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Moving to a new build - it ticks all the boxes, but I just don't love it!

(24 Posts)
Soindecisive Fri 28-Feb-14 20:14:29

We have been struggling to find a house near a station (for commuting) and near a good primary and secondary school.

We have just viewed a new build which ticks all the boxes. It's light and airy - has a drive, garage and utility room (which we've never had before).

We have always lived in pretty (but tiny) period properties. These have often been completely impractical for family life but we have always loved them from the start.

I'm hoping that someone who has moved from a period property to a new build can tell me that it's the right thing to do. Of course, I'm also interested to know about regrets! smile

TexMex Sat 01-Mar-14 03:19:01

Sorry I can't answer specifically about moving into a new build, but we have just moved into a house that ticked all the boxes but we didn't love, but didn't feel able to not put an offer in as it was affordable and just what we were looking for.

As time went on waiting to move in I looked forward to loving in more and more, and now after just a week here I've found a few features which I love, so the house is really growing on me. I'm thinking it's more of a slow burning love affair rather than an eyes-across-the-room thing! Hopefully the same will happen for you too.

SavoyCabbage Sat 01-Mar-14 03:58:22

The good thing about a new build s that you don't have to do little jobs for years. Giving you more time to do other things.

Also, when everybody moves in at a similar time, there can be more of a community feel.

Monty27 Sat 01-Mar-14 04:04:42

There's always lots of 'snagging' problems too, according to someone. I've never had the pleasure of a new build, now that I'm older, I desire one, but there aren't any near where I need to be, so I stay here struggling to upkeep a property that was and could be stunning. But life's too short, I'd rather do 'snagging' smile

HaveToWearHeels Sat 01-Mar-14 17:44:16

OP, I lived in a 2 up two down Victorian terrace with bags of original features. It was a total pain and cost me a fortune. I now live in a 4/5 bed detached new build that I bought off plan. No way I could fall in love with plans lol. It is light, spacious and above all not draughty. We have been here 5 years now and I love my house.
We were planning on building our own but couldn't find a plot we liked so ended up buying off a developer as it had 4 out of the 5 must haves we were planning on putting in had we designed our own house.
It is such and "easy" house to live in.
Agree with Savoy, we have a nice little community up our drive as we all moved in at the same time.
Snagging isn't so bad either, you just have to be persistent.

RachelHRD Sat 01-Mar-14 19:56:46

I've lived in period properties too and spent most of my time worrying about work that needed doing and feeling guilty when we weren't doing it!
Bought an off plan 4 bed end terrace town house with a decent sized garden 2.5 years ago and I love it. It works so well for family life, we use all of the space and never have to worry about unexpected repair expenses cropping up like a new roof etc!
The builders cover the first 2 years of the warranty and do all of the snagging and settlement and then you are covered by NHBC for the next 8 years.
We are really happy here and won't be moving again for a long time!!!

Eve Sat 01-Mar-14 19:59:55

Bought a new build last year which I wasn't keen on, prefer period.

Loads of space and it's so clean & fresh. It's painted white whole way through which I thought I would hate, but ended up really liking.

Pinkje Sat 01-Mar-14 20:08:12

Well I'll be the contrary view then. I moved to a new build and hated it. Found the endless snagging a real pain, just gave up on them in the end. But 10 years on we've managed to sell at a profit and now have a period property again!

SquinkiesRule Sun 02-Mar-14 07:30:20

We bought off plan years ago and I was not convinced it was going to work, but it turned out to be the best thing we did. So energy efficient, and comfortable, it was a blank slate inside and out and we loved living there. Dh had a field day getting the garden how he wanted.
We didn't have any big improvement jobs or repairs in many years.

neepsandtatties Sun 02-Mar-14 07:37:50

We sold a period cottage and purchased a massive new build townhouse for the same reasons as you - walk to station, convenient, move straight in etc. We only lived in it for 1 year and since then have purchased and lived in character properties. New build just didn't 'do it' for me, and I wouldn't live in one again. I do however think that part of our disatisfaction is that we've discovered we like small cosy houses. The townhouse had 5 friggin' bathrooms!

ithaka Sun 02-Mar-14 07:41:57

Not a new build, but a modern house I certainly didn't love. We needed something quickly & it was meant to do until we could move to a house we really liked (we had always lived in period houses, I had never imagined living anywhere modern).

Nearly 12 years later we are still in ugly house & it has really become the children's family home by default. Mainly because the location is so perfect. It is so cheap to live in (seriously, so cheap to be toasty warm all year round, instead of the massive heating bills to shiver in the cute cottage we left). It is comfortable and there never seems a good enough reason to leave.

In fact, we are thinking of extending ugly house this year, so I guess I really am settled. You don't have to love a house. It is your servant, not your master. If it meets you families needs it is doing its job & it is the people inside it that make it a home.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Sun 02-Mar-14 07:43:17

Not quite the same situation, but I agree with the PP who talked about a 'slow-burning love affair'. That's exactly what home-ownership has been for me. The homes I've bought have always been chosen because they ticked the practical boxes. They never ticked the style or falling-in-love boxes. But I have always - eventually - fallen in love with them because they were comfortable to live in and bland enough to impose my own personality on them.

I dream that one day I will be able to afford a large period property that ticks the boxes on both sides. Dream on!

GingerMaman Sun 02-Mar-14 08:37:44

I've lived in period properties as well as new builds. Despite living the period features, I would definitely go for new build now as it's just so much of a hassle with older properties - heating problems, leaks, droughts etc etc

BethGoLightly Sun 02-Mar-14 08:49:47

I have always lived in period cottages with the odd leak, draughts, dodgy electrics or plumbing. Spent a fortune just keeping them going but always loved the cosiness of them all and loved the established, mature gardens. Eventually we got really fed up with lack of parking or the continuous fighting for a space in the road outside so bought a new build. We still miss the cosiness but our house is light, warm and so cheap to heat and maintain. Plus we have a drive so no arguments over parking. We won't go back to a period home unless it has easy parking and is renovated to an exceptional standard. We have also really enjoyed planning the garden from scratch.

FrumpyPumpy Sun 02-Mar-14 08:55:47

New build here too. Didn't like it for a year, but that may have been moving into a magnolia box the week after a miscarriage... One we got decorating we started to like it, now 7 years on we love it. Space, light, storage... And low bills.

elmirador104 Sun 02-Mar-14 12:02:01

We moved into a house that was so ugly it was difficult to love, but the room sizes, light and airy feel made us buy it.

16 years later we are still here, love the place now, but have bought another house to do up. We will move into the new place eventually but might end up back in the original ugly duckling.

Teeb Sun 02-Mar-14 14:26:37

On thing I've always worried about with newer build homes is noise. In my head, the thinner walls and design materials wouldn't be able to block out the noise as well as old stone/brick properties. Do any of you living in a new home notice any issues with noise? Particularly if you are semi detached.

chezchaos Sun 02-Mar-14 14:37:54

After 10 years in 100+ year old terraces we've moved
into a modern (for us!) semi.

Not particularly attractive but big, light and airy, so warm, and a huge garden. I really miss the character of my old houses but this is far more practical for a growing family.

In terms of negatives though there's definitely far less of a community now on the new street, and the house is noisier - mainly because our new neighbours have a piano on the adjoining wall, without that the sound would probably be on a par with the old houses.

HaveToWearHeels Sun 02-Mar-14 17:26:12

Teeb insulation between properties has been improved in the last 20 or so years and has to meet a certain specification. Our is detached so no noise, however all the houses on this development are traditionally built ie with bricks and internal walls are made from breeze blocks (a couple are stud walls). A lot of new builds are timber framed so it is worth asking.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Sun 02-Mar-14 18:31:51

The most important thing is to love, or learn to love, the home you're in and remember why you chose it.
Otherwise you just waste time and feel resentful about what you don't have instead of appreciating all the positives.

Period houses are lovely to look at. I like them.
But you've found a house near a station and that's worth shedloads every day both morning and night. The choice of schools is always at the top of any parents' wish list.
Your new home will be spacious, light, with a very useful utility room and it will have both a garage and a driveway.
You will have a building guarantee against major defects and guarantees for major items such as central heating and double glazing. Your home will have been constructed to comply with up to date building regulations and energy efficiency standards.
You won't have to remove anyone else's dubious taste in fittings and decor so you can spend your money on improvements and your own taste.

We had a new house by a good school when our DCs were small and it worked brilliantly for us as we formed some great friendships and so did the DCs.

Period homes are wonderful but often cost so much more to insure and maintain and don't always deliver on space, light and suitability for space and storage. We often see them through rose tinted spectacles.

Enjoy your home while it delivers to suit your needs and don't spoil it by wishing it delivered the same things but was a period property because if that existed, it wouldn't be located where you want to be or at a price you could afford.

Does that help?

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 02-Mar-14 18:40:37

We lived in period properties bought with heart rather than head ( and loved each if them but probably should have made more money on the way up the property ladder ). Bought once with our heads - newish build, ticked all the boxes . We hated it, so miserable. Sold up and are now back in a period property which costs loads because the jobs are never ending, but we love it!

tobiasfunke Mon 03-Mar-14 09:52:02

I live in an old 19th Century farmhouse. It is a lovely house with big high rooms and a beautiful big garden/field but after 4 years I have started to really resent that all our money goes into upkeeping and updating the house. Everything just costs so much more money to fix. All my time goes on decorating and DIY and I have a mental list of things needing doing as long as your arm. It is expensive to insure and expensive to heat and most of the time it is cold.
I should've known this as we've always lived in a period doer-upper but I think I've just had enough.
They are building some lovely new houses just half a mile away and I really want one. We would have so much more time and money. DH is not budging. New builds can look just as amzing as older houses if you decorate them well.

bamboobutton Mon 03-Mar-14 09:58:57

i grew up in a period house, lovely to look at but cold in winter, stifling in summer etc.

we bought a new build off a smallish regional builder (Hopkins homes) and we have not had one snagging problem at all. we love our new build!

we researched, as we were worried about the new build horror stories too, and couldn't find one single bad review. wimpey taylor on the other hand...

which developer have you bought from?

HaveToWearHeels Mon 03-Mar-14 10:04:25

I bought off Taylor Wimpey and I am very happy. I think the problems lie with site managers. Our site was shut twice due to incompetent site managers. Third one was excellent and helped us out loads. A few snagging issues but all little things.

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