House purchase: have I made a massive mistake?

(25 Posts)
Kernowgal Mon 29-Feb-16 19:17:36

This is a bit of a brain dump really; I could do with a bit of a pep talk from sensible people.

I moved into my new house just over a month ago. It's my first home. The house itself is great in principle, it is roomy and has a lovely garden and although it needs work it's nothing too awful. However, as I mentioned on another thread, the soundproofing between my house and next door is non-existent and I've already had to ask the neighbours to turn their music down (they are lovely and were very obliging). I can hear almost everything they do and it's making me so anxious that I'm not sleeping very well at all. The house seems to conduct sound through the internal walls so I hear every bang and crash.

In addition it turns out that another nearby neighbour is an absolute arsehole who gets aggressive if you park in 'his' space. He hasn't been aggressive with me but others have told me to avoid him and park elsewhere. He is an HA tenant and the parking is unallocated so he hasn't got a leg to stand on, but I don't want any unpleasantness. There is a small possibility of being able to add off-street parking but it would be very costly as I would probably have to pay for the other spaces outside to be moved back a bit to accommodate me.

I can wear earplugs at night, and next door generally keep normal hours, but I am wondering if I will ever relax here. I thought it was such a great house when I first came round, and now I feel like I might never be able to sell it. A friend said that if I'm really unhappy I can always put it back on the market, but I could potentially lose several thousand pounds doing that. And presumably any buyer would be suspicious about it going back on so quickly. I really don't know what to do. I know I'm bloody lucky that I have my own place, and this comes after years of renting and being at the mercy of ASTs.

specialsubject Mon 29-Feb-16 19:35:07

no 1 priority is soundproofing! I'm not an expert (beyond years in semis, so I sympathise) but there is always something that can be done even with elephants next door. Hopefully someone will be along with ideas.

as for the resident arsehole; there's always one. In this case, make life easy and park in a different spot.

EssentialHummus Mon 29-Feb-16 19:35:54

I'd be minded to think about ways you can feel settled there. Is there anything you can do to soundproof your bedroom / minimise the noise that comes through?

As the nearby arsehole - ime one of these comes free with every house purchase grin. Ignore, park where you need to park, and if he approaches you be firm but polite. "Oh, I didn't know that this was your bay - I'll just ring the council to ask them to sort out the right markings."

CottonSock Mon 29-Feb-16 19:39:19

Unless you can afford a detached, you could get worse noise if you moved. You may get used to it, and at least they were nice neighbours.

Adgefox Mon 29-Feb-16 19:40:00

How did you live before you bought your own house? Did you live in rented property? Alone or with someone(s) else? How did that differ from the house you are in now?

What is it about living in your own home that worries you? The neighbours sound nice one side and you can always use cork tiles or a dry lining to reduce the noise from them.

You need to make a list of plusses and minuses to tease out what it is that really worries you.

Kernowgal Mon 29-Feb-16 19:42:13

Thank you both. I've finally had a good cry (been holding it in since moving in) and am now laughing at your lovely comments about resident arsehole grin

I've been terrified about admitting how I feel, especially to friends who would dearly love to own their own place but can't afford to. It feels good to get it out there.

A mate came over the other night and made some good suggestions for reducing noise transfer, but some of it I will just have to live with and get used to. I lived in noisy bits of London for 10 years, in shared houses with far more noise than this, so I know I can get used to it. It's probably just a case of it all being a bit much right now; something had to give.

I'm also feeling very lonely - I moved from a village with lots of friends to this one, where I know a few people but not very well, and it is all a bit new and weird.

I really appreciate your replies. x

EssentialHummus Mon 29-Feb-16 19:45:23

kernow - when I moved from a dodgy as fuck shared hellhole house to my flat I cried and wanted to go back blush. Obviously buying your first home is a joyous time but it can be tough, too. Just make a (short) list of practical things you can do to feel at home and tackle these things as soon as is viable.

Kernowgal Mon 29-Feb-16 19:46:29

Adgefox, I was in rented accommodation, lodging with a friend temporarily. The house was very quiet (very thick walls) and I've been used to that. Here is also very quiet, it's just the noise through the walls.

CottonSock - no way I could afford detached, and in a way I quite like the fact there are folks next door, especially now I'm living alone. They are really nice, as are all the other neighbours apart from twatface over the road.

I'm not sure what is worrying me - at the moment it is whether I'll ever sleep properly again! Financially I will be able to manage, but it will take a long time to do up as I'll need to save up and I don't earn a great deal.

ILoveACornishPasty Mon 29-Feb-16 20:00:51

I know you may not feel it now, but honestly the more you hear it, the less you'll hear it. I can remember crying for a week when we were posted to RAF Conningsby-the loudest aircraft ever flying over your house daily. By the time we left two years later I barely noticed them. Or you could just invite them over so they make the noise in your house, preferably clinking wine glasses!

I also echo the resident arsehole comments...there's always one! Poor you, I feel for you as it must be such an anti climax for you but it'll get better.

yetanotherdeskmove Mon 29-Feb-16 20:08:05

I remember being so disappointed when we moved into this house, so I can really relate. Re the noise, can you put wardrobes against the shared wall in your bedroom, that would dampen the noise coming through in there at least?

I'm sure once you've been there a while you'll feel settled and happy, it's just all too new at the moment.

Adgefox Mon 29-Feb-16 20:10:40

You sound like you have some good friends to help you settle in and share a bottle of wine and a take away, and help you plan any decorating projects!

I bet within a few months you will love having your very own home. It will all seem so much better when the weather breaks and we get some lovely light evenings. It will just take a while to adjust so be patient and give it time.

RandomMess Mon 29-Feb-16 20:14:12

I think how you are feeling is part and parcel of such a stressful huge thing.

Sound proof your home more, you will get used to. Yep one areshole neighbour is compulsory I'm afraid. You could move and it be even worse!!!

Have you got plenty of carpet/rugs/curtains/furniture - it all helps insulate sounds both ways. I wonder if some of it is just being there on your own suddenly very empty IYSWIM? Add a cat or two and have background music on wink

Kernowgal Mon 29-Feb-16 20:19:01

Thank you all so much. I was really worried I was being ridiculous and unreasonable.

ILoveACornishPasty (great name) you are absolutely right, I have been used to living somewhere really quiet and have forgotten what it is like to have neighbour noise. It's only been a month and I am still feeling exhausted by it all, it's no wonder I'm more sensitive to it.

yetanother yes, I will put a wardrobe or something against the wall - the noise actually travels through the inner cavity wall (it's crappy breezeblock) but something in front of it would definitely help.

Adgefox thank you - I am really looking forward to sitting outside in the summer with a glass (or several) of wine. The house has amazing views and a south-west facing garden so it will be brilliant in the summer (it's already pretty good now!).

RandomMess Mon 29-Feb-16 21:07:24

If you have cavity walls perhaps cavity wall insulation would help? You can sometimes get a heating grant to pay for this too smile

shovetheholly Tue 01-Mar-16 08:04:07

I had a massive panic when I moved into my first house. It felt immense, unmanageable and scary as a project - and everything about the new environment that was different and new set my nerves jangling. I did a lot of crying, and it was made much worse by the fact that I felt that I ought to be in this state of blissful happiness. I've since learned that this is not an uncommon reaction at all!! smile

If the problem persists, what about internal wall insulation? It would reduce your heating bills and reduce noise. And I think you can get a government grant on the Green Deal to help pay for it. You can have it fitted with a soundproofing liner, which I am sure would make a massive difference.

Kernowgal Tue 01-Mar-16 09:24:37

RandomMess - thank you! I have the cavity wall man coming later today to do a survey for insulation - it is free via British Gas at the moment. Sounds like they use rockwool for cavity walls, which is good for sound insulation, so fingers crossed.

shovetheholly thank you so much. That is exactly how it feels. You've made me cry (in a good way).

icklekid Tue 01-Mar-16 09:31:54

Yes to cavity wall insulation or look into something like this www.soundstop.co.uk/ it can be truly miserable

Hennifer Tue 01-Mar-16 09:45:21

There are definitely proper soundproofing measure you can get done - I say get done rather than do yourself, as it's a bit of a science apparently, but it can be massively improved if you feel like investing in it. Particularly if it's a relatively modern house.

That would improve things no end, but as others have said, you do adapt. I've regretted bitterly every house move I've ever made - driving past our old house for about a year, wishing we had stayed.

Then realising it was actually crappy compared to where we are - it leaves your system eventually!

You'll miss the nice things for a while, but if you know in your head it was the right thing, then persevere.

Good luck
This is very normal xx

Hennifer Tue 01-Mar-16 09:47:02

Oh and write it down - a proper pros and cons list, reasons why it was good that you moved, or why it was the best choice you had.

Rationalise with yourself. Just seeing it in black and white can help.

senua Tue 01-Mar-16 09:51:27

Complain to the HA about their tenant. With any luck they will not renew his tenancy or they will move him elsewhere.
Complain. Complain. Complain.

movingonup2015 Tue 01-Mar-16 12:05:06

sorry to hear this - im going through the same at the moment

The things I have done so far to cope with the noisiness next door (and these are quite random but bear with me!) the extractor fan in the kitchen - when that's going it seems to somehow drown next door out and the noise from the fan doesn't bother me, its like white noise in the background.

My dehumidifier, when that's running that seems to have the same effect.

I use Bluetooth wireless headphones to watch tv so I cant hear them but I can still relax and watch tv.

Also earplugs help a lot - the people that live next door to me are up until 1/2 in the morning shouting on the phone or to each other about drugs and then back up again at 6 doing the same thing so earplugs definitely help and then im up and making noise myself so that's how I cope.

Kernowgal Tue 01-Mar-16 17:04:34

White noise is a good idea - I tend to have the windows open at night so I can hear the wind or whatever, but ironically it's actually very quiet outside at night! I do use earplugs but I think I've got so wound up that I keep thinking I hear bumps and crashes when actually it's nothing.

Senua - I would love to but he's already been there 30 years so I doubt they'll get rid of him too easily. Also if I complain I will have to declare it if I move. I should add that he hasn't been unreasonable to me other than a shitty look when I parked in 'his' space once - other neighbours advised me to move my car to avoid aggro. He has however threatened another neighbour. The other neighbours here are great, it's just the one absolute arsehole.

Hennifer - it is good to know that it's normal. A pros and cons list is a great idea. I occasionally look on Rightmove and so far it has been a good reminder that nothing as nice has come on the market since I've been looking, and it was good value for money given its location, size and outlook.

Kernowgal Tue 01-Mar-16 17:05:00

PS movingonup2015 - sorry to hear you are having similar troubles. It's miserable.

copperpipes Tue 01-Mar-16 17:47:03

oh i have this in a semi too and have good weeks and bad where i get annoyed daily about lack of privacy and wondering if my neighbours are trying to listen in (laughing at my paranoia!).

i keep our bathroom extractor on while i'm upstairs, sort of hides their noise a bit but annoyingly dont have an extractor in the kitchen to do that downstairs.

some good advice here and just wanted to say you're not alone.

would love a detached but never in our price range round here.

Kernowgal Tue 01-Mar-16 20:14:48

Hi Copperpipes, thanks for replying. I suspect I will have good weeks and bad ones, mainly because anytime round my period I am much more sensitive to everything and tend to overreact to things that in a normal week I'd not be that bothered about.

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