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Important things in a house(13 Posts)
I am looking to move and I wondered what is the most important thing you personally think when viewing a house.
Any ideas of do or donts, have or dont have.
Big garden - what way facing?
Open plan kitchen diner or separate
Any ideas of what people would change etc.
Our budget is about 350k and we are a family of 5.
Style of house (I don’t like new builds, although I know lots of people do!)
Proximity to others - I’m in a semi-detached with other gardens backing onto ours so we’re overlooked from all angles. If I was choosing again I might have gone for something a bit less surrounded.
Ability to add value.
If a house had ANY sign of damp I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.
Garage and drive. Useful and would be easier to sell.
Smoke free. Nicotine grows.
Personally I hate houses where the front door opens onto the stairs. But I can't explain why. Also, most houses are like that now.
I think this is so personal.
When we were looking, I would only look at places with a decent garden. But for some that is a negative (too much wrok, and we have a big garden and it is a lot of work)
I would only buy a kitchen with a table in it (not a breakfast bar) if it is was a decent space for a table, I would not also need a dining room.
I don't like living room open plan with kitchen. Food smells, cooking noises, (and I like to listen to radio while cooking). But I would wnat my kids to be able to play nearby when they were small. So I guess large open plan kitchen diner, separate living room.
But other will feel differently, dependnig on lifestyle.
This was our ideal list when looking which we’ve actually found in a house:
Location (only 3 areas we would consider)
Semi or detached
Off road parking
Kerb appeal - treelined road etc
Good sized south or west facing garden
Not massively overlooked
Open plan kitchen diner with separate living room
Decent sized master bedroom
Separate shower and bath
Potential opportunity to extend
For me its location first. I don't personally like new builds so would want a period property. I prefer open kitchen/dining but like a separate living room that can be cosy/closed off. Definitely an upstairs bathroom and ideally a downstairs loo. Outdoor space is really important to me, but I am in central London so have to compromise on that (teeny garden).
For a family of five, I'd consider bedrooms/bathroom layout and what would suit your family and also recommend trying to have two living/ sofa areas separate from each other. Storage is important too some places have none and no real space to install any!
I'm selling my first house and looking for a new home. Thinks I don't like about my current house are:
• galley kitchen - can't fit us all in at the same time. So husband can't wash up whilst I cook and toddler tends to like to sit in the kitchen underfoot whilst I cook
• 3rd bedroom - a bigger 3rd bedroom is required. I'm not talking about a double bedroom but a decent sized single room. Not a tiny box/long and really thin.
• only 1 bathroom - need at least a downstairs bathroom, especially when my husband is on an early shift so he doesn't disturb us.
• storage - ample storage is required, whether it's in the kitchen, or cupboards upstairs etc. We are having to store a lot of stuff in our box room as we don't have storage in the kitchen and the airing cupboard was knocked through to make a bigger bathroom.
• garden - our current garden is all patio. Handy when we didn't have a child as low maintenance , but now we have a toddler it's not suitable as it can get slippy when wet and we worry about him falling over.
Things I'm looking for in a new house apart from the above:
• bath and shower/shower above bath - we love both, and baths are better for our toddler.
• if it's semi, preferably attached by the stairs instead of bedrooms.
• kitchen diner with separate lounge/ bigger separate kitchen with lounge diner - so I can keep an eye on my toddler whilst cooking but he doesn't need to be underfoot but have a space away from cooking, or bigger kitchen so he can still be underfoot but separate lounge and diner so he has his own space and we have ours and it keeps the kitchen shut away.
• ability to shut washing machine noise away - either with a separate kitchen from the other rooms, or a utility/downstairs toilet and utility. I work from home downstairs and I need to be able to shut the washing machine noise away.
• space for a dishwasher
• garden facing somewhere between south east and west - our current garden is south facing and we get lots of sun. It's glorious. I find north facing very cold.
I'm completely storage obsessed, I've only bought one house and came from rentals where you weren't allowed to put up shelves or proper storage so my life was clutter all the time and I hated it. When we were looking it was an obsession, I needed to know where the shoe rack would be hidden away, where the hoover would go, etc. etc.
Also, all of the rentals were open plan so we always had the washing machine or cooking / extractor fan noise while we were trying to relax in front of the TV so insisted on no open plan or a utility room for the washing machine at least.
Big gardens are nice if you have the time for the upkeep (or you pay someone to do it for you) so I'd try and stick to one that's not so big I can't maintain it. I have a nice size garden with a decent amount of patio so it feels big but doesn't need too much work
This is always going to be unique to everyone’s individual preferences but I would say the following are important:
Location - we are planning to move to a more rural location in a few years so this is the big one for me. Think about whether there is road noise, railway noise, close to amenities/public transport, good for your commute etc.
Size and layout - not just does it have the right number of bedrooms but also does it work for the way you live? Eg if you work from home is there space for a desk, is there a dining room that you won’t use because you prefer to eat in the kitchen, if you have footie mad kids is the garden big enough for them to kick around etc.
Not just which way the garden faces but also which way the house faces - which rooms get light at what time of day. It’s good to have the light in the master bedroom in the morning imo and living spaces in the afternoon.
Maintenance - are there any features which will need maintenance and are you prepared to deal with that? Eg chimneys which will need sweeping, flat roof, if it’s listed there may be certain restrictions, multiple bathrooms means more cleaning etc.
Phone signal - can you get a signal in all of the rooms or would you need to change network?
Type of home - if you are light sleepers on night shifts then a terraced house might not suit you for example. If you work long hours you might want a smaller open plan house to make it easier to clean.
Most things about a house can be changed but not the fundamentals like location, direction, size of the plot and type of house (terrace etc). You can always extend, knock walls down, redecorate, landscape the garden etc to change other things you don’t like.
A decade of buying and selling has taught me I’m not especially fussy about where I live. My only real non-negotiable is whether somewhere might be easy to sell without losing money, because life has also taught me that whilst your best laid plans might be to buy somewhere and live there forever, that’s not always how things play out. So, I’d never buy somewhere pristine and pay top whack for the luxury of being able to move in without changing anything, because that’s often where money is lost.
It’s going to be so variable: for example, in my location, if my budget was £350k, then I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be particularly picky at all - which way the garden faced would be less of a concern then actually having garden at all. I have a friend who when she was looking discounted anywhere on the same street as a pub - whereas when another friend was looking, having a nice pub within a few hundred metres was a positive.
I would only buy detached and I want two bathrooms. I want a quiet neighbourhood
Decent sized kitchen
Dining room patio door to garden
Good sized garden enclosed so dogs can't escape
Ensuite to master bedroom
Family bathroom that is spacious
Toilets upstairs and downstairs cloakroom
4 or 5 bedrooms
Plenty of cupboard space for vacuum etc.
I'm in the process of buying a new house and my wants included: a hallway, downstairs toilet, dh wanted a drive and a garage or shed. 3rd bedroom big enough for a pull out double bed and an office space. Potential to extend if needed. Minimum had to be a semi detached as I've had enough of living in a terraced house now. Kitchen dinner as we like to entertain and I've had enough of being in the kitchen on my own and finally a utility room.
We have put an offer on a house which pretty much ticks all the boxes apart from it doesn't have a kitchen dinner but it can be knocked through and it has no downstairs toilet but the utility room has enough space to put one in so we compromised and got most of what we wanted but with a bit of work to do and it's under budget which we love.