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Studio flat(48 Posts)
I have a 2 bed shared ownership flat. For various reasons I am considering buying on the open market and looking at studio flats as I want to know I can pay the mortgage off by the time I am 55. I have recently been diagnosed with a progressive condition and I think I will be looking to work part time later. I am single no kids.
Anyone live successfully/happily long term on a studio flat? Pitfalls and plusses?
It very much depends on the layout, size etc. There are some studio flats that are almost like one beds, and some that are grim.
For me, a bathroom that has a window would massively improve it.
Agree studios vary.
Lots are in house conversions and have a separate kitchen and a bathroom (maybe with window) and a large studio room with high ceilings and bay windows and an area which is pretty much a bedroom in itself as it’s a very separate area of the room with storage too and maybe even a window again if you’re really lucky.
That’s very different to a small, modern studio where there is just one smallish room that has to house a few kitchen units, the sitting, eating and sleeping areas And then probably a tiny shower room. These can pretty much feel like bedsits.
I’d definitely want a separate kitchen with a studio because otherwise there is never anywhere to escape from the washing up you do t feel like doing.....even if lying in bed you can be looking at it,
But there are some great ones with square footage that exceeds many 1 beds....so you just have to look at lots and choose carefully.
My aunt lived in a studio flat for decades. Growing up, I always used to dream about a place like that as it has spectacular panoramic views and was in a riverside development. Thinking about it now, it was actually quite ok internally as it was spacious: good size bathroom and kitchen with ample storage. She slept on a sofa bed which meant that the room had a dining table for 4, a sofa(bed) and 2 airmchairs so she was able to have people over for meals etc. There was also plenty of storage for clothes, books etc.
So I’d say go for it if you find a nice, spacious one.
I lived in one for a year, it had a large bedroom/living area with a desk in one corner, sofa against one wall, and bed against another, with windows all along one wall and one in the adjacent wall. There was also a small kitchen in a separate room and also small bathroom in another separate room, both had windows.
I really liked that flat, felt really cosy. I think those ones where the kitchen/bed/living area are all in one room would be worse.
Thanks for the replies, these are really helpful and giving me lots to think about. The separate kitchen is a good point. I have an open plan flat and can appreciate how it would feel if it was all in the same space. I also think lots of light and space and if possible a balcony or patio.
I lived in a studio flat with the bed on a mezzanine level. It was not so great as you couldn't stand up in the mezzanine. The kitchen was also tiny. It was also a bit on the dark side with not much window/view. It did have a bath which was great. I don't think I mind about a bathroom window if its modern and has internal ventilation.
I lived in a Studio Flat (with MrGR) after we sold our spacious flat. We moved 95% of stuff into storage. We managed brilliantly; flat was well designed and we quite enjoyed our time there.
The problem might be service charges?
Plus noise as you get older? Stairs etc ?
Good amenities close by?
Its not that easy to get a mortgage under 30 sq metres so be careful
However if i was dong this I would look at investing in a Murphy bed
they aren't cheap but you can get ones were the MADE bed (bedclothes) folds hidden back into wall & settee comes upwards with wardrobes fitted around, or desk or book case
or go to ikea! they have great ideas
Oh dear, note my reply may not have been helpful. What I meant to convey was that although we knew it was an interim measure, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised how easily we adapted to Studio flat living. Kitchen had everything needed including small dishwasher, microwave and washing machine. Bathroom was almost like a wet room but large shower (good pressure) was partitioned off; I did miss having a bath. We had a balcony.
I would not have been happy with a Murphy bed or pull out Sofa bed.
However, do agree with above poster to look at inventive storage ideas.
I can imagine being happily ensconced in a Studio, if I was single and only person WFH.
Additional benefit was having an excuse not to let people stay but then I'm a anti-social bugger!
Agree about checking service charges. Sometimes they are extremely high and seem disproportionate for a studio flat. They can DD significantly to your overall monthly cost.
It rather depends on where you want to live and your budget esp if you want to be mortgage free. I doubt very much whether you'd find a studio with any outside space/balcony anywhere.
Please look at (Google) whether a flat has an ESW1 certificate before you buy. Your current property will also need one before it's saleable. It's to do with cladding and fire risks. Not a happy situation for millions of flat owners.
My first place was a studio, and in many ways it's the home I was happiest in. It was a purpose built studio, juliette balcony, open plan kitchen/living/sleeping area and shower room. When I started looking at one bed flats the rooms all felt tiny and pokey by comparison. The one big problem (and the reason I moved) was that I had a problem neighbour opersit me, and there was absolutely no getting away from him as he was effectively right outside my bedroom door. Before he moved in though I was very happy.
I lived in one in my twenties and loved it. It had a separate kitchen which made a big difference- it meant I could leave the dishwasher/washing machine on at night and it didn't disturb me, and my bedding didn't smell of cooking smells. In addition to the kitchen it had a very big lounge/bedroom area and a shower room. I slept on a sofa bed but if I'd had a bit more money I would have invested in a Murphy bed. The only thing I didn't like about it was that the shower room didn't have a window so it got very mouldy, despite me always using the extractor fan- I was worried that my clothes would get mouldy. Make sure its got lots of storage or the space to put storage in; I found I ended up living quite minimally, which I actually really enjoyed, but you won't have understairs cupboards and the like, and so many studios are built without somewhere to stash the hoover and the ironing board- let alone something as bulky a winter duvet! I would also look carefully at the construction with a view to how sound insulated it would be. The building I was in was a very robust Victorian conversation so I barely heard my neighbours, but I think the fact I was in a smallish space coupled with lots of neighbour noise would have felt very oppressive. The studio I lived in had huge floor to ceiling windows and high ceilings which made it feel much bigger and airier than it's actual square footage so it never felt oppressive. It also had room for a proper dining table in the main sleeping/living area. It wasn't really something I appreciated when I moved in but it was really lovely to be able to sit with friends over a glass of wine or read a book at a proper table.
Where in the country are you looking? I've lived in my studio flat for 19 years, but it's now on the market as I plan to move away from the area.
I have a large hallway and main room, balcony, separate new kitchen and bathroom. Lots of storage. It's been perfect!
Thanks again for the replies, these are really helpful. I will look at murphy beds. I was thinking very small balcony for pot plants. Some Victorian terraces by the sea have them. I have relooked at finances and my budget is 90k. Where in the country is the question. I currently live in South East hence my property struggle. I think I have to cut my cloth and enjoy my life so the only criteria is close to nature (scenery or beach) and ability to get to London one day a month (3 hours max each way I think). If the London thing if a barrier I would still consider the area. I have family in Cumbria and friends in Yorkshire, across the border in Scotland also a possibility. I am also drawn to the South West but worry about access to London. To throw in the mix getting a dog would be a nice thing, but not possible with a studio. Really open to suggestions as I will need to do some serious exploring.
The first flat I bought was a studio flat and I loved it!
It had a lovely bathroom and a large L shape living/sleeping area, which my neighbour bird part off in hers to create a bedroom.
It had a parking space and communal garden so no worries about maintenance.
I do have one child but once she is off and settled I’d reconsider it when I’m older to be mortgage free if it had a good view and in a nice area (by the sea)
Predictive text ! Neighbour partitioned off.
What about looking at the East Coast railway line from London to Edinburgh anywhere along there would fit the areas you are looking.
i don't want to be negative, but you mention a progressive condition.
studios are generally aimed t youngish fit people, except those specifically designed with extra access needs in mind.
many are conversions at the top, or occasionally basement of victorian houses.
what about if your mobility changed. would you need level access, wide opening doors, somewhere with a lift.
Thats really helpful about the railway line, good shout. I think I have 10 years of good mobility ahead. The main thing is somewhere I can get out for great walks easily.
Also the North West line, Lancaster is less than 3 hours and I think Kendal is too. Lancaster more affordable.
Some really nice 1 bed flats for £90k!
I wonder if you can become eligible for the "over 55" places on health grounds?
I have lived in studio flats and love it. It will of course depend on the flat, there is a lot of variation in them.
You have mentioned a progressive condition, sometimes living in a studio flat involves a lot of moving around furniture. Pulling Murphy bed up and down, folding sofa into bed and back into sofa, put on table extensions etc. I would therefore try to still choose something with decent square footage so you can have the things you need without having to constantly move stuff around.
I would base the purchase on your budget rather than size/number of bedrooms. Sometimes a one bedroom flat won’t be that much more expensive and proportionally give you more space or a better layout, so keep an open mind.
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