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Would you knowingly overdevelop your house? Wwyd in my situation?

(55 Posts)
Splandy Thu 02-Jun-16 16:29:11

Not sure what to do, would appreciate other opinions. We have received an inheritance and now own our home outright. We are in our late twenties with two children, on a low income. I bloody love my house, it is a decent sized ex council 3 bedroom semi, kitchen diner, conservatory, nice garden, south facing. We originally rented it and are so happy to own it, I never imagined we'd own a house anytime soon.

The previous owner was a bodger and we have already fixed a lot of his work. The kitchen desperately needs replacing. It's quite long but not that wide. There is a 'utility room' next to this. It's the same length as the kitchen and essentially a long corridor which leads to the washing machine. It is an old flat roof, which originally covered outdoor toilet/shed, with bits of wall knocked out, bits added in and old windows and a door stuck in the gaps - like Lego. I am fairly certain it will collapse at some point. There is a side passage next to this, leading to the garden.

I would like to extend out by removing this 'utility room' and building to the boundary wall, so we'd have a large kitchen diner, with a normal sized utility and possibly downstairs loo, skylights in the new bit and bifold doors to garden. The cost of doing this will presumably be quite high. We have about 30k left to kickstart our saving for this project. The plans will probably change over time when it becomes more real, these are just my initial thoughts. The house has increased in value by a bit over the past two years, but I definitely don't think we'd recoup the money we'd be spending, because of the council estate we are on. We are very happy here, walking distance to family members/school/friends and have always lived in the area. I have looked at other houses in the area and we couldn't afford something similar for the amount we'd have if we left this estate. I see no reason why we'd move anytime soon so part of me says do it, but the other part says it's a terrible financial decision! We are extremely careful with money and don't want to make a mistake.

Sorry for disjointed text, am breastfeeding!

mysteryfairy Thu 02-Jun-16 16:33:22

Not doing the bifolds would save quite a bit off the project. I think I'd do it but not necessarily go high end with anything to avoid spending more dead money than necessary.

chelle792 Thu 02-Jun-16 16:35:48

Personally I'd say if you're planning on staying, do it how you want it done. We're doing our place up nicely because we won't be moving for a considerable number of years

BeauGlacons Thu 02-Jun-16 16:38:58

I would never spend more on a property if the spending exceeded the price limit for the area.

Splandy Thu 02-Jun-16 16:40:30

Yes, the bifolds are the reason I put that little 'plans may change' disclaimer in grin. I will probably remember that I hate spending money and change my mind. I wasn't planning on doing a high end kitchen at all, probably an ikea one. I haven't done much research into it all yet. We could just get the kitchen done now with the money we have, but I'm aware that the utility will need sorting at some point. It seems a waste of money to do the kitchen, then sort out that little area further down the line. The utility runs the length of the house, but the door is at the opposite end to the washing machine, so it is a real waste of space, as it all has to be left clear to get to it.

rubyslippers Thu 02-Jun-16 16:40:50

I wouldn't

There's a ceiling for prices in every area so if you will never recoup it I wouldn't

Perhaps there's a compromise point to modernise / make the best of what there is

Parsley1234 Thu 02-Jun-16 16:46:04

If you're staying do it as you want it - just really research bifolds as there's been some issues with them. Have what you want, research really well, and enjoy your lovely home X

PoshPenny Thu 02-Jun-16 16:50:26

If this is your "forever" home that you have no plans to leave then I'd seriously consider doing it. In the long term (eg 10-15 years) the work should pay for itself, prices rise enough to cover the cost of it and you'll have had the benefit of it in the meantime. Don't forget to check about planning permission if it's needed. Definitely do a downstairs loo, they are always worth it.

RNBrie Thu 02-Jun-16 16:51:44

If you have no plans to move and can forsee living there for years to come, I wouldn't worry about not being able to recoup the cost. I agree that a new kitchen now when you know the utility will need some attention would be foolhardy.

In your position, I'd get some quotes for the work I'd like to do so I know how much it will cost and then go from there.

But ultimately, it's your house and your money and you should do what you want!

lalalonglegs Thu 02-Jun-16 17:17:00

Do the work and enjoy your home. I think of overdevelopment as extending in every direction so a two-up, two-down ends up being six-bedroom, fully en-suite with media room and gym (it does happen in the pricier parts of London). Doing something that improves the quality of your life in a home that you love seems thoroughly sensible to me.

Hufflepuffin Thu 02-Jun-16 17:23:48

Another vote for do it! It sounds like in your case it would add value - a buyer who hadn't rented the house (like you did) might run a mile from the current set up, which sounds a little crazy. It would be more of a waste to spend money on a kitchen that someone will eventually rip out.

trickyex Thu 02-Jun-16 17:24:45

I would do it, make the most of your home and the opportunity to get it how you want it.
I would think twice about the bifold doors though, they are expensive and a faff. Sliding doors or even large patio doors with glazing either side work really well too and are much cheaper.

Splandy Thu 02-Jun-16 17:25:14

Thanks for the responses. Very interesting. I think we will be here for a long time, so think we will end up doing it. Where do you even start with something like this? Would we need an architect to draw up plans? There are quite a few ways we could do things and I am new to it all. It's very much at the dreaming stage right now, and I don't know what the first steps would be.

Splandy Thu 02-Jun-16 17:28:18

We currently sliding doors in the kitchen and I don't like them, they are a pain to get my laundry basket through! They are narrow, but obviously could become bigger if the kitchen was wider. Why do you think bifold doors are a faff? They look so great in the photos I see!

ArcheryAnnie Thu 02-Jun-16 17:29:30

You are very clear in your post that your house is your home, not an investment, and that you plan on staying there for a long time. With that in mind, I would do whatever you want to it (that you can afford), with no eye at all on what it will do for the resell price. You are the one who will be living in it, not some putative buyer in the near future, who will probably redo everything anyway.

Live in your house, OP, and don't keep it in a state that doesn't suit you for someone in the far future.

SquinkiesRule Thu 02-Jun-16 17:37:00

You should contact one of those home improvement shows see if they would like to help design your new kitchen utility.
Kirsty and phils love it or list it www.channel4.com/programmes/kirstie-and-phils-love-it-or-list-it

GlowWine Thu 02-Jun-16 17:49:05

We have done it. If this is your forever home or so then I would not hesitate.
I would not really call your project overdevelopment though. Many of my neighbours have also done exactly that. With the budget we had we could not afford to move off this street of ex-council houses without losing space despite spending a substantial amount. But it paid for total renovation, kitchen extension and downstairs loo, and loft extension. The issue of recouping our 'investment' never came into it, though I think we have, if you believe the estimates on Zoopla etc. We had lived here for 12? Years when we did it, and been here another 8.

DailyMailYobos Thu 02-Jun-16 18:03:38

I would invest the money in a high interest account for x amount of years on the basis of getting the original sum plus interest back, in time so you'll have more money to put towards your building work. Your plans sound similar to what I want to do to my house but my neighbours miserable gits are "awkward" about planning permission. We may just have to sell up and move. sad

NationMcKinley Thu 02-Jun-16 18:05:05

Think very carefully - you say that you love your house and the area but really really consider the long term: you mention that you're breastfeeding - what are the primary and secondary schools like? If you can honestly believe you'll be happy there for the next 10 - 15 years + (and obviously you can't plan for every eventuality) then I'd say go for it!

I do speak from some experience. We've just finished renovating a house that is now back on the market......we didn't do enough research and the secondary schools aren't as good as we'd like. We're very lucky as we didn't renovate over the area's value (couldn't afford to) and house prices here have shot up for a variety of reasons. We're moving to an area that's not as nice but cheaper with better schools. I wouldn't hesitate to do exactly what I wanted to a house (within reason and budget) if I knew we were going to stay for a good long while. There's nothing nicer than being truly happy with your house smile

ChablisTyrant Thu 02-Jun-16 18:55:47

This sounds the ideal house for you. You might even live in it until the end of your life so who cares about future house prices!

My sister is in exactly your position: ex-council house in same village as we grew up in. They are doing whatever they want to the house to suit them because they'll never leave!

MunchCrunch01 Thu 02-Jun-16 20:05:38

I'd try and minimize costs where it's sensible but if you've got no intention of moving, it's hardly a reckless indulgence - what you've got now doesn't sound safe, particularly with DC around so doing nothing doesn't sound an option.

MazzleDazzle Thu 02-Jun-16 20:46:33

I've invested more into my home than it's worth.

The way I see it, I'm proud that it's now in a better state than when we bought it.

If it's your forever home, money shouldn't be the be all and end all. You can't put a price on your quality of living.

VagueIdeas Thu 02-Jun-16 20:50:40

What you're proposing doesn't sound like overdevelopment. It's just a kitchen extension in light of the shoddy utility room being a wreck and needing to be dealt with eventually.

And if it's your forever home, there's no point worrying about resale value, because you just don't know what the future holds.

Do it - the extra space will be fantastic. But I agree that going for a super high end finish (especially bifold doors) is probably unnecessary.

whois Thu 02-Jun-16 21:50:17

I'm with most other people. If you can't see yourself moving in 5, 10 years - then do the work as you want it. It will increase your quality of life. Who cares if you don;t recoup the capital investment, you'll have had many years of a lovely big light kitchen diner and separate utility.

However I probably wouldn't go down the gold tap route and a designer toilet - I'd go for good quality but sensible stuff.

whois Thu 02-Jun-16 21:52:52

I would invest the money in a high interest account for x amount of years on the basis of getting the original sum plus interest back, in time so you'll have more money to put towards your building work

£30,000 invested for 3 years in a 3% ISA (good luck finding 3% anyway!) = £32,781. You will be lucky to keep the value of the cash ahead of inflation.

Do not bother mucking about investing it in the hope of worthwhile returns - do the extension as soon as you can afford to to get your nice house quicker.

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