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To ask if anyone has moved from a victorian house to a ex council house and prefers it ?

44 replies

Getoverits · 25/01/2024 19:44

We moved from a four storey victorian house with original features , sash windows etc in a cheaper area to a 1940 ish ex council house in an area of outstanding beauty.
The idea was ut was a future proof house . Ie plastic windows compared to expensive to maintain wood sash etc .

My dh loves it . It meant we have no mortgage .
As for me - i agreed to compromise , but 3 years down the line i crave and miss the character and beauty of a Victorian town house.

I have no attachment to this house . Feel like it is someone else's house .

Please can anyone who has made this transition guide me into the pleasures and benefits of this type of house.
I really need to appreciate and be grateful it and not yearn .

If we go back to a victorian i would feel i was bu especially as it means we would have to move from a beautiful place .

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

37 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
CherrySocks · 25/01/2024 19:52

There are pros and cons of both styles - why not make a list of the cons of the old house and the pros of the new one.
We did it the other way round - if I was to list the cons of the previous more modern house - it was easier to clean, had a downstairs toilet, the rooms were more square so could arrange furniture to suit our needs rather than having to work around bay windows and fireplaces etc, it didn't suffer from damp, the bathroom was bigger, it was less draughty, etc etc.

Getoverits · 25/01/2024 19:55

The current house has massive pros . Its well built . Dble glazing.
the old house was a money pit - money we dont now have.
its the visual delight miss so very much. Know its a good practical choice but my heart does not love it .

OP posts:
napody · 25/01/2024 19:58

I've done exactly this both house and area (although smaller period property than yours).
But it was weird, once I'd lived in a pretty period house I was done with it. It was lovely, I just stopped coveting them. The natural beauty of my new area brings me way more joy than any house could. There are beautiful period houses here and I just.... don't care.

Getoverits · 25/01/2024 20:00

napody brilliant! i just need to learn that .

OP posts:
Poppysmom22 · 26/01/2024 06:25

I moved from a Victorian into a 60’s build last year and it’s so different - it’s warmer I can change lightbulbs without ladders clean windows buy standard size curtains, I’m not finding 100yrs of bodge it and scarper DIY every time I decorate, no rats in the cavity that just won’t die, no unexplainable drafts, no weird smell at the bottom of the stairs ( suspect was ghost - burt) I can hoover the whole place in about 20mins, gas and electric are cheaper, old house was a money pit, I could go on. But I miss the space, the lovely features, big rooms, picture rails, how gorgeous it looked at Christmas, my log burner, burt, the feel of history around it. I’m sure I will settle into this but it’s too ‘new’ (which was the point in moving tbh) I just loved knowing how much of life had been lived there over the years before us

PermanentTemporary · 26/01/2024 06:29

I do love my older house but I have been so cold this winter. We are going to end up putting thousands upon thousands into insulation, solar panels, new heating etc.

I think light and colour are the ways forward here. Embrace mid-century modernism and look at sites and books about that style. It can be really beautiful.

Fleetheart · 26/01/2024 06:33

also not quite the same but I have moved from a Victorian house to a 30s semi. I love it so much more as it is warm. full stop. our victorian house was so cold. charming but cold. We also have a lovely garden here and I love that. Gardens and natural beauty are so good for the soul.

Humphriescushion · 26/01/2024 06:35

I agree with napbody, mine wasn’t Victorian but an old rambling house with lots of character but my goodness after 14 years I had had enough. Was a money pit , hard to heat, and always something big to do which I didn’t enjoy. Now in a small new build and much happier. Don’t have to worry when we are away, very very cheap to run, warm, easy to clean, little maintenance both in the house and garden and I spend my time ( and money) doing things I like.
enjoyed it when I was younger possibly, but not now.
i am in France and often give a wry smile when I watch those buy a rambling house for nothing type programmes. Enjoy your new house.

Redglitter · 26/01/2024 06:41

Council houses vary as much as any other house though so its hard to compare. I live in an ex council house. It was built in 1930 for estate workers.

It has cornices, an old style tiled fire place & ceiling roses in most of the rooms (which I cant reach to change light bulbs)

But it has amazing insulation and my energy bills are ridiculously low

I see it as the best of both worlds

Panicmode1 · 26/01/2024 06:42

Embrace the new house...I was working from home yesterday and it was so cold...even with the heating on, it barely gets above tepid!

Alaimo · 26/01/2024 06:43

Not quite the same, but I moved within Edinburgh from a lovely late-19th century tenement apartment to a 2000s Barratt-style apartment. I did miss the spaciousness of the old places the high ceilings, character features, etc. but the new place has given me a lot of peace. The old place struggled to get up to even 19 degrees in winter, and I'd hate to honk what the gas bill would be like nowadays. I must be saving at least £100 month on my gas bills alone and it's nice to not have to worry about whether I can afford to have the heating on.

Wilkolampshade · 26/01/2024 06:45

My DD has grown up in old houses: Victorian, Edwardian and one dating from around 1610. They were all lovely. But she's now having the time of her life five floors up in a 1960s concrete council block in central London. On a bright morning she'll facetime and we have a quuck chat looking at the sun come up over the cityscape. She wouldn't swap for anything.

Giantdog · 26/01/2024 06:45

We went the other way and bought a big old house after being in a tiny ex council for 10 years. I miss my ex council in many ways. Cheap to run. Everything was so much easier, not undoing hundreds of years of bad DIY every time we want to touch something.

And being warm, I forgot what it’s like to sit in a room without a dressing gown and fluffy socks!

PixellatedPixie · 26/01/2024 06:58

I think the attachment to the Victorian era is quite amusing. To me it’s a bit like deciding Victorian clothes are somehow superior and wearing corsets and long dresses instead of modern clothes. I understand and appreciate architectural styles from many eras. Mid century is as valuable and beautiful as Victorian. Victorian terrace houses were mass produced and often not even built that well! Some Victorian houses are absolutely charming and stunning but so are some mid century builds.

SmileyClare · 26/01/2024 07:02

For me, living with financial security and mortgage free in an idyllic area would far far outweigh the “visual delight” of a Victorian house.

Your position is something most people can only dream of.
What a lovely problem to have 😂

Maybe channel your love of aesthetics in another creative area?
..And value what you have!

UnimaginableWindBird · 26/01/2024 07:04

I didn't love my house until we built an extension, and I realised just how sturdy it was, and learned more about it's history, and now I can't imagine a better home. She's more of a carthorse than a racehorse, but a beautiful carthorse.

Shoppingfiend · 26/01/2024 07:06

I think the heating bills now would have put you off the old house.
Fortunately we have enough savings but our big old Vitorian house is a fortune to heat.
But we are also in a rural area.
I would have a go at really developing the garden so it's an extension of the surrounding countryside - fill it with beautiful plants and or pots/sculptures and wildlife. Sounds like you aren't making the most of what the countryside has to offer.

MuchuseasaChocolateTeapot · 26/01/2024 07:07

I say embrace it! I love period properties (mine is 400 years old), but they do tend to be darker and always feel a bit cluttered. Embrace the new space and decorate accordingly!

Cozytoesandtoast00 · 26/01/2024 07:08

I’ve done exactly this and love my current house. Although I do miss the period charm of my other house at times.
We’ve added extensions with lots of glass, which gives it a modern mid century vibe.
I really enjoy living in my house now. Be creative and make it yours.

Bunnyhair · 26/01/2024 07:11

I live in a Victorian house and I am just so sick of the feeling that it’s crumbling around me all the time. Plus all the little air bricks and little cracks and crevices that let mice and slugs and insects in. Not to mention the cold. The rooms are all so small I feel like we have to turn sideways and edge around furniture to get in and out. We have no storage space.

I long for a modern house that keeps the inside in and the outside out. I dream about built in wardrobes and well proportioned rooms and not having to constantly watch out for roof leaks. When we pay off our mortgage we’ll be spending about the same amount per month for years just doing all the repairs we haven’t been able to afford.

Swapsies? 😀

Edsspecialsauce · 26/01/2024 07:16

There must be something about them. In our area the old Victorian terraced houses with tiny, postage stamp sized gardens and no drive go for 100K more than houses like mine, ex local authority, three huge double bedrooms, massive gardens. I mean, most of my friends who live in those houses spend hours of their lives circuling around trying to find parking, I mean you will probably be about three streets away from your house. And I think... is it really worth it? For some alcoves and an unusable fire place in every room?

IheartNiles · 26/01/2024 07:38

I did it the other way round. The ex council properties normally have good sized, regular shaped rooms, better gardens, better built. Both my Victorian houses had suffered from subsidence (many have poor foundations), on a permanent tilt, drafts, thinner rooms, full of old bodge jobs etc.

I would embrace the era. You don’t have to have PVC windows. Mid century modern can look lovely. Put in a nice cottage garden.

Being in an AONB beats having a period house.

89redballoons · 26/01/2024 07:48

We bought our first house four years ago. It's a 1950s ex council terrace. Before that we rented a ground floor flat in a Victorian building.

I absolutely love our house. It's got good sized bedrooms, is cheap as chips to heat because it's well insulated and is a terrace, and has a great garden with rear access and a parking space at the back.

We knocked through and extended the galley kitchen and dining room and now we have a lovely kitchen/diner/playroom that works really well. It's a perfect family home and I'm always grateful we found it; and since it's an ex council terrace it was much cheaper than other houses in this area which meant we could afford it as first time buyers.

Our flat was gloomy by comparison. And worst of all, it was next door to a student house, also a Victorian property, with a cellar full of rats. That meant we occasionally got rats in our flat Envy the pest control guy said really common with those kinds of properties.

SideshowAuntSallyx · 26/01/2024 07:50

Not quite the same but I moved from a 1940s ex council house to a 2010s new build and I miss the character of the old house, you almost felt the history (it still had the old coal store blocked off in the utility room, we ripped down wallpaper and found a previous owner had drawn their family underneath, we put our names and dates on the back of a sheet of the wood flooring when we did the floor), I miss the mature trees and garden with character, I miss the solid brick walls that I could actually hang mirrors from.

My new place is just square rooms painted white with the standard laminate flooring and beige carpets (I need to decorate but don't have the spare money at the moment).

mrsedgein · 26/01/2024 07:52

Victorian houses are great if you're married to a builder or very wealthy. I hope to sell my Victorian terrace and move to a city penthouse. People tell me I have good skin but this is due to free cryogenics. Have been kept in a frozen/preserved state thanks to my freezing house: i won't need embalming if I die as my body will be beautifully preserved.

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