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What's better?

(31 Posts)
FagAshMIL Tue 14-Mar-17 11:44:11

Assuming you have children in the 7 - 10 range and your family is 'done' and that you are WOH

1) small (20 ft x 20 ft) courtyard South facing garden OR a bigger (40 x 20ft) North facing garden

2) a 10 minute walk to local shops (restaurants/bars/grocers/fishmongers/butchers/newsagent supermarket) with an average sized house suitable for your needs but not much room for additional guests comfortably OR same shops 1 10/15 minute drive away with ample room for a family of 4 to stay with you every now and again

3) Being in the middle of two train stations (2 different lines which enable you to get to work), both a 15 minute walk away OR Close to one station (less than 5 minutes walk away) but not the other

4) Being close to a new mixed secondary school (so new there hasn't been an OFSTED) OR being close to an established single sex school with a 'good' OFSTED

I know everyone's situation is different but just interested in what people will say

Minniemagoo Tue 14-Mar-17 11:51:02

1, 2 and 4 all second option. For #3, I assume the other station (not 5 mins) is still 30ish min walk/10min drive away so meh on either option.
Assuming all 1st options are house 1 and 2nd options house 2 then house 2 by a long shot for me.

EssentialHummus Tue 14-Mar-17 11:51:24

4) Being close to a new mixed secondary school (so new there hasn't been an OFSTED) OR being close to an established single sex school with a 'good' OFSTED

Is it the "right" sex school for you, or do you have one of each?

2) a 10 minute walk to local shops (restaurants/bars/grocers/fishmongers/butchers/newsagent supermarket) with an average sized house suitable for your needs but not much room for additional guests comfortably

Realistically, how often do they stay, and can they go on the sofa/can DC bunk up occassionally?

1) small (20 ft x 20 ft) courtyard South facing garden OR a bigger (40 x 20ft) North facing garden

Do you/DC use the garden now?

I'd generally go for proximity to train station and shops above most criteria other than schools. Sorry, more questions than answers, but these would be my lines of thinking.

JonesyAndTheSalad Tue 14-Mar-17 11:53:02

4 and 3. If I could I would move to a city when mine are older teens. Better options in general though.

FagAshMIL Tue 14-Mar-17 11:56:52

thanks, questions and answers good. I'm genuinely interested in other's thoughts but of course am using this as an cerebral exercise to help me with my house hunting. There is no house 1 and house 2 as such more like houses 1,2,3, 4 etc and I'm trying to work out exactly what the top priorities for us as a family are collectively. I am such a fence sitter!

CountMagnus Tue 14-Mar-17 11:57:40

1 - courtyard garden
2 - walking distance to amenities
3 - midway between if Southern rail involved
4 - I'd prefer a mixed school for DCs so would take a punt on the new school

CountMagnus Tue 14-Mar-17 12:02:50

Oh and reasons for 1 and 2:

1 - north facing gardens can be harder to keep looking good (have found lawns get damp and mossy), courtyard can be greened up with potted plants and ideal for BBQs etc. Your DCs may only be interested in lawns to kick about on for another couple of years.

2 - walking distance so that you can keep ticking over for groceries if you can't drive for any reason, can walk to pub / restaurant so no worries about designated drivers. Sofabeds and bunking up for a couple of days can add flexibility for visitors.

FagAshMIL Tue 14-Mar-17 12:06:08

haha Count bang on about Southern pissing rail

wishcarry Tue 14-Mar-17 12:06:31

1) first option
2) second option
3) second option
4) second option

JoJoSM2 Tue 14-Mar-17 12:22:04

I'd definitely want a south or west facing garden, find N gardens gloomy and depressing. I'd rather walk up to 15 mins to a decent station to have a bigger house. I would like to be within walking distance of at least the most basic amenities. Schoolwise- difficult to tell - but Id def be open to a brand new school.

minipie Tue 14-Mar-17 12:34:42

1) definitely courtyard S facing garden, assuming kitchen is at back. Having sun into the kitchen is SO important IMO, and we wouldn't use a shady garden as much as a sunny one even if bigger. Would you have a park nearby?

2) definitely walk to shops. I would hate to have to drive everywhere (so isolating) and love having shops and life going on nearby. As will your DC once they get a bit older.

3) Not sure. Depends how reliable the trains are. 5 minutes away is better but only if the line is very frequent and reliable.

4) Not sure. Would need to visit the schools and meet the head esp for the new school.

DataColour Tue 14-Mar-17 12:40:38

1) courtyard
2)walking distance
3) either option fine for me
4) depends on the schools

FagAshMIL Tue 14-Mar-17 12:41:32

This is all helping immensly, I think I've worked out that my problem is my ego!

I am torn between the bigger double fronted Victorian house with original features, reasonable sized garden but a bit more out - though still near to some shops and a train station with a 15 minute drive to the 'naice' shops with bars/restaurants etc and the smaller Victorian terrace with courtyard garden close to all good amenities and better transport wise (slightly more expensive as it's the location you're paying for).

I know I should pick the smaller one but the bigger double fronted ones are just much more lovelier. I'm sure the novelty of the bigger one would wear off when I'm doing the housework grin

minipie Tue 14-Mar-17 13:01:54

Ah that sounds a bit like my DH grin he lusts after the houses that look prettier/more impressive without really thinking about the practicalities.

I have found that double fronted Victorian houses often have quite narrow rooms. You get a bigger house, but it's divided into lots of small rooms, so the rooms you live in are actually smaller than in a single fronted house, iyswim. Does that apply to the houses you're looking at? If so then I definitely wouldn't go for one of those no matter how pretty it is from the outside.

FagAshMIL Tue 14-Mar-17 13:17:30

Not really no. Tbh there is only one affordable double fronted Victorian on my list as most of them, even further out, are out of our budget. They look sooo good though with their double fronts and stain glass doors and wide sweeping hallways. Damn you double front Victorians!

minipie Tue 14-Mar-17 14:46:48

Ah ok was hoping to make your decision easier!! But clearly not grin

Does the double fronted one have the N facing garden?

FagAshMIL Tue 14-Mar-17 15:00:43

No the little temptress has a south facing one. But, it's not a good a location as the others on the list and husband is less keen and so too am I really. Anyway, it's not perfect so perhaps I should cross it off.

HiDBandSIL Tue 14-Mar-17 18:15:13

Big garden

Nearer the shops etc. Having to get in the car for everything is rubbish.

Don't care about the stations - can walk to either

Not sure about the schools.

I love the double fronted ones too but I don't think I could take the hit on the location in your circumstances.

mysteryfairy Tue 14-Mar-17 19:14:03

Unless you love gardening small garden wins every time for me. I hate maintaining our garden.

10-15 minute driving be to nice shops if you have corner shop etc locally is nothing.

Train question absolutely depends on routes, times etc. I'd like the walk but not at the expense of being tied to one infrequent service.

My children all educated in single sex schools from 7. Not something I massively wanted for it's own sake but the best local schools were single sex so I chose those. It's been fine.

DragonNoodleCake Tue 14-Mar-17 21:51:09

First, second, second, first

JoJoSM2 Tue 14-Mar-17 22:38:19

Shame about the location- it sounds lovely...

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Mar-17 22:50:13

Would deffo go for south facing garden even if smaller not that much

North facing gardens are cold and dark and can be depressing always in shade if no light from east or west

RTKangaMummy Tue 14-Mar-17 22:50:57

Or does it have sun from east and/or west

SnowGlobes Tue 14-Mar-17 23:56:22

I've got several kids aged 7-13 and would definitely go for a smaller south garden (currently in a rental with a north facing garden and hate it).
Close to amenities - my kids used to be very rural and had to be driven everywhere. Rental is in a village so they (and I) can walk to the local shops, friends houses and public transport to get to a proper town/cinema etc. Hardly any ferrying around.
School is much trickier & would choose a house where kids could get to school easily and relatively quickly - say 30/40 mins and ideally independently. However, reputation, ofsted etc etc would matter too. When we were rural my eldest had an hour school bus ride each way to a very good school but now we've moved area (renting at mo) they have a 10 min train plus 10 min walk albeit I drive them the 15 mins in winter.

hollyisalovelyname Wed 15-Mar-17 07:00:21

North facing back garden is a no from me.
Unless it's huge and nothing impedes the light ( trees etc) and you do get sun.

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