Would you buy this house?
PossiblyDreaming · 26/01/2022 21:13
5 years ago dh and I were looking at buying a house and there was one that I fell in love with but dh hated. It was a 300 year old fisherman’s cottage with low ceilings, really thick walls and cosy fireplaces. Basically my dream house as I’ve always wanted a period property and there were so many beautiful features like the old beams and tiled floors etc.
Anyway 6’2” dh talked sense into me as he’d have to spend the whole time ducking from beams and we instead went for a detached new build with a nice big garden on a completely bland estate. All very practical and boring.
Dh and I have now split up and the original cottage I loved is up for sale again and I can afford it. But, the owners that have had it for the last few years have completely gutted it - lowered the floors on the ground floor so the ceiling doesn’t seem so low, boxed in the beams, all the lovely, wonky walls have been boxed in and plastered flat and painted grey. Open fireplace replaced with a bloody ugly wood burner. Aga replaced with an enormous spaceship looking oven.
I could afford to fix it all again but it seems such a waste of resources to basically undo something that someone has spent the last few years doing. It would also probably involve dc and I living elsewhere for at least a few months while work was being done. But it is (or was) so bloody gorgeous.
Cottages like this come up so rarely and are normally snapped up as second homes within hours. I’m guessing it’s the fact that this has been so horribly renovated that people have been out off.
LovelyBranches · 26/01/2022 21:14
Go for it. It seems like you deserve something to love and if this cottage is it, then wonderful
ShowOfHands · 26/01/2022 21:14
Longcovid21 · 26/01/2022 21:15
Yes! It's meant to be
Shadowboy · 26/01/2022 21:16
No but only because they have probably used unsuitable materials like gypsum plaster and you will pay the price later on when the problems emerge… apparently it usually takes about 7-10 years for the new materials to start to conflict against the old breathable materials
FindingMeno · 26/01/2022 21:17
If you love it and can afford the work you should go for it.
I believe in fate and for it to present itself again at this point in your life would speak to me.
PeonyAndSweetpea · 26/01/2022 21:17
If you can afford it as well as paying a mortgage, renovations and rent then go for it, if you don't there will always be that nagging doubt that you've missed a chance.
Best check if it had a listed status abs if so whether the current renovations are all no above board. If it is listed check that you can do what you've planned so there are no nasty surprises
PossiblyDreaming · 26/01/2022 21:17
I’m not linking but in case someone else decides they want to buy it 😂
cupcakedaisy · 26/01/2022 21:18
I agree, go for it. I'd probably change a lot of the features back but I would probably keep the lowered floors if they've been done well as I'm not keen on ducking under beams. Best of luck :)
PossiblyDreaming · 26/01/2022 21:18
It’s not listed but it is in a conservation area so I wouldn’t be able to make many external changes. No plans to do that though.
Suzi888 · 26/01/2022 21:19
I’d wait for something else to come up. I think you could end up running into a lot of snags etc. It’ll never look quite like it did when you first viewed it.
Unless you find out who did the renovations and ask for advice /quotation, even then I personally think it’s a waste.
PossiblyDreaming · 26/01/2022 21:19
@Shadowboy the surfaces are now so flat compared to how they used to be that I think (hope) they’ve used plasterboard that then has been plastered over so it should be too much to get it back to the original walls.
TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams · 26/01/2022 21:21
Boxing on beams is easily undone. Survey might throw up a more sinister reason ?
Go for it if you love it. Nothing you suggest is anything more than decorative other than fireplace. A stove with a flue is sometimes a cheaper option to relining a chimney as I understand it. Especially in an old building where the fire risk is heaightened.
PossiblyDreaming · 26/01/2022 21:22
@Suzi888 that’s what bothers me more than anything, I think. It all just seems such a waste of time and materials.
Timide · 26/01/2022 21:22
Property like this deserves love and care. Go for it and give it its second chance!
WinterCarlisle · 26/01/2022 21:23
Yes! Go for it! (But get a good survey)
CathyorClaire · 26/01/2022 21:24
Would depend how much de-tarting it going to cost but tbf I'd be on board with higher ceilings.
If most of the rest involves removing boxing in I might even have a go myself
SarahAndQuack · 26/01/2022 21:25
No, don't do it!
Lowered floors sound like a nightmare, and even if they have only plasterboarded in the walls, it'll likely have done damage. My house is about the same age, and even just thick lining paper had driven the damp into the walls. I'd also worry about what problems they were covering up - if it is lined or plasterboarded-over, your surveyor won't be able to go behind to see if there are structural issues - there could be cracks up the wall from the floor lowering, which you wouldn't see.
I think you should go look for a totally new (to you) old property that will come with no memories, and that you can assess objectively.
HidingFromDD · 26/01/2022 21:30
I don't think I would simply because it will always remind you of the 'what if' you'd bought it the first time, and that will mean you look back not forward. Find something else which is you and you alone
AlbertBridge · 26/01/2022 21:31
This happened to me. My absolute dream house came up. DH (also 6' 2", funnily enough) wasn't into it. Someone else bought it. Two years later, it was back on the market....
Only now they'd made the bedrooms really tiny because they'd put en suites in EVERY bedroom. But then left the ground-floor bathroom too? So this 3-bed house now has FOUR bathrooms.
And they wanted £100k more.
I still walk past it every day though, and feel bitter.
AlbertBridge · 26/01/2022 21:31
I'd buy your one, though.
WallaceinAnderland · 26/01/2022 21:46
No I wouldn't buy it. Keep looking, something else will come up.
flowers0412 · 26/01/2022 21:50
Our house is 1500's and was covered in plaster and cement by the previous owners (15 years ago). We are currently moving room by room removing all trace of cement, concrete and plaster board and repointing/plastering in some places with lime plaster. The beams are now out in full glory and there is not a single straight line in sight!
You can almost feel the house breath a sign or relief as each room is completed. Plus you have the added bonus of seeing the house before it's cover up.
We opened the fireplaces back up and were told that they were considered safer then log burners (thatch roof) which was a shock to me.
The biggest job so far has been removing the cement kitchen floor that had a plaster waterproof sheet underneath, which would have eventually ruined caused a damn issue and ruined the house.
This was replaced with breathable lime floor.
It's been the best thing we have done and I think they house is just as happy with us and we are with it.
AngelinaFibres · 26/01/2022 21:52
They have probably made all these changes because the house is actually freezing in the winter. A friend bought a very old house. They carefully stripped and stained all the floorboards downstairs. It looked beautiful , until the winter came , when it was absolutely freezing. The insulated underlay and wool carpet they had sneered at went back down. If you haven't got a bottomless pit of money I would walk away
Calmdown14 · 26/01/2022 21:53
Presumably as they lowered the floors they had to do something with the walls as they'd be uneven so I can't see how that can be undone easily.
Similarly the ceiling is possibly hiding wires or pipes as going through walls in buildings like that is no easy feat.
You could probably put a lot more character back in with more sympathetic decor and revealing some sections of stone wall and possibly a few beams but it will always be different to what you first fell in love with
PossiblyDreaming · 26/01/2022 21:58
@Calmdown14 yes, I hadn’t considered wires and things. I can’t actually remember what the lighting situation was before but the ceiling is now slightly lowered to cover up the beams (floor is lower though so there’s actually more head height) but absolutely loads of bright spotlights flush into the ceiling. I’m guessing there will be loads of wires there.
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