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Flat with garden or House with no garden?

(23 Posts)
cunningplan101 Sun 09-Mar-14 21:13:20

We've seen two properties that we like equally (sorry for using dreadful word 'property' but not sure of a better one - 'potential home'?) One of them is a two-bed ground floor flat with a big garden. The other one is a two-bed house - it has a small patio garden at the front of the house but no garden. The road is quite quiet and I think we could fence off patio to make it safe.

I'm having real trouble choosing between them. I've always lived in flats and so would love the privacy and 'grown-up' feel of living in a house. It's detached and so no neighbours, which would be heaven. At the moment we're in a first floor flat so neighbours above, below, left and right - we're surrounded. I'm not a big gardener, so the small patio garden would probably be my preference if it was just me. But my DS is 6 months, and I'm not sure if the garden should be a priority?

Rumplestiltskinismyname Sun 09-Mar-14 21:19:44

Personally I would go with the flat- there is nothing more depressing then having nowhere to really sit out on a nice summers day... But... Also check the details of the leasehold and any maintenance charges- as this could swing it towards the house!

ihategeorgeosborne Sun 09-Mar-14 21:20:50

Are there any parks / green spaces near to the house with the patio? If so, then I think the house with the patio would be fine.

ihategeorgeosborne Sun 09-Mar-14 21:23:55

Also, if you don't really like gardening, then having a big garden would be a bit of a chore.

TheRedQueen Sun 09-Mar-14 21:25:44

All things being equal: flat with garden.

beaglesaresweet Sun 09-Mar-14 21:28:48

agree that it depends on whether there is a park nearby - no work involved either, good for dc.

pancakesfortea Sun 09-Mar-14 21:31:55

If it was a choice between freehold (house) and leasehold (flat), then freehold every time.

Obviously millions of people get on absolutely fine in leasehold but ultimately it means that someone else has a say in decisions affecting your home - including financial ones.

Pannacotta Mon 10-Mar-14 08:02:35

Keep looking, neither is ideal and having even a small garden is so important as DSc get older, a patio at the front doesn't sound very welcoming.
Perhaps look for a small house which needs some work if budget is an issue, that might be a better compromise?

Pannacotta Mon 10-Mar-14 08:02:54

DCs sorry

littlecrystal Mon 10-Mar-14 08:27:27

I would also say keep looking, but out of the 2 the flat sounds a bit more welcoming and you could also have a big shed for storage in the garden.

Another thing to consider is that if you have to pay for example 100pcm service charge, perhaps you could add that to your mortgage and have a house with a garden instead.

CharityCase Mon 10-Mar-14 08:50:02

Can you fit a trampoline on the patio of the house? Yes? Job donegrin

Having no neighbours is something only flat dwellers can truly appreciate. It's a massive wild card and eliminating that risk is a big plus.

thegreatgatsby101 Mon 10-Mar-14 08:54:08

Keep looking. You shouldn't have to compromise when you're spending a large sum of money on a home!

cunningplan101 Mon 10-Mar-14 18:16:25

Thank you for all your thoughtful advice.

We've been looking a long time and this is the first house we've seen that we like that's in our budget (the others we've seen were a lot above or grotty). The gap in price between houses and flats around here is huge ... and that's before they go to sealed bids, which is what anything at all nice seems to do around here! There is a play area near the house, and a park a couple of streets away. And I do feel like freehold is a big benefit over leasehold. But then I've never owned a garden, so maybe I don't know what I'm missing! I don't want to end up feeling trapped inside on a Summer's day, regretting the garden we could have had.

You've all given me a lot of useful food for thought. Thanks again.

Bonsoir Mon 10-Mar-14 18:23:49

I live in Paris where practically everyone lives in a flat. I love living in a flat - it is elegant and spacious - but you do need outside space for DC. We live near a beautiful park with an endless supply of DC and friends to hang out with. Is the house near a park? I would find it grim to have nowhere to go on a sunny day.

cunningplan101 Mon 10-Mar-14 18:50:49

Yes there's a park not too far away - and a playground nearby. Also, there's a chance we could maybe add a roof terrace (although I'm not sure how much that costs/how tricky planning permission is). Or, we were thinking we could ask to buy a small section of the neighbour's large garden.

Bonsoir - A flat in Paris definitely sounds more elegant! I think the problem with a lot of flats in London is that they're either converted houses with potential noise issues, or tiny new build boxes with no character. The one we like is a Victorian conversion and so has lovely period features and didn't seem noisy when we looked - but it's always hard to tell. It's got a long lease, so we wouldn't have to worry about that, but no share of freehold.

It looks like both places are going to go to best and final offers. So we're trying to decide which one to go for. Maybe we should put bids in on both, and let fate decide!

beaglesaresweet Mon 10-Mar-14 19:21:55

as there is a park AND playgrounf nearby, I'd say the house! no neighbours above (who would look over you in your garden, how relaxing is that? same as a public park). You then have a loft btw, and a freehold.

SolomanDaisy Mon 10-Mar-14 20:04:19

What's the soundproofing like in the flat? If it's just one upstairs neighbour and good soundproofing, then I'd go for that.

SolomanDaisy Mon 10-Mar-14 20:06:08

Oh, just saw your last post - definitely put offers in on both and see what happens!

LondonGirl83 Mon 10-Mar-14 20:12:47

Is the flat also near a park and playground? To be honest, on a really nice day, I never want to stay home. We are always straight out to the park / walking around our neighbourhood etc. The age during which children need a large garden is quite short. If there is scope to extend the house in future-- loft conversion etc I'd go for that esp if you don't like to garden.

ogredownstairs Mon 10-Mar-14 22:52:52

what Londongirl said. I'm in a terraced house but I'd kill for detached and that would outweigh the garden by some distance for me. Dcs now 8 and 12 and haven't stepped foot in the garden for 6 months. We go to parks instead.

Admiraltea Mon 10-Mar-14 23:06:12

Freehold... every time.

Though interested to know which direction each outside space faces...you could on worst case scenario end up with east facing garden flat.

Speaking from bitter experience of buying property with east facing garden that was entirely in shadow by 4pm even at the height of summer.

AstonishingMouse Mon 10-Mar-14 23:26:58

Which has more space? Is the second bedroom a good size in both? How do the kitchen and living spaces compare?
Are you likely to have more children? Will both of them have enough space if you do?
How long are you likely to live there? Will you have increasing salaries which will allow you to move somewhere larger in 5 or 8 years or are you in for the long haul? If you are going to be there for a long time could you convert the loft of the house if you need more space?

Does the flat have it's own front door or is there a communal entrance? In terms of noise the worst flats I have lived in have had different arrangements on different levels eg. bedroom at the front on the first floor above the living room on the ground floor. Can you find out how the upstairs flat is arranged?
How much is the ground rent etc. on the flat? I've had a couple of leasehold flats with no issues but I know they can occur.

My kids are in the garden a lot, they were out for hours yesterday pottering about. Sand pit for when they are little, paddling pool on a hot day, you couldn't really do that on a front patio. But a detached house is a rarity in London, and having your own front door does have a grown up appeal. Lots of things to weigh up.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Tue 11-Mar-14 09:48:14

If the locations are equal for commuting, nursery, school and shops then I'd go for the house without question.

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