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Big house, Small garden and no driveway or smaller house with driveway?

(26 Posts)
KEAWYED Sat 22-Aug-09 21:16:02

I've been in my house for 10 years and often get itchy feet.

Its a terraced house with 2 receptions rooms and 3 bedrooms kitchen and a large bathroom.

We,ve got a bit of a garden at the back and we can park at the front and back but it's sometimes hit and miss if we can get on. I know its sad but it really winds me up when i've got the children and the shopping and cant get on the front and I know before anyone says it, I dont own the road

I've been looking at newer houses on estates which have driveways and nice gardens but the houses seem to be smaller and dearer. We looked at one and our smallest room was the size of the master bedroom.

Would it be better to extend into the loft instead of spending the money buying a new house.

I think I've idealised in my head living on a new estate and the children being able to play out on the front and having a driveway but is that the reality with so many people having cars now.

I know its long winded but I would hate to regret my decision. Anyone else been in this situation.

I'll shut up now blush


elvislives Sat 22-Aug-09 21:34:52

Depends whether you are otherwise happy with where you live.

FWIW we have been looking at new builds recently and an awful lot now have a parking space, which isn't even marked, instead of a drive. Often your space is a long way away from your house and you know looking at the plan that you are going to have problems with other people blocking your space.

We have always lived in new houses (3 in 26 years) and only in our current house was it safe for the children to play out the front.

Ewe Sat 22-Aug-09 21:38:07

I would always opt for bigger house with no driveway and smaller garden. Do your food shopping online so you're not in the position of having to carry a full shop if you can't get parked nearby.

Ponders Sat 22-Aug-09 21:49:17

Ooooh, this is a very tough one.

We also have the bigger terraced house with tiny back yard & on-street parking. A lot of the time parking isn't a problem here but occasionally it is shocking (6th form college nearby, students park during the day, parents park during open evenings etc) & then I do long for a drive. If our front yard was big enough I'd knock the wall down & pay to get the kerb dropped - which incidentally means nobody else can park in front of your house, so a win-win!

My kids are old enough to get themselves in & out of the car & across the street if necessary now, but if they were younger I'd be very tempted to do what you're considering, KEAWYED. (When they were younger parking was not quite such an issue)

KEAWYED Sun 23-Aug-09 11:58:48

Thanks for your replies. I think if we took the money we would need to move and converted the attic we would have 4 big bedrooms.

The problem is we brought the house when I was 20 and it was a dump but a nice family home.

Now all my friends are buying their 2nd homes and I feel like I should be moving on.

My friend said even if you have a nice new home it would still be full of crap. which is true. blush

PfftTheMagicDragon Sun 23-Aug-09 12:02:17

I think you are mad to even consider downsizing your living arrangements to gain a parking space.

I sympathise with the itchy feet feeling, you should change something about the house, redecorate, do your loft, maybe that will help.

EyeballsintheSky Sun 23-Aug-09 12:04:26

Driveway every time. I had a choice between old house with 'character' and no parking or new build with parking but no character. Yep, we made the wrong choice. I curse my decision every day as I trudge up the road with dd and many bags.

KEAWYED Sun 23-Aug-09 12:06:00


I think I just need a big slap round the face and a huge declutter.

UndomesticHousewife Sun 23-Aug-09 12:18:04

I would take the parking, we used to rent a house with no parking and sometimes I would have to park in the next street! And I hated lugging car seats, kids shopping bags up the road.
Dp used to stand looking out of the window, then all of a sudden start running out the house. He had seen a parking space and was running to move the car into it - must be man thing grin.

When we bought out first house, it was tiny, 2 beds 1 reception (we had 2 dc's and us 2) but it had a driveway. It was bliss.

KEAWYED Sun 23-Aug-09 12:23:50

haha thats what my husband does.

maize Sun 23-Aug-09 12:25:17

Our next move will be from a 3 bed Edwardian terrace with large rooms to a 3 bed modern house with a drive way.

I think in terms of area we will have the same living space but I think it will be differently distributed. We want a downstairs loo and an upstairs bathroom for example.

The area will be better (and the schools) which is a factor. But having a driveway and not fronting directly onto the street is important to us too.

If you love your house and the area then why move? The parking thing doesn't seem to be a mega issue for you aside from the obvious irritation. I think it would be different if you were really struggling to park.

TheOldestCat Sun 23-Aug-09 12:29:40

We have on-street parking and it's a bit of a mare. But on the plus side, after 16 years as a driver I have finally learned to parallel park. We are lucky that we have double yellows just outside our front door so I can at least stop and throw all my shopping out before trundling off to find a space.

I think, as with everything, no one house is perfect so you have to weigh up the options.

We considered a few places with driveways and bigger gardens, but opted instead for a bigger house and a smaller garden because overall it's better for us.

Agree with maize, if you love the house why move? It just depends how big the parking problem is for you.

edam Sun 23-Aug-09 12:39:55

TheOldestCat, you do realise you've just invited hordes of posters to judge you for stopping on double yellows? grin

We have a drive and live in a cul de sac where kids can play out - the second is really fab, the first doesn't particularly excite me.

Why don't you have a look at 'older' modern houses, i.e. 60s and 70s? You'd get drive + kids being able to play out but I think the room sizes are bigger than recent modern houses.

Although you have to put up an ugly house. However, you aren't the one looking at it. Always think my BIL's neighbours get the best deal, they have modern houses that are much cheaper than his lovely stone cottage but get to look at his all day while he has to look at theirs!

TheDMshouldbeRivened Sun 23-Aug-09 12:40:25

Iwould always opt for bigger house. A driveway takes up housespace and its just for a chunk of metal with wheels!

KEAWYED Sun 23-Aug-09 12:43:29

Where we live is an old mining town its either old terraced type housing or new homes. there have been so many new houses built in the last few years.

edam Sun 23-Aug-09 12:47:48

Are you looking round new homes that are occupied or show homes?

If show homes, remember they are staged to disguise mean room sizes. Designers put in 3/4 width 'double' beds and you won't see any wardrobes in the bedrooms!

TheOldestCat Sun 23-Aug-09 13:46:42

Oooh dear edam, hadn't thought about the double yellow crime! blush In my defence, I park up in the dippy bit in front of our garage (too small for any make of car, even the little smart one) so cars can get past and chuck my shopping out in fewer than 30 seconds.

Agree with you - we saw some beautiful newbuild houses when we were looking round here (moved a few months ago) but the bedrooms were tiny and disguised with small beds, a distinct lack of wardrobes etc.

edam Sun 23-Aug-09 16:39:01

but look, no flaming! shock Everyone must be out in the sun...

TheOldestCat Sun 23-Aug-09 18:25:57

Or watching the cricket. Phew, I got away with it. Let's keep it between us, ok? wink

KEAWYED Sun 23-Aug-09 18:33:28

We'll let you off grin

I'm to easily seduced by new builds, but thinking back one of the bathrooms had a small handsink in the main bathroom.

pickyvic Sun 23-Aug-09 18:35:34

gosh this could have been my post 2 years ago! had exactly the same issues.

we decided not to convert our loft - the house would have been worth more than the ceiling price of the street - the estate agent actually said i could have gold plated the roof tiles and not got my money back.

we had lived in that house for 13 years - it was a lovely big house but no drive and parking was a biggie for me

so we moved. smaller house, more expensive but has large garden and drive (now i just need the money to sort the tatty garden/garage/drive out and ill be happy!lol

i think once youve got itchy feet its very difficult - if the parking is the issue and you cant make it go away no matter what you do to your house you will still feel the same way.
we totally renovated our house and i still wasnt happy so it was a waste of money in the end. id think long and hard about spending any money on a house your no longer happy in.

KEAWYED Sun 23-Aug-09 18:38:11

If I did convert we would have to stay here for a good few years to claw some money back. So you've no regrets?

pickyvic Sun 23-Aug-09 20:25:40

only that it now costs us more per month.

the house we have now is in a nicer area, but sometimes the lack of space does annoy me. saying that its lovely to go out and know that when i come home parking wont be a problem - it had gotten so bad at the old house that sometimes i didnt dare move my car.

we have loads of outside space now - the only snag is that we ran out of money and it all needs tidying up/sorting out, needs a new garage etc but if things go to plan and i get the job i want then we will be able to do it. plus this house has the potential for further extending or adding a conservatory. (we have added a small kitchen extension)

i learnt that no matter what i did to the old house i had outgrown it. it was an expensive mistake as we spent about 20k doing it all up, and i still wanted to move despite it.

i think it really depends how you feel about the house your in now.

KEAWYED Mon 24-Aug-09 09:08:18

hmm. husband is being laid off again on friday so i'll be gratefull for this house for now.

TheOldestCat Mon 24-Aug-09 12:34:47

Oh dear, sorry to hear that. I hope he finds something else soon.

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