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my new house is a fixer upper

15 replies

henrietta1199 · 23/06/2017 11:57

We bought a fixer upper house, victorian, it is a good deal in terms of value for money but I am not happy with it. And it is not because of the "new things" or new neighborhood. A great location is probably the only good thing about the house. May be also its size. We bought it because of its location and potential value. Location is superb with a huge beautiful park and numerous nice streets with shops and pubs.
But there are 2 really bad things about our house, which are an extremely bad condition and a lack of garden. In fact there is a huge garden in the back of our house but it belongs in leasehold to the neighbors' property who do not want to sell even a small portion of it even for a very good money. The old lady who leaves in the neighbors house was looking after it for over 50 years. She loves it and does not want to hear about a sale. I understand that we got what we got but it is very annoying that they have double garden (their garden+ours) and we have none.
The second thing is a condition, our house was not repaired for over 60 years, may be even longer. Literally everything has to go. Roof, windows, all electrics, plumbing, numerous horrible cubboards in everyroom, 60 yo carpets, heating is in the wrong place, radiators are horrible, kitchen and bathrooms are like in a horror movie. plus everything is in the wrong position, some rooms are derelict. To make things worse it is in a very strict conservation area where you need to apply for authorities permissions to do the repairs.
basically we believe "one day" our house will be a fantastic property when we repair everything and when one day new neighbour would probably sell us our portion of the garden back. But meanwhile we live in an expection of "one day nice life" repairing things bit by bit, we have builders 6 days a week at home, lots of skips of rubbish but there is no end of it. We changed a bath,sink and a toilet in one bathroom, got new kitchen appliences but kitchen is tiny (the old owner had a kitchen in the smallest room in the house). It is annoying living in that house, no nice dinners, unpleasant to go to the bathroom, clothes everywhere..
We cannot give it up now. I feel like I regret that we bought it, for the same money we could have got something different, may be much smaller but with a garden and ok condition...
So it is NOT just about location...

OP posts:

ClementineWardrobe · 23/06/2017 12:02

Henrietta, post in the property/diy section, you'll get others there to share your pain- you'll get told to get over it in this section most likely!
If it helps our fixer upper (1934 built) has taken 6 years to sort out completely. You get used to the mess, just get a small part it sorted so you can eat sleep and shower somewhere at all times.


harderandharder2breathe · 23/06/2017 12:15

Why did you buy a fixer upper if you're unhappy about the condition and having to do work? Especially in a conservation area? Surely you/your solicitor knew this before you bought?

The garden situation is annoying yes, but again, should've been flagged up before you bought it so hardly a surprise at this point.


TheViceOfReason · 23/06/2017 12:21

Whilst i have much sympathy on the trials and costs of a fixer upper.... your issue seems to be the fact that it has no garden (which you knew) and that it needs lots of doing up as per conservation regs (which you also knew).

To be honest it sounds like you liked the idea of a project, but didn't fully research the realities of this and consider living in a building site for years - and the costs involved!

If it makes you so unhappy this early in the process and you can recoup your money selling - then do that. A project house isn't for everybody and there's no shame in admitting that.


HappyFeetAgain · 23/06/2017 12:25

Op is it possible to sell this place. It sounds like a ton load of work to do and battles to put up with. Do you really want to spend years doing it up and with the mess, when you could just live right now?


BarbaraofSeville · 23/06/2017 12:53

Did you not realise you hate old fashioned fittings, mess and having work done before you bought the property?

Can you use the garden?

I agree it's not all about location or having the best property that you can possibly afford.

DIY etc is boring hard work and having work done isn't fun either. I don't know why people seem to love it so much and go in for it with such enthusiasm. When we had our extension built lots of people went on about the 'excitement' of designing and choosing at kitchen where I just saw it as dull and stressful.


BangkokBlues · 23/06/2017 12:54

Um... you don't like it because it has no garden (which you knew about) and its a is a shocking stake (which you knew about).

Beds. Made. Lie. springs to mind!


TattyCat · 23/06/2017 13:33

Er.... DUH! So, sell it and cut your losses. Life's too short.


speedywell · 23/06/2017 15:10

You won't be the first or last to bite off too much or get carried away with positive thinking!!

If you have no attachment to the house I would sell up and move on. But if you do have feeling for it, dig deep and hang in there. Hard work but as you say likely very worth it in the long run.

Sounds like it really isn;t your cup of tea at all though...


Boredboredboredboredbored · 23/06/2017 15:12

Yet you knew all this and still bought it anyway?! It makes no sense.


Papafran · 23/06/2017 15:58

Eh? So you knew all this and now you are moaning. Anyone would think you had a gun held to your head to buy it.


BMW6 · 23/06/2017 16:10

Why did you buy a fixer-upper when you don't like fixing things up? Very odd!


MatildaTheCat · 23/06/2017 16:14

Moving is so expensive it might be worth considering renting a small flat for a few months while getting the work done professionally. Is there any scope for creating any outdoor space at all? A patio or roof terrace?

I would plough on and get it finished. Many people don't care about gardens. Then sell and choose more carefully next time.


Notknownatthisaddress · 23/06/2017 16:22

Also don't have any sympathy. You knew what it was before you bought it. What do you want people to say? Confused

How weird to buy a house that has no back garden because someone else owns it!

Surely the back garden must have belonged to your house at SOME point? I do wonder why the owners sold it.

Reminds me a bit of someone we used to know who owned 2 acres of back garden; one acre was an orchard. The woman sold a neighbour an acre and a half - including the orchard - with 133 fruit trees in it. For a tenner! Because she couldn't be arsed with the upkeep.

The neighbour then proceeded to chop all 133 trees down, and then sold the land on for 50 grand to a developer. Then they paid off their mortgage, and moved into another (bigger) home. The woman then had 33 three and four bed new-build houses at the bottom of her garden, on the 1.5 acres of land.

I would never sell my land. So I don't blame your neighbour for refusing to sell hers. Why should she?


NoFucksImAQueen · 23/06/2017 16:25

If your neighbour is elderly she may sell to you once she is older and no longer able to use/maintain such a large garden.


LaurieMarlow · 23/06/2017 16:27

I am in a not dissimilar position, though we don't have anything like your garden issues, which sound like a pain in the ass.

We bought in a high demand/low supply area and prioritized good location above everything else. I still believe that was the right thing to do. We ended up with a fixer upper because something had to give. Also, because there was bugger all else on the market.

Like you, I have no appetite for fixing shit up. Neither does my husband. We're also trying to get a family business off the ground, I'm working in a demanding job, we have a toddler, and so on.

For us, the answer was to throw a load of money at it. Much more than we were really comfortable with or indeed can afford. We moved out, outsourced everything and it's starting to look amazing.

Might not be what you want to hear, but the cash has taken a lot of the pain out of it. If you can do this I'd recommend it. If not, I'd consider selling.

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