:57

Don you need 3living rooms? What about knocking down a wall to extend your kitchen into one of them? When You get your survey done, ask surveyor which are load bearing Walls. They cost more to take out as you have to put in a beam

We extended our kitchen into a small bedroom next door and now we use the kitchen as a living room. Best thing we ever did on the house ( photos on my profile)

goodnightmoon Thu 21-Jul-11 08:44:20

i think you reach a point where you are just willing to compromise. we saw about 25 houses but it wasn't until we got notice on our rental house that one of them looked good enough to offer on! we are compromising on garden (tiny) and area (great schools but lacking other amenities) but the house is lovely and the timing was right.
a small kitchen with three living rooms shouldn't be an issue, IMO. as long as you don't have to eat in the main reception, sounds fine.

notquitenormal Thu 21-Jul-11 11:05:29

We compromised on the kitchen, which is very old much smaller than we were used to. We have plenty of eating space in the through lounge and there's potential to extend or knock through at a later date.

After a couple of weeks here I find it's actually a very well designed little kitchen and I think we'll be able to get along quite nicely for a few years.

noddyholder Thu 21-Jul-11 11:07:48

Move the kitchen into one of the other reception room and make a kitchen diner and use the current kitchen as a utility room so that there are no washing machine/dryer freezer etc in the kitchen giving you more room.

Mandy21 Thu 21-Jul-11 12:23:06

I think most people compromise unless they have a very big budget - nobody walks into a house thinking this is absolutely perfect - perfect layout, perfect location, perfect decor. There is always something you'd want to change.

We went into rented after we sold our house as there was nothing that we wanted - 2 years later we realised that our "perfect" house didn't exist within our budget and we bought a compromise house just over a year ago. I think by that time, with 2 children at school, and a baby, I was very level headed about it all. It didn't need to make my heart sing, it needed to tick the boxes of what we wanted for a house we'd live in for the next 10-15 years. The decor was awful (old lady had been living there for 40+ years), it was smaller than I wanted, more expensive than I wanted but could see the long term potential. It had a big garden / extension potential, was on a lovely road, close to school / nursery / village centre and our friends. We're doing things very gradually - have done the children's bedrooms and the hall floor - have no money to do anything else but its our home and we're happy there. I'm still embarrassed when people come to visit and need to explain that its not my choice of decor, but it'll change - one day!

CointreauVersial Thu 21-Jul-11 13:00:56

Mandy21 - yes, I can totally relate to the embarrassment of people seeing the ghastly inherited decor and thinking it's your choice. When we moved into our house the entrance hall had patterned green carpet and two types of stripy/spotty green wallpaper with border.

It was like a migraine attack, but was seen by everyone who knocked on the door! I couldn't wait to change it.

MatLeaveForever Thu 21-Jul-11 18:29:26

KristinaM - your kitchen looks gorgeous, can I buy your house? ;)

KristinaM Thu 21-Jul-11 18:33:37

You haven't seen the downstairs loo with the 1960 s pink suite and burgundy vanity unit. Or the bathroom with the lovely turquoise suite and the hideos blue tiles which are falling off the wall blush

Indith Thu 21-Jul-11 18:34:00

I think that when you find the right house you sort of know, even if there is a compromise.

We looked at loads and loads of houses, eventually we compromised on garden and have a house with 2 big reception rooms and big bedrooms. The ones with more garden space tended to have just one reception or the bedrooms were 2 decent ones and one box room. We have just a tiny little postage stamp of garden but it is enough to sit in with a coffee and the Sunday paper and enough to throw the dcs out into. We live in a little village though and close to a park so next year when ds will probably find the garden too small for ball kicking he will be able to go to the park by himself.

MatLeaveForever Thu 21-Jul-11 18:41:32

KristinaM - A downstairs loo, sounds great!
We have put in an offer today on the small kitchen house (hate calling it that), now just have to wait for the owner to speak to his wife about it. At least it wasn't a straight no!
Saw one more house this morning which had just come on the market which was at least £30K over priced and had the narrowest kitchen I've ever seen, and have been comparing other houses to the one I've just offered on, so have realised that it's the best thing out there for the money. Keep your fingers crossed everyone!

Mandy21 Fri 22-Jul-11 09:53:02

KristinaM what colour is your kitchen - it looks like F&B Elephant's breath or similar - its gorgeous!

lottieladybird Fri 22-Jul-11 13:45:39

It's a long time ago now, but we did compromise when we bought this house. We really wanted detached but got mid-terrace. Everything else was fine though - location, size, layout, garden, price.

We'd viewed about 14 houses of various forms and locations, but had not really considered a terrace. I remember driving down this street by chance, and seeing this house for sale. I loved the look of it from the outside and the location was right too. I remember saying, if that house is under £X amount it's ours.

Mumswang Fri 22-Jul-11 14:42:35

I'd never imagined myself in anything other than a charming period property. I live in a picturesque town, chock full of 'charm'. My career is centered around historic properties. We've rented a variety of beautiful, interesting, old places.

We've just bought a 1920s ex local authority grey box. But it's spacious, has a big garden, off road parking. All things we just wouldn't be able to have had otherwise

We love it grin

minipie Fri 22-Jul-11 16:21:07

Mumswang that means you get to look at all the charming period properties from your window. You don't see the grey box when you're in it... grin

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