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I don't like the house we've moved into

(21 Posts)
sellotape12 Mon 27-Feb-17 23:02:00

-- Disclaimer this could be the wrong thread but there are so many on MN, I never know which to choose --

A year ago, DH and I put our flat in Dulwich, London for sale and we started the long, painful process of trying to buy a house in a nearby neighbourhood. And I'm really worried we made the wrong decision....

After multiple viewings of things we couldn't afford, we saw this place. I instantly hated it and wanted to leave. We put an offer in anyway, lost it, then 3 weeks later it came back to we started conveyancing before our own buyers pulled out. It meant pulling out of another house in zone 3 London that was a nice street but smaller. DH saw the potential in this house, because although it needs a lot of work, it was bigger than anything else we'd seen in our price range.

About halfway through the conveyancing process, we discovered it needed a new roof. I braced myself and admitted to DH I thought we should pull out, neither of us were feeling it, and this roof thing was the sign we had been looking for. In a practical sense, the house was / is a good buy because it's very close to a train station, zone 2 London, Victorian and in an up-and-coming neighbourhood.

But, then the vendor knocked a lot of money off and so here we are. I remember at the time, his family berated me, saying I was crazy to pull out of (now discounted) house just because of "instinct" and "feeling."

Trouble is, I'm still waiting to get the feeling. I really don't mean for this to sound selfish or ungrateful, I just feel homesick. We are 4 months into renovation work with no kitchen, bathroom or proper heating. The living room gets light from lampposts nearby shining in, and there's road noise from yobs going up the road on noisy scooters. Our local shops are chicken shops and offies. To get this house to liveable state, I need to empty every penny of my savings account, and that has been a difficult thing for me to come to when I don't particularly love the house.

Anyway. It's causing a bit of a rift between me and DH. I resent him for pushing me into buying it when I wanted to pull out. He resents me for not giving it a go and being upset. He still thinks it's a great investment (it is) and wants me to see the potential. But it's just not feeling like a home. It's not just the renovation, it feels like the street is really cramped and noisy and I'm half wondering why I live in this crazy, polluted city now.

I have dreams where we pull out of the sale and I feel so relieved! Then I wake up. I'm dreaming about moving to the country, or back up north where I'm from. Plus I'm 33 and getting pressure from in-laws that I need to start a family soon - even though I just don't feel that either.

All in all, I feel completely disjointed. I should also point out that I got fired in January for no good reason! So nothing feels stable! Is it normal to feel such buyer's remorse about your house? Will I end up liking it once the renovation is done? Is it just because it's cold and dark and wintry at the moment?

Or have we made an enormous mistake? I'm so homesick for our little flat in our nice neighbourhood.

featherland Mon 27-Feb-17 23:12:44

Renovating a house is a nightmare, even if it's a house you love. im so sorry you're in this situation, especially with no job. My advice would be to get it to a state where you can live comfortably, then talk to dh about giving it a fixed period of time (eg a year?) to see if you grow into it. if not, sell. You will still have made a lot of money and likely be no worse off than if you had bought a different house to begin with.

Personally, I think you need to live somewhere where you can feel safe and cosy when you have kids. You will spend a long time wandering the local streets and going to local cafes and baby groups on mat leave. we almost bought in a good investment area when I was pregnant. I'm glad we didn't - would have made a lot of money if we had but then I'm not a fan of big houses either.

FuzzyFalafelz Mon 27-Feb-17 23:35:09

Living in a project is a bloody nightmare and so I'm not surprised you feel that way. Been there got the t shirt! However when the house is straight and chaos is no more, you might just start to find redeeming features. It will grow on you!! In the meantime see the place as a temporary thing, a 6 year thing.

llangennith Mon 27-Feb-17 23:46:53

Took me two years to like my house. I remember one day driving home and realised I was actually looking forward to being at home in my house.
Moved into it full of enthusiasm but after three months of slow and crappy builders working on it I began to hate it. Ten years on I love itsmile

Riderontheswarm Mon 27-Feb-17 23:48:15

If you are in London this is a reversible mistake if it is a mistake. You can sell and will probably make a lot of money when you do. I'd give it a while and then put it up for sale if you still feel the same. I don't think you will change your mind. I always know if I want a house or not and it isn't even for logical reasons.

FuzzyFalafelz Tue 28-Feb-17 00:04:15

You don't need to have your ideal perfect home right now. There's no rush.

JT05 Tue 28-Feb-17 07:41:56

You sound like you've been/ are going through a lot of upheaval. It's hard to love a place that's half demolished and full of building work and dust.
I have been there 3 times, living in gutted houses.
Be kind to yourself. Have you started making plans for the interior designs, colours, fixtures and fittings? Maybe making some colour boards with swatches might help you see the final vision.
Do you have a garden? What about starting to get that into shape? Nows the time to start planting and gardening is very good for emotional health.

Fairylea Tue 28-Feb-17 07:55:35

I moved from London to Norfolk and just reading your post about the location and the house actually makes me feel claustrophobic. Living in London in a house that is barely liveable isn't nice...! Not everyone wants to make money on properly and refurbish houses. However now you're actually in the situation I would hold fire and get everything sorted as quickly as you can and then sell once it's to a saleable standard. Then try to find a house that's an actual "home". By then you'll know how the situation feels between you and your dh.

Kiroro Tue 28-Feb-17 09:58:42

Oh hugs sellotape12

First, be kind to yourself. You are going through a MASSIVE amount of stress right now. House purchase = stress. House move = stress. House renovations = huge stress. Job situation = stress.

Couple of things that might help:
- Get some enthusiastic friends round to be all like "oh wow, the sitting room is s beautiful / the garden is so lovely" etc to try and counter the negativity you're feeling about the house.
- Make one room nice and snug so you have a non-building site safe haven to retreat to.
- Invite yourself round to friends/family for dinner/shower/relax. Promise to return the favor when house is done.
- Reduce the decision burden as far as possible i.e. decide that you won't get things perfect and you might just have to go for 'good enough' to just crack on and get the job done. So like, choosing kitchens. Yes... you might get a much nicer kitchen if you source each and every component individually, but actually just pick a tap/sink/everything from one place and be done with it. Paint everything white. Worry about decoration later.
- Noise - can you get double glazing? Or at least thick heavy curtains will help a bit.
- Light in the sitting room - think about nice shutters?
- Make time/metal space to have a break from the renovations - take every other Sunday totally off and not even thing or discuss renovations.
- Treat yourself (cheaply since cash is low) e.g. go out for a walk in the sunshine, go to a cafe for an hour and read a few chapters of a book, facetime your mum, something that makes you happy.
- Realise it doesn't have to be for ever. Once it is all done up you can see how it feels over summer and then sell if you still don't like it.
- Maybe try and think of the job thing as a blessing in disguise as you can work on the renovation (v time consuming to manage) and then start looking for a new job in a month or two.


I had very similar thoughts when I got my house and lots of things turned out to be wrong, I had renovation work (3 months without a bathroom ARGH) and I focused on lots of things like airplane noise that were really bothering me. Now the house is (nearly) finished I realise that some of the negative points I was stressing about were ultimately my stress/negativity being directed at something tangible e.g. plane noise rather than just working through 'general stress'.

I called in loads of favors at friends to have dinner and a shower and a chillax in front of their TV, I did a lot of 'going for tea' so like not a dinner party just gatecrashed their normal evenings.

I had one really bad weekend where several things had gone wrong with the renovations on the Friday. I came down with a cold, it was winter and I had no heating at this point temporarily, no bathroom, my washing machine broke, and then a leak happened.

I cried down the phone to my mum and she sent my Dad down from Yorkshire to come and provide a bit of moral support and I moved in with friends for a few days.

Upshot is now I have a v nice bathroom and every time I get into the shower I think "wow, this is LUSH". :-)

ministapler Tue 28-Feb-17 20:10:29

i would give it some time. what you have now isnt the finished product and things will feel very different when completed. i hated my house for years and when the work was finished, i loved it for a couple of years but we've now sold it!

we had re-wire, new boiler location, back to brick in a lot of rooms, new fireplaces, loft conversion, kitchen extension, levelling floor etc. it was hell with two children under 4 and no family to take the kids away while all the chaos happened.

i think it takes time to get used to things, i second getting heavy blackout lining for curtains to block out light and muffle sound.

also try swapping around rooms if you dont like the front of your house due to scooter noise, try different room uses/layouts.

Herschellmum Tue 28-Feb-17 23:08:17

Hugs, even rennovating a house your in love with is a nightmare. Most houses take some getting used to. I think you have has a much rougher than normal ride.

This won't be forever, keep saying that.

See how you feel when it's done. X

phoria Wed 01-Mar-17 08:15:23

OP totally sympathise. I bought a flat I had loads of doubts about too. Had major regret after exchange. Problem with London is you have to make so many compromises just to buy that it's hard to tell what is really a legitimate doubt and what is just cold feet.

Like you I had a lot going on in the background - my mum had just died - I should have pulled out and given myself a break but instead I charged on through. I've learnt never ever to make a big life decision thinking it'll make things better (it won't!) while going through a period of stress.

When is your fix up? Mine's up in 18 months so hopefully I can sell up then. Your place sounds like a great investment so you'll likely make a profit when you do sell. Also having read a million threads about regret after buying a house - this is so normal!

SnowBallsAreHere Wed 01-Mar-17 08:18:06

6 years on I still don't like our house.
I'd move if only I could get dh to agree

missyB1 Wed 01-Mar-17 08:26:10

Firstly I think a lot of what you feel is the normal (but horrible) stress of house moving/ renovation. I know you are struggling with regret and probably blaming yourself for what you see as a bad decision, but you might feel very differently in a couple of years.
We moved into our house six months ago and I thought I loved it, I thought I was buying our dream house, six months later I don't like it at all sad. I'm planning on hopefully moving again in about 3 years if I still feel the same - haven't dared tell DH that though!
Give yourself a long term plan.

Bluntness100 Wed 01-Mar-17 08:27:45

Ok, so you're in a good location as it's zone two, it's Victorian so I imagine big rooms or high ceilings, you got if got a decent price, and are probably going to make s huge profit when you sell it. The neighbour hood is up and coming so will start to regenerate.

In the meantime uou will get a new kitchen and bathroom of your choice. Not something you've inherited. Blinds, shutters or curtains will deaden the noise from outside and stop the lamp post light.

You need to stop thinking of the old house, think of the positives of this one. Once the renovation work is done uou will feel better, it's just horrIble living in it, in addition the stress of losing your job will be colouring your view due to timing, you'll get a new job and will feel better.

I've lived in properties I didn't love, and as much as I never ever did love them, I did make them to my liking and was perfectly happy in them.

Stokey Wed 01-Mar-17 12:53:40

Can you treat it as an investment?
Don't think about "emptying" your savings but "investing" them. It must be really stressful living on a building site & having no job, so you're there all the time.

It doesn't sound like an ideal location to bring up a family so think of it as a short-term home. Do it up, make some money and spend the time thinking about where you'd ideally like to live and raise a family. Tall to Dh about the things about it that make you uncomfortable. But try and be positivie - More " We got a great bargain here, where do you think we should progress to?" Than " I need to leave, I'm really unhappy here."

TheElementsSong Wed 01-Mar-17 13:17:36

Sorry you're feeling like this OP, I totally sympathise. Look on the bright side - at least you'll have a nicer house after the building work is finished.

It's happened to me too - I loathed pretty much everything about this house from the first time we viewed it. We've been here just over a year. Thank goodness we were able to renovate the en suite bathroom last summer, because it means there is one tiny room in the entire property that I don't hate - I still loathe everything else about the house.

Anotherminime Wed 01-Mar-17 13:31:41

I bought a house a few years ago that needed total renovation, but we loved it and could see the potential. We did the works last year and lived through all of what you are going through now, no heating, only source of hot water in the entire house was a crappy electric shower, no kitchen, tons of mess and builders everywhere. Plus it sucked every last penny we had.

I had so many moments/weeks/months last year where I wondered why on earth we'd done it. I said to my DH several times that I wished we'd never bought it and how it was a terrible mistake. I cried a lot!

Anyway; it's now nearly done and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I absolutely love it now, everything in the house is exactly what we wanted (which you just done get unless you completely renovate) from light switches to layout.

Give it some time, I promise you'll feel better about it once the renovations are done. It's hell living through and tests most relationships to the max. I'd never live in a property I was renovating again. Plus get some blackout lining for the curtains in the living room - we had to do this in our old place and it was great!

Anotherminime Wed 01-Mar-17 13:33:35

*just don't get

LarrytheCucumber Wed 01-Mar-17 13:39:25

I didn't like our first house either. We stayed five years and it never felt like home. Then we moved here and felt at home straight away. We've been here 32 years.
You don't have to stay there for ever, do you?

Sunnyshores Wed 01-Mar-17 20:22:32

You are going through an awful lot OP, you need to give yourself time. I had similar and now - even when all is resolved and my life is back on a normal keel - I still dont like the house. I dont hate it anymore, but I just dont derive any joy from it as I did my last beautiful (had to leave) home. I wont be staying long term, and knowing that makes me happy!

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