Did you compromise on anything when buying your forever home?(65 Posts)
I am having a dilemma. We have sold our house and currently searching for our long term family home (we are in Scotland). There are 3 contenders and I just don't know what to do as each one has something that the other house doesn't IYSWIM. Unfortunately we can't really wait and see if anything else crops up as are having to rely on the kindness of family and friends for accommodation in the interim (we are 2 adults, 2 young kids).
House A is the smallest but has the nicest garden. It is huge, sunny and totally enclosed. It also has a big flat driveway with lots of parking space. There is no en-suite or space to build one (itself not a huge deal as have never had one). It has a conservatory off the lounge and we could use the dining room as a playroom. The downstairs windows would need replacing and there isn't masses of storage. The plot is nice and open and doesn't feel hemmed in and has a nice views front and back.
House B has a lovely feel inside. There is lots of space and a nice open plan kitchen/diner/family room and separate playroom off the lounge. The bedrooms are all big with a huge family bathroom and en-suite and all with built in wardrobes. It would need a lot of work though, the boiler is over 20 years old and both bathrooms need replacing. The front has lovely views but the garden is very overlooked and the back of the house feels very close to other houses. Because the village is on a slope there is a house immediately behind this one which is why it feels so overlooked, it's a big house and sits above this one if that makes sense. The garden does face south and east though.
House C is randomly the house I grew up in! The family that bought it from my parents are moving. I don't know if this would just be too weird or not. It has a lovely south facing open garden, conservatory, lots of storage and an en-suite. It all depends how much work needs doing to it too.
I am hoping after second viewings that my mind will be made up for me but I'm just not sure! With Houses A and B it's garden and open plot versus house and the I have the emotional ties with House C.
Sorry for waffle!
Did you make any comprises at all or just wait it out till the right house came along?
It does sound lovely, tbh - hope you find some peace with it soon.
Sounds like a trellis and climbers might help a lot. We have a 12 foot London garden which is overlooked by a whole row of houses plus neighbours, but when in the garden it feels like a green oasis of calm, until the kids come in!
Fwiw, we compromised on condition and planned to live in a building site for around 10 years. Not for everyone, but all the disruptive stuff should be done by end next year.
House 1 or 3 I would go for as I think house 2 the little niggles now would irritate you over the years and being so overlooked isn't a nice thing to compromise! Good luck x
From your photo looking out from the extension, I would plant a laurel hedge along the right hand boundary. I am totally with you on wanting to avoid the overlooked thing. I don't want to be able to see anyone else's windows from any where in my house or garden, so my planting scheme reflects this! I think you can achieve this in house B with the right planting.
I'm not saying this to be provocative but out of interest.... The term "forever home" makes me feel claustrophobic from the outset. It seems to put so much pressure on your decision. And do people really know that they are going to be there forever? Freaks me out!
But anyway! I'd say from what you have said that House C sounds great for you and your requirements. If it was a happy home when you lived there I would say it's quite a lovely thing to return with your own family. If you believe in this "forever home" thing it seems to fit in nicely and create a nice circle!
I wouldn't have a problem with the house being there (from what I can tell from your pictures) but that's not what's important really. If you've just sold a house with open views, then any house in the village is going to seem more closed in. We can't really say how important that is to you - for me, I've always lived in a City, so I'd expect to have houses in front, behind, and next door to me.
I do believe that you always make compromises when buying, but if you don't feel happy with it to begin with, then I wouldn't buy it, even if it meant renting somewhere for 6 months to give your family space. Buying just costs too much to buy somewhere you don't even like to begin with.
Have added a pic of the front of the house.
back I think we were very lucky with our old house having such great views and was also in quiet cul de sac. I know I won't get everything I want in a house but, I am struggling with compromise but I know realistically there will always be something!
I love the the inside of the hose and its potential which is why I am in such a quandry. We had to discount the other house with open aspect as it was much smaller for same valuation and extending it would have been difficult as it sits much higher up than the garden (lots of steps down to.garden) and building on it would block out lots of light.
Thanks for all comments about trees.and plants to disguise the other house, off for a google!!
It looks a lovely airy and light home.
How exciting for you......
Thanks cahoho I can't help but fret if we are doing the right thing but are semi committed (verbally but not in writing yet) maybe I am worrying because its such a big purchase? Or would I be worrying less if the house was perfect? Sigh. DP is despairing of me! I am so pissed off at the owners of House C screwing us over as I wouldnt have had to compromise :-( people keep saying that it just wasn't meant to be but that doesnt really help! I need to look at the positives of this next house but am struggling even although I do like it. That doesn't even make sense! Sorry !
I think it would be a great house to play around with. Careful tree planting would screen the buildings.
So glad you came back to update.
Planting would easily sort out your "overlooking" issues. We are on a hill, and I have an 8ft laurel that hides me in the lounge from the bedroom windows of 2 houses that are sort of behind me. It is evergreen so no difference in winter.
I have also planted some bamboo to give some screening from another bit of the garden.
We are in our forever home, the only thing we compromised on was the kitchen as it is very small but we are extending this year!
We just knew that this would suit us now and later. So there is me and Dh and 2 DSs, we have a 4 bed, with the smallest double bedroom being the office so Dh can work from home when he needs to.
We converted a double garage (we have a massive drive) into a playroom for the children, so all their toys and noise is in there rather than the lounge.
We have lots of storage, somewhere for coats, shoes, ironing board, hoover and although everything needs updating (13 year old house) we are making it our own.
For me when we viewed the house I took notes of places where I would spend time, so the kitchen at the sink and prepping food, what can I see? Would I feel uncomfortable? In the lounge MNetting, reading, watching tv, would I feel comfortable?
What didn't I like about the house? Ugly fireplace, but everything I don't like I can change. The stuff I can't change isn't a deal breaker for me.
We have had a further chat and this won't be our ultimate forever home, I think once the DCs leave home (ok so that's about 18 years away!) we would probably move to the west coast of Scotland so it needs to suit us until then. One of my concerns is that we won't make a profit on the house and that the overlooked thing will put people off buying it (like it is me!) but he thinks I am being utterly ridiculous to both think that far ahead, and let the overlooked thing bother me as he apparently doesn't even notice that big huge house!! My parents went round for a squizz and think I am over reacting
My problem is that I am hard to please whereas DP is the opposite!
I think good planting will help disguise that house well, thanks for the tips! X
I just really wish that my parents old house hadn't been available because then I wouldn't be comparing this one to it. I keep kicking myself that perhaps we should have offered more money but we offered a decent price that we thought would satisfy them but obviously not and they sold it to another party. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing!
Back to the planting..... My suggestion......
Don't try to 'block' out the house at the back with a tree that may grow to be equally overbearing. What you need to do is minimise it's presence. Soften it's edges rather than putting something in front of it. I would not use evergreens as they can be too heavy looking. I much prefer copper beech hedges rather than laurel. Whatever you do don't even think of lylandii. They are horrible tree (usually)
Make a focal point at the back of your garden away from the house and make sure the flower borders/ shrubs in your garden are interesting and have both depth and height
It may be worth getting a professional in for some proper advice.
Sorry if you know all this already. You may be a landscape gardener for all I know .
I was thinking about getting someone in for the plants and trees as I am rubbish at this kind of thing! The inside needs a lot of work too which scares me! In the picture where you can see the view out of the sunroom double doors? We are hoping to extend that out to align with the end of the house (if get permission but will be quite close to the boundary wall) so hopefully the doors will be beyond the neighbours house windows (if that makes sense!)
The focal point will probably end up being a children's climbing frame!
Thanks peeps for helping me! I really am not a very creative person, DP will probably totally lose the plot with me when it comes to doing the kitchen and bathrooms! I asked him what Mr Men/Little Miss I am and he said Indecisive!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.