Buying first house - opinions would be really appreciated(29 Posts)
I am not sure if anyone out there will be able to give any advice as ultimately I know the decision is down to us but...I wanted to ask opinions on our current situation.
DP and I live with my Dad. DD 3.5 and DS due in June. We can stay here for as long as we like and save for as long as we want to. Or we can buy...and we have found a small, terraced 100 year old cottage and have had an offer accepted. My main reason for wanting to buy is to make it on our own and make a family home for our little unit. We are both in our early 30's so feel time is ticking slightly on getting a mortgage as we need one over 35 years.
The house we have found is nice enough. It has many plus points:
- kitchen - has been extended to 19ft and has been re-fitted with all appliances inbuilt so we won't have to buy any
- bathroom has been re-fitted too
- Garden is 70ft long
- close to a really good school
- close to station as DP and I both have to commute
- It is only two bed and we are having one of each
- the rooms downstairs (although there are two) are fairly small. The biggest is 11'9 x 11'9 (which many might not call small but I guess I am basing that on our current living room).
- The bathroom is teeny tiny
- The road is busy-ish and the front door opens out onto the pavement. No direct parking out front.
I am scared that if we buy this house, then down the line we might find ourselves stuck there, having outgrown the space and with a boy and a girl coming up for teenage life and still sharing. Is this bad?
I am also worried that we will feel quite claustrophobic in the house, having been used to a 4 bed home on a quiet, residential street.
I feel as if we put off buying we might never make the jump and it has been so hard viewing houses and making offers in time before others get there first. It is the first house that has ticked most of our boxes and yet the fact it is directly on a fairly busy road really worries me.
So - that is the story. Sorry it is a bit long. I am just so scared that if we buy it will be the wrong decision long term but feel as if we can't keep waiting for perfection which might never materialise. We know we are buying above the odds as house prices in our area are just crazy but then what is the other option....wait until house prices crash again?
As I said - any thoughts would be really useful and thank you for your time.
I would not want it if I were in your shoes, as I don't think the street is safe for children. I also would not like to be perched on a street, no parking, and that it is one hundred years old. I'm sorry!
Its a personal choice but personally I wouldn't move there. Road would put me off as would 2 bedrooms and small living space downstairs.
One compromise is fine but that's 3.
It depends if this one has to be your 'forever' house. If it does, then I'd say don't buy this one as it sounds as though you want to buy just to have bought, rather than you want to buy this particular house.
If it doesn't have to be your forever house then plan at what point you would have raised enough equity from the house sale to move (obv. depending on no crash in the near term (five-ten years)) to something more suitable or, if it turned out that wouldn't happen, whether you'd have enough cash to extend (I'm assuming it's not listed) to fit your family size.
I don't think living straight onto a street is a big issue (have done that) and I have boy / girl twins about to be 9. They still share.
I think the question is what alternatives you have. What else is available? I think if you are used to living in a 4 bed then of course a 2 bed is going to feel small. Are house prices moving in your area? If you don't buy now,will you be able to buy later? What happens if your dad moves etc?
Personally my concern would be the 2 bedroom issue you would always have that hanging over you knowing at some point you will outgrow it.
Is there the possibility of extending the house, with it having a big garden?
If this is a possibility in the future then all the positives on paper do look to out weight the negatives.
Thank you for your responses. I should have added - this definitely isn't where we see us making our forever home. This would be our first step on the ladder. If I knew we could make the next jump in 8ish years then I would feel more confident. The problem with staying at my Dad's and saving longer is......we can't really save quick enough to keep up with house price rises if that makes sense? And soon houses will go over the 250k mark and then we need loads of stamp duty which will make it almost impossible for us to buy.
But you ladies are right - I am glad I am not alone in thinking the room sizes are small and my concerns about the road are valid. I just can't see another house coming up, within our budget that ticks so many boxes any time soon. I could cry at this crappy housing market!!!
Mandy21 there is so little coming on the market it is crazy! Prices are rising at an alarming rate hence I now feel this urgency to get on the property ladder so at least we are paying off something...rather than keep waiting as house prices are not showing any sign of slowing. We put an offer on a 3 bed last summer for 235k which went for 240k and now we can barely find a 2 bed for the same price. So many buyers and not enough houses. I do generally feel that if we keep putting it off we may never jump.
ClariceBean yes several houses on the road have converted the loft so that is an option I would guess as this house is very similar. Would it be rude of me to give them a knock as just ask when they had it done and how much it cost as that would be quite helpful? I wouldn't mind if someone did it to me! It is a big garden....but as the kitchen has already been extended I am not sure what future potential there would be.
Mandy21 when do you plan to separate the twins?
...or sorry I should say 'son and daughter'.
I think it sounds nice with lots of plus points. I was going to suggest loft conversion too. We've just moved from a 100 year old terrace, we were very happy there and had no big maintenance bills.
Have you considered buying a buy to let? and staying put at your Dads for a while while you save like crazy?
Hopefully later this year but its not an issue (for us) so if its not later this year, maybe next year? Before senior school. They love sharing so pressure is not coming from them, its everyone else saying we should separate them.
We currently live in a 200+ yr old terrace which opens straight onto the pavement. The street thing I don't find an issue (ours is fairly busy with cars parked both sides and a single car width road) - the garden is a big offset. DS (3) just knows that he is not allowed to go in the street or tear off.
If loft conversion is an option I'd definitely go for it. We are in the process of buying a 2 bed house with the expectation we'll need an extension in the next 5-10 yrs.
I'd be cautious about delaying getting on the housing market. Unless your current place will become yours, the older you get the harder getting a mortgage will be. Look at people who got on the housing market even 10 yrs ago and the better financial position they are in. Then think of the difficulties you are currently having trying to get into a strong enough financial position to buy. Do you honestly think in 10 yrs time it'll be better?
If loft version is a possible and you really can't see anything else coming into your price range then maybe you should just go for it.
House prices aren't going to fall. They may stabilise shortly honestly I doubt they will. As wages begin to slowly increase I can only see the situation getting worse tbh.
If you like the house, can see you moving/converting in the next 8 years then I'd say get a full survey done and go for it.
I would go for it it I were you. Nearly 2 years ago we bought the only house we could afford - it was very far from perfect. It's now worth 25k more than we paid for it
My thought was the same as usernamedenied. If your Dad is happy for you to stay on you could buy this property as a buy to let. That way you'd be on the ladder and can benefit from rising house prices.
I would buy just to get on a property ladder. It sounds good enough to make it home. You could convert loft. Stepping out on a pavement should not be a big issue, especially that you will have a massive garden at the back so less of temptation to step out in front. Busyish road and parking limitations would worry me but do you have a car or will you need a car?
Moreis that's what we are thinking. The older we get, the harder getting a mortgage will be. We are meant to be viewing a 3 bed on Tuesday along with 30 other people! In this kind of market (seriously all the houses have so many viewings) we feel now this one that so so many plus points should stay in our claws!!
Cupcake I really do like the house. It's just on the small-ish side but the big garden and extended kitchen diner are definite plus points.
Bu to let is an interesting idea. Maybe I should discuss that with DP. It's close to the train station so an estate agent did say we would probably be ok to rent it if we ever got into difficulty. I guess the adult women in me is craving my own adult space for my family too having been in the family home all this time (apart from uni).
Littlecrystal yes we do have a car. You can park outside the house, and all the way along the road but the other side has a single yellow so parking might get tricky evenings and weekends. We are going to drive down there at different times just to get an idea. Your right - on sunny days that would keep us at the back of the house in the garden.
Maybe we do just need to jump and start chipping away at a mortgage. We are being given £10k of our deposit by family anyway so to save more and wait for 3 bed in location that works will really take many years. If all goes pear shaped I guess selling is always an option, or letting it out.
I just feel sad I can't feel 100% about it but I doubt anything would ever come up that ticked all the boxes! especially with the housing market being the way it is.
Thanks all so much for your advice/views.
If you do buy to let you might need a larger deposit and be subject to capital gains tax when you sell
if it is a rising market, i would just jump in now tbh. put an offer in, go to see what else is around for the next week or two and just be sure that you have got the best value for money for now.
waiting is not going to make it any easier. a 2 bed with a toddler and baby is fine- will be fine for a good few years. revisit the whole thing in a few years. you may be suprised at how easier it becomes once you have more equity (from your house rising in price) and dc get to school age.
what you do not want to do is look back and say "march 2014 was the right time to buy and we didnt."
Have you discussed buying your dad's house from him?
I would go for it if you can convert the loft. That will give you ten years in the house at which point you might be able to move to your forever home.
How would you feel if the estate agent told you it was sold to someone else? I think that's your answer.
I think it sounds good. School catchment is important now, a third bedroom is a longer-term issue. If you'd been watching the market for a year then you have a good knowledge of how often paved are becoming absolve and how much other interest there is / how quickly things are selling. If you were looking around 200k I think it'd be ok to wait, but in many experience houses can push through the 250k barrier quickly in a moving market. Get a bolt for the top of the front door that is above child height and enjoy the back garden. (I wouldn't do by to let for many reasons, including that at some point while your money is tied up you'll see a house you want to buy and live in, and selling with tenants is not ideal.)
Predictive text! Sorry!
How would you feel if the estate agent told you it was sold to someone else? I think that's your answer.
I think it sounds good. School catchment is important now, a third bedroom is a longer-term issue. If you've been watching the market for a year then you have a good knowledge of how often places are becoming available and how much other interest there is / how quickly things are selling. If you were looking around 200k I think it'd be ok to wait, but in my experience houses can push through the 250k barrier quickly in a moving market. Get a bolt for the top of the front door that is above child height and enjoy the back garden. (I wouldn't do buy to let for many reasons, including that at some point while your money is tied up you'll see a house you want to buy and live in, and selling with tenants is not ideal.)
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