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Where to compromise when buying a house?

(21 Posts)
Kernowgal Wed 12-Aug-15 12:03:06

I'm in the lucky position of trying to buy a house. Had an offer accepted but then it all fell through when the survey came back with some horrors that would have made it financially unviable. So I'm back to square one.

I'm single, no kids (and of an age where it's unlikely I'll ever have any). My ideal criteria are:

Two bedrooms
Good-size garden (or at least one in which I can have a proper veg patch). This is the non-negotiable bit.
Kitchen-diner or lounge with plenty of room for dining table

There is a specific town I'd like to be in; many friends there, good social scene, good transport links. However it's expensive and I'm unlikely to find somewhere that ticks all my boxes within my budget, unless it has a lot of work needing doing, and unfortunately I can't afford to do more than cosmetic work. So where would you compromise? Is a one-bed house a bad idea? Will I go mad in a tiny place?

Baddz Wed 12-Aug-15 12:16:54

I would compromise on the garden. I would go with 2 bed (easier to sell on)
You could get an allotment?
Location is the deal breaker in any property search IMHO.
If you what to be in a certain place then some things will have to give.
Good luck

wowfudge Wed 12-Aug-15 12:20:11

I would never buy a one bed place because the market for them is pretty limited - if it isn't all on one level then that further limits your market because less physically able buyers don't want stairs.

I think your compromise probably needs to be on location if you can't afford work.

ratsintheattic Wed 12-Aug-15 12:22:20

What Baddz said. Get an allotment or look after someone else's garden. Last thing to compromise would be location. In order, I would compromise garden first, condition second, number of bedrooms third, living space fourth and location very very last.

OhNoNotMyBaby Wed 12-Aug-15 12:23:36

I would never compromise on location - but I have 3 teenagers who need to get themselves into town / school / railway / cinema.

If I had no dog and no children I think I would go for the house and garden of my dreams (or as close as) because I would have only my own needs to think about.

Sorry - that's not really any help is it... don't buy a doer upper if you don't like DIY. I hate it so I'm prepared to pay more a 'nicer' house.

Baddz Wed 12-Aug-15 12:26:12

I spent 12 years in a location I hated - don't do it.
It's cost us so much money in the long matter what we did to the house (and we gutted it) it was still in the wrong place.

Kernowgal Wed 12-Aug-15 12:30:41

Thanks all!

Sorry, should have said: I'm a gardener and this is my first chance to actually have my own garden, hence that bit being non-negotiable!

You've echoed what my folks said about a one-bed, and I must admit I had a few concerns myself - would like to have friends to stay plus I do lots of crafty hobbies and it would be good to have a separate room for storage.

There are other locations closer to work but they're just not as nice, plus I'd be continually travelling to my desired location to meet up with friends.

Plus the market's dead here so it's thin pickings.

Quite happy to do a certain amount of DIY; it's just big works eg roof etc that I couldn't afford to do straight off, especially if I bought at the top of my budget.

wowfudge Wed 12-Aug-15 12:31:06

There's a huge difference between not quite the location you'd like to be in and a location you hate.

VolumniaDedlock Wed 12-Aug-15 12:33:53

it's really personal, but location is a must for us
our street is probably not hugely desirable to most people, but we're in catchment for the best secondary (still have catchment here), good primary in walking distance, walking distance to the village centre, massive woodland/park area 5 mins to the tram for the city.

Pretty much every other house we've seen is too far from something - tram stop, school or village centre. Compromise is that the house is smaller than average, and no off-road parking, but having previously lived in London flats we can do without either.

plenty of friends live in a part of the area where you are out on a limb and have to drive everywhere - there's not even a corner shop within a 20 min walk - but the pay off is that they have much bigger houses than us.

greenbanana Wed 12-Aug-15 12:41:33

Are there flats available rather than houses in the location you like? That's where I'd compromise - 2 bed garden flat rather than house, and not worrying too much about the size of the second bedroom.

PlainHunting Wed 12-Aug-15 12:45:20

As a gardener I'd compromise on the living space or size of rooms (if not the number of bedrooms) to get a decent garden.

Kernowgal Wed 12-Aug-15 12:55:28

Flats are rare here, especially ones with outside space. It's a shame as I'd happily go for a garden flat.

I'm getting impatient and worry that I'll go for something that isn't suitable long-term. My parents said better to stretch myself now and get something that I'll want to stay in for 5+ years than somewhere that's OK for a couple of years but ultimately too small.

CityDweller Wed 12-Aug-15 14:03:11

The market is generally dead at this time of year as few people go on the market over summer holiday. It should pick up again in September - so I'd hold off making any compromises until then. Meanwhile, sort out your mortgage (if you need one) and get everything else in place (deposit, solicitors ready to take instructions, etc) and you'll be in a great position to have an offer accepted when market does pick up.

(Ps on your list and from what you've said I'd compromise on size of 2nd bedroom).

Kernowgal Wed 12-Aug-15 14:58:11

Ta! Mortgage all in place, sols instructed, deposit ready to go, so hopefully I'm a good prospect.

tunnockt3acake Wed 12-Aug-15 23:20:22

location, location, location
garden south facing, if the garden is small grow in pots or vertically
low crime area

Catsgowoof Thu 13-Aug-15 07:10:42

I'd compromise on some combination of location/size. So maybe small 2 bed on the edge of nice town with decent public transport.

Do you get big gardens where you want to live? I was forced to make the location/garden compromise and move from my old area as unless I wanted to buy and bulldoze half a street there just weren't any decent sized gardens

Kernowgal Sun 16-Aug-15 19:30:36

You do, but they only come with the bigger, more expensive houses (unless you strike lucky, there are a few small places with big gardens but they come on rarely). If I want a big garden I probably need to look at the nearest big town, but I need to pick my area carefully as I don't want to end up stuck in summer gridlock on the main road through every day.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sun 16-Aug-15 19:58:29

Be clear on location so that you're happy in your space.
Compromise on living space if you have space for a good garden cabin that could be multifunctional or flexible space inside.

It's lovely to have friends to stay but when you do you can budge up a bit, you don't buy a home to accommodate other people.

With the associated costs of buying property I'd agree with your parents that looking for somewhere that'll suit longer term makes sense, and luckily you don't need to worry about school catchment areas.

Would you like to name the town so people can help search for somewhere suitable or critique places on the market?

InsertUsernameHere Sun 16-Aug-15 21:09:24

Have a look at the one-bed options, as you are not looking for the second bedroom to be a permanent bedroom. You might find something with a box room, or a large alcove off another room - which isn't a bedroom - but suits what you want. A separate living room kitchen would mean the living room could function easily as guest bedroom when required (especially if there was a small table/ breakfast bar in the kitchen). Think about the functions you need the space to do, rather than rooms per se.

scarlets Sun 16-Aug-15 22:12:42

Location is vital. I would compromise on the second bedroom. If friends stay, you will manage, even if it means giving them your bed whilst you use the sofa/boxroom. You can find clever storage solutions these days too.

Could your parents loan/gift you the shortfall?

Drquin Sun 16-Aug-15 22:24:14

It sounds a cliche, but I'd go for location.

Garden - I know is important to you, but there could be options in terms of allotment, buying land elsewhere if the veggie patch etc is important. Obviously if a garden is important as in "throw open French doors and potter about" kind of way, then garden probably does need to close to house!

Size / space - agree you should buy for what you need & want, not necessarily infrequent guests. But also consider alternatives e.g. Sofa bed in study rather than exquisite second bedroom.

I'm kind of the same position as you ...... Without being a gardener!

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