Another location v house (price) question

(32 Posts)
tinselvestsparklepants Sun 18-Oct-20 12:29:07

We're trying to decide between living rurally and moving between a few small towns which have a choice of things to do. We currently live very rurally and I adore the countryside around here but I'm sick of tractors thundering past and I'm sick of being an hour away from anything interesting!

My dilemma is that an area we have found which is great for things to do (in a triangle of things all about 15 mins away) where we could still get a house with a large garden (my ideal) is generally priced at about £150k- £200k more than the houses we could get rurally. It's known as a naice place! So rather than buying for £450k we'd be looking at £600k ish, which is a stretch.

We can afford it but we'd have to get a mortgage of about £250k which is more than hoped. We are in our mid 40s with secure (as far as we know) jobs. Half of me thinks the bigger mortgage is worth it for the new area and my other half (And my dh) isn't sure we should stretch. But I'm not sure I can do another decade of fields, and think that this expensive area would at least stay expensive so we'd not make a loss (but improvements, which this house needs, may not add much value - and it does feel very overpriced coming from where we currently live). We've got no kids to consider so just ourselves to please. Would welcome opinions. Blow the budget or be sensible?

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chopc Sun 18-Oct-20 12:40:05

I would go for location every time! Can change the house as you get more money etc but can never change location

TheMagicDeckchair Sun 18-Oct-20 12:51:59

I think I would consider the location change too, although I’d think carefully about taking on a much more expensive house in the current climate. Although if you can easily afford it I think it would be worth it.

There’s lots of people looking to move rurally at the moment, so might be a good time to market yours anyway.

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 18-Oct-20 13:09:32

Ours has sold already - you're right, it didn't take long! In normal years I think it would have taken ages...

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IamtheOnewithSocks Sun 18-Oct-20 13:12:49

We had a dilemma of how rural to be. We decided to choose based on what we did (or wanted to do) the majority of the time, rather than what we would only do occasionally.

For us being close to schools, friends houses and nice places for short walks won out over being close to mountains for hiking for example. As you don't have kids you may have a more exciting day-to-day life than us!

The things to do in the more expensive area - are these things you'd be doing daily, a few times a week, once a week or less often?

Sleepingdogs12 Sun 18-Oct-20 13:20:00

Maybe you will have to compromise on the house if you want to live in the preferred location so much and don't want a massive mortgage. There are only 2 of you and you need a house that costs £600.00? I don't know where you want to live but that sounds pretty steep . There is always a compromise sadly .

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 18-Oct-20 13:34:12

I suppose that's the dilemma. It would be that sort of price for a house with very little compromise versus a cheaper one but further away. I agree it's a lot of money but it's an expensive area and we're only talking 3 / 4 beds at that price but we both need space to work from home so that's 2 offices. We have been perfectly ok in a 3 bed with a small garden in a rural hamlet but we want more outside space and it's this chance to have that AND be able to cycle to the cinema / go out for a meal and get a cab home etc that is appealing. But it's a big price jump, and hence me asking for opinions on the ridiculousness of even considering it!

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ChillerKillerCroissant Sun 18-Oct-20 13:47:19

What sleepingdogs12 said really - I would definitely change location but wouldn't expect to get the same size of house.

Have you had any mortgage quotes, as we found lenders unwilling to lend past a normal retirement date (we relocated and needed a mortgage for a couple of years) so we only had a couple of offers to choose from. Unfortunately, mortgage lenders do seem to be cautious at the moment so I'd check that out as well before getting attached to a property.

I have relatives who live in the country, it does not appeal to me for all the reasons you've mentioned tbh. I like having neighbours as well.

sunshinesupermum Sun 18-Oct-20 13:51:18

Location always, but a three bed house would still give you a study each as well as master bedroom as you have now? Studies could have sofa beds for guests? Its such an uncertain world I'd also worry about taking on too large mortgage now.

Sleepingdogs12 Sun 18-Oct-20 14:48:04

Look at houses in both locations for the ££ you want to spend ,hopefully you will have a gut reaction to help you decide on your priorities and compromises . You might have to accept a smaller garden than you hoped for or fewer rooms but have room to build an office in the garden , someone works in sitting room , coffee shop or live in slightly less desirable area to get the space.

FreiasBathtub Sun 18-Oct-20 15:02:02

Doesn't sound like this is a forever home so I would say compromise on the house (3 beds not 4) in the more buzzy location. And then you can see where you are in 10 years - as you say the town areas will hold their value.

But may be biased as I know I'd go crackers in the middle of fields.

JoJoSM2 Sun 18-Oct-20 15:18:41

As a couple, I’d want to be close to things to do to make the most of days and nights out. It sounds like you won’t be too far from the countryside to get your fix of peace and quiet.

You could really re-think how much space you need, as eg dining rooms can be easily adapted to working from home so maybe 2-3 bedrooms would be comfortable. I do realise, though, that with smaller properties it’s difficult to get enough plot and not feel jammed in.

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 18-Oct-20 16:27:22

That's the issue. It's hard to get a small house with a big garden and a decent amount of outdoor space is non-negotiable for us. We could have fewer beds of course but 2 beds tend to have smaller gardens and more neighbours. Maybe we've been spoiled where we currently are! Still this is really useful way to think it through - thanks all, we don't really have people to chat to about it irl so this is helpful.

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Sleepingdogs12 Sun 18-Oct-20 20:29:23

If you both want the location and the big house/garden and can afford it and are happy with the increased mortgage then go for it if you will be there for the foreseeable future ie can ride out a property crash if it is coming. You can't future proof all decisions. The increased mortgage is the compromise you are willing to make.

TurkeyTrot Sun 18-Oct-20 21:08:50

I would go for the bigger mortgage and get what you want.
You will be able to pay it off as a couple.

Embracelife Sun 18-Oct-20 21:16:51

Just get what you want.

Have as many bedrooms/offices as you want
Live where you want.
No kids (no kids' expenses) so you only have yourselves to please
If you can afford repayments go for it
Dont listen to anyone who says you cannot have extra rooms without kids to fill them . Now that is mad.

JoJoSM2 Sun 18-Oct-20 21:42:58

Is it only between these two locations? Or is there another option that’s a bit less expensive for what you want but still reasonably well connected?

JoJoSM2 Sun 18-Oct-20 21:44:04

And how far from a cinema or bars/restaurants are you? Are the cabs v pricey?

JoJoSM2 Sun 18-Oct-20 21:47:09

Sorry, where I’m going with this is that upping your mortgage by 200k at 2% interest is 4K a year in interest alone. Even if you get a £30 can after a weekly night out, it still saves you thousands. Also lower monthly payments so potentially less stress and you can invest spare cash elsewhere.

tinselvestsparklepants Mon 19-Oct-20 00:14:06

Where we currently live it's at least £30 each way in a cab to our nearest town to go for a meal. It really does stop you bothering. In the possible new area it'd be 5miles one way or 3 in another - cyclable or a cab fare of a more sensible 'on a whim' number, with loads more restaurant choice, too.

But this thread has been so helpful because would I pay £4K in interest a year to essentially pick up our house and move it? Actually my gut says that could be worth it. After a decade of living in the middle of nothing we can really go to on the spur of the moment, an hour on the motorway to get to an arts cinema etc, I'm leaning towards spending the money. If Covid's taught us anything it's that we only live once. We won't be harming anyone else if the experiment fails! We have worked really hard and been so careful for so long to be in this position. I did some maths today and we can afford the payments (indeed we already overpay our current mortgage to a similar amount) and if the interest rates rise. I started this thread because I saw a house I liked the look of but was priced at more than we were thinking our budget should be. I truly didn't know if it was a ridiculous idea. After considering all this feedback I think I'll book a viewing. It might be hideous and something might turn up that's far more sensibly priced. But this one does tick a lot of boxes, so perhaps I should put it to rest by going.

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Pipandmum Mon 19-Oct-20 00:29:03

I'm moving to London. I currently have a four bed, four reception room detached house with large garden and a pool. But for what it's worth compared to what I want to buy I'm going to have to move to a terrace house half the size or a flat. But for me it's the location every time, so I'm doing it.

NotQuiteUsual Mon 19-Oct-20 07:25:23

I wouldn't want to take on a mortgage that high in my 40s. But I've cut my cloth accordingly. When would you be able to pay it off by? I'd not like a high mortgage to still be going on my 60s. Is there a compromise you can find or a plan to downsize before retirement?

GiraffeNecked Mon 19-Oct-20 07:36:07

We did this, wanted to stay in town but have a decent sized garden. That means taking on a bigger mortgage., a house that needs a bit of work, and we were early 50s and mortgage free when looking.

It was the right thing for us, having the space to work from home is amazing, a decent sized garden, and being able to walk to town.

I still Occasionally hanker after dark skies and space around us....but it’s much more practical for us to be in town. You can’t have everything.

The mortgage is manageable and if the worst comes to worst, we’d sell, the house is in an area that sells easily.

Do it.

JoJoSM2 Mon 19-Oct-20 08:30:41

If you’re already overpaying to that amount, then you’d probably be comfortable with the new monthly payment. Let us know how the viewing goes.

Just to say, the 4K is just the extra annual interest. When you add on the capital repayment element of the mortgage, you’d be paying about £800 extra every month. It’s just that the interest is money down the drain and the capital repayment is sth you’ll recoup.

Updownin Mon 19-Oct-20 09:01:41

Personally, I would bank the house sale and rent for a year to 18 months. It gives you time to see what lifestyle you want and this is going to be a very tumultous time. You don't have dc to worry about moving schools/ unsettling.

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