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Would it be mad to downsize with a family and lose a garden?

(52 Posts)
littlecrystal Thu 04-Jul-13 16:17:14

We are family of 4 with 2 boys.
Have seen two houses in the area I want to buy.
House No 1: 3 bed terraced house with garage (garage about 20m away), garden (overlooked by another row of houses), further from a road (need to walk over the green to reach the house – all houses like this). On top of our budget, so we will sit have to sit tight and possibly no improvements for a long while.
House No 2: 2 bed detached house with a garage, garage on the ground floor and the house is on the 1st/2nd floor, a large terrace/balcony instead of garden. Parking next to the house. Feels … hmm.. detached! Not overlooked and quite private. Comfortably within hour budget, so we could upgrade to everything new. Could put a partition wall in the bigger bedroom and have two box rooms for the kids. This house is also end of chain which is BIG advantage to us.

Which one to buy???

I prefer the feel of the detached/not overlooked but people think I am mad to go with smaller if I can afford bigger! Or mad to go without garden if I can afford a garden! Obviously if I am considering losing a garden (I have one now) I do feel we can live without it. So really looking for opinion of people who may have downsized similarly for good! Unless you tell me I am clearly very mad!!!

littlecrystal Thu 04-Jul-13 16:18:28

* Sorry for typos, I am on the phone.

noisytoys Thu 04-Jul-13 16:18:52

House 2 sounds perfect

Lulabellarama Thu 04-Jul-13 16:21:12

How old are your boys?

I have two boys myself and would never recommend giving up a garden.

AmbrosiaCreamedMice Thu 04-Jul-13 16:21:51

I'd wait for a garden.

flow4 Thu 04-Jul-13 16:25:36

I have lived in a house without a garden with one boy for the past 19 years, and two boys for the last 13. We've managed. But I have just bought a house with a garden, and I have never been so excited!
Also, two box rooms will become difficult after the age of about 12... We have viewed a lot of houses before settling on this one, and my teenagers have literally been taller than most boxrooms are wide!

littlecrystal Thu 04-Jul-13 16:27:02

They are 5 and 3. We work full time so we are only home by 6pm on weekdays (only enough time for dinner and bedtime). On weekends we like going to parks anyway.
I have bought a trampoline for our current garden and was surprised how little use it gets, in the contrast to people saying "you won't be able to drag them out of it". Hmm.

Lulabellarama Thu 04-Jul-13 16:29:27

Regardless of the garden, those boys are only going to get bigger and a two bed house, squeezed into a 3 bed, will soon feel small.

It sounds very much like you want to go for house 2, but it sounds very much like a heart over head decision.

littlecrystal Thu 04-Jul-13 16:30:35

flow4 valid point about box rooms. They could each fit a single bed, a wardrobe and a desk, I wonder if this is enough for a teenager.

littlecrystal Thu 04-Jul-13 16:38:02

True, heart over head. Just having this idea about smaller, simplier life in a smaller house. It doesn't help that I grew up in a one bedroom flat (family of 4) and I turned out fine!

AmbrosiaCreamedMice Thu 04-Jul-13 16:41:50

I'd say if they were over 13 the lack of garden would be okay. I'd let them share a big room and have a garden.

flow4 Thu 04-Jul-13 16:50:42

Tbh littlec, neither of the houses sounds quite right for you... Can you keep looking?

BackforGood Thu 04-Jul-13 16:58:56

I have to agree with flow4 - neither one sounds "the one".
Personally, I think you'd really regret giving up a garden (Might be different if they were 15+).

flow4 Thu 04-Jul-13 17:14:03

The kids may not want to use the garden if they're 15+... But I promise you, if you have a house full of teenage boys, you will want to escape into it! grin

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 04-Jul-13 17:24:38

I think it will be hard to have a simpler life in a house which is a bit too small - you risk tripping over each other and all your stuff all the time. And no garden to kick the kids out into when they are being messy/noisy/annoying! Also, how will the partitioning work with windows? Because they can easily end up looking very dark or messy.

Agree neither house sounds right.

WowOoo Thu 04-Jul-13 17:57:45

I agree: neither. Keep looking!
Have two boys and they are always out in fine weather.

littlecrystal Thu 04-Jul-13 18:05:42

Perfect house does not exist for my budget and targeting a secondary catchment. I am afraid that my boys will be so loud in the terraced garden surrounded by other terraced houses that the neighbors will start complaining.

P.S. Just came back home after work and had to force my kids out to the garden to have a bit of jump.

flow4 Thu 04-Jul-13 20:07:58

You don't need perfect, you just need 3 beds and a garden...
But you've already decided... Don't mind us! grin

pinkdelight Fri 05-Jul-13 09:55:21

Also agree it's worth waiting, as no1 seems the better option but you're clearly not feeling it. If you're targeting a secondary catchment and your kids are still 5 and 3, what's the rush?

Mandy21 Fri 05-Jul-13 12:22:31

I also think that neither house sounds like a good option for you, but I absolutely would not consider a house without a garden for a 5yr old and 3yr old, especially if you're not compromising on a garden because you get more indoor space. It sounds as if you're compromising on space and a garden for the sake of not breing overlooked and parking. I know its all very personal, but those are not as important imho as a garden and space with a young family!

Meglet Fri 05-Jul-13 12:28:06

Don't worry about noisy neighbours in terraced houses. It's something we all have to put up with in terraces. I don't get pissed off when I can hear the neighbours and they don't moan at me, I can hear next door talking in their bathroom as it's so cramped around here.

I would wait for a garden / different house.

Fragglewump Fri 05-Jul-13 12:31:13

I think ( from my own and close friends experiences) that boys especially need to have outside space. I need to too - I love to have a glass of wine with hubby and friends in the sunshine. I love barbecues. I love water fights. I love to grow herbs. I would be very sad with no outdoor space.

mistlethrush Fri 05-Jul-13 12:35:03

We got a trampoline last year for DS's 7th birthday. It didn't get used as much as I thought it would be. This summer its been used nearly every evening after school and a lot at the weekends. He's been making a den in the garden too.

hotbot Fri 05-Jul-13 12:52:48

Don't forget with a garden there may be the opportunity to extend , conservatory, after a few years if funds allow.

pigsinmud Fri 05-Jul-13 12:59:23

Garden every time. My 15 year old ds1 is in the garden every evening....bouncing on the trampoline with ear phones in!

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