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Lovely mid terraced victorian house, all done up, or new build townhouse semi?

(27 Posts)
Nosocksevermatchup Sun 30-Oct-16 18:34:56

I'm about yo buy a house but can't decide which. I'm newly single with two teenage boys who will leave home to uni in a year or two.
The terraced is a bit out of the way out of town for getting to things, the townhouse is a lot nearer town and things going on and more practical. It's four bedroomed over four floors.I love the wood burning stove in the victorian and other features but I think it may be too big for us quite soon.

Nosocksevermatchup Sun 30-Oct-16 18:38:10

Sorry. I mean the victorian house is over four floors. The kitchen is in the basement and really lovely. The new house has a kitchen leading onto a small garden through French doors.

JT05 Sun 30-Oct-16 18:42:11

It sounds as if your heart is in the Victorian one. I'd also go with that. Teenage boys grow up quickly and leave home! Until then it's nice to have space between them and you. If it's a forever home then you'd have space for the grandchildren! 😁

Drquin Sun 30-Oct-16 18:43:44

Both sound lovely, particularly as you don't seem to have declared any great preference for old / new / style. I'd be torn too!

Assuming all else is equal, purchase price, travel distances etc etc ..... the only thing you've said which I noticed is you think one may be too big for you soon. How big an issue is that? If you would then be thinking realistically about moving again in a few years time, I would be seriously factoring that cost (and stress) of doing so into my considerations now. Obviously none of can predict the future, who knows what'll happen in a few years ..... but I'd be working out how likely another move in say 3 or 5 years' time would be.

NotAMammy Sun 30-Oct-16 18:44:48

Do you think it will be your forever home? If so, much as I love a period property, the new build might be better long term in terms of accessibility. Also, how well insulated is the Victorian terrace? It will be even harder to heat when there's empty rooms.
If neither of these are likely to be an issue then I'd always go for the period one!

Roseformeplease Sun 30-Oct-16 18:44:52

Victorian. Old will always sell but older new properties are harder to shift. I know loads of people who would buy the Victorian but few who would buy a new build and you will have to sell eventually.

cestlavielife Sun 30-Oct-16 18:48:05

You can always get a lodger or do airbnb as and when you want if it feels big. Get what you like.

Nosocksevermatchup Sun 30-Oct-16 18:56:59

I like the idea of easy, low cost living in the new house, but the period features of the old one. I've just sold a big, old cottage and hated the draughts and constant repairs, so this is my worry with the period house. I wanted a new house, but it's the smaller room sizes, and the estate is half built that has put me off.

olderthanyouthink Sun 30-Oct-16 19:03:21

Victorian, all the way. I dont really like new builds... all those plasterboard walls and egg carton doors.

budgetsbonus Sun 30-Oct-16 20:03:37

i've lived in a new build terrace and a 1920/30s semi. i could hear my neighbours in both if that is a consideration.

i think it would be great to have lots of space and privacy with teens which the 4 floors would offer. if they are off to uni, they'll be back to visit and if they don't go, it could take a good few years for them to move out and rent or buy.

how big is the terrace v the new build? eg if its 3 of you living in a 1000 sq ft new build then that could be tight but definitely workable. if the terrace is 1500 sq ft, then that is a lot of space.

terrace will hold heat better than a semi, won't it?

how far is out of the way? are there good buses or are you talking a 2 mile walk to town over a 1 mile walk to town?

is the new build semi hallways adjoining or main rooms adjoining?

Nosocksevermatchup Sun 30-Oct-16 20:39:31

The new build is practically in town, near shops, vit's over three floors, we'd all have a double bedroom and shower or ensuite each. The victorian is over four floors, there's a bathroom on first floor and downstairs toilet. Victorian is bigger. Neither will be my forever home. I'll need to downsize again in a few years

JillyTheDependableBoot Sun 30-Oct-16 20:44:08

If it's not that long-term I would totally go heart over head for now. It's not clear from your posts which that is.

Hassled Sun 30-Oct-16 20:44:18

Well if you're not looking at in "there forever" terms, what will have more resale value? What would be the better investment? I'd always go for Victorian over new-build, but then a more central location (especially with teenagers) has a lot to recommend it. But then again a new-build estate near to a town centre - have a think about the sort of people (other than you) who will buy there - buy to lets for students, maybe? Would that affect resale?

Ohyesiam Sun 30-Oct-16 20:48:36

Victorian terraces were built by craftsmen out of natural materials, and , and in my opinion they have soul.
New builds..... Well, you know what I'm going to say!
The only thing you can go on with a dilemma like this is how you feel when you walk into them, because your head will only get you do fast on decision making.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Sun 30-Oct-16 20:51:28

New build will need repairs pretty soon as well.

NapQueen Sun 30-Oct-16 20:53:39


Pallisers Sun 30-Oct-16 20:55:02

Honestly, I'd pick the one with the best location which sounds like the new build. I'd like my teens to be able to walk easily to stuff - I'd like to be able to do this myself. I also would prefer the bathroom arrangements in the new build. And definitely wouldn't want to live over 4 floors.

I would check out the soundproofing in the new build first though.

I live in a victorian over 4 floors with lots of lovely features. Sometimes I dream of a new build.

SingaSong12 Sun 30-Oct-16 21:01:27

Which one do your DC prefer or are they pretty neutral? Where will they and you mostly be socialising. If it is in town then will there be transport from either or will you have to drive?

You say that your DC will be off at Uni. Just check that if they go they are planning on moving out. I know quite a few students are now saving money by going to the local university and living at home or going straight to an apprenticeship and needing to stay at home because the wages are low.

JoJoSM2 Sun 30-Oct-16 21:06:27

I love Victorian features. However, I'd prolly go for the new built. The location sounds better + it'll be cheaper to run and have a 10 year warranty. I also hated running up and down the stairs of our period house and now really value living on 2 levels. In terms of re-sale, it needn't be that bad either. I made a killing when I sold my new built 3 years later but it was immaculate, super clean (to the point that buyers said they couldn't believe it'd been lived in) and with a near show home grade of presentation. If you aren't massively house proud then the resale might suffer.

llangennith Sun 30-Oct-16 21:10:57

I've lived in new and old houses. New houses are cheaper to maintain but that's the only advantage.
Go for the bigger house. Your boys will be coming home often and boys take up a lot of space!

Nosocksevermatchup Sun 30-Oct-16 21:11:51

One son loves the new build for practical reasons, he works, needs to get buses in town, he'd have his own bathroom. He's trying to save so doesn't want a car. my younger son will go to uni next year. Younger one prefers victorian as it's more spacious.

Pallisers Mon 31-Oct-16 01:40:10

New houses are cheaper to maintain but that's the only advantage.

This really isn't always the case. DH got asthma from living in his parents' gorgeous - and it was - georgian house. It was also damp. His parents poured money into it. When they finally insulated it they took down the back wall and discovered that those wonderful georgian craftsmen building the house were literally stuffing rubbish in between the bricks as insulation.

I think there is a huge snob thing going about Victorian/old is better. it really isn't always and those houses are often not laid out the way families live now. they are laid out the way families lived then - with servants/daily servants etc.

I love our old house but it is not convenient and in no way do I think the builders were superior and more artistic than builders today. (If they were, surely they'd have centered the bloody front door??)

Pick the house that suits your family best. location would really be a big thing for me. But it does sound like you have 2 great choices so you really can't lose.

OlennasWimple Mon 31-Oct-16 01:45:00

Which do you think is likely to hold its value / give scope to add value the most?

Nosocksevermatchup Mon 31-Oct-16 07:03:22

I'm not sure which one will hold its value the most. Probably the victorian as people say that when buying a new build they lose some money straight away.

user1471549018 Mon 31-Oct-16 09:17:23

If you were to assume one or both boys will move back for a bit after uni (seems likely these days!) would that affect your decision? If it was me I'd be looking more to the victorian terrace but only if i could install another bathroom somewhere so we could each have our own shower (as per new build).

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