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House regret
33

Fluffy21 · 05/08/2022 21:00

Hi everyone,

sorry for what will probably be a long post. We moved house about 2 weeks ago- upsized to a 50’s 3 bed house from a 2 bed new build. Since we’ve moved in I can’t help but think we have made the most horrendous mistake. The house was advertised as in need of modernisation and is dated, but now we’ve been here I can’t help but think the whole place needs gutting and isn’t cosmetic which we just can’t afford.
we are having a new bathroom in October, have had some builders in to move a few bits in our kitchen (really need a new kitchen but can’t afford it yet) and we have replaced the flooring throughout and replastering will be done in the hall and landing.
we had a full structural survey which highlighted some roof issues, but I asked a roofer to have a look and he said it wasn’t urgent work. I literally lie in bed every night and think it’s going to fall down, we’ve had the wallpaper stripped off the hall and there are cracks everywhere (no subsidence noted on structural survey). It just doesn’t feel like a home. We still haven’t been able to properly unpack as the house was absolutely FILTHY and we’ve just unpacked what we needed while it was cleaned. Has anyone ever been in a similar situation and has a positive story or regretted it? I just can’t ever imagine this House being our home and worry I’ve made a massive mistake for our family.

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MumMumMumMumMum1 · 05/08/2022 21:17

Pretty common to move in and think you’ve made a horrendous mistake tbh. I’ve felt that about my last 3 houses but have loved each one in no time.

I’m in a 50’s wreck, it has been done little bits at a time, we still have 2 rooms we haven’t finished decorating. It makes my heart happy every time I drive up the road. I LOVE my house but on moving day I sobbed for hours because of the state it was left in and how bad I realised it was.

It won’t fall down, It is probably more solidly built than the new build you’ve left! You will get there, it will soon be your home.

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Fluffy21 · 05/08/2022 21:32

Thank you, that’s reassuring. Can I ask what it is you’re doing to yours? We have budgeted for cosmetic updating only- we were told it has been rewired but it turns out it was only a partial rewire so we have an electrician coming next week.

I know exactly how you feel about sobbing- I cried on moving day when I realised how dirty and run down it was. They had an extension in the 90s but I don’t think they did much other than that. There is wood chip wood paper everywhere which I stupidly didn’t take into account on the viewing, and the builder seems to think the kitchen is early 200’s but is falling apart really.
How long did it take you to feel like it was home?

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easyday · 05/08/2022 21:32

Give it time. A move is a huge deal and the house needs work and doesn't feel it's yours yet.
But after the work and redecorating to your taste it will.

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Fluffy21 · 05/08/2022 21:39

Thank you @easyday. I’m trying to be positive, this house has a lot of benefits such as location and space, but it feels like we’re squatting in a derelict building at times (that’s me being over dramatic!!!) I’m planning to get one room decorated tomorrow so we can unpack our stuff in there and have somewhere to relax in.

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GenericDude · 05/08/2022 21:45

Hi, I’m also looking at upgrading to a bigger home with a more suitable layout and what you are feeling is the very thing I’m trying to avoid. It’s such a big upheaval, moving home and not something I’m familiar with. However, I do have some experience with the various pitfalls so hopefully I will avoid what you are now finding. My main concern is the kind of neighbours I’ll get.
I’m also looking into going for a new build, perhaps one that is only a couple of years old. People tell me to avoid new builds but my problem with older houses is that you just don’t know what you’re getting with any real certainty.
I hope you can start to feel better as you get all the jobs completed.

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NegroniNonna · 05/08/2022 21:58

I think what you're feeling is really common! It's a big change and a lot of money and it can feel overwhelming.

I've felt like this when I moved and remember it well. A few years on everything feels fine, we've chipped away at the work and bit by bit it's felt like ours.

And it smells right now too - hate the alien smell of a new house!

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MumMumMumMumMum1 · 05/08/2022 22:08

I lived without cupboard doors on the kitchen for a couple of years! We did have wood chip, cracks, 80’s decor, threadbare carpets, filth.

We have had new windows and doors, DH is sort of handy so fitted the bathroom & did the tiling, it isn’t a swanky expensive bathroom but it looks nice. We also had a little extension that we then discovered was damp so had to pay for the plaster to be knocked off, a damp proof course, new plaster & flooring which we hadn’t budgeted for. The upshot was we were pretty skint so we bought a kitchen second hand and fitted it ourselves. It looks brilliant. Lots of people move into new builds and fit completely new kitchens so sell the one they remove. I had no clue this was a thing until a friend was selling her new kitchen, it had only been in a year! The driveway needs redoing but we are in no rush. I think the electrics were done mid 80’s.

Honestly, you will soon feel more at home and relaxed. We moved from a fully decorated semi to get away from noisy neighbours. I don’t regret it and love our house.

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BasiliskStare · 06/08/2022 04:01

@Fluffy21 - Early 2000s we moved into what I thought was the house of my dreams - we knew there was work to be done. When we got in there first evening surrounded by boxes I smelled gas - so we had to get the gas people out who cut it off so we had no hot water . That was fixed but DH had to go on a business trip & I was on my own in the house & I put DS ( a toddler ) to bed and just burst into tears - thinking , like you , we have made the most dreadful mistake. Over time we did bit and pieces and lived with the rest not being perfect and actually I found it quite liberating not to have to have everything perfect. We did eventually scrape the money together to have it all done properly & guess what , when we sold it and moved to our current house I shed a tear, because it was a lovely house . I think as others have said it is perfectly normal to feel as you do . Just breathe and don't think everything has to be perfect all in one go. I loved that house and if it weren't that we had to move for reasons I would happily be there to this day. Bit and bobs of a bit of cracking if not structural can be done with a skim , kitchen can be done relatively cheaply ( my Brother has a 1930s house and they have a Wicks kitchen which I swear looks very smart and I have tested the drawers for soft closing - ha ha ) .

Please do not panic . If you have had a proper survey then the chances are the house will not fall down. It may not be House and Garden perfect but you can live with that. I had a deep green 1970s bathroom. I painted the walls white and painted balloons on them - DS thought it was the best bathroom ever, .

Also & a serious point - it is often better to live in a house ( however much in need of decoration / renovation ) for a while to decide what you actually want . So if you can live with outdated things - Just make it cosy and liveable & over time it will actually be your home. I found that even though the kitchen I had was utterly rubbish - once I had cooked a few meals in it , it felt more like home

I wish you well Fluffy & I would bet a sovereign to a pint of oranges that you will in time think it was a brilliant move

Basilisk 🌷🌺

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Ilovefishcakes201 · 06/08/2022 05:51

Do not panic, it doesn’t sound bad at all.

Roof: you found an honest roofer who told you it’s not urgent.
Building: You had structural survey that found no subsidence or any other major issue.
Electrics: You had a partial rewire, I assume you have a consumer unit instead of an old fuse box. That in itself makes your house electrics 10x safer.
Water: You probably knew if you needed a new boiler.
The main thing is check if you can upgrade your incoming mains to plastic. If you can do so before your new bathroom the better.

All things considered you seem to have all the main bases covered.

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Lioupin · 06/08/2022 06:12

This was exactly me a few years ago.

From a tiny new build to a very old fashioned 50s box which needed everything doing. Every wall stripped (to reveal cracks) and plastered. Every ceiling skimmed. New kitchen, bathroom, roof. It felt overwhelming and not like home at all.

Work through slowly, don’t rush into things as it’s nice to live in the space and work out how you’re using it, it will be lovely in the end. You won’t regret it.

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steppingout · 06/08/2022 06:44

We moved into a house where absolutely everything needed doing and I cried a few times after moving in! What I found really helped was decorating and organising one room (we started with the living room) so there a place to go that felt cosy and nice rather than someone else's building site. I love the house now, we've been able to get it just how we want it over time.

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sarahc336 · 06/08/2022 06:50

Op I could have written this post myself/ we lived in 7 weeks ago, we knew it needed work but they'd clearly hidden a lot of water damage/cracks etc with paint. We're not seeing the full extent of the work needed. Instil love the house it's just an awful realisation moment when you see the extent of work isn't it. All I can suggest is take one job at a time. Try to make it your home so you will come back to loving it as I assume you liked it in the first place to buy it?? Xx

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Nillynally · 06/08/2022 06:55

We moved from a lovely new build to a larger but dirty house in need of modernisation and I felt like this for about a week. It was so gross and the thought of all the work made me nervous but we've been here 4 years now and I absolutely love it. It's got our stamp on it now, something our new build never had. Have fun and remember you don't need to do it all at once!

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mummabubs · 06/08/2022 07:00

Last year we moved from a new build into a largee 1980s house that hadn't been redecorated since it was built. I spent the first 8 months at least having regular moments of crying and saying to DH we'd made a terrible mistake as here doesn't feel like my home. (We bought a run down house in a good area as we could never afford a done up house here).

We've done a lot of work in the last 15 months including having a new boiler installed, replastering all the ceilings and the hallway (we have textured wallpaper and artex throughout!), installing spotlights instead of the hideous brass chandelier things, clearing the garden, having a stud wall built downstairs, redoing the wc. It will probably take us at least 10 years to get it to where we really want with an extension and new kitchen etc as we can't afford to do it quickly. But I have noticed the shift of feeling like this is our home and seeing the potential of what it will become with time. (and recognising that moving here was the right choice!)

I've definitely been where you are OP, you're so early into the move. It's a big shock going from a new build that needed nothing doing to it to a house that feels like it needs everything doing. I'm sure your house will be amazing in time :) x

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TwoLeftSocksWithHoles · 06/08/2022 07:34

Yes we had that! And as we stripped wallpaper it seemed to get worse and worse but once we had completed a room it started to change the whole character and became 'our' house.

We thought do all the preparation in one go, huge job and everywhere you went in the house was dire.

With hindsight I think the sequence for us should have been,

  1. the sitting room, so it was pleasant to sit it.
  2. our bedroom (no children) so you don't wake up to something awful.
  3. bathroom.
  4. kitchen

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demotedreally · 06/08/2022 07:42

Stop rushing at it. You knew what you were doing, it will all come good in the end. Just unpack and settle in

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teanbiscuitio · 06/08/2022 07:51

Been here with our current house. I hated it the day we moved in. The grime, the smell, and all the crap the previous owner left behind.

I'd go for the strategy of divide and conquer. Focus on one or 2 rooms at a time. Changing the skirting boards, having the walls skimmed and changing the electrical and light switch face plates will make the room feel new without breaking the bank.

Things which I didn't count on doing were replacing the suspended floor downstairs as the joists we're rotten. That was a big job. Also changing our water supply pipe as the pressure was quite low before, now it's like a firehouse. Don't scrape artex ceilings if there's any there due to asbestos, your plaster can overboard these or you can paint it and leave it in place.

Getting the windows replaced and a new front door really transformed the house.

As for kitchens, we left ours as it was the only thing that wasn't completely ancient. I would look for used kitchens though.

It takes time but you'll get there.

The roof will be fine btw.

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Itreallyistimetogo · 06/08/2022 08:16

50s houses are my absolute favourite. I totally regret selling mine, I loved it. Cracking in properties isn't uncommon, all buildings move to some extent and many develop soem cracks during settlement. If you have had a structural survey with no major issues highlighted then I wouldn't sorry too much about that. What was the roof issue that was highlighted?

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goldfinchonthelawn · 06/08/2022 08:26

Moving house is up there with divorce and bereavement as one of life's major stressors. It'snormal to feel overwhelmed.

Try to rationalise the positive and practical things. You have a bigger house - massive plus. In a good area - massive plus again. It probably is - as PP said - better built long term than the new build. The roof will be fine. We libe in a thrities roof that has never needed retiling. They built them to last in those days.
so what if it's filthy? A few days hard graft puts that right, and it will be up to your standards.

I think it's really important to sort out one room and make it liveable asap. Strip a living room to floorboards, wax them and paint it white. Put down rugs, put up paintings and live in it while the building work goes on elsewhere.

Flylady advice: if you hte your kitchen and can't afford a new one, treat it as if you love it. Scrub it really clean. Put fresh flowers, fruit and potted herbs in there and anything else to give it a well loved feeling - beautiful cloth on the table or lovely crockery on display etc. Bird feeders hung outside so there's something to watch through the window. It makes a massive difference. I hate our kitchen's layout and style. We've never had the money to update it. But I've put things in it that I love. It always smells of fresh coffee and flowers. When I come home after working away I feel a surge of love for it.

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EekThreek · 06/08/2022 08:35

We're in exactly the same boat. Moved in 2 weeks ago to a large 20s semi, but it hasn't had anything done to it in decades. With the added bonus that my ILs were going to gift £30k for renovations which they have now gone back on.

So where we thought we were going to have money for the essentials (Windows, damp, roof and repointing) plus new gates (currently rotten), she'd (non-existent), loft boarding (non-existent, fences and gravelling some space on the front to fit the car, we now can't do any of that. And that's before we even start thinking about decorating, bathroom, flooring.

I'm fed up, but I know it's just because we're staring up at the mountain. If we break it down into manageable chunks it will be less overwhelming. For example, the quote for the damp includes replastering those rooms - one of them being the hallway, so we'll actually have the room with the highest foot traffic in a reasonable state really early on - I'm hoping the psychological effects of that will keep me going for the rest of the house.

Good luck.

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AnneElliott · 06/08/2022 08:45

I felt like you op. The first night I cried and said I wanted to go home! DS who was 6 coped much better than I did!

But it didn't take long for it to feel like home. Once it had been cleaned (my whole family turned up to help) it started to feel better.

Now I'm really pleased we moved as it's much bigger in a nicer area and with lovely neighbours. Hang on in there.

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Fluffy21 · 06/08/2022 09:16

Morning everyone, sorry I didn’t see these replies last night as I fell asleep really early. I just wanted to say thank you so much to everyone - I actually feel really reassured that a lot have felt in the same boat. I think what a few people said has hit the nail on the head too - it doesn’t feel like ours yet because we’ve not even completed one room.

For the poster that asked about the roof, the structural survey said it needed replacing within the next few months. Roofer came out and said the surveyor was ridiculous and it wasn’t urgent work and could be repaired but he would wait til next summer. It’s probably not helped that it was so dirty when we moved in, and I’ve scared myself senseless but googling modernisations - which appears to be anything from redecoration to stripping back to brick!

thank you again everyone - also a good comment about the new build probably not being as solid, something my husband said but I didn’t listen to!

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Fluffy21 · 06/08/2022 09:18

Oh also, our neighbours are so lovely as well (we’re semi detached) which is also a massive positive. Picture of the grime attached just because I’m still angry about it 🤣

House regret House regret
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SuperCamp · 06/08/2022 09:21

Wow OP, just to say how impressed I am with the huge amount of work you have done and had done since you moved in!

It will be a project to be proud of once buts get completed.

And stop it with worrying about the roof. The person who could have made money from working on it said nothing major / urgent.

Good luck with the decorating.

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RidingMyBike · 06/08/2022 09:35

Yep, been there! It is really overwhelming at first. We bought a house very like this 13 years ago and couldn't afford to do everything we wanted at first. I turned the survey etc into a spreadsheet to prioritise what needed to be done now, within a couple of years, within five years etc. That helped break it up into manageable chunks we could save up for.

The kitchen was a 1980s marvel, filthy etc. Which we couldn't afford to replace. We sawed out gaps in the work surfaces so our fridge/freezer could go in. The integrated oven was condemned as unsafe, so builder sawed that out too and we bought a new freestanding cooker that we then used in our eventual new kitchen. We got the new kitchen four years later and it actually helped that we'd lived there for a while as we went for different things than we would have done if we'd done it as soon as we owned it. If that makes sense?!

It ended up being a wonderful family home. We sold it last year to relocate for work and buy somewhere bigger, and are now about to start the whole process again! Just waiting for quotes to see what we can afford to do.

It may sound counter-intuitive but take loads of photos now and as you do things. You very quickly forget how bad it was and it's helpful to be able to look back and see how far you've come.

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