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do-er upper that would be 'forever' or a will do for a few years??

(14 Posts)
NannyPlumForPrimeMinister Tue 25-Feb-14 14:24:26

We need to find somewhere quick as have accepted an offer.

We have found an Edwardian house, ideal location but probably overpriced given the state of the house. Generally unloved and manky, original sashed- not been cared for and all need refurbished, carpets upstairs disgusting, not been decorated or cleaned for years, needs new kitchen etc. But, could be lovely given the time, inclination and money but we have 3 small kids.
It would be great when finished but would be 'a project' to say the least.

Other option would be 2 other properties- 1 has tiny north facing back garden but parking, other has no parking but nice garden. These are substantially cheaper (100k). We know that they would just be for maybe 5-8 years or so and not 'forever'.

The stress levels are high and we can't decide what to do. The estate agent was practically begging us to put an offer in on the one that needs work. It has been on and off the market for a few years and now really needs to be sold. I think maybe it is a divorce case where the wife was allowed to keep living there until the kids finished education.

I feel illconfused

redcatblackcat Tue 25-Feb-14 14:45:38

If the thought of doing up a manky old place makes you ill, and you can live with the thought of moving again in a few years, then go for one of the other houses?! Don't be persuaded by the EA, they're there to take your money and care for little else!!

SilverSixpence Tue 25-Feb-14 14:49:51

If they are desperate to get rid of it maybe they will accept a lower offer? Three kids and a house needing work sounds v stressful, but if you will be there for a long time it will probably be worth it long term. I would do it, but if it would make you too miserable then wait for something better and rent a while maybe?

ghostinthecanvas Tue 25-Feb-14 14:50:45

Are you feeling ill in case you make the wrong choice? Which house can you picture yourself in? I would put a cheeky offer on the victorian. It sounds like it could be a forever home.
A good spring clean, new carpets, some decorating. Would that make it liveable in in the shortterm? A new kitchen can be installed in less than a week.

NannyPlumForPrimeMinister Tue 25-Feb-14 14:57:09

It is just the stress of the decision making me feel ill really or the indecision.


Mandy21 Tue 25-Feb-14 15:00:34

My only advice would not to under estimate the cost and probably more importantly with 3 small children the time it takes to commit to a do-er upper. We moved to a house that needed everything doing � not the heating or electrics but everything else, planned an extension etc � with 3 children under 5. We didn't have to money to pay for people to do the work, we had no spare cash at all really - and whilst I am still glad we moved there (4 years on) we have not really done very much to it. We replaced all the carpet, did a half job on the decorating in the children's rooms as we moved in and other little bits here and there, but we haven't had the extension yet so we're still quite a long way off it being the perfect house. It takes an age to do anything (even with a very competent DIY husband), costs double what you think it will, and takes H away from the family when we have precious little family time. I've also suffered occasionally with 'house shame' � much as I try not to, I don't want people thinking the peach bathroom suite is my choice, or the floral tiles in the kitchen are my taste. Its impacted on inviting people over sometimes but as I think it shouldn't. There is only so long you can dine out on "it will be lovely when its done" �but yes, we've been in it for 4 years now--. If you have the money to pay for professionals to do the work, and don't mind the mess etc then sounds good.

NannyPlumForPrimeMinister Tue 25-Feb-14 15:02:17

We would knock through from the kitchen to dining room as kitchen is too thin for a table at present. RSJ would be involved I would imagine so not sure on the cost for that.

WE would only go for the do-er upper if we could get it for £250 but that is considerably lower than the asking price. Otherwise it wouldn't be worthwhile for the amount of work we would need to do.

We are going to see the others On Saturday so trying not to stress too much until then.

I am normally quite impulsive and so is DH so trying to be a bit more reasoned in our decision.

TunipTheUnconquerable Tue 25-Feb-14 15:05:42

I would put in a low offer on the Edwardian one.
Good luck!

SparkyUK Tue 25-Feb-14 15:09:47

I would put in the low offer and if it isn't acceptable then that's that. If it were me, and I didn't, I'd have "what if" regrets if I settled. Granted I have "if only" regrets as I look around my house and the bits that aren't yet done up. smile

Practically speaking, do consider the cost of reselling and moving and stamp duty when comparing your pros and cons.

frenchfancy Tue 25-Feb-14 15:17:17

Are they all in the same catchment area? If you have young DCs try to think about how old they will be in 5 years time rather than how old they are now.

crazyhead Tue 25-Feb-14 15:23:46

Devil is in the detail with doer bad are we really talking here?

I would go back with a builder and a decorator separately, and write down every single thing that you need to do to it (both structural and cosmetic, and don't forget the garden if it is a paved over weed hole with no fence) and cost it out, not forgetting VAT. I would then look at what already done houses go for.

We did it last year (with me pg and with a baby). It was worth it financially for us, but we live in London where prices are very high and therefore the differentials between places depending on their state are much higher - and even then you need to be very, very careful on price.

I would say that even though we outsourced the big stuff both my partner and I worked 20 plus hours every week on the house, on top of kids and job, for an entire year, up to the week I went in for my c-section. We rarely had a weekend day free - my toddler's DIY vocab is quite amazing, and we spent hours running up and down the aisles of Homebase, playing 'find the hammer' while looking for endless gubbins.

Don't mean to sound negative - personally I have no regrets - but that's because it was worth it financially, which is crucial unless doing up a house is your idea of fun.

LondonGirl83 Tue 25-Feb-14 15:25:49

If you have the money, rent while the bulk of the work is being done. Inevitably the heating system and the electrics will need doing and you can't imagine the upheaval. I have found our doer upper very stressful as is and I have been in rented accomodation and had a hefty budget so I could do all the work at once with professionals.

A house that works for the next 5-8 years is absolutely fine. Why do you think they could only be temporary? Could you extend either of the other to homes to make them larger in future.

I wouldn't go for the doer upper if you can't get it all done relatively quickly. The stress can't be understimated and it very easily takes up all your free time.

Good luck with your choice!

NannyPlumForPrimeMinister Tue 25-Feb-14 15:26:01

They are all ok for the local primary. Kids are 2,4,6.

One is just outside the boundary line but we have spoken to the school and they have spaces in the appropriate classes so it shouldn't be an issue according to them.

I think I need to do a lot more drive bys of the one with the on street parking to see what the likelihood of getting parked outside the door is more often than not.

I think I could cope with the parking issue more than the lack of garden.

In some ways it would just be nice to exist in a cheaper house that we didn't need to do much too for a few years and try and overpay the mortgage.

LondonGirl83 Tue 25-Feb-14 15:28:15

I don't regret mine either but I wasn't prepared for what a drain on my free time it would be. It literally takes over even when you aren't doing any DIY really.

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