When you have to settle...

(17 Posts)
OfUselessBooks Fri 14-Aug-20 01:37:48

For various reasons, the best option for us as a family now is to settle for a house that maybe isn't quite perfect for us. We probably can't afford what we would really like at the moment but even something a bit better may not come onto the market in time for us not to lose our offer. We can't rent and don't want to stay with family. So we have agreed to accept a counter offer for a house we are interested in. It is a little more than we wanted to pay, but our upper price and their lower price were close enough to give in!

How do you accept settling, especially when it involves down sizing a little? We will have the same number of rooms, but all smaller and we will have to get rid of some furniture, and try to weed our possessions. The garden is also smaller than we hoped for, although big enough to play in. It's quite a pretty house I suppose, but newer than we wanted, which means that both the road it's on and the house itself feels more compact than we are used to. It seems a friendly road, which is nice.

We saw a lot of houses and this is the best at our budget at this time. It's a great location, with a good school, nice parks, and most importantly, in the same town as all of our extended families (we are moving from several counties away). It feels a bit sad thay we're going into it thinking it's not our forever home. It would be nice to make some changes, but we maybe don't want to spend too much if it's only for a few years. But maybe by the time we fan afford our lovely garden our kids will be too old anyway, so we want to make the most of it and enjoy living there! We won't have a mortgage, but also wont have jobs to begin with so want to make small changes to start off with.

Has anyone found ways to feel happy about a house that you settled for? How did you make it feel like home? It is nice, if I try to forget what I was hoping for. (I will be deleting the right move app as soon as our offer is accepted!).

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Yellow1793 Fri 14-Aug-20 02:03:40

I’m in a similar situation OP. We moved a year ago out of our forever home (Had to relocate for various reasons) to a house that was definitely a compromise. We’ve just grown to hate it. We have had plans drawn up to change it internally, but I’m never going to love it and dream of the day we can afford to move to something nicer. Sorry I’m no help.

Porridgeoat Fri 14-Aug-20 02:16:49

Can you get a house in the same area. One that can be improved and extended so that your investing in your forever house?

OfUselessBooks Fri 14-Aug-20 02:40:36

Thank you for replying... as you can tell I'm having sleepless nights about this, even though I'm sure we have made the right decision. That must be awful @Yellow1793 to have had to leave your forever home. Our current home is nice, spacious and very practical, and I do really like it, but I don't think we've ever intended to stay here forever. I hope you manage to find a way to feel happier there. I am just on pinterest, looking at small gardens and feeling marginally happier!

There are literally no houses @Porridgeoat! Well, technically there are around 7 in the estate we need for the nice school with a place.this was the best of those...I'd love a doer upper! This was the biggest of the gardens, and none had the space to add and make perfect. We are of quite a limited budget at the moment, so once we can get jobs and save for a few years, add to our equity and get a small mortgage, we could get something nice. It's so frustrating that so few houses are for sale and it hasnt even picked up for stamp duty changes. There are houses in the area thay are nice but rarely come up, so I think we are best seeing this as a stepping stone to better things. I am missing I old house already even though we havent left yet!

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JoJoSM2 Fri 14-Aug-20 06:19:51

We saw a lot of houses and this is the best at our budget at this time.

This really. I would try to not compare it to your current place. The location is different and circumstances are different now so you’re just going to make yourself bad by comparing.

Zebrahooves Fri 14-Aug-20 08:16:15

@OfUselessBooks I would really try and approach the new house with lots of positives. Smaller garden, less gardening to do and more manageable, but still with space for the kids to play. You have a park nearby so they can let off steam there.

For the house I would de clutter as much as possible and look at getting furniture that maximises storage in the space you have. So taller drawers that have a couple more drawers in the same footprint kind of thing, fitted wardrobes wit storage systems from IKEA or similar.

I would also look at colour schemes that keep the home nice and airy.

I'm hopefully moving to a similar choice of house. I have teenagers so whilst I need to be able to fit them in, we wouldn't want to be rattling around when they finally fly the nest.

OfUselessBooks Fri 14-Aug-20 09:53:40

Thank you. You are both right... I suppose I'm grieving for the life we've lost as well as the house. It is definitely the right decision and the only house. I keep checking right move just in case but time is running out and if we don't decide someone else will buy it and we'll be in an even worse position! We will make it beautiful, and work for us (and buy one of the big garden houses round the corner in a few years once we're back on our feet!).

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totalnamechanger Fri 14-Aug-20 09:57:27

I wonder if we have the same pictures in our Small Gardens Pinterest boards!

The garden situation in our potential new house is making me think that it might just be a mid-term house and then worrying that these might be the best garden years in terms of our DC's childhood.

When we were looking at houses pre-Covid we saw a couple (not many) affordable ones with gorgeous gardens but since we've proceedable and as the market has opened up prices have gone up significantly and it has turned into a seller's market particularly for growing family homes. Like you we had to make a decision to offer as less and less was coming up and we felt like we might get stuck.

The house we have offered on is a lovely character house but the garden is small and has nothing in it really. I thought that garden would be one thing we wouldn't compromise on as we only have a communal garden at the moment but actually it became more complicated than that. We can't compromise on location due to work and schooling. The house we live in at the moment is so perfect in so many ways that we realised that we couldn't compromise significantly on light or space either. In order to stay in our house we'd have to create an extra bedroom and that would be logistically too difficult.

We did see another house we really liked with a bigger plot but the location (and style of house) is not seen as a great for the area so I was swayed a lot by others' views on it and again worrying it might be difficult to sell on. I'm a bit annoyed in a way that I've been affected by local snob-factor but we were both worried about what would happen if we had to sell quickly.

So here we are with a house which hasn't involved any compromise really, but with a garden which isn't much of a garden!

There is very, very little coming onto the market now even at significantly over our budget so we probably did the right thing as the house was definitely the best we have seen for its type- although I'm still thinking of the non-character property! You are doing well to delete Right Move! I probably should too. I think the hardest thing for me is to reconcile myself to the small garden from a DC point of view as these are key years. What do you think you'll do?

Pinterest small gardens is very helpful though- at least we can make them pretty?

OfUselessBooks Fri 14-Aug-20 11:12:25

@totalnamechanger that is exactly how it is for us. I'm worried by the time we can get a house with a decent garden they wont be interested any more. Mine are 4 and 6 and love our garden. Our new one is 8.5×10.5metres, very square. Currently lots of decking and borders so looked very tiny and we were surprised when we measured it.

We have put in a best and final offer and left it to fate. We need to focus on the good - close to school, nice area, close to family and parks. There was a bigger house with a slightly bigger garden (2m wider) but this one has a very nice layout so we can sit and watch the kids in the garden through the patio doors. I am insisting on a new kitchen!

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totalnamechanger Fri 14-Aug-20 13:49:29

I’m not sure on exact size of our potential garden (how do you know? grin ) but it could be smaller. Very similar ages and I’d have liked a more interesting garden when I was growing up so feel a bit annoyed with myself that I can’t/ haven’t made that happen myself.

But of course it’s just one of many many decisions when moving and I can also see things that I’d really appreciate. The road is lovely but still really close to amenities and the vendor has made some great practical changes to layout -even the small details have been really thought through -that I will really benefit from not being very practical myself and coming from a few annoying quirks in my current house.

Good luck with your offer!!

JoJoSM2 Fri 14-Aug-20 13:51:02

8.5x10.5 gives you some good options. They won’t be playing football in there but it isn’t small small.

domesticslattern Fri 14-Aug-20 14:02:34

Weeding your possessions can actually feel very very good indeed. Freeing. Less crap. Find the things which are actually important to you.
Having less stuff isn't necessarily a bad thing. Try it! smile

Ragwort Fri 14-Aug-20 14:11:47

Years ago I lived in a lovely period property which was 'perfect' apart from no parking. At the time I worked for a design company and could get loads of lovely fabric, furniture etc at very cheap prices, I used to spend ages obsessing over interior design magazines, changing curtains, painting rooms etc etc. Then as a family we had a very challenging series of lifestyle changes to deal with ... we moved abroad to a soulless flat for a while and I used to say to myself 'it's only four walls' what matters is the people in your home.

That all sounds a bit pious but you probably get my meaning, we now live in a perfectly nice house, but it is bland and modern but as a family we are healthy and happy. smile .

And I totally agree that decluttering is extremely liberating ... I used to have four or five dinner services - now I know that I only need one.

user1471538283 Fri 14-Aug-20 15:07:46

In the economic climate due to get worse as long as the location is good you will be okay. I've just sold in an excellent location and I dread how little it would be worth in a not so good one.

OfUselessBooks Fri 14-Aug-20 15:16:53

@totalnamechanger we took a tape measure to second viewings! It was important to us that it was big enough even if it wasn't a big garden. It's maybe 60cm narrower than our current garden and between 1-2m shorter, plus we have a side bit in our current garden. It has always been big enough for us so I hope the new one will be too. We have had our offer accepted so it's onwards and upwards!

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Guineapiggiesmalls Fri 14-Aug-20 22:03:16

You’ve had lots of great advice so far. We were in a not entirely different position a few years ago and moved to a house that I’d completely discounted a few months previously. We moved in knowing that it wasn’t forever, and that helped. I knew it worked for us at the time, and that was enough to make me appreciate it. Unfollowing envy-inducing accounts on Instagram helps too!

OfUselessBooks Sat 15-Aug-20 09:13:43

Thank you. I have entirely deleted right move from my phone and unsubscribe from emails so I now won't know if anything else comes up! I am excited about some of the changes and we have decided which furniture needs to go. Our kids are so excited about being nearer to grandparents and cousins. We chose one with parks and schools nearby, which is something I think that makes life so much nicer. And we have a plan to move forward, stay a few years and move when we can. We have two sets of grandparents that both practically have fields for gardens within 2 miles, so maybe our smallish garden doesn't matter so much! Actually it surprises me, when I think about it, how many people I know have small gardens. I wouldnt have thought we'd compromise but actually it was the biggest that we found in the right area.

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