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AIBU?

To really regret buying on a council estate

397 replies

Gameofmoans81 · 18/09/2022 09:03

5 years ago we bought our first house. We live in a very expensive town so to get a house rather than a flat meant buying an ex council house on a council estate where about 90% of the flats and houses are still council owned. It’s a small estate surrounded on each side by millionaires in a good location basically.
I didn’t think anything of buying on a council estate - I’m not a snob, I grew up and have lived in normal working/middle class suburbs and rub along with all sorts of people in life and when we viewed it seemed quiet and fine. However after 5 years of living here I absolutely hate it to the point where it’s making me ill.
Firstly there are some lovely people living here, this is not an attack on council tenants but the actual truth is that these are main issues:
teenagers outside my house all night screaming/drinking
dog shit everywhere
rubbish everywhere - think bins tipped over and not picked up, used nappies thrown in hedge etc
sofas/tvs dumped outside for months
screaming arguments/fights/regular police visits
music blasting all day
weed smoke continuously wafting in to my babies nursery if we open the window
young kids out til late swearing and shouting at passers by.

I am desperate to move but the house next door but one has been on the market for well over a year despite being nice and a bargain and no one’s biting. No one but us is stupid enough to buy here. If you picked up our house and put it on the street behind us you’d raise the price by around £100k basically and it would be sold within a week.

i feel so trapped and depressed everytime I walk through the estate to get home plus I feel totally stupid for buying it.
And I feel increasingly furious at these people who are literally costing us thousands of pounds because they can’t be bothered to pick up their shit.
Aaarrrggghhh!

OP posts:
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MindYourBeeswax · 18/09/2022 12:11

mam0918 · 18/09/2022 12:07

I grew up on a council estate, it was lovely and I could NOT afford to buy a house there now as people bought many of them up then the middle class have taken over the area and pushed the prices through the roof.

We moved to big expensive house in a non council area that honestly you wouldn't have noticed the difference between where we moved and an active warzone - it was hell on earth.

I dont think 'council estate' has anything to do with it, you could move anywhere and discover it sucks.

Absolutly! And yet the demonization of council tenants is appalling

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mum2bee2022 · 18/09/2022 12:13

MindYourBeeswax · 18/09/2022 10:58

Again, I believe the behaviour outlined by the OP goes on and I believe it makes life difficult for her and I sympathise.
But these behaviours go on for a reason, usually things like a lack of money and, worse, a lack of hope.
It's hard to care about a village in bloom type of things when you have to be a prostitute or your children won't listen to you.

One solution could be that instead of paying rent, the housing benefit is paid as a mortgage payment to the council so that they are paying for a house they will own and any equity that builds up in it will be theirs.
This could give people a stake in the property, some hope and bad behaviour might diminish. After all, they would then be in the same position as the OP and wouldn't want to see their asset diminish in value.

Yeh that sounds fair…

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Whatsthepointofmosquitos · 18/09/2022 12:13

Comedycook · 18/09/2022 09:15

I'm not 100% sure but I think if you come to sell, you have to declare if you've made complaints about neighbors don't you?

You do.

OP reduce the price and get out of there, it’s your only option. ☹️

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MintJulia · 18/09/2022 12:15

Join forces with the other people who are trying to sell. Make a concerted effort to clean the place up.

Prime buying season for family houses starts before Easter so people can move in the summer holiday. Think about things like cutting hedges and getting the council to clear long term junk over the coming months.

Then price it to sell and get out. Don't waste your life being stressed.

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Whatsthepointofmosquitos · 18/09/2022 12:16

Total sympathy OP. I lived opposite some council houses for a while (only renting, luckily) and the behaviour was so odd. Huge piles of rubbish thrown into front garden next to bins (instead of in them) and blowing across the street into our garden, late night top volume parties etc. The worst was the stick-thin cats who’d come
From their house to mine begging to me for food 😢 and I couldn’t really help as I had cats of my own who’d be threatened by it.

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CoastalWave · 18/09/2022 12:26

Just sell. Agree with everyone else.

Tidy up yourself - surely you have some neighbours who feel the same? Organise a clean up. Messy places become messier (bit like my car!!!)

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ShockedConfused1980 · 18/09/2022 12:28

Bet an investor would buy it to rent out…give it a go

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Gwenhwyfar · 18/09/2022 12:37

I had this not in a council estate. You get these problems in many deprived areas and it's not as simple as complaining to the council as some are suggesting.

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BerriesOnTop · 18/09/2022 12:37

CaramelTwirl · 18/09/2022 10:36

I expect the estate had a massive party when you moved out.

I doubt she cares lol

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Maytodecember · 18/09/2022 12:38

Market your house to landlords. You might have to sell for less than you’d like but it’d get you out.

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ParsleySageRosemary · 18/09/2022 12:41

Hey @MindYourBeeswax you are going to have to learn the difference between systems thinking and individual circumstances, and the complexity of systems and consequences.

The systems for improving lives have been ripped up and destroyed in Britain, leaving many with no hope or possibility of a future. It doesn’t mean more lone females should have to put up with the reality of drug gangs next door. We need law and policing back before anything else can get going.

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florenceandthemac · 18/09/2022 12:44

Rent your house out and you rent one in a nicer area?

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oakleaffy · 18/09/2022 12:46

@Gameofmoans81
I empathise massively.
For some reason Council estates are the way they are because of the tenants literally not giving a shit.
“ Social housing “ on new builds are the same.
easy to spot the SH houses as they are the ones with dumped sofas, litter, squalid broken toys in garden and masses of noise.
The vibes are totally different.
My brother after a divorce was considering a CE as the houses often have parking.
But after several visits, decided not to.
He now has a flat with no garage or drive- but peaceful neighbours who respect their environment.

It’s a great shame that CE’s have this reputation, but it is justified.

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Fingeronthebutton · 18/09/2022 12:52

You do not have to declare a problem unless it’s an official complaint.
Otherwise it’s just a case of he said/she said.

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Fluffymule · 18/09/2022 12:55

“Be kind”

Dismissive and clueless words repeated by people who can’t, or won’t, consider their own prejudices or limited experience of other peoples real life situations.

How ridiculous someone sounds to breezily wave off drug dealing, domestic abusers, child neglect and lack of respect for other peoples property or well-being with a ‘be kind’ admonishment. It merely demonstrates a luxury belief held by someone with no skin in the game.

As if living in an aggressively toxic environment with increasingly negative impact on your mental health is comparable to bitchy comments about eyebrows on instagram or something.

Like ‘do better’, ‘be kind’ is nothing more than a shut up mechanism for people who don’t want their narrow views and superior opinions questioned at all.

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Moveoverdarlin · 18/09/2022 13:07

First things first, get it valued. Get 3 estate agents in by the end of the week and you’ll have an idea of what it will sell for. You never know there could be a reason your neighbour’s house hasn’t sold. Speak candidly to the agents and get a feel of what the market is like and what your options are. You may not make loads on it but it will have gone up in 5 years. They may have potential investors on their books who are snapping up ex-council properties to rent out. In order to move forward with life sometimes you just have to chalk things up as experience. I sold my first flat at a 3k loss, so I could buy a house with my DH. Not ideal at the time, but 15 years down the line I’ve got over it.

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Puffalicious · 18/09/2022 13:18

I'm so sorry to hear this OP. The best advice anyone ever gave me is no matter where you are buying visit the street/ general area at different times of the day and week: a Sat night at 10pm is very telling.

You can also check with local police (Scotland I know of)how many call-outs have been made to a post-code in the last year. I did this with my house as it's urban and near a main, busy road with pubs etc: thankfully no issues, it's very quiet, but it could have been very different.

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jesusjoan · 18/09/2022 13:24

Haven't read the whole thread so apologies if this has been mentioned. But if the home report for your neighbour's house is available have a look as it may be something like structural problems with their house or any manner of things - rather than the neighbourhood itself - that's the reason for not selling. Or ask the sellers themselves what kind of feedback they've been getting.
Also agree with others that it's very possible investors will snap it up, or rent it out in the meantime.

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Xenia · 18/09/2022 13:24

We are in a bit of outer London where similarly you have £1m houses not too far from council estates. I don't think our council estates are that bad actually, but I don't live on them so cannot really say.

What about keeping your current house and letting it out (if you really think you cannot sell it at all) and buying a house in an area you DO like (or even renting in an area you do like)? My daughter kept her first flat when she bought her current home as that was a way to become a buyer with no chain. However you would have to work out the economics such as getting a buy to let loan and remortgage of first place to release equity to buy second.

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ThisisCollie2022 · 18/09/2022 13:25

We had the same 3 years ago. We sold at a loss and bought a tiny house 55sqm, in a nice place that needed full redecoration.

Sometimes I sit in the garden and just listen. Listen to birds, mowing, distant chit chat. And I still can't believe I'm lucky enough to have left the arguing, weed smell, and mess behind.

Just knowing that DS isn't woken frightened a night. We can have just windows open on a hot day without the weed smell. And we can enjoy the garden.

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MargeSampson · 18/09/2022 13:26

Could you team up with your neighbours who are also selling go tidy up the estate? Realistically there's not much the council can do, people who choose to live antisocially are often unwilling to change.

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PinkButtercups · 18/09/2022 13:31

I was raised in a council house not estate as they were little closes. We were lucky in the fact that the 3 council houses we lived in were all in decent enough areas and not like some you hear of.

My mum and dad have always said if they were ever in a position to buy they'd never buy on a council estate and I wouldn't either.

It doesn't make you a snob saying it and I know problems can come from even privately owned areas.

Sorry to hear it making you down and these examples are the minority and it's just a shame as other people just have to put up and shut up because nothing ever gets done about them!

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DarceyG · 18/09/2022 13:36

Gameofmoans81 · 18/09/2022 09:03

5 years ago we bought our first house. We live in a very expensive town so to get a house rather than a flat meant buying an ex council house on a council estate where about 90% of the flats and houses are still council owned. It’s a small estate surrounded on each side by millionaires in a good location basically.
I didn’t think anything of buying on a council estate - I’m not a snob, I grew up and have lived in normal working/middle class suburbs and rub along with all sorts of people in life and when we viewed it seemed quiet and fine. However after 5 years of living here I absolutely hate it to the point where it’s making me ill.
Firstly there are some lovely people living here, this is not an attack on council tenants but the actual truth is that these are main issues:
teenagers outside my house all night screaming/drinking
dog shit everywhere
rubbish everywhere - think bins tipped over and not picked up, used nappies thrown in hedge etc
sofas/tvs dumped outside for months
screaming arguments/fights/regular police visits
music blasting all day
weed smoke continuously wafting in to my babies nursery if we open the window
young kids out til late swearing and shouting at passers by.

I am desperate to move but the house next door but one has been on the market for well over a year despite being nice and a bargain and no one’s biting. No one but us is stupid enough to buy here. If you picked up our house and put it on the street behind us you’d raise the price by around £100k basically and it would be sold within a week.

i feel so trapped and depressed everytime I walk through the estate to get home plus I feel totally stupid for buying it.
And I feel increasingly furious at these people who are literally costing us thousands of pounds because they can’t be bothered to pick up their shit.
Aaarrrggghhh!

When I split from my partner I rented on a private estate. I couldn’t afford to buy in the catchment area of my daughters school and the places surrounding it are rough. I don’t regret it because I don’t want my daughter seeing all the horrid behaviour. Rent it out and rent somewhere nicer for a while.

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StinkyWizzleteets · 18/09/2022 13:37

I live in a niace middle class very expensive area and I experience all the same things from drinking teens with nowhere else to go, to dogs shit in the street to rubbish all over the place. The problem isn’t that it’s a council estate.

what my neighbour has done is to try to create a community and it’s been brilliant. She started small and now gets funding and they do all manners of things for all ages & it is really starting to make a difference.

you’re always going to get arsehole teenagers being drunk and people not picking up dogshit but as soon as a few people show they care about where they live and are willing to make an effort to make it nice, inevitably others will join in. that won’t be everyone but it may be enough. You won’t be the only resident feeling that way.

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EmEllGee · 18/09/2022 13:41

We did similar! Bought an ex council house - moved in and thought we’d made a big mistake. Damp issues, previous owners had removed a wall without securing with a beam, lied on their form about the council doing it. We put it on the market a few years later at a good price, and had 2 offers (although below asking price) almost immediately. We just accepted that we hadn’t made much profit. We were far more shrewd with our next purchase - and - after adding some alterations, we think this house has doubled in value. You learn from your mistakes, so don’t worry. And you’ll done better than renting.
@Gameofmoans81

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