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Can't decide between 2 houses...

(42 Posts)
janeyjampot Sat 26-Oct-13 17:54:30

Many people gave me very helpful advice on a previous thread where we'd made several offers on a house but sellers were not prepared to settle for anything less than the asking price. Feeling grateful for that help, I'm back with a new dilemma...

Background - we have sold our house and want to move to a nearby city, which is very small and much more desirable than the town in which we live now. Our DDs (14 and 16) go to school in this city and one of the reasons we want to move is that we spend a great deal of time and money driving them back and forth. We would like them to live nearer to their friends and to have some independence. For our part, it would be good to have access to many more facilities and the city is a nice place to live - the kind of place we would be happy to live always.

So, we saw two houses yesterday, very different, and we like both very much.

House One is a Georgian semi-detached house on 4 floors on one of the main roads out of the city. It's about 200m from the city walls so is very central. It's in a reasonable state of repair - we'd want to do a lot to it but it's inhabitable now, just not decorated to our taste or really in keeping with its age. Advantages - it's very large, with good-sized rooms and plenty of space. It could certainly be a 'forever' house. We could enjoy decorating and restoring it over a long time period. DDs could walk/cycle to wherever they wanted to go and would be much more independent. We could sell a car. Disadvantages - the main road is a bit off-putting. We probably wouldn't get to know neighbours (but that quite suits me because I am very much an introvert). There is on-street permit parking, but no garage or parking space, which could be quite challenging. Also, I'm not quite sure how living in the house would work, which sounds silly I know, but the dining room and kitchen are on the ground floor, with a large drawing room on the first floor.

House Two is a newish house about a mile from the city centre, but still within the outer ring road. It has good-sized rooms and is in a lovely place with only a couple of other houses and separated from the rest of the area by a river. It has the feel of living in the country. You can walk along the river right into the city centre. Again, it needs decorating and new carpets etc, but it's easy to see how it would all work. Advantages - it's in a lovely place, peaceful and yet not too far from civilisation. Everything we have would work in this house - it's a similar size and style to our existing house. Disadvantages - we'd need to keep 2 cars, the DDs could not really be independent as they would be quite far from friends etc as the house is not near school (but school has no sixth form so they need to move anyway over the next couple of years), the plot is small and feels quite 'tight', although we don't need a large garden or anything.

Sorry for the mammoth post. I'd be grateful for any thoughts from anyone. TBH just writing it all out has been more helpful than I'd expected!

Lagoonablue Sat 26-Oct-13 17:57:13

Do a full cost benefit analysis of each house v the other and see what comes out top. Seriously use points and a spreadsheet.

There is a lot going for each one so I know I would struggle too.

Itsjustafleshwound Sat 26-Oct-13 18:00:22

I just think that sometimes just looking at the disadvantages and how they can be mitigated is a better than the list of positives.

Your reasons for moving seem to make the first option a better one now but things change quickly

Pooka Sat 26-Oct-13 18:03:50

I think no. 1.

BatPenguin Sat 26-Oct-13 18:08:53

I would go with house 1 - personally I would love a Georgian house that I could renovate. Newer builds don't appeal to me. I expect house 1 is quite a bit bigger too? House 2 sounds like it might work for your DC's so well.

BatPenguin Sat 26-Oct-13 18:09:42

* house 2 sounds like it might not work so well

JaquelineHyde Sat 26-Oct-13 18:19:54

Personally I would choose house 1 but that is because I am a sucker for a period property.

In your shoes, considering everything you have said I would still choose house 1.

Looking at the reasons you have given for your move, house 1 sounds perfect. As far as the disadvantages go for house 1, the only one that may annoy you from time to time would be the parking, maybe have a drive by in the evening when everyone is home and see how busy the parking is...hopefully residents parking permits will help. The house arrangement sound fine, I have lived in a house similar to what you have described and loved it.

Theimpossiblegirl Sat 26-Oct-13 18:23:05

On what you have said, house 1 sounds better, as you are hoping to give your DCs more independence and house 2 doesn't seem to allow for that so well.

Can you post links or will that out you/encourage other buyers?

eurochick Sat 26-Oct-13 18:24:52

I think that's a really hard one. I would never buy a house without parking personally. I also like open plan living so wouldn't like having the living space broken over 2 floors. But house 1 does sound lovely.

castlesintheair Sat 26-Oct-13 18:30:39

I would go for house 1. It sounds more suitable for everyone. Only downside IMO is I live in a period house and the general day to day upkeep is far more than newer houses. I also prefer fewer floors but that's just my preference. Also parking could be annoying but you can't have everything.

janeyjampot Sat 26-Oct-13 18:43:29

Thank you, this is all really helpful smile

ThisIsBULLSHIT Sat 26-Oct-13 18:53:36

The scardey cat me would say 2, I can see noise from semi next door and hassle over lack of parking in house 1. Romantic me says house number 1 as it sounds special. Also your dc will be able to be more independent and you will be being more environmentally friendly!

Yes upkeep is a pain but you would save lots by only having 1 car. Can you try to imagine being handed the keys for number two and seeing how you feel!?

TillySwat Sat 26-Oct-13 18:59:16

I think 1 - sound perfect for all of you now and for in the future.

Sounds like York - in which case both areas are just lovely!!

janeyjampot Sat 26-Oct-13 19:07:49

Good guess Tilly grin

If you read back what you have written, you have answered your own question.
Reason for moving - stop ferrying DC in car - house 1 tick, house 2 cross.
Reason for moving - DC nearer friends and independent - house 1 tick, house 2 cross.

House 2 doesn't meet any of your reasons. You just like it.

TillySwat Sat 26-Oct-13 19:09:21

grin Hope all goes smoothly.

herladyship Sat 26-Oct-13 19:12:47

house number one!

Purplehonesty Sat 26-Oct-13 19:21:36

Heart says house 1 and head says house 2.
I think it's the parking that would be an issue for me and what happens when both the kids start driving whilst still at home and want cars too?
However if the kitchen/diner is downstairs that could be a nice teen place for them and their friends while you are upstairs in the drawing room. If its a nice big space downstairs you will probably find you spend most of your time in there and only use the upstairs for more formal occasions?
House two is a bit of a pain if the kids still need to be ferried everywhere. Is it on a bus route, I can't remember if you said that?
A mile isn't far tho, could they cycle to their friends or are the roads too busy?

Not overly helpful, I'd want house 1 but I couldn't stand the parking - used to live in Edinburgh and driving round and round trying to find a parking space with all my shopping was a pita. D you have an allocated space or just park where you can?

MinimalistMommi Sat 26-Oct-13 19:25:45

Your city sounds quite similar to the small city I live in...

I would go for house number one. I would always choose period property over new house. We're renovating a victorian terraced cottage right now.

Do you mind road noise? I have moved from a very quiet street onto a city centre back street with cars occasionally going by, at first the car noise surprised me/upset me as I hadn't thought of it as I was so busy looking at house if that makes sense but I have very quickly got used to it and don't notice it now.

We also have residents parking. Being city centre makes it COMPLETELY worth it. Yes it can be a pain at times driving around looking for a space but I only live two mins walk to the city centre, beautiful park etc. the kids will be in heaven when they are teens being able to pop out and meet there friends and get up to goodness knows what

MinimalistMommi Sat 26-Oct-13 19:26:51


MinimalistMommi Sat 26-Oct-13 19:27:56

Love having living over two floors btw, put squishy sofas on each floor, great place to escape from noisy teens grin

MinimalistMommi Sat 26-Oct-13 19:28:17

I mean, if I was in your position...

BeanoNoir Sat 26-Oct-13 19:39:10

Is it York? I'd go for option one I think. I would think about my lifestyle outside the house as well as the house itself and personally would rather be close to the action. Think about making your choice and see if you would feel disappointed by losing the other one. I'm very much a heart over head person when it comes to houses, which may or may not be the best way to be.

janeyjampot Sat 26-Oct-13 20:20:31

Thanks, everyone. It's so helpful to see what everyone else thinks. I think the negatives are really important to consider because I have a tendency to try to see the best in everything, so it's quite hard to list the bad points. I think for house 1 the parking is a serious issue. You can't park directly outside the house either, so there's no obvious place to park at all. I think I might try to investigate further this week.

For house 2 the biggest issue is that it isn't near school - either the current one or the next one we've been considering. The girls' friends tend to live either in the centre or near their existing school, so I'm sure we'd still be doing some ferrying around. There are buses, though.

I think I need to investigate further, both with heart and head!

BellaI Sat 26-Oct-13 20:26:03

Go past no 1 set diff times to see how busy road is. Also at times you would most likely need a parking space. Is there any way to create off road space?

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