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Ideal house or ideal location

(23 Posts)
Tomatoandbasil Mon 14-Sep-20 20:38:20

I have viewed many houses and have come to realise that my perfect house does not exist in my perfect location. We have to move for secondary catchment. Certain parts of the catchment are more desirable than others. I can afford a small 3 bed in the desirable part or a large 4 bed detached in the perfectly fine but less central (not walking distance to the school) and less desirable part. The 3 bed could be extended but that would cost money and take time to save. The 4 bed is the right layout right now.

What would you do?

OP’s posts: |
BewareTheBeardedDragon Mon 14-Sep-20 20:40:44

On paper I would say the larger less desirable, but in practice I chose location over size. Being able to walk places, and not being tied into giving teens lifts everywhere was a huge part in my decision and I have not regretted it.

Ellmau Mon 14-Sep-20 20:45:08

Would you still be guaranteed the school place if you bought the 4 bed?

Chewbecca Mon 14-Sep-20 20:47:54

I agree with the old classic: location, location, location.

I’d go for the better location & save up for the improvements.

swimster01 Mon 14-Sep-20 20:52:24

Location wins every time

Titsywoo Mon 14-Sep-20 21:04:05

We went for location and a house that could be heavily extended. It took us 7 years but we are finally finished (large kitchen and lounge extensions and a loft conversion).

Fennelandlovage Mon 14-Sep-20 21:08:23

I am about to go for the bigger house in your scenario because with one teen and another coming soon we need the space and separation for all of our sanity. When they were little I went for location.

JoJoSM2 Mon 14-Sep-20 21:12:18

What’s wrong with the less desirable part? If it’s further away from amenities, would you be ok for a proverbial pint of milk? How about your commute? Is there a bus to the secondary school if it’s too far to walk?

canthisbeoveralready Mon 14-Sep-20 21:16:46

we've got a similar issue. Plan is to temporarily move to a smaller house close to secondary school to get in then buy larger house on the outskirts of catchment after a year or so. It's a lot of hassle but worth it to get DC into good school and get a nice big house to live in too

OhioOhioOhio Mon 14-Sep-20 21:19:50

Location, location, location.

Standrewsschool Mon 14-Sep-20 21:30:59

With the larger house, how do people get to school? Is there a convenient bus route? If so, I would choose the larger house, especially as you describe the three bed as ‘small’, rather than just three bed. Is it too small for your needs? Smaller than what you have now?

BritneyS Mon 14-Sep-20 21:33:08


checkedcloth Mon 14-Sep-20 21:38:56

Do check OP what you can actually extend by. We went for location 10 years ago, but with a more central location we were only able to extend a little due to the plot size. 10 years on we’ve spent £80k on a loft conversion and a side return but yet are still planning on moving now we are entering teen years.

Tomatoandbasil Mon 14-Sep-20 22:32:24

Wow thanks for all replying. I really appreciate it.

@Ellmau yes catchment is such that the one a bit further out would still get DC into the school.

@JoJoSM2 It’s just that it’s further out from the town centre. It’s generally more desirable to live in certain specific postcodes here. The further out house is closer to local shops and amenities than the 3 bed is to the main town centre ones though. Our commutes are similar regardless of which one we pick. The two locations are less than 2 miles driving distance apart. If anything traffic is better around the 4 bed. There is a school bus to the secondary from the 4 bed as well as local buses to the main town centre.

@canthisbeoveralready we are never moving again so this has to be THE move

@Standrewsschool there’s a school bus from the 4 bed to the secondary. The 3 bed is smaller than the house we have now. Kitchen is bigger but everything else is smaller whereas the 4 bed is bigger than what we have now in terms of living space. Bedrooms might be a bit smaller than current house but bathrooms are larger and so is downstairs.

@checkedcloth I’ve been through the planning applications for nearby and we could add a little to the living space and extend to the side to make the tiny 3rd bedroom larger and add an en-suite to the main bedroom. A more complicated extension out the back might be possible but would cost a lot more.

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Mon 14-Sep-20 22:47:56

I’d go with the larger house. It sounds convenient for local shops, commuting + there’s the school bus. As I understand it, the area itself is fine and nothing wrong so sounds fine to me.

BewareTheBeardedDragon Mon 14-Sep-20 22:54:43

With update - 4 bed without a doubt.

Ellmau Mon 14-Sep-20 23:41:05

Think I'd go for the bigger house then.

sunshinesupermum Tue 15-Sep-20 12:26:46

The 4 bed house - why move to one that is smaller than the one you have now even if you can extend a bit for a lot of hassle and expense.

Standrewsschool Tue 15-Sep-20 15:47:13

Definitely 4 bed.

Sitdowncupoftea Tue 15-Sep-20 18:09:42

Location every time. You can change your house but not location.

BuildingThings Wed 16-Sep-20 09:03:00

Location smile You can always extend to get more space in the future!

BrowncoatWaffles Wed 16-Sep-20 12:11:03

Having read your update, I'd go four bed.

Comefromaway Wed 16-Sep-20 12:15:03

What is desirable for one person is not for another.

We recently moved to a gorgeous area and it is quite desirable. But nowhere near the kudos of the area over the county border. But for me that wouldn't suit.

What do YOU want from an area?

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