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WWYD, house A or B? Have to decide quickly.

(94 Posts)
meadowquark Sun 16-Nov-14 11:39:10

Hi, really have to decide on this quickly. I have been looking for almost impossible, a 3 bed house for low-ish budget in my area. I really wanted to be near our current primary catholic school, but after a long period of looking, I settled on:

House A - 2 miles drive from the current school, supposedly better area, but a more suburban, further from train stations for commute (20-25 min walk), catchment of and walkable distance to a outstanding secular secondary but I think a bit too far from catholic secondaries should my DC want to choose them, non-traditional 1970s build, 85 sq.m. of smart compact layout, small but pleasant garden, a garage, downstairs cloakroom. My main hesitation is that we (or our aupair) will have to use the car for many years to come, our DC1 is in Y2 and DC2 is to start Reception next year (we could of course change schools although I would prefer not to). Offer accepted, I made mortgage application 6 days ago and bank valuation 3 days ago.

House B - I was not looking anymore, but received an email from an agency, just came up 2 days ago and I went to view. 0.1m from our primary school (one of those roads, where you pass and think, oh it would be so nice to live here), 10 min walk to the train station for commute. On the edge of diverse London area. The house is advertised as 2/3 bed, in fact it is very small terrace, around 67 sq.m., and the 3rd bedroom is around 1.85cm x 1.80cm. The only bathroom is very small and downstairs. The living room is pass-through. We have an aupair, so I am hopeful that shorty bunk beds for DC in the box room could possibly work? Loft conversion is possible but I'd have no money. The garden is 90ft, not overlooked and had a wow factor for me. Even the front garden is long; long enough for a driveway. I would not need a car if I chose to. No good secular schools around, but there are 3 catholic secondaries where we would stand a chance. In short I loved it, mainly for location, character and not-overlooked factor.

My head says continue with house A. My heart is messed up and dreams about house B, even though it is clearly a bit too "compact" for 5 people. If we did not have aupair, I would have chosen House B. If the house B came up earlier. Now since the process has started.. I feel bad if I have to pull out, but equally that my kids would have to sleep in a "cupboard". Both house are without chain, one is empty, another is rented.


LaurieFairyCake Sun 16-Nov-14 11:42:14

What makes you think you will get into secondaries - Id really want to be sure about that.

Au pair can have smallest room, she won't have as much 'stuff' as its not her main home where she keeps everything from childhood

TheGonnagle Sun 16-Nov-14 11:44:18

House B. Loft conversion to solve the space issue, do without a car to save money.

Buttercup27 Sun 16-Nov-14 11:45:44

O would carry on with house A. Personally it would drive me nuts having dc share a tiny room (mess, storage problems, fighting).
Also I would worry about storage throughout the house. I'm guessing the house was very tidy and clutter free as there were viewings. Would it really be like that if you lived there? Primary school although a long time, won't last forever and depending on future circumstances you could end up living in a small house with large teenagers and tons of stuff.

ChippyMinton Sun 16-Nov-14 11:54:54

Check the admission criteria and this year's admission stats for the primary, that you won't be doing your DC2 out of a place by moving so far out.

meadowquark Sun 16-Nov-14 12:02:03

The schools is pretty much clear. DC2 should get in on sibling policy (catholic school so the catchment is more scattered). Outstanding secondary near House A - less than a mile and pretty safe bet looking at admission statistics. Catholic schools if house B - again most of the current primary go there, we will get in, in at least one out of three, if we meet going to church criteria.

SolomanDaisy Sun 16-Nov-14 12:08:05

House B is very, very small for five people. I think it's too small to be doable with an au pair, unless you can do the loft conversion straight away.

SolomanDaisy Sun 16-Nov-14 12:10:29

Also, how long are you planning to live there? The third room could end up being too short for your children to sleep in when they're teens.

Didiusfalco Sun 16-Nov-14 12:12:04

House B despite the size. You can work on the layout etc, you can't change the fact that A isn't in such a convenient location.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 12:13:43


Look at it this way, it's a nice choice to be making. Both are good options, neither is a bad option smile

You are writing this as if you are a lone parent, but if you are I'm missing a child? So is there another parent?! If so, what do they think?

Does house b have a garage? Is the garage with house a included in the size or in addition? If you chose house b could you put a decent shed in the garden?

Boysclothes Sun 16-Nov-14 12:13:45

B. do the loft extension unless it will kill you financially. Sounds like a lovely location and that is worth so much.

meadowquark Sun 16-Nov-14 12:14:39

Soloman ... live there forever unless our circumstances change. Loft conversion straight away not possible. More likely after about 5 years, when DS1 to go to secondary. We could ditch aupair though after her contract expires, and go for afterschool/breakfast clubs. Or DH (seriously - we are on a brink of separation).

Riverland Sun 16-Nov-14 12:17:41

House B. It's a better location by far and you love it. Space can be managed when your funds allow. Au pair is temporary.

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 16-Nov-14 12:17:55

If the lounge is walk through then the only chance the aupair will get for any privacy is her bedroom and someone is suggesting you give her a room less than six feet by six feet?
Our house is about 75sq m. But it's 2 bed as we did a loft conversion for the kids. 4 of us live here and sometimes the lack of space, and clutter, drive me daft. And honestly we do not have much you could call clutter as im always getting rid of things.

If you didn't have an aupair I'd say house b because your heart wants it. But think carefully about expecting your aupair to put up with cramped conditions.

Where is the aupair sleeping now?

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 16-Nov-14 12:21:40

Sorry just reread. If younger child in recept next yr will you still need the aupair or can you go with breakfast/after school club or childminder? Think you will need loft conversion done at some point as neither child will want a teeny box room when they're older. If by the time you've moved you might only need aupair for 6 months or so then it has to be house b.

meadowquark Sun 16-Nov-14 12:25:06

I would never put my aupair into box room. My aupair sleeps in my bedroom at the moment. DH and I sleep in the living room downstairs on a sofa bed (it is not walk-through and our bathroom is upstairs).

NeedABumChangeNotANameChange Sun 16-Nov-14 12:34:14

What would I do? I would choose house A so my children could escape the religious cult. I also wouldn't choose a house based on having an au pair.

Preciousbane Sun 16-Nov-14 12:38:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 12:40:28

I've had small rooms in the past, I never minded them, at all. Talk to your AP. They don't bring a lifetime full of Carl with them, small rooms are fine, as long as they're your own, private, space.

If you and DH are on the brink of separation, is moving right now going to help? Is so, which house would suit you better (assuming he'd be the one moving out). Could you manage financially in either one of them?

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 12:41:45

Carl? Fucking ipad is doing my head in!! Crap!!! Not Carl.

SolomanDaisy Sun 16-Nov-14 12:45:14

A small room is one thing, a room that doesn't fit an adult size bed is quite another. It's not actually big enough to be a bedroom. It's a two bedroom house, for five people. If that five is likely to become three soon, that may be more doable, but in your current set up house b doesn't work.

Flibbertyjibbet Sun 16-Nov-14 12:46:15

Moving to a house where you can have your own bedrooms might help the marital situation. When we did our loft conversion we slept downstairs for a few months which caused stress and strain. I absolutely hated having wardrobes and stuff in a different part of the house when I got up in the morning!

ChippingInAutumnLover Sun 16-Nov-14 12:52:45

I'm a short arse, so a slightly shorter bed would be fine. Comfy bed, window, plug sockets and I'm good smile. As I said, I.would be fine, and if I was the AP I'd much sooner the kids had the bigger room.

meadowquark Sun 16-Nov-14 12:58:35

My aupair (made a typo before, he is a guy) stays a lot in his bedroom rather than downstairs, I think the reason is that he has a comfy room there and so no reason to stay with us. I would like it to keep that way.
Didn't mention but house B is 35k more expensive (asking price) than house A, I would require a larger mortgage but would save in petroil, car insurance, council tax etc.
Even if we split with DH I need to move, I have been unhappy in my current house and I need to move for myself. It is purely my decision and my finance. No effect on it if we split.

justabigdisco Sun 16-Nov-14 13:01:54

I went for a smaller house in an 'I would love to live here one day' road which is a stones throw from our preferred primary school. I don't have an au pair to think about and it is not our Forever Home, but am very very happy. As everyone says - you can change anything about a house apart from the location. Go and view house B again with a very sensible head on, looking at storage/conversion options etc. - and then go for it!

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