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English houses

(80 Posts)
comfortandjoy Wed 16-May-18 22:42:21

I’m hoping to persuade DP to consider moving back to England ( where I’m from) but know houses are going to be a problem.
Where we live now, in NZ, a basic home is a 3 bed single story home in the middle of a plot of land. They’re not usually full of luxury but are usually open plan living with good indoor, outdoor flow onto a decking area. You don’t really see joined up houses. Where we live now we get on with our neighbours and have occasional chats but can’t see or hear them when we’re sitting on our decks.

So, looking on rightmove at in our price range detached houses are very different to here. They all seem to be so close to the next door houses , I think you might as well be joined together as that tiny gap isn’t going to give much further privacy.
I remember living in a big old terrace as a student and never hearing my neighbours.
I like the idea of a terrace but looking through the eyes of DP I know he’d not like the idea of having ‘ land ‘ and not being able to walk around your house.

Have you gone from detached to joined up house ? How was it? Did you feel more conscious of neighbours living in such close proximity?

ISeeTheLight Wed 16-May-18 22:46:23

I found it really hard, coming from a country where most houses are also detached with quite a lot of land. DP is from here and grew up in a flat. We rented for years, mostly flats, semis and terraces houses. We both hated hearing the neighbours. We've recently bought a detached new build. Whilst the plot is not huge, we have a double garage (ours) and a single garage (neighbours) between us and the closest house. So it feels very much properly detached.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 16-May-18 22:47:13

Remember there's not as much space here as there is in NZ.

I could move from a detached to a terraced provided the soundproofing was good and we had ample space. I grew up in a terrace and asides from the fact that we had lovely neighbours- we never really had to worry/think about noise etc.

Come over for a holiday- maybe view a couple of houses and see if you can get past it.

SimonBridges Wed 16-May-18 22:47:15

Because there are so many people per square mile here most people live in semi detached or terrace houses. It really does depend on the age of house and standard of the build as to how much you hear.

It’s got me thinking though, I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a detached. I don’t think anyone I know lives in a detached either.

ISeeTheLight Wed 16-May-18 22:49:29

Sorry but that's rubbish. I lived in a country with a much higher population per square mile, and they managed to have house that are big enough to swing a cat in.
IMO problem is caused by developers building all the houses, rather than the people who will live in them.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Wed 16-May-18 22:50:48

I'm in a terrace with v thick stone walls. It's impossible to hear neighbours through the walls.
I can hear folk outside to the front of the house but don't mind too much.
Out back the garden is raised so it isn't overlooked.

It is very different but I still have long spells of solitude in my garden and I get views over mountains.

It was a v low budget option that ticked nearly all the boxes for us.

comfortandjoy Wed 16-May-18 22:57:13

I suppose you wouldn’t know about the soundproofing until you moved in though unless some joined up houses are famously better.

Kismett Wed 16-May-18 22:58:33

I think he will have to accept that life is just different here. Some people are more adaptable than others, and if he's very sensitive to noise, hates being near other people, then he might always find it difficult.

Life here is different from where I grew up, and there are times that I've been miserable. Most of the time I'm not. But if I expected the same life that I had before, I'd always be miserable.

For what it's worth, we are in a semi and never hear anything through the walls. I was astonished to learn that our neighbours have a baby and a large dog!

90sBrows Wed 16-May-18 22:59:09

I grew up in an Australian suburb with lots of space around the houses. I moved to a bigger city, close to the CBD, and now live in a terrace. I miss my vege patch (not enough light in the garden and lead levels are really high anyway) but I really don't miss mowing all those lawns!!

With tall back fences and trees, our garden feels very private. Inside the house, we can hear the neighbour's dog bark when their doorbell rings, but nothing else. I'm sure they can hear DD's epic 3yo tantrums, but they are very polite and pretend they don't.

Best bit about terrace living is having all the bedrooms are upstairs, which means our (now open plan) living spaces are able to be enjoyed after the kids go to bed. We also have bifold doors across the back will, which give that indoor/outdoor flow (when the mosquitoes aren't swarming).

TL;DR - moved to a terrace and found it to be great.

comfortandjoy Wed 16-May-18 23:05:39

I think you are right about the developers building all the houses. Our current house was built by owners and so has good details like built in storage. One thing I notice when in England is that there are so many streets where every house is in the same style because some developer did them all. I like walking here and seeing the range of architectural styles- mid century modern, ranch style, villas, Art Deco bungalow. Looking on rightmove I see streets of identical semis and find it hard to imagine feeling positive living there.

comfortandjoy Wed 16-May-18 23:11:05

That’s good to hear about your semi. When was it built ( trying to get an idea of the type)
Yes, my DP is sensitive to noise. When we lived in a flat he would visit our neighbour to tell him to turn his tv down. Even on holiday we tend to go for isolated accomodation.
I don’t want to live with someone who is complaining all the time but though he’d be happy to live v rurally I like being in a community.

comfortandjoy Wed 16-May-18 23:13:08


Your terrace sounds ideal with stone walls. What period is it from?

Kismett Wed 16-May-18 23:14:48

@comfortandjoy I felt like that too, seeing all the brick new build cookie cutter houses, or rows of terraces, or identical semis. I thought it was so depressing. But I can honestly say I love our house now. The weather is a different story!

comfortandjoy Wed 16-May-18 23:36:23

That sounds quite appealing as you describe . I think things like tall trees and fences would make a difference. I love those terraces I’ve seen in Australian cities.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Wed 16-May-18 23:39:09

I was told 1890s when I bought it but did some research and it's definitely been around since late 1860s.

Obviously there are issues buying old houses but there's lots of plus points

comfortandjoy Wed 16-May-18 23:59:34

Thanks. That sounds very old from here. I suppose it would be a good idea to go for a house under budget so that there’s money for repairing things.

LemonysSnicket Thu 17-May-18 00:14:00

I moved from a very large detached country house, to a petite 3 bed small gap detached house to a 2 bed London flat with 4 wall neighbours.

I have liked and not minded any. Just make sure it is a sufficiently soundproofed house. It’s not like your husband will want to walk in the garden shirtless often due to the weather And get some plantation blinds for in the house for half light.
It’s fine and they pop my parcels outside my front door grin

Kismett Thu 17-May-18 00:14:25

Sorry, missed your earlier post! Our house is a recent build, around fifteen years old. Honestly, it's the second modern house we've lived in and I don't think the quality is great. So I'm surprised that we can't hear the neighbours! We knew the build quality though, and had other priorities to take into account.

My husband is really sensitive to noise and struggled when we lived in a flat. Since moving here he's been fine. If it's important to you, I would definitely go for an older build. You'll still hear each other in the garden though, can't do much about that.

Honestly, if he struggles a lot with close-quarter living, you might be really restricted here.

BettyBooJustDoinTheDoo Thu 17-May-18 00:19:39

The choice of style and architecture of property in the uk is amazing, old thatched cottages, Victorian, Georgian, Edwardian, Art Deco, mid century, new builds and many variants of these.

comfortandjoy Thu 17-May-18 00:20:09

When you say make sure it’s a sufficiently soundproofed house , is there any way to find out that kind of information , apart from knocking on the neighbour’s door and asking?

BubblesBuddy Thu 17-May-18 00:23:51

Obviously 65 million people aren’t going to build their own spacious homes! Whether we like it or not, housing developers build houses to a price. If you want bespoke detached with land, dig deep into your pockets. Most people just cannot afford that. Most people cannot build their own homes either. Developers build what people want or they wouldn’t sell them. It would be a useless business model.

Workers cottages in London built 100 years ago can be tiny. The idea it’s just modern houses that are tiny is ridiculous. At least we don’t cram whole families into two rooms any more. Part of my house was formerly a one up, one down, workers’ cottage. Less than 300 sq ft total and the tiny stairs went up in the corner of the single room. At least small houses are bigger than that these days. If you want to see people living very closely together in tiny properties, have a look at Japan. 125 million people there.

I think NZ has lots of space and a bungalow culture because it’s affordable. It’s no longer affordable here. In many places bungalows were only “affordable” in ribbon development by the seaside. They are quite difficult to find now in many towns as house and land prices have gone up and many people want greater living space on their land. Big plots with bungalows get built on and houses for several families can be built where one bungalow stood that could be walked around.

I think you will have to embrace the housing culture here if your money won’t stretch to something spacious on one level in a big plot. You can do the lottery though!

comfortandjoy Thu 17-May-18 00:25:37

@kismet thanks . That sounds good. I imagined that newer homes would have better insulation and soundproofing .

comfortandjoy Thu 17-May-18 00:28:05

Yes there is a good range overall but not in the mid level price range I’m in.

villageshop Thu 17-May-18 00:34:18

It depends where in the UK you are thinking of relocating to.

A detached house or bungalow with land to walk round your house might be possible in the north or parts of Wales or Lincolnshire but in the south the same money might only buy a studio apartment which could feel really claustrophobic, especially considering what you're used to.

LemonysSnicket Thu 17-May-18 00:38:47

@comfortandjoy the only way we knew was to send DP to the neighbours and play music as loudly as we could on 3 speakers. The estate agent was unamused but they could only hear it faintly in their hall.

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