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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!

Preciousbane Sun 27-Oct-13 09:44:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Aethelfleda Sat 26-Oct-13 22:43:18

House 1. It's where you need to be.

And I'd be very wary of no 2's flood risk. (You can search online for flood data, by the way, it's only a few quid).

ProphetOfDoom Sat 26-Oct-13 22:40:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twighlightsparkle Sat 26-Oct-13 22:31:27

Your post is shouting number 1 to me.

Auntidote Sat 26-Oct-13 22:30:04

There isn't an option 3 is there? With parking and near No 1?

CanucksoontobeinLondon Sat 26-Oct-13 22:29:25

I'd say House #1, but you're the one who has to live in it! Given that you're moving to avoid spending so much time in the car, it makes sense to be somewhere central. Plus, you can do it up to your own taste.

Re: House #2 being right by a river, have you considered the possibility of damp and/or flooding?

Retroformica Sat 26-Oct-13 22:25:34

The first option as you are moving to avoid commuting and want to enable kids independence.

snice Sat 26-Oct-13 21:29:58

and yes, have you had a structural survey on the Georgian house? Could be very pricey repairs

snice Sat 26-Oct-13 21:28:53

parking problems could drive you mad. what about parking for visitors? are there meters? every delivery/shopping trip will be difficult

WireCat Sat 26-Oct-13 21:23:05

House 1.

ItLooksLikeRainDear Sat 26-Oct-13 20:53:39

The way you describe them both sounds as though your heart is set on number 1.

Rotterwallah Sat 26-Oct-13 20:48:24

And bills. Big single glazed sash windows, high ceilings, big rooms = ££

Rotterwallah Sat 26-Oct-13 20:47:14

Is no 1 listed? What kind if state of repair is it in? Even basic maintenance and repairs will be much more costly on a period property. Worth factoring in to your considerations

IComeFromALandDownUnder Sat 26-Oct-13 20:46:08

No.1 but then I am a sucker for period houses. Think of it at Christmas!

Lagoonablue Sat 26-Oct-13 20:36:43

As someone with no off street parking I can tell you it is a serious PITA.

123bucklemyshoe Sat 26-Oct-13 20:36:00

You sound like your heart loves no 1.....

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

Can you do a test in half term, send the girls off for the day to investigate buses etc!

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?

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!

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.

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

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

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 19:26:51


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

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?

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