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Aaargh, indecisive rant after attending 'open house' viewing

(30 Posts)
Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 17:22:25

We're on the brink of exchange (I hope) on our property, and are planning on moving into a rental while we look for, buy, and do up/modernize our next permanent home.

This morning we went to an 'open house' and there were 13 other couples/families there too. Its a fairly rare opportunity to buy a house in our area for reasonable amount, and extend/modernize to exactly what we want - and its comfortably within our budget, for once.

Loved the garden, liked the basic footprint of the house, loads of scope for extension. On the negative side, the location is only 'ok' and the house on the outside is downright ugly. We could make it less ugly, but not sure we could make it pretty..

dh thinks we should make an offer. I think we could make an offer, but have a niggle saying 'what if something similar but in slightly better location/prettier comes along in 6 months' time?'. Is this just fear of committment (my speciality) or should we hold off?!?

I know no one can decide for me...just really need to brainstorm. And there may be heaps of offers on it, given the interest we saw today, so not a sure thing anyway...

MaggieBee Sat 06-Jun-09 17:24:22

What's ugly about the house? I have seen some amazing transformations.

cthea Sat 06-Jun-09 17:24:26

What's wrong with the location? As that is one thing you can't improve on.

Swedes Sat 06-Jun-09 17:33:47

I have very few must haves for a house and they are these

orientation (I like my garden to be anywhere between due south and due west)
easy/non hazardous access (10 steps up to the front door would be a no, as would a tight turn into the garage from a busy road)

I don't care about ugly.

Tell us about the location.

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 17:35:35

<settles back gratefully for chat instead of obsessing>

Well, its got a sort of box-like extension over the garage. Hideous windows, horrible plasticky porch, and naf greyish brickwork. We could change the windows, and the porch (no idea into what, but something), remove the bright blue garage doors, but what to do about the box extension?? My brother suggested putting 'some sort of architectural structure' on the corners of it, to soften the outline...I see what he means, but not sure what that could be. He also said we may get planning permission to turn it into a double fronted house, and extend the roof (over the box thingy) - I'm not at all sure we would, but that would make an amazing house!

Location-wise, its near dd's school which is good, but long way from shops - which are currently round the corner, and handy. I'm not sure other than that...its not in the area we'd planned to look in, which somehow feels slightly 'safer' to me, but I'm not sure if the 'safer' is to do with familiarity or reality, iyswim.

Sorry, thats very muddly blush

slackrunner Sat 06-Jun-09 17:39:32

I'd try not too be put off by the 13 other viewers - just because they're there doesn't mean they're going to offer. We went to a similar viewing last week - from the way the EA was behaving you'd think that the Queen of Sheba was about to make an entrance - the property was soooo hyped up. Nice house, but no-one's offered them what they want for it a week on wink.

Agree with location being a hard thing to improve on.

slackrunner Sat 06-Jun-09 17:42:09

Would you have enough in budget to employ an architect to give the property a facelift? It's amazing what they can do, but I think it's a job for the professionals.

ALso worth asking at local planning dept as to what you'd be allowed to do?

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 17:45:21

Yes, we could definitely get architect in for that price smile

will planning dept give us any info that fast, d'you think? As in, on the spot? I suppose we could make an offer and then go in and talk to the planners on Monday/Tues...

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 17:46:10

Thanks for that about the 13 others, Slack, it did rather impress me.

And made me feel sorry for the lovely (older) man who had lost his wife a few weeks ago, and was seeing his house overrun.

SoupDragon Sat 06-Jun-09 17:47:04

Is the box extension single or double storey? My family home had a double height box on the side. Eventually the flat roof was replaced with a proper extension to the main roof. I've also seen a pitched roof successfully added to a single storey box too.

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 17:55:26

Hello Soupy smile

Its double. And it would make sense to do the same behind it, because there is a lean-to the same size as the garage behind it, iyswim. Replacing the flat roof is exactly what I'd like to do - that sounds more hopeful!

Swedes Sat 06-Jun-09 17:58:25

I've known someone add a glazed lantern to the roof of a single storey flat-roofed extension so the room morphs from something dingy and mean looking into somethig v light and elegant.

Can you link cut and paste the details, removing the address etc, and put them in your profile? So we can have a proper judge. grin

cthea Sat 06-Jun-09 17:58:39

Close to schools is great.

We've recently moved from a place v close to shops to one close to only a handful. Quite a shock to go for beers at the corner shop at 9.30pm and find it closed! I'm slowly getting used to it. Spending less money as well

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 18:00:32

Thanks smile

Will try cut and paste after LOs are fed, washed, and shut in their cages for the night wink

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 18:05:52

Forgot to say: garden is East facing, but with a slight slant to the South (ie ESE) and very open on all sides, not overlooked. Would prefer West or South, but its not bad.

slackrunner Sat 06-Jun-09 18:09:10

<waits in anticipation of the pics>

It does sound great elibean - tons of potential.

Ripeberry Sat 06-Jun-09 18:13:55

just make sure the shops are not a magnet for the local yobs. Nice to have shops during the day but at night they can become no-go areas.

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 19:25:48

blush tried to cut and paste, failed. I can't post link because of all the details on the page, so think pics are scuppered, sorry Slackrunner!

The only shop within five minutes' walk is in an estate I would not want to walk around at night (fine during the day, and in fact my dd's school is on it) - the other direction, about 10-15 minutes' walk, has the shops that are currently our local ones, and are fine.

slackrunner Sat 06-Jun-09 20:00:26


Keep us posted how you get on

Elibean Sat 06-Jun-09 21:00:00

Will do. Thanks for brainstorming with me smile

Fizzylemonade Sat 06-Jun-09 23:06:59

There is a fab double glazing website, yes you heard right, it gives you an idea of how much windows would be to replace.

I have even read independant reviews that rave about them so that should help in that department.

Some of those 13 viewers will have been "weekenders" ie those who are bored on a weekend and so view houses as a hobby!

Elibean Sun 07-Jun-09 13:57:10

Thanks Fizzy, will bookmark it, really helpful.

Think most of the viewers were drummed up by EA in advance, as those looking to do somewhere up....lots with small kids, a few couples, one man on his own (developer??). But only one way to find out wink

noddyholder Sun 07-Jun-09 14:08:55

You need some beautiful windows and cedar cladding and a decent approach and front door

Elibean Sun 07-Jun-09 14:24:51

Cedar cladding? Sounds lovely (and lovely smelling) but what is it?

Front garden is small but sweet, with roses and mature bushes, and off-street parking...will need to change porch though..

I think we're going to make an offer shock

melmog Sun 07-Jun-09 14:40:43

Just in case it helps,we are now living in an ugly house, it has everything we were looking for except it is ugly from the front. Really ugly. Grey pebbledash and a boxy extension. Are sure you didn't come round mine??

We went for it because as soon as you're through the door it's perfectwith loads of space and a fantastic rear garden. I do still hate the look of it from the outside, but in time I'm sure we can pretty it up.

Good luck with your offer!

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