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Would you buy a house you don't *love*?

(49 Posts)
ClaudiaSchiffer Mon 10-Dec-12 03:08:51

Yeah yeah I know that this is a non-problem really in the great schemem of things but bearing in mind that if we move then we'll live in this house for prob years and it's obv very expensive would you buy a house you don't feel a connection with?

We're considering making an offer on a house which is great in many ways, more interior space (gives us an extra bedroom and a playroom), nice garden (well could be nice with some work but good bones), good ish area. We could afford it (with similar mortgage to what we have now).

BUT it's an 80's brick build and massively dull. Also there are some really horrid features (laughable 80's bathroom, foul carpets) which we couldn't afford to change for a few years.

We can paint out the worst of the exposed brick, orange woodwork, hideous 80's wood pannelling.

I s'pose I'm just not getting the vibe y'know? BUT it is the only house we can afford that would give us some much needed space in this area. It's cheaper than average as it's fugly and the owners need a quick sale.

What do you think? Would you go for it?

WhataSook Thu 13-Dec-12 20:42:41

Claudia (back to your thread!) 80's Australian houses aren't that bad either. My dad built ours in the 80's and he just freshened it up by painting the window frames and using the latest colours inside (he is a builder so every couple of years he'd update with whatever was 'on-trend' regardless if my mum wanted it or not!)

...oh unless of course it's the horrible 80's brick colour...kidding grin

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 13-Dec-12 20:15:12

The thing about an 80's house is that you can knock it around completely/open it up/get big sliding doors into the garden

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 13-Dec-12 20:12:18

I would go for it as I know I could make it look amazing within 4 - 7 years.

ReallyTired Thu 13-Dec-12 20:09:23

I agree with you. However ten years time I believe that house prices will be different.

WhataSook Thu 13-Dec-12 20:08:40

Not in the short term Noddy but we were discussing 5+ years (well I was any way!). Prices will rise, that's the way it has to be.

The mulitples to buy are not virtually impossible if you are realistic. If you want your first home to be your "forever" home (i.e. 3+ bed, off road parking, nice area with good catchment, happening high street rah rah rah) then yes, it will seem impossible. But if you climb the ladder,then no, it's not impossible.

Obviously the climate is pretty shit at the moment, with people loosing their jobs and salaries being cut or not increased. But even in the good times, people had no savings and took out 100% loans. That is what needs to change, the way people think about money.

mulranno Thu 13-Dec-12 19:58:34

I only "love" a house if I can make it a money spinner at the same time....I always go for a project with development potential. I need to get my creative kicks by redesigning. Thats what give mes a thrill as well as seening that my vision turn into £££s. Its always a home as well though....

noddyholder Thu 13-Dec-12 15:34:33

Prices can't continue to rise looking at the economy overall. The mulitples required to buy are virtually impossible to reach even with a quite decent salary and banks are tightening lending criteria already even though it doesnt really kick in until next year.

ReallyTired Thu 13-Dec-12 13:01:11


I don't have a crystal ball. Ofcourse I might be wrong

We won't have any increase in house prices until we have an increase in inflation. Often there is a period of rapid inflation after a recession. There will be a tough period though when interest rates adjust to sensible levels. Having 0.5% interest rates is not substainable long term.

I think that anyone with a mortgage would be advised to have a small emergency fund to protect against redunancy or lunatic interest rates. (ie. the days when interest rates got to 15% under thatcher.)

Its a challenging balance between taking advantage of the markets and not over stretching yourself. Its worth looking at different mortgage products to see what deals are available. Being able to pay interest only when interest rates do go silly could be a relief. When interest rates are low its good to over pay so that when interest rates rise its not such a culture shock.

Baubleswithdiamonds Thu 13-Dec-12 11:42:31

I'm not doubting you at all really, it's not something I know a lot about. We've really stretched ourselves to move without selling our London house (remortgaging instead) and it would really help if house prices did continue to rise...

Our little house has increased in value by 60% in 6 years - it just seems incredible that people can afford this, given that salaries are not increasing likewise (we couldn't afford our house now, if we were moving into the area again at that stage in our lives ie, FTB with a young family).

LoganMummy Thu 13-Dec-12 11:29:54

We had this dilemma last year and we bought the house simply because it's got good catchment schools, gives us extra room and in time will be lovely.
The area is ok and the outside is really ugly but we knew on balance it was the best option.
Good luck with your decision!

WhataSook Thu 13-Dec-12 11:25:14

Me me me Claudia I would love to buy your house (but only if it's in Melbs!) Unfortunately I am in London so think by the time I got to sell mine and move home it would be too late for you smile [desperately homesick emoticon]

My feelings towards my home have been a bit different to everyone's. I was 8 months pregnant when we bought it, moved from a tiny 1.5 bed flat so loved the house and space (only a two bedder house but a little bit of a garden!) then hated it as it made me feel trapped in the UK then 2 years on I really love it and think it's just perfect for us. We didn't over extend ourselves mortgage wise so I think that has helped me love my house, I have friends who are struggling month to month and I think that would make me feel resentful.

I agree with Really also, that house prices will go up (don't know about massively) but definitely in London. But I suspect it will be more Landlords pushing prices up as they all try to invest.

ReallyTired Thu 13-Dec-12 11:11:41

"Intersting really - why do you think that about house prices? "

For the past century at least there has been a cycle of boom and bust. When we have the good times we stupidly believe they will last forever. Similarly many people are so pessimistic that they believe the recession that we are in will last forever.

I believe the pressure of immigration will push up house prices.

Baubleswithdiamonds Thu 13-Dec-12 10:48:44

Intersting really - why do you think that about house prices?

In London, we live in a fairly ugly 1920s ex-council house as that's all we could afford but I do love it because it was the first house we bought together and it's where we had two of the DCs and have been really happy here.

We're in the process of moving out - given that we love it here, I'm afraid we did insist on finding a house that we love as nothing else could really induce me to leave. There was so little on the market that I thought we were going to have to compromise on eg, the age of the property (I really wanted a period house) but thankfully we foudn the 'dream' Georgian detached house I'd been hoping for. TBH, I'm preparing myself to be disappointed when we actually move in - I've wanted it for so long, I'm sure the reality is going to be nothing like the Jane Austen heroine lifestyle I have in my head!

jammybean Thu 13-Dec-12 10:03:46

Lurking not much to add just....

35 degrees! envy envy envy envy envy envy

ReallyTired Thu 13-Dec-12 09:45:56

Life is a set of compromises. My first house was not my ideal house, but it was a stepping stone to my ideal house. You can improve the 80s bathroom/ foul carpets over a period of years.

I believe that in five to ten years time house prices will increase massively. Its a good time to buy if you can get a reasonable mortgage.

yummymumtobe Thu 13-Dec-12 09:41:20

Yes, I would. I think that area is really important, more than how pretty the house is. You can change a house but not the location! I personally found it hard to 'love' houses after months looking at so many. You become a bit jaded! Ones I did love tended to be for the decor and homeliness rather than for the house itself. It's easy to fall in love with a lifestyle, eg if we lived here we'd be tidy, shop at waitrose, have all cath kidston stuff etc! You make a house your own, especially with kids.

echt Thu 13-Dec-12 06:20:17 I'm trying to imagine the clash between moving out of one house, while staging the first one for sale. The de-cluttering aspect will probably work in your favour though. Sorry, that made it sound as if you have an op-shop type home of rich clutter.

I do, so I know of that which I speak.grin

Also the 35 degrees, the rain has kicked in, but now it's hot and moist as opposed to hot and dry. Meh.

ClaudiaSchiffer Thu 13-Dec-12 02:05:27

Thanks Echt. Will see if I can upload the bathroom pic it is AWESOME.

Well, todays news is that they have accepted our offer. The house is ours!

Still only seen it once, I am in shock and feel chronically hysterical about the whole thing as have to clear, make beautiful and (crucially) SELL our house in 120 days.

Anyone in the market for a lovely home in Australia? To tempt you I'll let you know it's 35 degrees here today. grin

echt Wed 12-Dec-12 05:55:35

I feel for you, Claudia. Our house was vacant, so we saw it 3 times, but still went from notice to quit at the rental to house bought in a week. Settlement was 30 days. Talk about adrenalin!

DH was a bit meh for some time, but we love it now. Space. Garden. The shite carpets can wait.

Should you feel like it, do post some pics, and I'll see if I can unearth the pics of ours to compare 80s-ness.

ClaudiaSchiffer Wed 12-Dec-12 04:21:18

OhmygodOhmygodOhmygod WE'VE PUT AN OFFER IN!

We have only seen it once for about 10 mins. I am near hysteria with nerves + excitement.

I blame you girls. grin

Yes Echt we're in Oz too, so have made an offer with a 4 month settlement date in order to sell our house before being bankrupted

crazyhead Tue 11-Dec-12 15:00:57

I think it depends if you don't love the house from a sort of gut instinct (bad) or if you are just dealing with the fact that you don't have the cash to buy the charming period house you sort of imagined, but actually this place could scrub up and be nice.

I dunno how old you are, but so many of us even vaguely 'young' are not going to be able to get the sort of houses our parents had any time soon due to insance prices and I think that you do sort of have to get over that.

I am in the latter category btw - we just bought a full on doer upper in a nice bit of London. I regularly curse the place and its shonky, dirty previous owners (less than ideal with a baby) but I am already warming to it as we slowly do it up, and there's no doubt that it is true that the one thing you can't change is the area - ours is lovely.

confusedperson Tue 11-Dec-12 11:57:47

ClaudiaSchiffer, I do not have explanation why do I hate my house so much. Well.. I do not hate anymore.. but I feel no connection with it. Perhaps because it a period property, and I never liked "old", but thought people normally like it so it is a smart choice. Location could be better, but it suited us at the time and was affordable, so cannot blame myself for that. However, what I want is new(ish), neat, tidy and a blank canvass. That is just me, I guess.
It was very difficult to decide to sell up and move when I do not have any practical cons, but since I have decided I cannot wait to put my house on the market (after Christmas) and became so much happier.
So, I’d say, listen to your gut as well. Think where you can compromise, but do not forget your gut feeling.

echt Tue 11-Dec-12 05:24:44

Didn't see the veggie gardens.

Buy, buy, buy.

echt Tue 11-Dec-12 05:22:44

OP do you live in my house? Hang on, you live in Australia, don't you?

We bought such a house 18 months ago in Melbourne, caught between end of rental contract and dodgy market. I liked it, but was gagging to paint over the wood and brick. Shit carpets. The garden was good, and as you say, had bones; more modern stuff is built over the entire block


A year later, and its 80s vibe is not at all bad. ( a work colleague says the 80s house will be the new Federation classicgrin) Kitchen and bathroom will be renovated, but in keeping with the original. We are painstakingly stripping back the few square metres we painted over to see what whitewash would look like. Carpet still shit, but not to be renewed until the renovations are done. Let the wood breathe.

The garden is fantastic - it's where all our energy has gone.

Go for it.

Devora Mon 10-Dec-12 23:30:55

Of course - I live in London; there's no question of being able to afford a dream house smile.

I prioritised space and schools, which meant settling for an ugly 30s semi with every original feature ripped out. It wasn't all bad - nice area, light and sunny, big garden. But there were lots of drawbacks: some we could do something about (like orange, red, yellow and purple paintwork), others we will have to live with (like low ceilings, front door directly into living room).

But I have grown very fond of my plain Jane house. It will never be beautiful. But I have derived great satisfaction from gradually improving it (on a teeny tiny budget). I can't afford a new kitchen or a new bathroom but I have painted units, painted tiles, painted bath panels. I have sanded and varnished wooden floors, replaced door handles, even a new lightpull makes me feel happy whenever I look at it. Nearly everything in my house is from IKEA, ebay or car boot sales, but I have tried to keep to the 'useful or beautiful, preferably both' rule. The only things I have spent real money on (and probably not by many people's standards) are some beautiful statement lights for the living room, the first thing you see as you walk in.

Nearly three years in, and I've still got a really long way to go. But I can't tell you what immense satisfaction it has given me to see the transformation. Buying a place that already looked good would have meant the only way was down smile

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