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Buying a terraced house that's right on the road?

(26 Posts)
katzensocken Sun 14-Jan-18 01:05:58

Another question from my exhausting house search!

In my area it's mainly Victorian terraces, which I love so it's fine. I vastly prefer the ones with a front garden or forecourt, or the ones raised off the road with steps as well, because I just like having a feeling of security and separation from the street and pavement.

Problem is, quite a few nice ones are coming up that I'm interested in, but they are all set directly on the pavement, no porch or anything. Instinctively I don't like the thought of it. A couple of my aunts lived in properties like this and I always remembered litter outside, or teenagers knocking on the door when they walked past, standing outside yelling or looking in the window or knocking on the glass. The area I'm looking at is fairly well regarded but family oriented so often kids and teens passing through, sometimes graffiti at the end of the roads and things. I just don't know if I'll feel safe sitting in the living room right next to the front door. I'd use appropriate curtains and/or shutters to deal with the window privacy issue, but I can't shake the feeling that someone could just make trouble right outside or think it was funny to lean on my door.

Does anyone have experience with living in this type of house and is it ok for you/how annoying is it? I feel silly thinking of it as a dealbreaker so opinions are appreciated. Thanks!

Pixiedust1973 Sun 14-Jan-18 01:10:08

Sounds like you know what you want, or don't want here tbh!

Changednamejustincase Sun 14-Jan-18 01:12:21

I wouldn't mind it but it sounds like it may be an issue for you. If such a house would leave you feeling scared at night then a house off the road would be better for you. I would go and look at one and see how I felt inside. You might get a good feeling.

katzensocken Sun 14-Jan-18 01:27:37

I pretty much know I would prefer otherwise, but DH really likes a couple of these houses (and I love them too, well the inside of them!) and was trying to talk me round a bit, plus I would like to be able to make a compromise for him if the house was good enough.

I agree it might be better if I look at the houses in question.

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 14-Jan-18 01:31:21

I lived in one of these for two years and had no issues at all like the ones you describe. I don’t mind being aware of passing humanity though so it depends how you feel about that - Friday evenings could (occasionally) be very entertaining as drunken rows passed by (one sat on my windowsill for a while, I loved it!) no one was rude to us or knocked the door or dropped litter though.

Also mine was right on the edge of the pedestrianised area of town with bars etc so people did pass through. I’d drive by the house late evening on a week day and a weekend day and just see how it is?

katzensocken Sun 14-Jan-18 01:57:30

Good idea to check at different times, thanks.

I don't mind the street having traffic sometimes or people just walking past, I've on busy streets before and right in the centre of town. Currently hear drunken screaming every night as in student central (albeit in a flat behind a courtyard) it is amusing as long as nothing gets violent! Which it sometimes does here, but I suspect that's more a symptom of city centre.

katzensocken Sun 14-Jan-18 01:58:24

*I've lived on busy streets before!

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 14-Jan-18 03:40:03

Definitely violence wouldn’t be fun! I know what you mean about your house being right there on the pavement edge but I honestly didn’t notice. Once you’re inside I don’t think it’s really apparent. But as you say totally dependent on the character of the street re location.

FrogFairy Sun 14-Jan-18 13:33:39

Just to give perspective from the other side. I have a front garden and steps separating my house from the pavement and my parents house is straight onto the pavement.

I am single and not well off, my front garden is just more maintenance that I could do without and I could do with a new front wall but no way can I afford it. So I have the grass, path, steps, wall and pavement to take care of and keep clean. My parents on the other hand have just a short stretch of pavement to sweep which is much easier.

Pinkywoo Sun 14-Jan-18 13:42:31

It really depends on the street, I lived in a house like that for 10 years and at first it was fine, but then the pub further up the road changed from a quiet old man pub to a busy hipster haunt with a late night licence. The noise was unbearable, with smokers constantly in and out, and people right outside my door, I moved in April (only 3 streets away) and the peace is bliss!

PinkBuffalo Sun 14-Jan-18 13:54:44

I'm house hunting too OP! I have had to discount mid terraces as I need side access to the house (.disabilities) & I require off road parking.
I'm waiting for more suitable houses to come up in the area I need.
I sympathise with you as it's very difficult & it has to be right as I'm only going to be able to afford to do this once!
Good luck OP!

pickledparsnip Sun 14-Jan-18 14:01:27

I live in a terraced house up a lane off a main street. It is pretty noisy, but mostly because I have single glazed sash windows. Also because I live in a town with a big student population.

Personally I don't mind it, I find the noise quite comforting, but then I am a total townie.

pickledparsnip Sun 14-Jan-18 14:04:28

The worst bit is that people can see right in. I had some of those Ikea net things for ages, but ditched themand now have that stick on window vinyl stuff. Sounds naff, but looks nice. Get lots of nice comments from passers by (which I can hear because of the aforementioned single glazing!).

LuluJakey1 Sun 14-Jan-18 14:13:50

You have no privacy unless you have blinds or (gulp!) net curtains, and then the room is dark. My best friend lives in a house like this and it is a lvely house on a quiet street with 2 reception rooms. They don't use the front one apart from at night because they have the shutters closed all day to stop people looking in. If a house only as one reception room you are always 'on display' or in the dark. Depends how you are about daylight. I like lots of natural light and open curtains.

purplecorkheart Sun 14-Jan-18 14:21:18

I used to be in a similar house and had very few issues. We had a frosted glass front door that I would have changed to a solid wood door if I had stayed in the house.

Yes, you will need blinds on the windows.

One thing I would suggest is visiting the area late on a Saturday night or early Sunday morning. I know that in recent years my former neighbours have had issues with their cars being damaged by drunks going home. Also take into account parking availability.

gingerbreadmam Sun 14-Jan-18 14:32:18

Live in a smallish town but with a fairly busy nightlife lots of pubs and takeaways. Lived in the street behind the high street for years. Directly on the main path and never had any noticeable trouble. Just keep the door locked. In a way felt safer than other areas for being a main Street.

Now live in a smaller terrace down a back alley pretty much. I worried when we moved here we might be a prime location for trouble and it is sooooo quiet. Almost like no one even knows there are houses here. Did have a couple of knock a door runs in the winter though grin I just keep front door locked.

Hate having a house where you walk straight into front room. I wouldn't get another like this. Old house was a lot bigger and not like that.

SimonBridges Sun 14-Jan-18 14:39:24

I lived for about ten years in a house like that.
I had a voile at the window and never had a problem even though the area wasn’t the best. No random knocks on the door or window.
The downside was that there was having to haul the bin out to the front every week and there being nowhere out of sight to leave a parcel.

StripyApple Sun 14-Jan-18 15:38:59

I agree with pp who says it depends on your reception rooms. If the room on the Road is where you will spend a lot of time then I think the noise could become annoying. Whereas if it’s only a snug that you watch tv in in the evening, maybe not so much of a problem

FleurWeasley Sun 14-Jan-18 16:41:13

We lived on a street like this,

FleurWeasley Sun 14-Jan-18 16:42:54


It was fine, frosted half of front window so upper half gave light but we still had privacy. A chain on the door is nice to have. You get to eavesdrop on random conversations!

It would be different if the road was very busy with pedestrians and cars but ours wasn’t.

greenlynx Sun 14-Jan-18 17:36:38

We live in a similar house, no porch or front gate, the difference that it's a modern town house with utility area near the front door and living room upstairs. I still feel insecure sometimes especially if I'm alone at night. Its not about noise, I actually like city living, it's about not feeling safe and being nervous.
You also need to be more careful when going out with chidren. The moment your door is open you are straight outside whereas even tiny front garden gives extra safe space.
We are thinking about moving and front garden is my first requiment for the new house.
But ...I know a few families whose houses on a quiet street with front door on the pavement living room near the front door and it don't bother them at all.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sun 14-Jan-18 17:40:00

Our house is straight onto the pavement, no litter outside and no one bangs in the door/window as they walk past even though we are on the main route from town to the football stadium so have a lot of passing foot traffic. Occasionally there might be a tap on the window but that's usually people playing with my cats who sit there watching the world go by. It doesn't bother me at all. The door opens into a hallway though not straight into the living room. I wouldn't like the door straight on to the living room.

Cakemadeoffruit Sun 14-Jan-18 18:57:10

Are the front rooms big enough you could build an internal hallway or porch?

Cakemadeoffruit Sun 14-Jan-18 19:00:11

Or do these houses have a side passage? We have friends who don't use their front door but keep a Gate on the side passage so no but them can access it but them. Then they use the back door up the passage to access the house. However they have a light on sensor for the passage so it's not dark.

katzensocken Sun 14-Jan-18 20:46:15

Thanks for all those opinions guys! A pretty balanced view there of some pros and cons. I'm glad to hear most of you have had no major trouble.

@Cake, one of the front rooms in one house might be, I was thinking about that last night. I'll have to see at the viewing. One of them also has a dining/living room so I would probably have the living area away from the window and the more occasional dining table etc at the front instead.

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