New builds, large housing developments, moving. Thoughts please!(18 Posts)
I am planning on moving back "up North" to the area I grew up in - a country market town. My main reasons being fresh start after divorce, being nearer to my elderly dad, and house prices. My youngest DC hopefully will be off to Uni in September so the time is right and I cant wait.
There is a brand new development under way, first phase housing now for sale. To me it sounds massive with ultimately 250 houses. Does anyone have any experience of living on such a big development, and any tips? Having a new build is very tempting from the point of view of energy efficiency, putting my own stamp on it, and lack of repair hassle. I've been pondering things such as choosing a house that is near to the entrance of the development, so as nearer to walk into town etc.
Thoughts and experiences please! I am wondering if it would be a friendly place or would a village outside the town be better for me as a single older woman etc etc.
It sounds ideal for you.
I don't think that's a huge estate.
You might find that because everyone is new that it's easier to make friends.
They might have a village/estate hall that has clubs you can join to make friends.
I wouldn't live by the entrance because there will be more traffic.
That sounds good. Just check what percentage if any is allocated to social housing.
It's probably ok if you are planning to stay for many years but if you aren't you may find it hard to resell whilst other building phases/newer houses are still going on.
It's been a huge problem for some new estates in the NE.
I think it sounds a good option for you. For the reasons you mention and for the increased possibilities of meeting new friends.
Look at the plans and see if you can find a suitable house within a cul-de-sac near the entrance.
I live in a village and it's lovely, but I have lived and worked here for over twenty years and know many people; villages are notoriously clique-y and it is difficult to meet people if you are working and don't have children at the local school. If you move onto a newly built estate you all arrive together and immediately have a common bond- kitchen tiles,fences, heating systems etc etc, and as a single woman maintenance issues ie lack of, are important. Go for a small cul-de-sac, less traffic, but check on parking. In villages you buy a house with a beautiful view, then the field is sold and you are immediately enclosed; I am far more overlooked than when I lived in the industrial midlands.
first thing to check is the flood status. Loads of these are built on flood plains and the fact that some of them have already flooded while still uncompleted won't stop the developers. Anyone who buys one of these on a flood plain is NUTS.
otherwise - check light levels (big estates like that are usually very crammed), outside space, does it get any sun, will there be enough parking, are there any facilities or public transport (these don't make money for developers) etc. Also room sizes (usually tiny) and quality of finish.
correct - I don't like new builds!
Sound perfect for you and as ihatethecold says it is far easier to make friends when you are all new rather than trying to infiltrate an existing community.
Look at the the plans carefully when choosing your plot and find out where the social housing is. When you have choosen a plot (or 2) ask to actually see the plot as what the plans won't show you in the ground levels. We loved a plot on our development but when we looked it had a huge retaining wall and the garden was on steep slope and would have cost a fortune to make a usable space.
We are considering moving to a huge new development (1500 houses.) The upsides for us are the same as for you, there are also potential pitfalls too. Look at parking - new houses often have only 1 parking space, this might not be a problem for you, but if it's a narrow street with high density housing think about where everyone is going to park their cars. Also, can you live with building going on all around you for a long time? Finally, are there shops and other facilities within walking distance (or whatever is important to you).
The development we are looking at is nearly finished, which makes it easier. I think it's hard to imagine what it will be like based on a site plan only.
I love moving into a new development under construction. Double check what services are being included in the development, a shop, bus route, access to gp and schools.
I moved into a new development about a year in to a four-year build. It wasn't too bad, in fact I quite liked watching the other houses go up around us (your car will be filthy for the length of time they're building though!).
Ours has very decent room sizes - we have 3 double bedrooms, the lounge is a bit small but only because we have small children
and all the stuff they come with and we have a driveway with 2 parking spaces. I think sizes depend on the comany building, I'd suggest looking at floorplans on their website if you can, and maybe see if they have a house the same as the one you want that you can view (if the showhome is different).
From a cost point of view, ours costs us roughly £800 a year to heat the house and water. You'll be on a water meter too, so if it's only you there with DC visiting back and forth from uni, that should be low cost too. Good luck!
I don't agree that making friends in a village is difficult. We moved into the old bit of a village and everybody in the old bit of the village have been very welcoming. I think it's partially because you can wander through the village to the park, shop, pub or even just go for a nice walk.
I am yet to meet anybody who lives in the two large new build estates at the top of the village. You can't really wander round them as there is nothing there except houses so it feels intrusive.
I think we would have also met more people from there if we had got into the local school but we didn't and have ended up having to travel to the closest town. Even with that set back we have met neighbours who have put us in contact with other people with kids or grandkids DSs age, I was invited to join a book -- wine drinking-- club, village fairs etc.
This is brilliant. There is a lot of stuff I hadnt considered. Real food for thought. Thanks.
Luckily because I grew up in the area, some of the big questions I already know, such as flood plains, distance to walk into town etc. but hadnt considered things like traffic, living in a cul de sac, buying off plan, and the big one - difficulty in selling when more building going on.
I am very keen to have a house that does not have a north facing garden after 16 years of moss!
It's great to hear other people's experiences, please keep posting.
I probably should only whisper this but is social housing a down side? The only experience I have of it is in my very small village in the south of England where no one wanted to move into it. There is one house with a single young man of 20 in it, and I believe it has 3 beds!
We live on a new development of 274 dwellings, so a mix of houses and 'mansion blocks' containing flats.
Having been on the residents association the major bugbears seem to be
1. Parking - planning only allows 1.5 spaces per dwelling (I think) and most houses have 2+ cars. Parking wars tended to take up most of our time.
2. Dog poo - apparently people pay a maintenance fee so should be allowed to let their dogs shit where they please.
3. Lack of amenities - we are a bit away from the nearest village so no local pub or community centre, though I appreciate this is not the case for lots of developments.
4. Lack of community spirit. I know this is an odd one but I didn't appreciate before how handy it was to know your neighbours, even for something like taking in parcels.
Saying that, I love the little community we are building and the positives of our house far outweigh the negatives.
I wouldn't choose a house close to the entrance because you'll be surprise how much the traffic annoys you (friends of ours moved BC because of it).
Buying off plan can have major advantages, particularly price wise. If you can though see if the developer has other sites with the same type of house you can go look at.
Also, factor in the extra cleaning whilst building is going on, the dust is nuts and I don't think our windows have ever been clean!!!
I guess the residents association is a good way to meet people though?
I've just been peering at the site plan and I can't really make head nor tail of it with its various dotted lines etc. Most houses do have driveways/garages and the few without seem to have allocated parking but like you say *glen" probably not for 2 cars.
Think my next move is get a weekend up there and have a poke around.
Its a great way to meet people yes. I don't regret being involved and we have built a great community because of it.
Have a nosey around the site, talk to the sales people and have a chat with people in the local pub, if there is one.
My friend has been up there this afternoon. There was someone in the site office but the show home isnt open till next weekend. Not that that would help as it is much bigger/more expensive than I need or can afford.
No one has moved in yet so it really is at the very beginning, with all that implies. The first houses are going to be ready in May which isnt a problem to me as even if I sold I cant realistically move till early July.
There would be quite a few implications to being "first in" though from what everyone has said so far....I am not put off though.
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