Has anyone moved from character property to new build?(29 Posts)
We live in a lovely but quirky 4 bed barn conversion with a big garden, stables and land at the moment.
We have a very big mortgage, we don't really like the village (think very small, old community, no shop, school, pub or park). Maintenance of the land etc. Is bloody hard work, always jobs to do.
Also we have 2 young children and are thinking about private school which will be unattainable at the moment.
Would we regret moving to a new build? It just feels like it would be very easy. And we could afford a lovely big, family home and have some left over.
Or would it be better to 'down size' to an older property?
I always thought I wanted a country cottage but not so sure now I have kids!! I just want 'easy'.
I couldn't own a "character" property it's a code word for money and time pit. Buying new builds off plot is expensive as they are over priced but if you can do it I would move .
I did this, though rather than new build I went for a house about 8 years old as by then you have lost the premium for a brand new house, any early snagging issues should have been fixed and you still have some NHBC certificate left.
I loved my older property and its garden but it was a lot of work. Life in a new house is much simpler and much warmer! Bills are lower too. My heart will always be with a period home, but this is a much more sensible choice.
We've been considering this, but the rooms seem so poky. I guess it depends on budget, there are some amazing expensive new builds I'd be happy to live in.
Make sure you get a large one. They do exist - I spent the weekend in a newish holiday cottage, 4 generous doubles, 2 with large walk in wardrobes, one with a full sized bathroom as ensuite, plus large kitchen, dining room, utility and large lounge.
I think that it depends on the development. Some new builds are fantastic but more are just horrible.
We did and then moved back to an older property after they went to uni
The open planness was easier, the larger kitchen. Being around families like us.
So much happier now we’ve moved back to an older property though - not fussed about eating in the kitchen now, like the open fires and generous room sizes. Much prefer high ceilings too. I’ve got a thing about ten foot ceilings
I live in a (no longer very) new build. I have no idea WTF happened during building, but I guess it must have been some mix up or change of plans, as all the houses on my side of the street are significantly larger than the ones opposite us.
I remember looking round the showhome and thinking it was a bit pokey, but doable and in my price range and preferred area. Then I went into the one over the road, which was not quite finished at that point, but still comparable, and I was amazed at how much larger it was (quantifiably, not just because it was empty). Snapped that one up quicksmart I can tell you!
We’re doing this. We’ve just sold our beautiful 1930s semi and have pre-reserved a new build. It’s not at all what I thought we’d do but we’ve chosen practicality at this time in our lives with 2 under 3 and DH potentially working away all week again soon.
We may regret it. We may move on in 10 years. We might love it. Not sure at the moment! 😬
Don’t buy a brand new house, you’ll definitely end up overpaying. Look for something a few years old, so the snagging issues are sorted and you won’t get stung with the new buyers premium.
And make sure the living space is commensurate with the bedrooms. Also outside space is often poor. Developers tend to squeeze 5 beds into the footprint of a typical 3 bed house. Result: poor communal living space for the number of people living in the bedrooms. Bigger profit for the developer though!
Our first place in Glasgow was a traditional tenement flat. I walked in and the first words out of my mouth was: "Oh, what lovely high celings"
Let me tell you we froze in that flat over our first winter.
We moved into a system built 60's maisonette. With little rooms and proper insulation!
I agree, new builds are overpriced. If you buy a slightly older one (6/7 years) you'll get a lot more for your money and like PP said still have some of the NHBC certificate left
I could never leave a barn for a cardboard box
@Sunisshining Omg nooooo! I could never leave a barn for a cardboard box
Well it's nice you have that luxury of choice, but how about not insulting everyone else who can't afford barns (or indeed simply chooses differently) by suggesting their home is a "cardboard box"
Not brand new build, but yes, from a very characterful home (a handcrafted log cabin) to a modern, standard type of house.
Miss the privacy of the amount of space we had around our old place, but much prefer the extra space inside our new home (much bigger rooms) and the fact that the walls are now flat, instead of the "romantic" look of logs, that are actually all just ledges for dust to collect on, which there is tons of when your primary heat source is wood.
Still love log homes, but I much prefer to appreciate them when they're not my own!
Oh wow keep your knickers on. I sadly don't have this luxury..the OP does though and asked for opinions. My opinion is I wouldn't leave a barn for a cardboard box. Simple as that!
We did exactly that 11 years ago. The old house was ok, but a money pit and the garden/grounds were getting to be chore.
We found a local builder who had done just 9 houses on the outskirts of a small village, each house was different. We have no regrets at all. I now have 4 double bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and an amazing kitchen. Old cottage had one bathroom, one double bedroom and two tiny pokey singles.
We did this.
In our old house, every month there was something that HAD to be done - sometimes small, sometimes huge. It was getting ridiculously expensive.
There was much that I loved - the room dimensions, high ceilings, old radiators, ceiling roses, cornicing, etc.
We actually moved to a brand new property of a similar price so no money saved mortgage-wise, but the maintenance outgoings have all but stopped. We have no damp, no leaky roof, no plastering, no rewiring etc.
Our rooms are smaller and a little boxy but we have a beautiful kitchen,4 lovely bathrooms, and nothing needs done. I paint if I fancy a change and that’s about it.
Our garden is smaller - to us it’s no great loss.
I’d always say go for it
We did. We sold a huge 1930s property with an acre in order to buy a new build. Funnily enough a month after exchange on the new build land cane up for sale behind the estate which we purchased using the profits from the sale of our previous house. We we now have a much cheaper to run new build with the facilities of a large town but the benefits of the country (we are right on the edge of the settlement) and we have more land than we had previously.
I do miss the wood burner and the quirky beams but I don’t miss the draughty rooms and slightly damp smell in winter. Oh and gas central heating!!
DM moved from our 18th century childhood home to a 1960s house once my siblings and I had all left home. The most noticeable thing was how warm the new house was. We had obviously got used to the draughts over the years! Ok, the new house had less character but so much less maintenance.
We did moved from large, charcterful, river property in London to a zone out gated townhouse built circa 1996 that I extended and updated to contemporary impeccableness. It was stylish, modern and sleek.
We thought it was our dream, hated it. Sold it 18 months later and bought a quirky, charcterful gaff with land about 5.5 miles further out.
renovating it now to keep it's charm and make it fit for purpose for 21st century living
It all made perfect financial sense and we will have about 900 extra sq feet at end of renovation
At the end of the day financial, physical and personal/emotional comfort mean a great deal and you have to weigh it all up.
Good luck x
I agree with buying a house a few years old rather than a new build. Far better value for money.
We moved from a character rental property to buying a new build. A new build would not have been our choice in a ideal world, but it is brilliant; low maintenance & everything with warranty, 10 year building guarantee etc.
We're finding enough jobs to do too as the garden was just patio & turf (which was great with a 1 & 3 yr old) & the walls were a blank canvas.
The only thing i would say is that you may crave some surrounding space. However, if you have the budget, I'm sure you can choose a plot that gives you a bit of this.
We did this. We moved 6 years ago from a 1920s house with bags of character and original features to a new build. No regrets whatsoever. We lived in the old house for 16 years and there was always something that needed doing to it and even with the heating on full and thick insulation in the loft it was absolutely freezing in Winter. When it was really bad I'd be wearing a hat, scarf and would be clutching a hot water bottle to myself. And the house was constantly dusty, minutes after dusting a new layer would appear. There was a huge garden which took a lot of work too.
Our new build has character. It's not the standard two storey, garage at the side house. It actually looks like the style of old house that I've always loved and wanted. The rooms are a generous size, the kitchen is large, we have two sitting rooms, a study, a spare room, utility room, it's warm and the garden is a manageable size. We didn't overpay either. It was valued lower than the asking price so we offered £5000 less to bring it in line with the valuation and to our surprise the building company came back to us with a price £15000 below the asking price; apparently they needed to make a sale in order to start on the next phase of the development.
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