Anyone bought a house you loved in an area you weren't sure about...?

(36 Posts)
CityDweller Tue 23-Jun-15 10:21:52

... if so, were you happy with your decision?

There's a house that DH and I can't stop thinking about (first viewed 3 months ago), but it would mean a complete lifestyle change by moving to an area 1.5hrs away. There's nothing 'wrong' with the area per se (in fact, it seems nice), it's just completely different from where we live now - and while we love the house, can picture our family there, already know where we'd put up the Christmas tree (grin), I'm not sure whether it's 'too big' a move.

Anyone moved to an area that was very different or that they weren't sure they'd like, and it all worked out well? (or not?)

RaphaellaTheSpanishWaterDog Tue 23-Jun-15 17:20:47

We've done it twice now....a move of around 150 miles each time. Both times we've fallen head over heels for the house and both times we deeply regretted our decision.

Not knowing anyone in the new location hasn't helped. You'd have thought we would have learned our lesson by now, but no!

First time - very pretty period house of Tudor origins - the area was so bad you wouldn't have wanted to get to know anyone....honestly, it was that bad!

Second time - current house, another extremely attractive period property - the immediate area is much better, but the bigger picture is worse, iyswim.....

Unfortunately both times we were under considerable pressure to buy quickly and couldn't go into rented for a number of reasons (two very naughty dogs, three house cats, 3k+ removal costs and first time a hot tub!). Also both houses were projects and in the case of the first one, we lost a lot of money when we came to sell having stuck it out for three years.

This one we're in the process of deciding whether to do the work and hopefully recoup our outlay - we paid cash - or sell 'as is'. It doesn't help that we are now in a very slow moving location and a neighbour has just put the house he bought last Summer into auction (for the second time, first time it failed to sell) with a guide price neatly 100k less than he paid.

I'm sure others will come along with more positive experiences - sorry I'm full of doom and gloom - and hope you make the right decision.

Just don't fall into the trap of letting your heart rule your head and do ensure you research everything about the area thoroughly.....if it's possible for you perhaps try renting there before committing to purchase.....

MaliceInWonderland78 Tue 23-Jun-15 17:38:53

We did, and we love it. It's the best thing we ever did. We've got quite a decent social circle (especially among us "newcomers" --some of whom have lived here for 12 years or more--)

It was a bit of a gamble, but to be honest, I knew we were going to buy the property when we saw it on the internet. It's an expensive "work in progress" and there have been many times when I wouldn't have been too upset to see the place burn to the ground - but on the whole, it's been a positive experience. We've made some wonderful friends where we are and the kids are (I hope) having a great time growing up.

It's in a "cheap(er)" part of the country, but everyone has just enough, or more than they need.

There's no way we could have afforded what we have had we stayed anyehre within the M25. For us it's been positive. If we didn't have that social network, I might feel differently about the place. That aspect though was, to an extent, within our control. It's meant giving up time to serve on committees and get involved, but it's really no trouble.

CityDweller Tue 23-Jun-15 19:03:27

Wow - too extremes there! It's such a tough decision.

CityDweller Tue 23-Jun-15 19:03:38

Two, not too!

Airfixkitwidow Tue 23-Jun-15 20:11:56

We did it. Tempted by the house which we could never have afforded where we were. But we couldn't settle and a year later we sold up and came back. There wasn't much point in having a beautiful house but with all our friends and family too far away to visit us. An expensive mistake.

CityDweller Tue 23-Jun-15 21:44:31

Hmmm. I guess I was hoping lots of people would come on and say it worked out brilliantly and that it's worth taking such a leap into the unknown/ that loving the house is enough.

Lucy61 Tue 23-Jun-15 21:56:17

We did this. Currently in the process of moving to an area we love but a smaller house.

CityDweller Wed 24-Jun-15 10:52:19

So, looks like the consensus is area over house then?

havemercy Wed 24-Jun-15 10:59:38

I moved into the suburbs. It's lovely to wake every morning in a house you love.

I do struggle socially. For me the house is worth it as it means that there is more room for the kids. The area allows us to follow our interests more -in terms of space available and disposable income.

I can have people over more as the house is bigger.

It's been a complete lifestyle change for us (for the better).

The area isn't a bad one though just not suburban than I'm used too.

havemercy Wed 24-Jun-15 11:00:44

*the area isn't bad, just more suburban

Floggingmolly Wed 24-Jun-15 11:01:24

I really wouldn't. Location first, always.

wowfudge Wed 24-Jun-15 11:07:30

I disagree with location first always. We were able to get a much bigger house with a huge garden just around the corner from the supposedly better streets. The compromise is that it's a busy road. However the house is set back from the road and the rear garden is completely private and secure.

noddyholder Wed 24-Jun-15 11:16:01

I have with work related places (renovations) quite a few times and I can honestly say we were wrong in every case virtually and all neighbours etc were lovely and when we sold them I was able to reassure buyers about the areas I think you can get awful neighbours and noise etc everywhere.

CityDweller Wed 24-Jun-15 11:25:48

When you say you were wrong noddy do you mean wrong to move there? Or wrong to doubt the area?

For us, it'd be move from city to village (I've posted for advice before on that particular life change). We love the house, but we're worried about finding like-minded souls in the vicinity and about the adjustment in general. (Although should add we're also quite up for it - a lot of indecision going on!)

noddyholder Wed 24-Jun-15 12:18:43

Wrong to doubt Sorry! Some of the 'most' like minded people we've encountered while doing up houses have been the least likeminded in reality!

CityDweller Wed 24-Jun-15 16:55:15

Ok, thanks noddy. We keep on flip-flopping between 'fuck it, let's do it!' to 'ahhh, what if we don't make any friends and feel really isolated'.

lalalonglegs Wed 24-Jun-15 17:32:09

I moved into a fantastic house but it was in the wrong area. Definitely a mistake. I did make some lifelong friends living there (so I wouldn't worry about that) but it was just too far from central London so meeting up with anyone who wasn't local/going to the cinema if we didn't want to see a blockbuster/just getting to the nearest train station was a pure drag. I was very relieved when we moved.

newstart15 Wed 24-Jun-15 17:45:06

We moved to a new area which was a risk but we did the research and knew it was a 'better' area. Families, schools and activities on the doorstep.

You can google so much about an area that it does lower the risk. Do you have dc's? If so have you visited the schools/nursery? We did and the first thing that struck us was the friendly approach. Visit for the day and just hang out, you will get the vibe.

Things that I do miss - access to a range of shops - just have to travel a little further. Travel to family, we and they have to make a journey rather than just call in. A few motorway journeys full of traffic make people less likely to visit however we have lots of friends here so I don't feel too isolated.

vcharles Thu 25-Jun-15 08:17:44

It is a tough decision, and outcome might surprise you in the end)))) I found I just had to do it. Some of my friends live in London, however it is absolutely important for me to have a large garden and space (also have two children), so ended up in Surrey/Hampshire borders)))
Best of luck !

meadowquark Thu 25-Jun-15 08:44:22

I bought. I moved from a busy city area to a nice suburb for more space and good schools. What I can tell, I don't love suburb style living (mainly having to drive everywhere) but I am convinced I had to do what is best for my kids. I would move back, or I wouldn't have moved in the first place if the schools weren't in the equation.

soozm73 Thu 25-Jun-15 11:40:34

Make sure the area suits you and your needs. We moved to a lovely village location - the people are lovely, school is good and we have made lots of friends. However it is an absolutely awful commute for DH - and really cuts into the time the kids see him - and now I'm looking to go back to work really limiting for me. Also we (I) have realised I would prefer to live near restaurants, cafes and a bit of buzz and travel if I want to walk in the countryside rather than the other way round. So we're moving close to his work and close to London. We will get a smaller house and garden and spend a lot more money but it's the right thing for us.

CityDweller Thu 25-Jun-15 12:00:14

That's the really hard thing to determine without already living there soozm73! It ticks lots of boxes, albeit different ones to our current location, but I just don't know whether the lack of things you mention (restaurants, cafes, etc) will be an issue, or whether we'd just adapt to village life/ a different lifestyle and while I'd miss those things, I'm sure, there would be other things that we don't currently have that would make up for it (e.g. space, a garden, greenery around us, a 'slower' pace of life, more time together as a family, closer to my family, etc).

It is so different, that it's kind of impossible to know whether it's right unless we try it.

lostintoys Thu 25-Jun-15 13:28:04

Yes, we did it, and huge mistake. We've now moved to a less nice house in a better area.

oneflewoutofthecrazynest Thu 25-Jun-15 16:19:07

Another one who did it and regretted it sad We have just finished renovating and had the house valued and we are going to lose money that we put in to renovate. I am just away to get my Home Report done tomorrow and the legal paper work and we are good to go. I am devasted i now have the most amazing house of my dreams but i just cannot settle and 6 years is long enough of not being happy in an area. sad I would now always take area over house and i will most likely never have a house like this again, a very big expensive lesson learnt.

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