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FTB - Mad to choose house needing lots of work?

(45 Posts)
HouseHunter123 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:29:31


New poster but long time lurker.  We are FTB with limited DIY experience (no chain, can move in pretty quickly, good deposit), and are comparing two houses on the same road.  I would appreciate some practical advice over whether house 1 would be biting off more than we can chew....

House 1:
House 2:

House 1 has had its price dropped by 30K since going on the market in March.  It needs new everything - we are renting currently and would be staying in the rental while we would renovate (if we bought it) - this would mean knocking down the wall between dining and kitchen, new kitchen and 2 x bathrooms, carpets and repaint (+ anything else that would become more apparent on survey).  We are also considering a single storey extension to make the kitchen diner a bit bigger open plan.   We both work full time including weekends and nights so would be paying for everything to be done...!

House 2: basically ready to move in but 80K more and its semi detached vs detached with 1 instead of 2 bathrooms.   It is also towards the top end of our budget.  It is 200 sqft larger than House 1/.  

My question is: how much would it cost to make house 1 to an acceptable standard - especially as we can probably not do much ourselves at all due to lack of skill and time?  Or should we just save ourselves all the hassle and go for something less ambitious?   And how much would you offer for house 1 considering the work that needs doing?

Thank you for your expertise!  

OP’s posts: |
HouseHunter123 Tue 13-Aug-19 19:33:49

Hyperlinks (hopefully)
House 1
House 2

OP’s posts: |
MoobaaMoobaa Tue 13-Aug-19 19:49:09

detached is better then a semi.

You could knock through to the dinning easily and would have a great space without adding an extension. if you are staying rented while you update it, I don't think you should find it too bad.

having said that house 2 has more curb appeal and the gardens a good size.

089ville Tue 13-Aug-19 19:55:09

I was expecting something different in number 1, that doesn't need that much work. It's structure is probably fine and just needs updating that can be done while living there.

Although if your starter home is 600k you might have busy jobs so won't want to spend the effort on the house.

I don't think Ashley cross is worth living near by personally.

WishIwas19again Tue 13-Aug-19 20:36:55

They're both lovely houses, is it likely you'll stay long term? The semi is gorgeous, really massive rooms and an amazing garden, it's a wow house.

But the detached is nice too, lots of potential, although smaller garden. If you go for the renovation expect it will take a few months to do (3-4 months is realistic if you're doing everything in one go!), and even if you're not doing the work yourself, remember the hassle, time and energy needed to constantly pick out fixtures and fittings, design etc We are three years into a step by step renovation on our house and even when we do one room at a time I get sick of traipsing around shops and online, looking at floor plans, planning where to position new sockets, colours for decorating, floor coverings, it takes over your life. If it's not a long term house and the locations are comparable, I'd personally go for the beautiful ready made one.

BlueSkiesLies Tue 13-Aug-19 20:40:58

Ack that’s not going to be too much work. Structurally sound at least! For sure new windows/doors, kitchen and bathroom and a very easy layout change (open kitchen to diner, block off lounge). New boiler and rads, maybe electrics.

You could get that looking way nicer than house 2 for less than the price differential.

But then I’m a bit of a fan of 80s properties plus you get a nice big garage there too.

Garden of house 2 is probably nicer tho.

ElstreeViaduct Tue 13-Aug-19 20:42:21

I think they are priced to reflect the differences between them so either one is as "worth it" as the other, if you see what I mean.

Detached is great but the second has great curb appeal and flows a lot better. The 2nd one has a much larger landing than the 1st one, so if square footages include landings (and check the maths, don't rely on agents calculating it right) then the usable room space might be a bit better, but not much.

I wouldn't be scared of the fixing up, but I'm not convinced you'd add much/any value over and above what it'll cost you. I'd guess £10k for a new kitchen, vaguely 10-15k for the rest very VERY roughly. I think the price of the second house is high because of the curb appeal, open hallway and landing, flow, nice square rooms, kitchen knock through, bigger garden. Lots going for it. Maybe I'm missing potential in house1, but the fixing up is not the main difference between them IMO.

whotheeff Tue 13-Aug-19 20:42:28

We taught ourselves to do so much like fitting ceiling roses, lights and sanding floors. There are lots of blogs and diy Instagram accounts that are super helpful. Check out based in Leeds

BlueSkiesLies Tue 13-Aug-19 20:43:17

Although actually I just dead your post properly.

You work weekends and nights.

Do not buy the renovation projects. Buy the nice ready to move into house and enjoy your lives and time off together.

PickAChew Tue 13-Aug-19 21:02:34

There doesn't look to be a huge amount of garden to extend the first house into. You could spend 30K changing windows and doors, skimming artex, maybe knocking through the kitchen and dining room (probably a stud wall) putting in new carpets and flooring nd a reasonably priced kitchen and bathroom and have a perfectly lovely house at the end.

The semi is lovely, though. All the rooms and the plot itself are just just that bit more generous. That front bedroom and living room are both huge!

myrtleberry Tue 13-Aug-19 21:36:35

House 1 has a block of flats on its right hand side with the driveway to the flats' parking area running alongside the lounge of house 1.

How does house 2 attach to next door? The upstairs floor plan shows the 2 left hand bedrooms are staggered rather than in a straight line. When you look at the front of the house in picture 1 it looks odd where it attaches.

MoobaaMoobaa Tue 13-Aug-19 21:38:55

have you been to see these houses?

What is going on with house 2 neighbours linking their roof to it? house 2 is advertised as detached which it was originally but the neighbours have extended the roof over and looks like they will be building up to the outside wall of house 2.

MoobaaMoobaa Tue 13-Aug-19 21:46:01

myrtleberry you are right! they seem to have done a deal with next door, you can see on the pic of the back garden they have extended one bedroom into next doors space. you can see the fence is still the boundary line but the house goes over it.

MoobaaMoobaa Tue 13-Aug-19 21:52:00

Bluntness100 Tue 13-Aug-19 21:54:32

Usually I'd say the doer up, but house one will never look as lovely as house two.

However the pps are right, it doesn't look detached and something weird going on there that I'd want to know more about.

Robs20 Tue 13-Aug-19 21:55:45

I don’t think there is a scary amount of work to do to the first one - cosmetic work and extension but not re-wiring/ boiler/ central heating (from what I can tell).
I’ve always been told detached is better than terraced/ semi BUT I think style of house is important. Of the two links I love the older style and character of the second one...

myrtleberry Tue 13-Aug-19 21:56:42

Yes I saw the back garden too. Also from zoopla, next door appears to be 3 flats numbers 6, 6A and 6B so house 2 is likely to be attached to at least 2 of these flats.

PenguinsRabbits Tue 13-Aug-19 21:59:59

Personally I think house 2 is far nicer. I'm not opposed to doing work but don't like house 1 at all. Its not really practical to do work yourselves if you are working all hours, you will have to pay people and that will cost a lot.

HouseHunter123 Tue 13-Aug-19 22:06:27

Wow thanks for all the responses.  

Gardens are the same size but the end of garden 1 is extremely overgrown - no one is living there at the moment.  

House 2 is indeed a "link detached" which we thought was odd.  What the vendor and EA reckon is that the 2 houses were once a single property - if you look at the pictures, you can see that the roofs are actually one continuous construction.  So the 3rd bedroom in House 2 sticks over the boundary line into the space over the neighbours land.  Apparently it's all in the deeds (the current vendor bought it as is) but the downstairs boundary is as per the fence (so its the house 2 kitchen that abuts the neighbours garage - and the 3rd bedroom sits above the garage)

Sorry if that was as clear as mud

OP’s posts: |
daffodilbrain Tue 13-Aug-19 22:07:28

House 2 is a superior house by far. You'll never add value to house one it's a souless modern brick built. House 3 has More class

VivaLeBeaver Tue 13-Aug-19 22:10:00

I'm on the fence here.

House 1 doesn't need that much work doing. New kitchen, bathroom, carpets, decorating. Knocking down an internal wall is nothing. Obviously if you decide you want an extension to make house 1 bigger then that will cost a lot more. You could end up spending 80k in total easily if you have an extension done.

So house 2 is gorgeous. I agree I don't think you'd ever make house 1 as nice as house 2 as the rooms seem better proportioned and it seems to flow more. Generally detached always better so a good argument for house 1, spend 80 k on it and have a nice, detached house with an extension. But the semi is the sort of semi I can live with because the main living space and master bedroom aren't attached.

But then I read the post about the odd over the fence boundary thing and that the other house is flats. So not a nice family house but three different households with more likelihood of being a pita from noise, etc. I wouldn't buy a house attached to flats for anything.

PlanBea Tue 13-Aug-19 22:11:09

The weird thing going on with house 2 would put me off.

House 1 isn't bad, but when you're time poor I don't think it will be worth doing it yourself and paying for new everything to be done to it will eat away at your cash (guessing this will have to be funded by reducing your deposit?)

Personally, I'd keep looking for something closer to ready to move into

CoffeeRunner Tue 13-Aug-19 22:16:24

I prefer house 1. The work seems mainly cosmetic. I wouldn’t want to pay a premium for somebody else’s style tastes.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 13-Aug-19 22:19:53

Oh sorry, it's house 1 with flats next door is it not house 2?

Well if the EA is ok about the flying freehold and it's above board then go for that one. I had a house once with a flying freehold, they're very common in terraced houses in my city.

I do think house 2 is nicer and if the attached house is a normal family home and not flats get that one.

HouseHunter123 Tue 13-Aug-19 22:26:08

House 1 is next to a block of flats but not connected at all (boundary wall then driveway to flats parking behind lies between the two buildings)

House 2 is indeed connected to flat conversion - thank you for pointing that out! I had never considered noise as an excessive issue from flats before but I can see how it can happen....

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