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Would you buy a split level house?

(20 Posts)
Couplycouple Sat 27-Aug-16 14:00:54

Dear all,

just wondering what your thoughts are about split level houses whether you are living in one or not. The house we are thinking of has its living room and kitchen on the lowest floor and guests would have to walk through the bedroom corridor/landing before the living room. However, we have been informed that it is in a good area of Basildon known as Kingswood which is good for young families.

I have concerns about getting stuck in the house as it may not be so appealing to people when reselling. The house has been for sale since june and no offers yet.

Please, offer your advice. The link to the house is here

Thank you all

Eolian Sat 27-Aug-16 14:06:09

I live in one and love it. There were no offers on it apart from ours and it had been on the market a while (although the housing market is pretty slow in this part of the country). The agent said she thought maybe the layout didn't appeal to everyone but we loved it the minute we walked through the door. I do wonder if we'll have trouble if we ever want to sell it though.

Spickle Sat 27-Aug-16 14:46:09

I don't live in a split level house but have seen a few over the years. I really like them and I like the one you're thinking of buying.

It is situated on the edge of Kingswood, which is a much nicer part of Basildon. But, it is still Basildon. My son is currently looking to move out (we live around 6 miles from Basildon) and even with his much smaller budget of £200k he is reluctant to move to Basildon if at all possible and will look at Wickford, Rayleigh or Benfleet in preference. These areas are also good for children. We do have many friends in the Basildon area however and the vast majority are perfectly happy there and say it is a lot safer than it's reputation would have you believe.

The house is a little dated, perhaps a lower offer would be accepted taking into account the cost of updating kitchen/bathroom and general decorating, though of course the vendor may not think it needs updating! Certainly liveable. Since it has been on the market for a couple of months though, worth a try? It might be stuck due to being too much for a first time buyer (on their own) and at nearly £300k, people have the choice of living somewhere else!

Couplycouple Sat 27-Aug-16 14:49:42

Thanks Eolian, what part of the country is yours? And yes, there is that fear of having difficulty selling and we are considering this house because it will be reasonably affordable for us.

Is your layout similar to this and is it practical. The thought of people having potential access to the bedrooms requires a lot of thought...

Couplycouple Sat 27-Aug-16 15:16:50

Thank you Spickle, I'll look in the areas suggested. We have also heard and read stories about Basildon but we thought every where has some sort of reputation. Hard to tell what is what. We were just thinking of cutting our coat according to our size and being really cautious about not getting into trouble should interest rate rise, however unlikely predictions may be. In reality, we are thinking a maximum of just over 300k but good size, good schools and good links to London.

mogloveseggs Sat 27-Aug-16 15:22:06

I'd buy it for the lovely garden!

Lorelei76 Sat 27-Aug-16 15:29:16

think the issue might be more the layout for me
but in general if you're not worried about mobility issues or any guests - for example my mum would struggle to visit me in a house of this type - then go ahead.

Lorelei76 Sat 27-Aug-16 15:30:24

PS I'm picturing a place that doesn't have one consistent stair rail where a stairlift could be fitted, but lots of little stairs here and there.

I've had a broken back and broken ankle though so things like this strike me more than they strike most people, to be fair!

Couplycouple Sat 27-Aug-16 15:49:01

Thanks Lorelie, that is definitely something to think about. The layout is different - just thought we could offer less than the asking price especially as the kitchen needs doing and use the money for converting the garage to a 4th bedroom and fixing the kitchen.

Thanks Moglovesegg, the garden would be nice for the children to play.

Muddle2000 Sat 27-Aug-16 20:04:32

Mmm If it had bathroom and a bedroom on a flat level then I would do it.
Why? Because people these days do not always want to move when they get older so multi generation properties are becoming popular. In fact I know several people who have extended on the ground floor
to do them in n their later years. One even lets the g floor for £550 a month to get as much cash as they can till they have to move downstairs themselves!
If it could made suitable for both kids who have to stay at home - common for 30 somethings given high rents - and also ageing parents
then it could be a winner. It is possible to create more privacy.

Pradaqueen Sat 27-Aug-16 20:41:51

Op where are you currently? As a PP has said it is reasonably priced because it is Basildon. It is relatively hard to sell because of this and yes, whilst Kingswood is a 'nice' area of Basildon, the schools are not great, particularly the secondary ones unless your child wins a place at grammar. If your budget will allow a move to Chelmsford, Rayleigh or the cheaper parts of Brentwood/ Billericay or maybe Langdon Hills I would consider a different location.

Returnmetoneverland1 Sat 27-Aug-16 22:02:39

I live in split level (or will) and I loved it the minute I walked in, although Mine is laid out differently so you walk in on the middle level (wc, kitchen, hallway of sorts) then you drop down into living area or go up to the family bathroom and bedroom.

The moment I walked in I knew it was mine. I think it's quirky and feels more open? I'd buy that house. Best of luck!

Couplycouple Sat 27-Aug-16 23:09:18

Thanks Muddle, I can understand the bathroom and a bedroom on a flat level as that would really improve privacy.

Pradaqueen, I am currently in Romford but do need to move in order to buy and start considering schools for the kids. It is interesting you mentioned looking in another area. I chose Basildon and that house because of the proximity to the station for my London commute and the good things Ive heard about Kingswood. I will consider the areas you mentioned as we can go up to around 350.

Returnmetoneverland, thanks you. It seems the layout and location is a downside of this house. I have noticed that people that know the area generally discourgae buying there

Returnmetoneverland1 Sat 27-Aug-16 23:15:08

It's so difficult. We've recently been told rather bluntly not to move to the new house because of the area. We were shocked and it made us very anxious. We don't know the area hugely well (we've had to move town to buy) but it isn't hours away and we considered it to be a bit of a sleepy town really. These comments tend to come from people who grew up there etc, and when I thought about it my immediate reaction if someone had bought in my childhood street would be negative but I wouldn't be so fucking rude to say so but really it's been years since I lived there! Ultimately we cannot afford to live where we do now and at some point we have to bite the bullet and get on the ladder, the longer we dance around it the harder it gets and unless I trip over a pot of gold tomorrow, unfortunately our options are limited. I adore the new house but It is a stones throw from a council estate and that doesn't exactly make my heart sing!

Wishing you all the best. Nothing has to be forever!

Pradaqueen Sat 27-Aug-16 23:19:01

Have a look at this. Catchment for outstanding schools if you have a faith and catchment for excellent secondaries too. You can walk to the station from here (15 mins brisk) excellent local nurseries. Will always hold it's value given the area.

Couplycouple Sun 28-Aug-16 11:06:12

Thanks Prada queen. I appreciate the link you sent and I think that area is good because Shenfield train station has a direct train into London. Also, since the schools are good, I feel like we can just stay in such area and live a quiet, modest life and hopefully eliminate the need to change houses later on.

I was wondering if you could give me the parameters you have used to find that house? Or is the Brentwood/Shenfield area generally good? My self and DP will drive around the area today or tomorrow to have a look.

Couplycouple Sun 28-Aug-16 11:17:44

Returnmetoneverland1, thank you. Some areas do have negative reputations and they maybe be true or not but gambling on a huge purchase is scary. On the other hand, it is also possible to have a bad neighbour in a good area. However, the probability is probably less.

Ideally, I'll love an ensuite to the master bedroom, a garden and maybe an outbuilding or something that DP can use as an office/library/man cave but I have only seen such houses at affordable prices in the Pitsea area of Basildon. Although, have I learnt not to go by the ilivehere website as that site has something to say about every area, I am yet to see anyone with positive remarks about Pitsea.

I've come to conclude that a compromise of some sort needs to be made since our savings is slow compared to increasing house prices.

Pradaqueen Sun 28-Aug-16 11:22:34

Hi Couply. Just put in Brentwood into Rightmove. It'll give you automatically schools for Shenfield, Hutton and Brentwood. There literally are no 'bad' schools in Brentwood. It's a great area to bring up a family. Transport links are fab to London (fast train one stop to Liverpool Street from Shenfield). Be slightly more disconcerting when looking at Billericay as some areas really are Laindon not Billericay and if this is a long term move for schooling you don't want to get caught out in the wrong catchment, but in general an excellent area also. Best of luck and PM me if you need very specific help.

ThymeForTea Sun 28-Aug-16 11:25:54

We've got a 3 level house and we love it.

It's quirkier than yours as the stairs are more open and the dining area looks down on the living room so it's very sociable and interesting to live in.

Yours looks lovely good luck

Spickle Sun 28-Aug-16 13:48:48

As Pradaqueen mentions, the Brentwood area is good (though trains from Brentwood not so fast as from Shenfield). Billericay is lovely, very nice high street and very good schools. Mainline railway takes 30 minutes to Liverpool Street, but you have to wait at the right position on the platform if you want a seat. The bits that are often described as Billericay but actually are in Laindon, Noak Bridge and Steeple View have SS postcodes instead of CM postcodes, but tend to be on the "better" side of the A127 and therefore nearer Billericay than Basildon. Unfortunately, they don't have a mainline station which you could walk to.

In the end it comes down to compromises - location/distance to mainline station/schools/family friendly/bedrooms/terraced or semi or detached etc etc.

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