Which would you buy?(24 Posts)
I'm looking to buy alone, so whilst I can luckily affordable do (cheap area) there are 3 main property choices in my budget. It's me and my small daughter needing to live in the property, WWYD?
1 - purpose built flat, 2 bedrooms, approx 5-15 years old. Not high end or anything, buy they generally seem fit for purpose. Mostly on medium size private housing estates.
2 - non standard construction house (so a sort of prefab / steel house that's been rendered and made good). On council estates where 95% of people seem to have bought, as they are 50''s estates really spread out, lots of play park etc, HUGE gardens, 3 beds, spacious. Downside is I've been informed they have reached alter ceiling and will never go up in value
3 - small 2 up / 2 down on 10 year old (ish) estates. Quite cramped, lots of buy to let / social housing.
Please help me out, I'm tying myself up in circles here! Thanks
Not 2) because of the price ceiling and underwriting issues on the construction in gloomy markets.
What about outside space? Do many garden flats of the 1) category come up? How old is your child? Are you fussed about a garden?
It's a shame there are no 1950s brick-built ex-LA estates in your search area. They are nice solid buildings on good size plots.
Thanks for your thoughts, you are so right of course, a brick built ex LA house would be perfect, but they are ALL non standard, put up quickly post war I guess (although thet have lasted well!)
I forgot to mention option 4 - traditional terrace more towards city centre (other 3 options are in nice suburb. Downsides would be closer to city = worse scools / traffic jams / no green areas.
LO is just2 months old, not desperately worried about a garden, but am worried about her being noisey as she toddles / tantrums in the future, and falling out with neighbours in a flat
Is it a big city? Have you looked closely at the schools?
1) and 4) sound the better options to me, but without being able to picture the size/type of city it's hard.
I wouldn't live in a flat with a small child - too much potential for neighbours complaints about noise.
Is this going to be your forever home? If so, I would go for 1.
2 written off for the reasons another poster gave above, 3 because I think areas where there are lots of buy-to-lets etc aren't as nice to live in... More transient population, less chance of forming lasting friendships etc.
Doesn't sound like you'd enjoy living in 4's area, so I'd go 1.
Have you looked into mortgage etc for option 2? When we first started looking we wanted to veiw one of these and the estate agent told us we would need at least 25% mortgage (and this was when 5% mortgages were easy to get) plus someother things that put us off.
If you have looked into it and it is doable for you, I'd go for this option. If not, my order of preference would be 4, 1, 3.
Could someone explain what the problem is with option 2?
It's a small city, about the size of Oxford or Cambridge (but absolutely nowhere near as nice!).
I hope it won't be a forever home, I'm buying as DP and I are splitting up and a mortgage is actually cheaper than rent, I have a deposit saved mostly, will beg / borrow
steal the rest.
There are limited providers who would offer a mortgage on 2. I guess my worry is everything would go up in value around me and I'd be stuck there forever as the ceiling has definitely been reached.
Mortgage lenders can be less than keen about non-standard constructions. So, your field of lenders is smaller, you'll usually need a hefty deposit as LTVs are more conservative and remortgaging can be a faff.
For the same reasons, when you come to sell, your pool of potential buyers is smaller. In a recession the pool of lenders willing to lend on them can shrink down to almost nothing. So selling them on can be very hit and miss.
It's all a bit of a minefield.
4 could be good in terms of things being walkable and close by; Clubs, Classes, Culture etc. The logistics as a single parent mean having things close together (school, childcare, home, work,brownies and so on) can make a big difference. That's my experience talking.
But if you're just not feeling it and instinctively refer the suburbs, I'd say purpose built flat and good underlay.
Rightmove is quite good for looking at school information and catchments if that is likely to be a deciding factor.
You really do need to consider both primary & secondary schools in each area as that will become a concern in near future.
I'd keep looking for 2 bed terrace in areas you are more happy with- there must be more than 2! Do loads of research on primary schools and walk round the areas at different times. In your situation a small garden is invaluable for sand pit, play house, picnics etc starting from next summer. A huge garden would be a nightmare to maintain though. If you can afford a victorian terrace they always hold their value really well in difficult markets.
1 or 4.
The thing that would put me off 4 is lack of green spaces nearby.
Flats can be good with young children as you're always on the same level of them.
a mortgage is actually cheaper than rent
Get good advice on interest rates, because they are certain to rise.
Try to get a five-year fixed interest rate.
Have you considered a shared equity scheme? (you could get a higher value property)
Thanks all, some really good points to think about!
lovelearning the shared equity schemes are right over the other side of the city, away from support networks, and are SO overpriced IMO that I'd end up with 50% share for pretty much the same as buying outright elsewhere, thanks for the suggestion though. And yes a 5 year fixed rate is essential! Who knows, at the end of the 5 years I might win the lotto
Flat only if ground floor - cant imagine humping baby, shopping and pushchair up and down flights of stairs on your own.
Also some outside space is important - even a small terrace to sit and have a coffee.
Would imagine that flats are possibly also high % of BTL - but you could check this out specifically in any block that you are interested in. Budget for annual service charges and the possibility of an expensive one off maintenance project.
Compare running costs / utilities and bills / maintenance. You def dont want a large garden.....
Maybe think about if the property could absorb more people (extension or loft extension) if you met someone else had had another child......or was easy to sell on.....Good luck.
Ignore option 2. In fact, don't touch with a bargepole. Such construction types are considered high risk by lenders. Manumission has explained it well.
3 or 4, or wait for something you do love.
Wouldn't touch number 2.
Wouldn't go for a flat with a baby / toddler / small child.
I'd talk to a mortgage broker about whether you might need a larger deposit or get a poorer rate with 2. Could be that you'll still have a reasonable choice of lenders, especially if most have been bought already so they know the history. There will always be demand for 3-bed places.
Otherwise I'd look for a terrace with wee outside space with schools/park/shop in walking distance, then flats ditto.
I'm in 1 and it's fine. A lot of people who advise against flats have never lived in one. That said I'd consider resale on a nearly new build. If it's anything like round here new build block of flats are popping up on every street so an older new build may not have much appeal compared to a new new build.
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