Advanced search

Downsizing from detached to terraced

(129 Posts)
downsizing Sun 21-Feb-21 13:19:07

We’re in the process of downsizing from a large 5 bed detached house to a mid terrace 1960’s townhouse that will see us become mortgage free.

I’m starting to worry we won’t be able to cope with the change particularly as we have 2 teenage DS’s coming with us.

Looking to see if anyone has positive experiences of a similar move.

OP’s posts: |
Beebumble2 Sun 21-Feb-21 14:17:03

We downsized from a large family house to a 3 bed semi cottage. We were mortgage free anyway, but just felt the house was too big and wanted to move away from the city.
It is sometimes difficult hearing noise from next door and feeling in close proximity to others, when in the garden. Fortunately we have a long garden and can sit at the bottom, not overlooked.
I find the smaller rooms a bit claustrophobic, but DH likes them.
Positives are that the bills are far less, so your not wasting money on heating empty rooms, cleaning takes less time especially bathroom(s) and the council tax is less.
For you being mortgage free will be a bonus. Teenagers are quite resilient and spend a lot of time in their rooms in the dark. grin

oohmama Sun 21-Feb-21 14:20:19

Planning to leave our detached house for a semi and I'm worried
But desperate to be in the city so needs must...

Itscoldouthere Sun 21-Feb-21 14:34:04

We sold our large house last summer, currently looking to buy in London so it’s going to be a 2/3 bed flat in preferred area, or small terrace slightly out of preferred area. Hard to adapt in some ways, but we were rattling around in our old house, so much cleaning and cost to keep it warm and together and we just got so bored in our location.
When we moved we though friends might do similar but they all stayed put in London. We spend all our time driving back to London.
It’s been liberating getting rid of so much stuff, we are currently living in rented (not in uk) but our goal is to have a small london property and a second small home probably in France, but we hope to achieve that in about 5 years time when we hope to retire. I do think it depends where you are in your life stage, I loved having a big house at some points, but after a while it felt a bit of a burden.
I do miss my old house but we are happy with our decision.

Mediumred Sun 21-Feb-21 14:41:08

Oh this sounds wonderful, fancy being mortgage free! And you will be able to put your stamp on your new place. And the boys will be out making their own lives or hunkered in their rooms, they don’t need loads of space, my little almost teen barely strays from her bed! Try to focus on the many positives!

user1471542288 Sun 21-Feb-21 17:35:53

We are in the process of (hopefully) moving from a 4 bedroom detached house in South London to a terraced house in the centre of a Hampshire market town. Will be mortgage free. Have spent the last few months clearing out.Am surprised at the amount of stuff I haven’t looked at or forgotten I had since we moved here 15 years ago. Am looking forward to having less to clean and and the lower bills in a smaller more modern house.

Midlifephoenix Sun 21-Feb-21 18:05:02

I'm going from large detached with pool on the south coast to small terrace or semi in London. It will be room volume I will miss - sitting here in my 15x19ft livingroom attached to same size dining room with 3m ceilings. I also worry about noise from neighbours.
But I want to be back in London, and seeing how every other house I call the agents about has had multiple offers, I'm not the only one.

downsizing Sun 21-Feb-21 19:04:24

This is reassuring, thank you all.
Please to know we’re not completely insane.

Have started to clear out and the amount of stuff we’re able to get rid of is unbelievable now we won’t have the room to keep things ‘just in case’.

OP’s posts: |
crimsonlake Sun 21-Feb-21 21:53:12

Sorry, I do think you are crazy.
I had to move from a 4 bed detached to a semi due to divorce, the sound of neighbours is so intrusive. After being detached for so many years it is a shock I do not think I will ever get used to.

downsizing Sun 21-Feb-21 22:09:34

Is it a given that in all semi / terraced houses you’ll be able to hear your neighbours clearly.

I’m probably being naive but I’m kind of hoping it won’t be too bad and if it is that we could do some work to reduce the impact.

OP’s posts: |
Itscoldouthere Sun 21-Feb-21 23:39:14

@Midlifephoenix we are on the same page, I loved lots about our last house, but where it was located just didn’t make me feel at home. If only we could have picked it up and moved it!
I think maybe it’s a challenge to getting older for us, we just want to live somewhere more lively, I also think being back in London will be good for our university aged children.
We are currently living in a city abroad and loving it (even with Covid restrictions).
I do miss bits of our house, it was bought by people who are using it as a location/venue for stylists etc, so I have started to see it in magazines/ads it’s a bit heart wrenching as it was just home to us, but it’s also very interesting to see it’s new use, but I do have moments sitting in my rental flat wondering if we are bonkers!

Listersfan Sun 21-Feb-21 23:59:09

We have just moved to a detached property because living in a semi with constant noise from next door was ruining my mental health. We left a gorgeous area to come to a less desirable one just to purchase a detached. We've only been in a month but I feel like a different person, I can be happy again after 5 years of being slowly worn away.

I have never lived in a semi where you cannot hear the neighbours, it's just to what degree you will hear them. Our new build was worse than the house I grew up in, which was older but still not silent.

Just my opinion but I will never go back to a semi.

ZaraCarmichaelshighheels Mon 22-Feb-21 00:06:54

What will stop me downsizing when the time comes is if I can’t find a detached house, the thought of being at the mercy of neighbours is something I just cannot compromise on, I personally could not go to a mid terraced after a detached.

Sootess Mon 22-Feb-21 00:20:05

It’s not the size that would bother me. It would be neighbours on either side, reliant on 2 sets of neighbours being considerate. Lived in a mid terrace house once, never again!

CatAndHisKit Mon 22-Feb-21 02:03:52

Go for either end terrace or a semi with adjoining halls. I'm in such a semi now (thoupgh need to downsize) and it's an Edwardian house with thick walls. I'm really not disturbed by neighbours even though I'm sensitive to noise!

I can only hear them sometimes when they use the room adjoining my bedroom - but it's not loud, or louder when I'm in the hall and so are they / child running around or DIY, but most rooms are not adjoining. Having said that there are no teenagers / loud music / anyone drunk etc! The lady's daughter lived there a while with a toddler and the girl is a really loud but I could only hear her if she had a tantrum, and again, only in the hall.

FuckYouCorona Mon 22-Feb-21 02:18:33

Upon divorce, I had to move from a large detached to a semi. We were 4 adults living in a tiny 2 bed plus box house. Not only was it tiny, I hated the disturbance from our neighbours. As soon as we were financially able (& no longer needed school catchment areas) we moved to a large 5-bed detached house. I think you're crazy going from a detached to a terrace tbh & think you'll regret it. Personally I'd postpone any move until your DC have flown the nest & you need less space & go for a tiny detached over a larger terraced!

scoutingfornarwhals Mon 22-Feb-21 02:24:22


Is it a given that in all semi / terraced houses you’ll be able to hear your neighbours clearly.

I’m probably being naive but I’m kind of hoping it won’t be too bad and if it is that we could do some work to reduce the impact.

We have an old semi from the 1930s

I can hear out neighbours sneeze, talking on the phone, having a shower, turning on their bathroom light but oddly not their television. They do have one as they were asking somebody if they had watched it's a sin on Friday night and said how good it was.

I don't watch tv or listen to music though so our house is very quiet.

BlackBrowedAlbatross Mon 22-Feb-21 02:26:57


Is it a given that in all semi / terraced houses you’ll be able to hear your neighbours clearly.

I’m probably being naive but I’m kind of hoping it won’t be too bad and if it is that we could do some work to reduce the impact.

I live in a Victorian terraced house and hear one set of neighbours walk up or down their stairs perhaps once every two or three months. Have never heard the other side at all in 11 years and there have been three different couples living there in that time. Neither side has young kids though.

ThatDamnKrampus Mon 22-Feb-21 02:32:59


Sorry, I do think you are crazy.
I had to move from a 4 bed detached to a semi due to divorce, the sound of neighbours is so intrusive. After being detached for so many years it is a shock I do not think I will ever get used to.

This. I would give anything to swap my end terrace to a detached. I cam hear everything my neighbours do, I can never have real silence. The low level noise that is there every minute of every day (baby crying, alarm clock, shouting, doors banging - there is no way I would give up a detached if I had one.

DramaAlpaca Mon 22-Feb-21 02:39:42

I just couldn't. I do understand why you'd want to or need to, to be mortgage free OP, but I couldn't cope with close neighbours and noise.

Being mortgage free is wonderful, we've just paid ours off, but although downsizing might be a good idea for us now our children have flown the nest, I don't think I could unless it was detached as we are now.

middleager Mon 22-Feb-21 04:59:38

I moved from a small detached in a less desirable area to a large semi in a nicer area.
I couldn't believe how much you can hear the neighbours in a semi when I first moved in!
If we move again I would prioritise being detached if possible, even if that means compromising on area.

Justanother123 Mon 22-Feb-21 07:32:32

We moved last summer from end terrace to detached. The neighbour noise was so intrusive and ruining my happiness. Our neighbour was mentally ill and COVID meant she was home everyday - I used to get some respite when she went to work but that went when lockdown came.
I will never live in a house attached to anyone else’s if I can help it.

Eatsshoootsandleaves Mon 22-Feb-21 08:01:15

We are end terrace. I can't imagine wanting to give up a detached for this... We have had so many mice infestations (from further up the terrace, travelling through the ceiling space) and our lovely/eccentric elderly neighbour is awake at all hours playing his piano. Drives me mad.

downsizing Mon 22-Feb-21 08:03:19

Arghhh, so the first few posts made me think it would be ok but now I’m panicking!

Did any of you who had noise issues try things like sound proof plasterboard? Did it help? We need to do work anyway so am open to sound proofing it it will help.

OP’s posts: |
Atalune Mon 22-Feb-21 08:07:34

If the rooms are small soundproofing will make them smaller.

If it’s an old house the walls will be sufficiently thick so the noise won’t be a problem inside. If it’s newer (1980 onwards) then you’ll be able to hear each other’s tv and things like that.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in