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Size or location?

(16 Posts)
used2bthin Tue 09-Aug-11 21:30:53

We are in a small town and about ten min drive form DD's school. I have been unhappy here tbh, and we have seen somewhere very close to her school which would also be closer to our friends and my family.

However it is a typical first time buy (we are first time buyers but have a nearly five year old dd and may want another soon ish). The place is nicely done, good area but two bedrooms and v small garden which is quite overlooked. We can fford it though and it is currently empty so it would be a hopefully easy move.

Then in the small town we are in we could for a little bit more money get a three bed family home.

I am torn as feel I want to be in the better location even though it would mean less space and privacy. But maybe that is a silly way of looking at it! Any ideas?

GnomeDePlume Tue 09-Aug-11 22:43:03

Garden orientation. Our happiest houses all had a usable (ie sunny) back garden. Our least happy house had a north east facing back garden.

used2bthin Tue 09-Aug-11 22:47:33

ours at the moment gets no sun so I know what you mean! I really hate the house we're in atm. Ok well the one in the better location has a tiny but sunny garden.

linspins Wed 10-Aug-11 17:28:17

I agree with garden/sunshine is very important. After that...location. We went for a bigger house in a grottier area, and it makes me unhappy that I don't like our road much. No amount of making the house nice helps that the area is a little grim.

CristinaTheAstonishing Wed 10-Aug-11 20:03:34

I'd go for location too. As you're 10 minutes from the school that's not a big deal. Is the smaller house in a better location from other people's point of view?

visavis Wed 10-Aug-11 20:34:51

I agree re sunny house - we lived in a dark house for 7 years and still didn't feel right - however sunny house was lovely!

GnomeDePlume Wed 10-Aug-11 22:03:46

used2bethin what dont you like about your current house? Seriously analyse this. What are the things making you unhappy? Is there a house you have lived in where you were happy? Can you think what made you happy?

Spend time on this, many people spend more time and effort choosing shoes than they do choosing their home.

The characteristics of a happy home are personal to you. They could be things like:

- I loved how uncluttered the house was (ie plenty of storage or places to put storage)
- It was a welcoming home (this could mean that it had a good sized hallway or big reception rooms)
- It was light and airy (big windows and which way they pointed)

Really spend time on this and I think it can be really rewarding.

For us it is garden orientation. We chose the house we are in now because of its back garden. When we bought this house we did loads of research. Google earth & street view were our friends. This saved us a lot of fruitless house viewing. Wrong side of the road meant we didnt view. It didnt matter what the inside of the house was like.

CristinaTheAstonishing Wed 10-Aug-11 22:58:36

"many people spend more time and effort choosing shoes than they do choosing their home" I agree! Although usually the hard work is done beforehand, like you describe.

nikos Thu 11-Aug-11 13:24:50

What should be the orientation of the house to get the best light? Think these are really interesting posts and thinking back, the houses we have been most happy in are those that had sunny gardens. Never thought of it like that before.

GnomeDePlume Thu 11-Aug-11 16:15:17

nikos I think there are a number of factors to consider:

- which rooms do you use and when? west facing rooms will pick up afternoon sun but may be cooler/darker in the morning
- when will you use the garden? An east facing garden will pick up the morning sun, great if you would like to have breakfast on the patio. The downside is that the house will shade the garden in the afternoon.

I would not want a house which faced due east/west. We had one once which meant that the setting sun blazed straight into through the window.

Because I like the sun my ideal garden is south west facing. It is a kind of compromise, the sun is on the front of the house in the morning but soon swings into the back garden. We have a very sunny back garden with a wall which gets very warm. This wall has three peach trees growing against it (sun warmed peaches are just lovely!). We also have an olive tree in our garden.

It is personal and there have to be compromises but by thinking about it you can have the best home for you. And the nice thing is that it only costs time not money!

used2bthin Thu 11-Aug-11 18:34:18

Thank you this is really helpful and lots to think about. We are going with location I think-and it has lots of light both into the little garden and into the living room. My flat before we were in this house made me happy-it was very light and nicely done which is how the house we like is, it is small but like my old flat it has big enough rooms just not manyof them iyswim, ie the living room is an ok size there is just no seperate dining room. The bedrooms are two good sized doubles, there are two rather than three smaller ones. The location already fills me with a sense of relief-I would love to be involved in the community where dd goes to school and being able to walk her there would be great.

Agree about area, the places we could afford a bigger house are definatley not so attractive locations and the place we are in is a nice enough street but because it is far away from everyone I know-we're not talking ages but a car journey involving sitting in traffic as opposed to the five min walk it used to be- it makes me feel cut off.

I don't like this house because it is too many compromises-small, badly laid out and dated but also in a bad location for me. So out of that list the new place would just be one thing-small.

used2bthin Thu 11-Aug-11 18:49:27

Christina the one we like more is in a location better to me but also more expensive due to a more central location. So a three bed that we could just about afford in the small town we are in now would be way out of our price range there.

GnomeDePlume Thu 11-Aug-11 21:17:26

used2bthin have you already or could you view the house on a gloomy day? This will be a good test to see if the size is liveable with.

used2bthin Thu 11-Aug-11 21:21:09

I haven't actually as all three times its been sunny, good point! But we are going again on saturday so it could well be gloomy!

flabbyapronbelly Thu 11-Aug-11 22:09:02

used2bethin-sound like you are moving in to my house!
Our terraced house is quite small, but since moving in 3 years ago with our then 2 year old, we had another child. It is quite small but in the Summer it is great as we are out in the garden all the time - is like our second reception room. With young kids you spend most of the time downstairs anyway as (well mine anyway) always want to be in the same room as me when playing. Also, when you have another baby they probably would sleep in your room for 6 months so having extra bedrooms is not necessarily a major issue.
We split one of our rooms to create a tiny box room which just about fits a single bed and ikea storage unit for clothes, books and toys. Our son (2) will be moving into that shortly.
We are looking to move in a couple of years, mostly because of secondary school catchments but would have stayed here if this wasn't an issue.
Things that are high up on my list for a house as well as being on a quiet road? We are on quite a busy one and my dd (5) is starting to ask about playing out and so would love it if we were on a quiet little cul de sac that she could play out on. Though we are close to a large park which is something I would definately like to have again, especially if on a busy road.
One thing that is difficult is lack of options for having guests/ entertaining. We don't do much of this and not sure if it is chicken or egg. We have a sofa bed in the sitting/ dining room but not a particularly attractive option with dc's who wake up at the crack of dawn. Also is a sitting/ diner therefore quite small so can't really entertain for things like Christmas etc which as my parents get older I am starting to wish I could do.
Sorry a very rambling post - hopefully a few bits may be useful

used2bthin Sat 13-Aug-11 19:09:49

Thanks that does sound like our situation exactly.Now looking into how we could fit a table and chairs in! Agree about entertaining I hate having dinner in the sitting room but in the area we are looking at we would need to have lots more money to get anything bigger.

It is an averagely busy road I suppose, its a side road leading to a housing development but not a main road. There is a park near by and a communal garden as well as the small private garden.

We just took DPs parents there and they really weren't keen. Also there is a key meter that we'd have to change to a normal electricity situation unless the owners will do that. Also a few issues we'd need to check but I still feel its liveable for a few years at least.

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