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WWYD - Head vs Heart

(8 Posts)
Greenlippedmussels Wed 16-Jan-13 09:00:50

Help, my head is spinning!

We have a head/heart dilemma. We are not in UK so bear with me if some details seem strange.

House 1 - beach location (city on coast) about a block from the sea, great street, good local school down the street and house in zone area but we could also go to faith school which is not zoned at all and can attend From either house. House, loved it as soon as we saw it. Enough room, pretty much what we have been looking for...but does need updating and due to get building and electrical report. We suspect it may be a bit of a money pit. Not insulated, expensive to heat. Liveable but will definitely need updating and would probably require the best part of $100,000 to get totally up to scratch. Feels like a forever home. Some great character features and good open living space too. Might not be available immediately and we have to pay money up front to do building inspection to make unconditional offer. Price may be close to our top budget so there may not be too much left in then pot for immediate updating. I have returned to my home country, DH new to country in new job. Might be too much to take on, we have two young dc's. Great flat back yard, covered in verandah. Good indoor/outdoor flow. Three big bedrooms and an extra living part at back which could double as play room/ storage area for toys and this leads onto back yard. Compromise is having to do lots of work probably over a few years.

House 2 - fantastic close to city location but still the suburbs iykwim. Great suburb, prestigious street (not that we are worried about this). Lovely, cottage/house, again lovely features. Had been fully insulated, brand new double glazed windows (flash European ones), great heating system. Very cosy. Fabulous kitchen (to die for) but probably a bit oversized as living space quite small. Kitchens, dining room and lounge all open plan (again great kitchen!) this leads out to deck, plenty of room for large table and BBQ. This leads onto good lawn space, not quite as flat but also fine for kids to play have trampoline, play house etc. Big garage, shed, deck immaculate and yard well cared for. Private and very quiet, peaceful suburb but realistically would probably drive 95% of the time. Most amenities within 5 minute or 10 min drive. Some things walking distance but it's not a hassle to drive or park for most things. Bedrooms are quite small. At the moment it is 2 big bedroom and one single and a study. We would use study as playroom/toy storage, dc's in one bed and us in another and singe guest bedroom bit pokey but adequate. House ready to move into and could see us being more than happy here but not as stong a "heart" reaction to this house. Mostly head but some heart reaction. Is probably the safe and sensible option whilst we find our feet. Compromise is smaller living space (lounge area) and third bedroom not quite big enough but we could knock third bedroom and study into one bigger room.

House number 1 will be more expensive in the long run in the short term but long run but will probably end up being worth more. We are not looking to only make money on either house, both would probably hold value as good areas. House 2 is easier financially now but we would probably outgrow it in a couple of years but would easily sell on or would be great to rent out.

Arrrgh what to do?!?! Head says 2 but heart says 1, but then head reminds heart that house 1 is probably a huge money pit!

Thanks if you got this far - WWYD?

PS schools not really an issue.

mum23girlys Wed 16-Jan-13 09:17:59

I would probably go for house 1. The beach and space would sway it for me. By the sounds of house 2 you would outgrow it quite quickly if you are already describing the rooms as small. Believe me after moving and settling in with 2 kids the last thing you'll want to do is move again.

We moved to our 'hopefully forever' home in September and had similar issues. We found a house that was beautiful but too small and a house that was filthy, needed work but was huge and just 1 street off the beach. In the end we went for the bigger house and are so glad we did as we got it at a good price (small house went for £25k more). We've so far put in new heating, insulation and decorated 2 rooms. Just cleaning the house made a big difference. It's going to have to be a long term project but the house and area more than make up for living with purple ceilings grin

I suppose it depends a lot on if the house is liveable to you till you get the work done. Also we bought an 'immaculate' house last time and had to redo everything as the whole place was a diy nightmare

BeaLola Wed 16-Jan-13 09:36:03

I would go for house 1. I hate moving & would alway think "what if" - the space, location would sway me & the fact that I felt it was a forever house.

If you overall could afford it, if initial survey came back wihout any shockers & if both you & DH are the sort who can put up with it until you can make it what you want then I would go for it .

OldBeanbagz Wed 16-Jan-13 09:40:58

I would go for house 1 as the beach would be a huge plus point. Plus you'd be squeezing into house 2 and although it's nicely done out, there's no reason why you can't end up with this in house 1.

I'm also in a money pit of a house and although it's been a hard 5 years, it's worth it now that it's almost finished.

wendybird77 Wed 16-Jan-13 14:17:09

What is the climate there? How often are you realistically going to be at the beach? If it is not insulated, bigger and you live in a climate where you are going to have to have the heat or aircon on quite a bit, can you afford that? If you are in the US the heating bills can be shocking compared to what you are used to paying in the UK (I used to pay $400 / month for my large flat in Chicago in the winter and not much less than that for aircon in the summer). Also, going through renovations myself, I wouldn't take on a long term project with small kids. I already feel like so much of my kids young years have been / are being spent in a state of constant stress and change as we get the house done. I've given myself a strict deadline to get it done, it isn't fair on the kids to be spending all our time and money on the house. For what it's worth we bought with our heads and let the heart house go. A few months down the line we feel we got the much better house and I feel a sense of relief every time I go past the other house. We feel we dodged a real bullet there and I now really love the house we bought (or I will when it is actually done!).

Angelfootprints Wed 16-Jan-13 23:58:48

Sounds very much like house 1 is the one you really want.

echt Thu 17-Jan-13 04:21:09

Do you live in Melbourne? Not stalking, just asking.

On the face of it, house 1.

Greenlippedmussels Fri 18-Jan-13 00:03:32

We are in NZ. Would definitely use the beach - mostly for walking, not a great swimming beach, occasional swim but there are plenty of swimming spots around (rivers, other beaches) near by. Problem is the city I live in (big town by UK standards) everywhere is an easy drive, no parking issues really BUT I think we have realised we might want to live on the flat walking/biking distance to beach. Closer to schools we prefer and you don't have to get in the car to do everything.

Inspection done on house number 1. Bad news. He stopped the inspection as there is rising damp and this needs to be investigated further before any further discussion takes place, so I think it is a no go for us.

wendybird totally get what you mean about the time and money. We have just moved to the other side of the world not sure if we need to renovate a house creating stress, time and money issues too. I want to enjoy our new surroundings.

We have seen another house by the beach, bit further out. Great bedrooms, great kitchen/diner, playroom and separate lounge. Lovely quiet street but close to things for kids - most within walking distance. Compromise is the yard is smaller but adequate (has deck too) and we could put gate on back fence onto massive public park (grass). It's a solid house, we could make it really lovely but i didn't go all gaga over it, but do like it a lot. it was the first house we saw too so not sure if that is something to do with it. I think the ones I love are either out of our price range or need complete renovation which I don't think we want to do.

Going to see house 2 again but think we have already decided it's too small. Just need to go in again to check.

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