FTB - which house would you go for?(16 Posts)
We are looking to buy our first home, and have viewed about 6 in the last few weeks. Out of those, we have seen one we really love and could suit our needs, and are about to view another which on paper looks great.
We are a family of 5 (kids are 19, 18 & 16) with two of our kids having mobility issues we need either a downstairs shower room and bedroom or the option to put one in, or put in a stair lift for them to get upstairs.
House 1 is detached, has an attached garage which we could convert to a bedroom and already has a downstairs shower room. But its a good half hour walk to anywhere, although on a bus route, and the kitchen is a little small. We would eventually want to make the kitchen bigger by knocking through to the living dining room, and make the living room smaller but still a very good size. It is in a cul de sac with off road parking.
House 2 is mid terraced, has 3 bedrooms plus a loft room, a really great sized kitchen dining room plus two other reception rooms, and is a 5 min walk from anywhere we would need to go. It however has no downstairs loo and the access to the loft room is via a pull down ladder. We would need to put in a stairlift, a downstairs loo and a staircase plus escape ladder for the upstairs bedroom. It is also on a fairly busy road with permit parking.
House 1 is on for £325,000 but open to offers.
House 2 is on for £249,950 and was recently sold but that has fallen through and the price has been reduced from something to this.
I can see house 1 making a wonderful home, and we can add a small amount of value to it.
House 2 would also make a lovely home, but I think it will always been price limited due to the parking issue.
We are torn between going for house 1 which we could stay in for a long time, or house 2 which could do for 5 years but then we would probably want to move. So, readers, if you have made it this far, what would you do?
House 1 - get a low rate mortgage now while available and ride out the Brexit uncertainty. Why buy somewhere that would only suit your needs for a short period of time? You are unlikely to recoup your costs on House 2 and the lack of parking is already an issue.
"or house 2 which could do for 5 years but then we would probably want to move"
Why would you want to move? What does house 2 not have that you would want in 5 years time?
Honestly, I would keep looking, and try and buy a bungalow with converted attic. That way the whole downstairs will be suited for low mobility, at least two bedrooms and bathroom downstairs, and then an extra two bedrooms with bathroom upstairs.
Are your children likely to continue to live with you in the long term? If so, I'd definitely say house 1. I would think it's preferable to have bedroom and shower on the ground floor than to have to keep using a stair lift. So a more pleasant living environment. Most of the improvements you'll need to make to house 2 won't really add value for other people, except for the downstairs loo.
If your children are going to be leaving home in the next couple of years then maybe consider house 2 for the reception space etc.
House 1. It costs about 10k to sell and buy against 2.5k/3k to buy (dependent on stamp duty etc). Plus moving is a faff. Mortgage rates are really good at the moment.
Eldest is at uni and second one will be off there next Sept and the youngest will be off the following year. Then eldest will most likely be back home, and unless she gets a job offer during/through uni, I can see her living with us.
I am pretty sure ds will be off as soon as he has done uni. He is much more independent than our other two. But then, he doesn't have mobility issues to deal with. He has said if we do buy something that is too far for him to walk to and from the schools, then he would move out and get a bedsit in town. If he wasn't in his final year of Alevels then fine, but he is. It would mean he would need to ge a job to pay for it, and I would hate for him to mess up his exams as he was having to work.
Bungalow would be our ideal, but they either need to much work doing to get them to what we want them to be, or are way over our budget.
The reason house 2 is such a contender is due to being 10 mins max walk to the train station which dh will need to go to work in London. It is also mid way between my sons schools (his 6th form joint between the two local grammar school). It would also give ED when home from uni for weekends, hols etc freedom to pop to Waitrose which is 5 mins max away, and she could do alone in her wheelchair.
But.....if all the kids potentially leave home in the next few years, then house 1 is perfect.
Oh, the other bonus for dh is there is a bit less stress with finding the money for the mortgage with H2 than there is with H1.
So your expectation that you would probably want to move in 5 years is based on your children moving out then?
Two points :
1. The expense of housing nowadays is such that it is increasingly difficult for young people to move out. Their wages just aren't enough to meet high rents. Increasingly, children fly the lest far later than my generation did, when pretty much everyone was on their own by 21.
2. Don't underestimate the pleasure of being walking distance from everything you need. Not being dependant on buses and cars is great. Being a 30 minute walk from everything means you are dependent on your car and that you are a taxi service to your children.
We live on a street with residents' permits for parking, plus non-residents can pay to park there. Never had a problem with it, we have a visitors' permit we can hand out over our own permits.
Personally I would go for house 2. I've lived near the town centre and in a small village, I'd go for in town every time. I hated having to get into the car for everything. That it would give your daughter additional freedom too is another plus for house 2.
Oh, I know how wonderful it is to live within walking distance of everything. We are currently in rented, have been for 20+ years, and it is 15 mins walk to everywhere. Its all the kids have known, so are reluctant to move anywhere that is a great distance from places they want to get to. Sadly LL is being a pain now, and won't sell to us which is a shame as I had SO many plans for this house. Ah well.
I was 18 when I left home, but I have cousins in their early 20's who are still at home, so I know kids are leaving later.
We shall keep viewing, and I'll keep searching on Rightmove, and I am sure something will come up. Maybe then we will be in a better place to offer (have a good deposit, but still organising the mortgage through a broker).
If you're thinking of putting in a stairlift try and find a property with a straight flight of stairs rather than one that curves around, the cost of the stairlift will be significantly less. Happy house hunting!
House 2 is out of the equation now. We went to see it yesterday, and so did a whole load of other viewers it seemed, all booked in at the same time. We were not told it was an open house, and felt a little pissed off as the EA was keen to see the new people coming in and not really chat any more to us. Is that normal?
Anyhoo, stairs are way too steep for yd, there is no way to put in a downstairs loo, there is a damp problem which they would get fixed but I can forsee problems as its a mid terrace. It was a shame as it was beautiful, but with closer inspection the kitchen would need replacing, as would all the windows. So, not for us.
We have seen another one though which looks hopeful. Ex council pretty much the same as my parents house, just a different area. 15 min walk to almost everywhere we would need to be. On a smallish corner plot, but we could go into the loft, do off street parking and do a 2 storey extension to put in a downstairs bedroom (already has the bathroom downstairs) and hopefully put in a family bathroom and ensuite upstairs. Its also on at £215,000 so very doable mortgage wise.
We also had a second viewing for house 1 and still love it, but have noticed some things of concern. There are some cracks between the brickwork in the mortar joints above the living room window, and one of the bedrooms ceiling had flaking paint and what looked either like leak patches or maybe a leak that has been fixed.
The search is still continuing .....
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