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Property/DIY

I just need to have a rant

25 replies

NoseyNooNoo · 23/03/2010 11:16

We have been looking for a house foreeeeeeeevvvvvvvvveeeeeeerrrr and I can't take anymore.

I don't know if we're being too picky or if this really is a truly bad time to be looking for something.

We viewed a house this weekend and I had such high hopes for it. It represented good value for money on price per square metre basis which we guessed was due to it being on a busy road and we knew we'd have to extend the kitchen but it was so disappointing. It 80 yrs old and the current youngish couple have (proudly!) gutted the place of any original features. It was like a new-build inside and their DIY was truly abysmal. So much of what they'd done, which they'd expect to get back in the price, was so shoddy we'd have to start again.

So what do we do? Do we buy it for the space despite it being utterly soulless?

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Poledra · 23/03/2010 11:21

Depends. How much work would you have to do to get it the way you would like it, and are you prepared to do it?

Or is the price such that you'd have the money to pay someone else to do it for you (always my preferred option, but DH doesn't quite see it the same way sigh)?

How much do you think you could like the house once it's finished (and if the answer isn't 'We'd love it.' then forget it)?

GooseyLoosey · 23/03/2010 11:26

You can put the soul back. Our 600 year old house was gutted in the 60s - heartbreaking. Looks great now though.

Make a wish list and then look at what you are prepared to compromise on on that list. It took us about a year to realise that we could never have everything we wanted and that we needed to prioritise.

NoseyNooNoo · 23/03/2010 11:36

I thought we had worked out what our priorities were and those were: being close to a decent school and internal space. This house ticks those boxes. We can't afford the space we want in the roads we like so this house seemed like a good compromise.

To put soul back in, I'm not sure where we'd start to be honest. How do you do that without it looking fake? We'd also have t rip out so much new stuff that we'd have paid for in the sale price.

Any work to be done would have to be done by a professional (DH, unlike the vendor, knows his limitations) so it would add up.

I think a 2nd viewing is in order which would result in a 'no' from us or a rather low offer. There is so little on the market here that I would expect someone else to offer nearer to the asking price. That is what is frustrating.

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Poledra · 23/03/2010 11:40

I haven't much experience of this, as our house was not too messed about, but you can start looking at salvage yards or 'period home' specialists to get the right bits and pieces to put it back together again. Sounds GooseyLoosey's your woman for advice on that.

I tell ya, these property development shows have a whole lot to answer for....

GooseyLoosey · 23/03/2010 11:45

Its hard not to make things look fake and I think you have to tread a line between replacing things with originals where you can and when you can't, not geting repros but getting modern stuff thats's true to the house. Its hard to explain but for eg. we have a lot of beams in the house - many were replaced with RSJs in the 60s. Where we could we replaced them with old timber. Where we could not, we replaced them with green oak which was clearly modern and machine cut.

The result is that our house works very well as a modern house but has got back a lot of the charm that was lost.

moomaa · 23/03/2010 11:45

I would put in a low offer explaining you'd need to allow £x for first job, £y for second job and so on, then if you get it you can afford the changes and they understand where you are coming from.

We are looking too and won't be able to afford to change anything big like a kitchen once we move but I know that I will repaint and refloor whatever we buy eventually so am trying to look past decor. Still depressing when you look at so many and you would want to renew everything.

NoseyNooNoo · 23/03/2010 12:37

Goosey, I understand your methodology - keeping the refurb authentic - I can't think what the proper word for making the new obvious but I do understand exactly what you mean.

Moomaa, you are right on the offer. However, I think the vendors are really chuffed with what they've done so I think we'd end up offending them saying we'd want to change so much. We are definitely looking past decor though because even the best decor would need refreshing once pictures and furniture have been removed.

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assumetheposition · 23/03/2010 13:00

what period is it?

NoseyNooNoo · 23/03/2010 13:28

It's nothing fancy - Sussex Farmhouse type built c.1930. It's not a particularly beautiful style but the house in question is just gutted and then really badly renovated (perhaps the worst workmanship I've ever seen in a house to buy rather than to rent).

As it happens, the EA has been on the phone chivvying me along because they already have an offer. It's been on the market for just 5 days. It's crazy around here.

Everything I've bought in the past I've known is 'the one' and there haven't been huge compromises other than decor. I've perhaps had to view quite a few over a few months but we've been looking seriously for a year and less-seriously for a further 2 years (pregnancy and baby meant we weren't THAT serious for a while).

So, once your looking for your 'forever home' is it expected that you buy a house that you're not really in love with? We were buying a house last year that fell through and whilst it wasn't perfect I was really excited about it.

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aseriouslyblondemoment · 23/03/2010 13:51

nosey go back and take a 2nd viewing and if you think that it's structurally sound etc then put in an offer
iswym tho re:the house being badly messed about with as it's unlikely that you will unearth any gems beneath the mess
i have also been turned off by a house which has not only had everything ripped out of it and walls removed but looks like something out of a B&Q ad
whereas the house that we're hoping to buy tho not entirely to my liking is restorable and workable in its'present state
SALVO is a good starting point for sourcing many reclaimed pieces such as tiles,timbers,doors,fireplaces etc

fruitstick · 23/03/2010 22:05

nosey, I'm in exactly the same boat. Looking at buying a 1930s detached which has been extended but decked out in MFI glory. Cheap plastic bath, UPVC windows, shoddy kitchen. No fireplaces, just neatly plastered holes where they used to be.

Given we have been looking for a house for over a year now, I think it's these houses, ironically, that could be the bargain ones.

Every house so far that we have offered on has gone within 2 or 3 days for more than the asking price. We have been gazumped on one - and they have all been the same style house but unmodernised. All of the modernised ones (most of them ghastly) have hung around on the market for months and dropped the asking price a couple of times.

I think everyone these days feels that they need a project to add value (or the only people with cash to buy are people like us who've seen too many episodes of Grand Designs )

So we are going to buy it for the space, safe in the knowledge that it will take our 4 year old and 1 year old a year or 2 to trash the shoddy fixtures and fittings and we can set about replacing them - rather than having to embark on a massive renovation from the off.

spiralqueen · 24/03/2010 09:55

Nosey - wouldn't be surprised if the other offer has already taken into account repairing all their bodging if it hasn't been accepted. So the first offer will have offended them so you don't need to worry about it.

mrsflowerpot · 24/03/2010 10:02

Our house is a bit older than that (early 1900s) and it's been extended and DIYed by previous owners. There was a fire in the 1960s too, so lots of the original features will have gone then. We've done a bit of work, and the previous person did too, on restoring some of the features. Picture rails, decent skirting boards, opening up fireplaces, that kind of thing. The last owner also put proper big vintage radiators in the downstairs rooms and that makes a big difference, plus a couple of pieces of lovely new stained glass in strategic places. I think the key is not to overdo it - you can mix modern and period quite effectively if you get the period bits right. Reclamation yards are a goldmine and also fascinating - we have become saddos who wander round them for fun these days oohing and aaahing

aseriouslyblondemoment · 24/03/2010 10:29

mrsflowerpot you sound like me lol
i could spend hours wandering round reclaimation yards
was fortunate to have quite alot of the character left in my house but we discovered alot more underneath carpets and behind boards and we replaced it sympathetically
was absolutelytho when i recently showed a couple round who wanted to rip all the fireplaces out,the sash windows etc and who pointed at the original range in my kitchen and asked 'what's that?'

NoseyNooNoo · 24/03/2010 16:22

We've booked a 2nd viewing for the weekend. Hopefully things will seem clearer then.

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assumetheposition · 27/03/2010 17:32

how did it go nosey noo

NoseyNooNoo · 27/03/2010 22:39

It wasn't as bad as I remembered, I actually think some of the poor workmanship had been buffed up during the week!

The house will still need immediate (expensive) work so our first and final offer will be low. The couple seem very nice actually but they will have other higher offers I'm sure.

Being the eagle-eyed type that I am, I noticed that the plush bedroom carpet had a lot of shoe indents in it. Generally people don't walk around their bedrooms with shoes on so I reckon they'd had a fair few viewings today.

Seems like we'll never find the house for us and I'm boring myself thinking about house-buying.

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MillyMollyMoo · 27/03/2010 22:41

Keep looking it sounds like a money pit, something perfect will come along eventually.

NoseyNooNoo · 28/03/2010 22:55

Tomorrow I will put in a low offer which I am sure will be declined - let's hope the EA leaves it more than 30 seconds to call back with the decline (he did this last time and I do not believe the offer was put forward).

I'm ambivalent with regards to whether we get a yes or no. Perhaps this isn't a good sign or am I just becoming a bloke and not getting emotionally attached like I have in the past.

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assumetheposition · 29/03/2010 08:56

Nosey I know what you mean. I've lost so many houses now I don't think I'll ever fall in love with one again.

Am now going from a clipboard tick sheet of requirements.

Am just hoping that, once the election is out of the way, everyone will put their house on the market and prices will plummet (for everyone except mnetters)

NoseyNooNoo · 29/03/2010 10:02

EA rang me and I stalled, couldn't say the number, and I said we were thinking about it. Interestingly, this EA said that there had been no other offers (she is the one nice person there). Hmm, so now I feeled annoyed that her colleague actually lied to me!

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NoseyNooNoo · 29/03/2010 10:21

Offer made!!! EA didn't give much away. Not sure I care either way. I'd rather have something to buy but won't be upset if they say no.

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NoseyNooNoo · 29/03/2010 13:34

Offer declined.

I'm not upset at all - just a bit jaded with all this searching. It would have been nice to have things moving in the right direction.

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assumetheposition · 29/03/2010 14:45

Nosey, first offers are always rejected .

They might be back if they realise you are not going to go any higher.

Chin up though - one day, this will all be an amusing Christmas Dinner anecdote

NoseyNooNoo · 29/03/2010 15:20

I'd like to think once we buy somewhere we never need revisit this period in our life, especially over Christmas dinner. I am just so booooooooored by it all. I wish we could just take some time out from it all but if we stop looking our perfect house might be sold to someone else.

I did make it really clear our offer was a first and final offer. I'm not bothered by not gertting that house but I would like to put an end to this part of our life.

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