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AIBU?

To really hate my house.

135 replies

Fedupfeelingthisway · 04/07/2017 10:59

We moved into our house 10 years ago this month. It's my husband's "dream house" and I went along with it at the time because I felt it had potential. At the time although it needed a lot of work done to it, I felt it would be ok. I knew that I would struggle to keep it clean myself as it literally would be a full time job I. Itself.

Anyway fast forward 10 years and it's had nothing spent on it and it's a delapodated shit hole. I fucking detest it with every ounce of my soul. However it's still my husband's dream house and despite the fact it's falling down around our ears if I ever say anything derogatory about it he takes it very badly. We basically don't have the money to do it up let alone maintain it, but until some kind of miracle happens it's just going to get worse.

I'm fed up, I'm constantly miserable because the house is always filthy, dusty and stinks. i hate it and not a week goes by where I don't break down because I'm so unhappy living here. If my husband ever catches me he gets angry and accuses me of being ungreatful.

It smells of rot, dogs and kids. It leaks in almost every room. Large black mouldy patches on ceilings, rotting window frames and wall paper hang off. Ancient heating system, filthy carpets. It was last decorated in the 70s and whoever was here before us simply painted over the wall paper. There are cobwebs too high to reach, it's dingy ancient and we don't even have guttering anymore. I absolutely hate it and if we ever do have money it'll just disappear into fixing what has been left to rot. We can't even afford new furnisture or carpets.

I don't even invite my friends over any more and my kids never have theirs round either.

I'm in tears writing this. I just can't take much more, I hate it so much. But we are stuck with it.

OP posts:
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lanouvelleheloise · 04/07/2017 12:20

I think taking agency is really important, but it's not always as simple as doing a small amount at a time. When properties fall into a certain state of disrepair, all kinds of specialist treatments/major works are needed to put it right - and they can be expensive. I had to pay for dry rot treatment and sorting out just a corner of a small house was £2k. Cosmetic renovation is quite different to the full-on structural work the OP's post seems to suggest the house needs.

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IHateUncleJamie · 04/07/2017 12:20

Surely a developer/builder would buy it, even if they knock it down and rebuild? Have you ever had it valued?

Assuming a home improvement loan/mortgage extension is unaffordable, I think your DH needs a wake up call in the form of an ultimatum - house gets done up or sold, or you and kids move out. It's been 10 years - how much longer are you actually prepared to live like this?

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Gingernaut · 04/07/2017 12:21

I lived in a house like this.

My parents died owning property in London.

The inheritance has paid for me to engage a building company and rent a flat while they gut the place and refurbish.

What I've spent buying this shit tip, on insurance, what I've spent and will spend on materials and labour will not be recouped in any sale at any point in the future.

This is my forever home now (or a rental property for life) even though the area has gone downhill and prices have remained static.

There are property developers who will take wrecks, but your husband has a dream.

A dream which has overtaken reality, a dream that everything costs less than it does (damn you Sarah Beeny and your bargain finds) and he's looking at the money he's already spent on the wreck; including all the money on quick fixes, trips to Homebase (expensive compared to Screwfix) and he's dreaming of the money it will be worth "once it's done up".

He needs a strong dose of reality.

An honest valuation, a safety check and environmental health check - something.

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another20 · 04/07/2017 12:25

OP - I live in the conditions you describe. We had significant money problems (after we had bought the house) so could not afford to do the works - and it is really in a dreadful state. I hate it - we live with damp and mould as well. However we have just had a windfall - so can do the works we had dreamed of - but I have lost all faith and just want to move away and start afresh.

Someone will always buy a project. Sound like it has character / potential. I would do some practical independent research by yourself and then present a few options to your DH. Research sales on line, get 3 quotes from estate agents - and look to what you could buy elsewhere.

Then maybe get a family member or friend that he respects to back you and present it too him.

He might just be over the moon that you have taken the bull by the horns and he doesnt have to eat humble pie.

This is really grinding you down - it will only get worse - even if you had the cash to do it - you also need to passion and resilience.....you have lost that - and you dont want to waste time during your children's childhoods stressing and distracted over a renovation.

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provider5sectorzz9 · 04/07/2017 12:26

Sounds like he uses the house as a stick to beat you with OP!

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ElsieMc · 04/07/2017 12:26

If you feel you are going to get a lot below market value op, you could market it initially to gauge interest and if there is little, you could consider the auction route. That would mean an exchange of contracts on the day so there is no going back - for both parties which may be important given your dh's attitude.

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notWORKzilla · 04/07/2017 12:27

They way I see it, in the very stressful situation that you and your family are in your DH has two choices.
A: Face up to reality and stop being so selfish. Put his family's needs ahead of his own unrealistic wants. Move house. Stay married.

B: Continue to be selfish and self centred. Lose wife. Lose house through forced sale with division of assets in a divorce.

He will lose the "dream" house either way. He chooses whether to retain his marriage or not.

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chocatoo · 04/07/2017 12:28

OK you've given it 10 years which is long enough. If he loves you, he has to move. If he won't move, he doesn't love you enough.
Do you work OP? Could part of the problem be that you and your husband were counting on more income? If you are in a position to do so, would it be possible for you to get some work to fund a house move?

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Mitzimaybe · 04/07/2017 12:29

You don't have a house problem, you have a DH problem. You shouldn't be so miserable day after day with no end in sight. If seeing you so miserable just makes him angry with you rather than wanting to make things better for you then really, you have two choices. Suck it up and continue to be miserable every day of your life, or do something about it.

Don't give him an ultimatum if you have no intention of following through, but think very hard about what pp have said - if he really loved you, would he put you through this? So if he doesn't really love you, why should you put up with it?

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Tartyflette · 04/07/2017 12:31

I sympathise, OP, I have never liked our house either; we bought it because it's spacious and DH fell in love with the (huge) garden.

30 years on we have got it more or less into shape and it's quite admired but we've spent £££££ on it, but it's still weird odd and non-standard and impractical and difficult to keep clean and tidy.

Eg Large rooms but kitchen not big enough, different levels all over the place, steep stairs that are increasingly difficult to climb as I get older -- I could go on.

Anyway we are putting it on the market soon (yay) and downsizing as there's just the two of us here now. What I wouldn't give for an easy 2-bed new build! Sell the bloody place. I wish we'd sold ours years ago.

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rightwhine · 04/07/2017 12:33

Get a valuation done without him knowing.
Also investigate benefits/maintenance that you would be entitled to.
Then you have a realistic idea of what your financial situation would be if you split up and sold the house.

Perhaps get a builder round and get estimated costs of renovating it to a standard you would be happy with.

Make a decision from a position of knowledge then present DH with your ultimatum. You have to be prepared to follow through though or else he will sense the weakness and continue blustering.

Do you actually want to be in this marriage? If the house was ok would you have a respectful, happy marriage?

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Whatsername17 · 04/07/2017 12:33

Your husband is selfish. It's not his dream home - who could enjoy living in a house like that? He just doesn't want to admit he's wrong.

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PickAChew · 04/07/2017 12:35

The daft thing is that, unless the house is a mansion, fascia and guttering are a cheap fix. As are jobs like making sure that windows and doors are properly sealed and painted, if necessary, floorboards are sound etc.

As well as the electrics and mould, the heating system is a concern. Get a carbon monoxide detector, if you don't have one.

All of these little £££ and ££ jobs need doing with a house bought in good condition, too. Even new builds! If he's not willing to do those things, then I sympathize with you because buying a wreck was a stupid move.

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PickingOakum · 04/07/2017 12:41

Fedup

No one would want to buy it in its current sate. It's totally unsellable also with the market the way it is.

Do not despair. There is always someone who will buy a house in a state (I know someone who bought a "house" with no roof four years ago). At the end of the day, the land it is built on is worth a fair amount, purely because it carries planning permission for a house.

Blankface is right. A full structural survey would give you the lay of the land here. And you are going to need to don your Boudicca breast plate because with no guttering (which will require scaffolding to install), mould and rotten windows, it is going to be thousands upon thousands just to fix the bones of the house before you do anything else. But I guess you already know that deep down.

I hope, for your sake, it's not listed. If it is, in financial position you've suggested in your op, I suspect your only option would be to sell asap. I've known renovations of listed homes send wealthy people to bankruptcy.

To be honest, Fedup, I don't think this situation could have gone any other way, so don't blame yourself. You were destined to be eaten by the old house renovation monster as soon as you bought the property. As I mentioned in my previous post, because of where I grew up and live, I've known a lot of people eaten up by this devilish creature.

The only people I've ever known who have survived a similar project with their soul and marriage intact have been a) very disciplined tradesmen with a lot of cash, a lot of contacts and a tight project schedule, b) very wealthy people with a heckova of cash and a tight project schedule, or c) bespoke property developers. And by tight project schedule, we are talking about six months from start to finish.

Ime, once projects go over this kind of time frame, or you live in the property, you end up in a kind of entropic situation that requires a massive injection of energy to reverse (like a huge inheritance landing in your lap or a huge emotional shock such as a partner leaving). After ten years, I suspect you are stuck in this renovation entropy, and it's just not going to change without a massive jolt to your DH's system.

It is worth recognising that you have faced the situation by writing your post here, and I think you should give yourself a pat on the back for that alone ... because it takes courage to be honest about a shit situation like this. It is the first step to sorting it all out and moving forward. You must give yourself credit for that.

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littlebird7 · 04/07/2017 12:43

I agree with the posts about selling the house, this house will never be finished and it is not healthy to live with mould and rot, I hope you haven't any asthmatic children? With any child leaving like this is not good for them, that should both yours and dh priority so a cornerstone for your choice to move on.

In the meantime, invite your friends over in the summer so that they do not need to see the house, make sure everything is in the garden - toys etc. Your real friends will not care less about your house and its condition, they will just want to spend time with you. If you are really bothered, just mow the lawn, put some flowers in tubs and spend the time there. Kids will love it if you build a den, parents will love anything involving pimms and your company. Don't let your house hold you back.

You could also invest in a tipi or similar and can even invite people over in the middle of winter with a warm fire. Everyone loves being outside. My friend has done this all year round as she lives in a rented house and it is totally run down (in my view not ours) and we are just grateful for the invites!

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bridgetreilly · 04/07/2017 12:44

Are you my neighbour?

They moved in about 15 years ago to the house I'd grown up in. It was in need of a lot of work - rewiring, repainting outside, replacing window frames etc. They started off with lots of enthusiasm which stalled after about 18 months. Husband has since built a new double garage and always has projects on the go, but the house has just got worse and worse. It's huge and it takes a lot just to keep it clean. I think they've given up on that.

If I had the money I'd make them an offer on it in a heartbeat (I wish we'd never sold it). But it's just an expensive place to live, even if it weren't in its current state. It's not going to get any easier and neither is yours, OP.

Your husband needs to hear some home truths and soon, before it's too late.

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littlebird7 · 04/07/2017 12:44

leaving should read living

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orangewasp · 04/07/2017 12:44

I was in a v similar situation for years - it only ended when we got divorced and I moved out. Ex H eventually had to sell up and bought another smaller do-er upper - which he still hasn't done anything to. I now live in a normal house Smile

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littlebird7 · 04/07/2017 12:45

Oh my god, I meant in 'her' view not ours.

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StaplesCorner · 04/07/2017 12:50

OP is it because your Dh doesn't want to work on it, or you can't afford it, will he/you not employ tradesmen? Did you both have a plan when you moved in?

I can understand this I think - we moved here nearly 25 years ago when we had (some) money and lots of energy. We began a haphazard programme of doing up, but its an expensive house, the proverbial "money pit", one disaster after another - many engineered by DH; (small example: we had a plumber fit the wrong boiler but DH was "scared" so he paid him cash on the day, 8 years later we still struggle to run a bath.)

The kids came along, it began to be clear that they noticed other peoples houses were nicer. We ran out of energy and money, DH refused to do any work on the house said that I should be able to pay workmen to come in, it wasn't his job or his problem. We ended up with no carpets or heating upstairs, water running down the windows, black mould in bedrooms etc. My DCs actually told me they were too ashamed of the bathroom to have people round. And now, so am I.

Last year we did come into some money and only now are we getting work done. First thing we did was replace all the radiators and get the double glazing done (again it had already been done once Angry). Next the damp, getting the rendering sealed and redecorating. Even when all this has been done (by trades) we will still have works outstanding.

The thing that got me is DH would always rather lie in bed than do anything about it; initially I struggled on alone, but he'd never say to me "Ok lets get up Saturday morning and get some paint" or "lets clean out the cupboards" etc., so I got more and more depressed (over lots of things) and now I even struggle to put the vacuum round. We are due to have our bedroom done in a few weeks but I had to chose some cheap flooring and it hit me that now in my 50s I will NEVER have the lovely decor etc that we dreamed about 30 years ago Sad

Does any of that echo with your situation OP?

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HeyRoly · 04/07/2017 12:54

He is essentially forcing his family to live in a dump. You are miserable and suffering. I doubt the children are thrilled about it either.

My FIL refuses to maintain his house and I consider it controlling and abusive towards MIL. He too gets angry if she complains.

I'm guessing your marriage isn't exactly happy either. You don't have to put up with this.

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HotelEuphoria · 04/07/2017 12:55

Loving the people suggesting ripping walls down and Ikea kitchens to do it up on a budget.

THE OP HASNT GOT THE CASH!

Like PickingOakum says, the only successful people in these projects are those with loads of money or trades people with an army of mates rates friends in other building related trades.

Even Sarah Beeney's dream mansion in Yorkshire was a money pit and a nightmare restoration by her own admission.

All houses will sell if they are cheap enough, I think it is ultimatum time for your blinkered DH. I hope you can walk away with some equity and start again.

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Sugarpiehoneyeye · 04/07/2017 12:57

You have tolerated this for long enough, your house is a health hazzard. Your husband is a selfish git.😡 It's high time you started to consider yourself OP, you cannot go on like this, would you consider giving him an ultimatum ? Maybe that might push him into addressing the issue, worth a try.
Also, Whilst you wouldn't achieve the best price for your house, in its current state, I can assure you, someone would come along and buy it.
Tell your DH, that his dream house has the potential of fast becoming a money pit, and the beginnings of his worst nightmare.
I lived in a similar set up, a long time ago, a thoroughly miserable time, mould is dangerous, don't under estimate it.
I'm so cross on your behalf.😡💐☕️🍰

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provider5sectorzz9 · 04/07/2017 12:58

Some very sobering stories on this thread😐

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StaplesCorner · 04/07/2017 12:58

My FIL refuses to maintain his house and I consider it controlling and abusive towards MIL. He too gets angry if she complains

I'd never entirely appreciated that my H's behaviour was just another example of him being abusive until about 5 minutes ago after I posted. I mean, I knew it was bad, and he's an arse, but reading all these posts with people tell the OP she hould leave him/the house, and thinking how my H has ignored the no heating/carpeting thing for 5 years and left me to sort it out ...

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