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big flat vs smaller house?

(24 Posts)
TheGreatHunt Sat 01-Mar-14 21:24:15

I've fallen out of our flat. It doesn't work for me any more - I find it claustrophobic having downstairs neighbours, our garden feels too far away (access via stairs and then a walk down a oath) and no parking. It is all adding up. But we have space - loads of rooms, big rooms.

So if we were to move, in the areas we would like we would get a semi detached house with few reception rooms, smaller garden and smaller rooms. But but we would have s driveway and most importantly to me, direct garden access. There's something special about sitting down outside with a morning cup of tea....

Whenever I talk to DH he says oh but our garden isn't over looked, oh but we have so much space here. So it feels like he's dragging down the idea. I have to accept that he loves our flat more than I do but it gets me down.

So what would you do? Big flat or smaller house?

Marrow Sat 01-Mar-14 21:54:42

It depends. Do you have children or are you likely to in the future? A garden that is easily accessible and where the children can play but you can see them from the house is worth its weight in gold. If children (or dogs!) are not a consideration I would probably err more on the side of the flat.

PotteringAlong Sat 01-Mar-14 21:56:06

I go for the easily accessible garden every time.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 01-Mar-14 22:00:06

I could never have a shared front door again. Lived in flats for years and there was always a wierd neighbour who made you feel a bit threatened. Or comings and goings late at night where the shared front door banged and jolt you awake. There is peace of mind in a house to some extent. It's all yours. Your letterbox is yours and yours alone. An Englishman's home is his castle and all that.

A garden is a bugger to maintain though. grin

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sat 01-Mar-14 22:01:39

I would definitely go for the house. A private garden & a parking space are quite important to us really.

LizCurly Sat 01-Mar-14 22:13:55

What's the difference in sq footage?
how big is your flat? are you only able to afford a particular (small) house? or, are all the houses near you two up two down type layout.

NoEgowoman Sat 01-Mar-14 22:20:53

Small house with garden every time. I also found a flat without direct access to a garden very claustrophobic. Without direct access it's like a trip out going to your outside space. I,for one, need time outside.

blueshoes Sat 01-Mar-14 22:33:05

How about moving to a ground floor flat with direct access to the garden? I personally would hate to have to compromise on space, particularly with children.

I get stressed when my personal space is messy (because of lack of storage) or too many toys and since I home more than I am in the garden, would prefer my home to be neat and tidy.

Do you already have children?

LondonGirl83 Sat 01-Mar-14 22:57:11

Probably the flat, especially if you don't have kids that need outside space.

hyperspacebug Sat 01-Mar-14 23:09:14

I have a friend with kids - they live in a large first floor flat (massive reception, nice kitchen-diner etc) but with separate front door and separate staircase access to split garden full of organic vegs. That option may work nicely if available.

Perks: space and easier to maintain all on one floor! And most people don't use garden most of the year anyway.

scarygreenfairy Sat 01-Mar-14 23:14:25

I think you might miss the big rooms. I would feel claustrophobic in small ones. It means a lot.

scarygreenfairy Sat 01-Mar-14 23:15:40

PS Remember that unless you are going to buy a detached house then you will have neighbours and it will also feel (kind of) like a flat.

However, it will have small rooms.

TheGreatHunt Sun 02-Mar-14 07:56:01

Thanks everyone for your thoughts. I think I've already mentally covered them.

We have two preschool DC which is a big reason for wanting to move. To me it is a waste of a garden if I cannot just go out there without huge hassle. Especially if I have to carry one and hold the hand of the other as we tread carefully down concrete steps. Not to mention if we forget something I cannot just pop back unless DH is there to keel an eye on them. I find it easier to go to the park!

We have a lot of space but do not use every room effectively. The second reception room is a dumping ground. OK we have a dining table in there but it isn't comfortable for sitting in and letting the kids play as they prefer playing in the same room as us.

We have our own front door. It is more when I look out the window to do my washing up, I'm mindful of looking at the downstairs neighbours especially when they're in their garden. It sounds minor but I want to stand and stare at the greenery outside without being thought of as nosey.

What else - we fill this space with crap. It I'd too big for it to feel cosy. We would have to spend a lot to make it cosy.

I don't think I would be bothered by smaller rooms. I have in mind properties that we could afford - basically a 3 bed 1920-30s house. So not small but not huge. Fine for me!

cafesociety Sun 02-Mar-14 15:37:56

With 2 children I'd go for the house, no hesitation. Nothing like your own front door and being able to walk into your garden and sit there without other people in the building seeing you and vice versa.

No stairs and you could have a garage, driveway and put up shed/summerhouse and have plenty of storage for toys/bikes etc.

blueshoes Sun 02-Mar-14 15:41:50

In that case, OP, it sounds like you should go for the house. No brainer.

blueshoes Sun 02-Mar-14 15:42:26

PS make sure the house is within catchment of a good school since you have pre-schoolers.

teenagetantrums Sun 02-Mar-14 15:43:01

I live in a flat and agree it is a pain when the kids are younger, now they are teenagers im grateful for the bigger rooms, plenty of space for them in their bedrooms. If I was you I would move, I would have loved a garden my kids could have just gone out and played in without me.

littlecrystal Sun 02-Mar-14 16:43:24

Look at the school catchments.

Every family is different. Unless you are planning more children, those pre-school years pass very quickly.

My house is terraced and the garden is very overlooked. I just found a smaller flat to buy with no neighbours (a coach house - detached), and although sq.m.space is smaller, it is so much more usable as no chimneys, alcoves, nooks and crannies.

I quite like the sound of your flat to be honest.

Twilight23 Sun 02-Mar-14 16:45:49

I grew up in a third floor council flat. Was very tidy and rooms spacious but how we would have loved a garden. I then moved to a flat in a converted house. I hated sharing a front door and the neighbours were either too loud or messy.

I would go for the house.

beaglesaresweet Sun 02-Mar-14 16:52:36

aren't gardens overlooked in terraced houses and even semi's as usually the next house is very close (unless it's rural)? I suppose, not overlooked from downstairs at least, so that's a plus, but only from bedrooms, but as far as the noise in the gardens and conversations, you'd overhear them also. Agree that if you went for a flat you should have had one with direct garden access and not via steps!

cestlavielife Mon 03-Mar-14 14:14:02

garden flat with direct access is fab. mine has own front door. (about to mvoe to another rental with same - own front door direct access private garden flat nice garden)

(did have one incident of upstairs neighbour chucking their fag ends out the window [and one landing on the kids paddling pool and burning a hole in it!] but they were v apologetic explaining this is what they did in their country...they didnt realise it wasnt done thing....)

Notcontent Mon 03-Mar-14 14:54:57

My old flat had lovely large airy rooms but having neighbours below me, with DC, was a nightmare as I always used to get really stressed about DC making too much noise. Being in a slightly poky house is a huge relief.

BumWad Mon 03-Mar-14 20:14:04

I would go for a small house too.

We have had our apartment for 7 years now, it is huge and we will never be able to have a house with a bedroom or lounge the same size as we have now, but I really want a house with a garden, a separate kitchen rather than the open plan one we've got now and most of all my own front door!

littlecrystal Mon 03-Mar-14 22:41:46

Amazing how people long for The House. I have a house. Old Victorian. Rooms are big but all with chimneys, so many furniture simply does not fit. Practically no storage unless you like poking your head through a little attic hole. Shed makes all things damp. I never sit out in a garden. Things always need doing in the garden, there is no time to sit! My boys (6 and 3) dont go to the garden by themselves, and I would say they do not enjoy it. We go to a park at every opportunity. It is overlooked by another row of terraces, and my neighbour has built a massive shed in their garden and their grown up child now lives there. Maintaining a house where evwrything needs constant upkeep is PITA.

Yes it is pretty and it is a house. But I long for a neat space, perfectly square rooms, low maintenance, no garden, walls, fences, patios to maintain...

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