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House and home

Looking for a new home

(81 Posts)
Coolgran65 Wed 24-Nov-21 01:48:09

Our house is sale agreed after only 5 days on the market having had 6 bidders. All went so well. Sold to a cash buyer who is happy to wait until we find something suitable. A perfect situation for us you’d think.
Except we are finding it difficult to find a suitable property. We want to future proof by moving to a bungalow. Or a house with a bathroom/bedroom downstairs as well as bedroom/s and shower room upstairs so we can migrate downstairs should the need arise. Such a property is like hen’s teeth. Barely a bungalow to be found.
We really want to stay in our little market town but have extended our search area by 10 miles still without success. I think there will not be many new properties come onto the market until after Christmas.

Those we have seen need too much done to them to make them suitable. We’re willing to do a certain amount of work such as changing a bathroom to a shower room but not to the extent of knocking down walls/repointing brickwork.
Today we viewed 4 properties at the 10 mile radius limit without success. I came home drained and emotionally exhausted. Our own home is perfect for us except it doesn’t have the option for downstairs living. Future proofing seemed such a good idea.

Has anyone ever felt that it was all just too much. We’ve only been searching for two weeks but have covered every property in the area that is remotely suitable without success.

I didn’t realise how stressful this part was going to be. To be waiting in hope that we find something. I know that any day ‘the one’ could appear. But can my nerves take the strain.

Anyone else find this part difficult?

jaylucy Wed 24-Nov-21 10:57:13

If it's anything like where I live, most of the bungalows that started off as 2 /3 beds have been enlarged both sideways and upwards so are now 2 storey.
I asked a local builder why they only seem to build single storey houses in places designed for the elderly and was told it's because they are not fashionable!
A friend of mine has been diagnosed with MS was looking for a bungalow for 6 months before she found her bungalow and only then because it had previously been her work colleague's grandmother's and purely by chance she heard about it going on the market during a chat in the office tea room !
Hang in there, register with all the local estate agents and you could always try posting on your local community Facebook group,

Coolgran65 Wed 24-Nov-21 11:36:53

Thank you everyone. A good idea to find out from a company regarding a stair lift in the future.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 24-Nov-21 12:00:58

I would just add one more thing. Not long ago there was a thread started by someone who had moved into a bungalow when she and her husband didn’t actually need to. They were thinking of the future. She hated it and wanted to move again. Longed for her old house and she was really unhappy in this place that they thought at the time was a good idea. She just wasn’t ready for living in a bungalow that she couldn’t do anything with.

Coolgran65 Thu 25-Nov-21 03:17:32

I am feeling much better today. I decided that we are happy in this home and will consider any suitable property that might come onto the market but will not fret about it.
If there is nothing suitable…… there is nothing we can do about it.
I will feel very bad for our buyer who will have waited and if we let her down but it will be the result of circumstances and not us just changing our mind.
Thanks again for many enlightening replies.

maria0220 Thu 25-Nov-21 06:03:52

What you’re feeling is totally valid. It does get exhausting when you’re house hunting. I’ve been there and it took me almost five months to find a house from Ballymore Homes. You can just imagine how stressful those five months are. But in the end, it all paid off and we’re very happy with our home. Just be patient! Honestly, two weeks is still a short time if you’re house hunting. You’ll still have a long way to go, but you'll get there. Good luck!

Franbern Thu 25-Nov-21 08:39:41

Coolgrqan two weeks in is hardly scratching the surface. Surely, when you first made the decision to move, you really went into ALL the pros and cons regarding this. It is, after all, probably the biggest single decision most of us make in our lfietimes.

Also, even really knowing to what you wish to move to, should ahve been very carefully researched, not waited until a few weeks before christmas to go looking for something.

Sorry, if I sound harsh, but I feel for your purchaser. They must also have had their journey.

I would also add that I do not feel that stair lifts are the real answer . Good, if nothing else is available. But not ideal. Living on one level as we age is such a good solution. Over the past week, I have been increasingly happy that I moved into my flat a couple of years back. I have had a bad week suffering from bronchitus and nto sure how I would have coped in my house, even with a stair lift . Just having the kitchen across the passage from my bedroom and esuite and next door to my living room has been a blessing.

Think you and hubbie need to sit down and really work out future proofing.

Peasblossom Thu 25-Nov-21 09:19:20

I hope you’re not going to let her spend money on solicitors, searches and surveys, while you’re really still ambivalent about whether you’re going to move. Or at least let her know it might not happen and she’s taking a risk.

GagaJo Thu 25-Nov-21 09:29:43

It took me a year to find my current house. I wasn't particularly picky, just had a couple of 'must have's'. I DID see a lot of nice houses, but they were all unsuitable in one way or another.

I've also recently been looking at flats to buy. Again, very very difficult. I've had to compromise in order to get one in a reasonable area.

I think that if you find a property that is the right type, you may have to resign yourself to getting quite a bit of work done. You could sell and go into rented while it was done, and you will be assured of getting the property you want then.

I had to completely 'redo' my house when I moved in (I was mid 40's then and able to do most of it myself). It was the right choice though. The area was about to become popular when I bought at a good price.

It is very rare to get exactly what we want in a property. Compromises have to be made somewhere.

Dylant1234 Thu 25-Nov-21 10:43:36

I’m going to try and stay in my own home which I love for as long as possible, hopefully forever. Heard that if you downsize to a bungalow you develop something doctors jokingly call ‘bungalow legs’ ie an inability to walk upstairs. Since I heard that I make a point of trying to run up my stairs every day (I’m only 69) and keep as physically active as possible. Of course, if I got a stroke or became immobile for some reason I’d have to move but I’m hoping, maybe optimistically, that that won’t happen. To assist my children though I’m trying to keep on top of accumulated ‘stuff’ and to sort through all papers etc in case a sudden move is needed or, in any event, at my death.

Fashionista1 Thu 25-Nov-21 10:50:29

We moved from our house to a bungalow 3 years ago. Our house sold in days like yours and we told the buyer who was in rented we needed to find. We went through about 3 months of searching, having made offers on a property which fell through. Then randomly I saw a bungalow on the internet and as we were desperate we viewed it. It was perfect and we immediately offered in November and moved in February. It had been re-decorated and new kitchen, ensuite and bathroom. We are really happy we kept looking and my best advice is this. View everything in person as you don't see everything via pictures, keep an open mind, ours was refurbished but we have made lots of changes as the colours etc. were not what we wanted. Sometimes it's best to get a property refurbished to get exactly what you want. Keep an open mind and keep looking. Good luck.

Oofy Thu 25-Nov-21 11:03:18

Would strongly advise against renting. We did this when we moved to the south from Scotland with DH’s work, and our money sat in the bank shrinking in value for over a year, as there was very little suitable housing for sale, and what there was went to those the estate agents showed it to before it was put in their windows (possibly by those who had paid them a fee, never thought of that).
Our DD’s downstairs neighbours put their flat on the market, sold in days, but they have had to pull out of the sale as they couldn’t find anything better than they had (they were hoping to upgrade to a house for bedrooms for children) in the area they needed.

Alioop Thu 25-Nov-21 11:04:45

When I was looking for a bungalow it was very hard too. I ended up and bought a wreck of a place that sat for so long because of the work it needed doing to it. I'm 55 and on my own, but wanted to get somewhere now to do up that I can manage as I get older. I have done a lot of work myself, but it's been a nightmare because Covid hit and builders downed tools and then supplies were hard to come by. I've noticed a sale sign goes up here and in a couple of days a sold sign appears. Stick with it and hopefully something will come up and if you really want to sell yours now maybe go into rented until you find a suitable bungalow.

Nagmad2016 Thu 25-Nov-21 11:09:29

We found ourselves in the same position some years ago. Rather than settle for a compromise property we decided to rent a bungalow whilst still looking for the ideal new home. We found that we didn't really enjoy bungalow living, preferring to go upstairs to sleep. This might be an idea for you too. There are always stair, and vertical lift options for two storey properties. We also found the bungalow required more heating, for various reasons.

Chardy Thu 25-Nov-21 11:12:30

Coastal towns have lots of bungalows.

Shandy57 Thu 25-Nov-21 11:24:32

Could you move in with your family, declutter ruthlessly and put your remaining possessions into storage? I fear you might lose your buyer as my friend did - she also had a cash buyer who waited exactly four weeks before sneaking off to buy a retirement apartment.

I sold my house at auction so had to go into rented as normally it is a month to completion, but my horrible buyer asked for two months.

I completed in May 2020, then viewed houses also as a cash buyer, and found this bungalow in mid October. Unfortunately the vendor's solicitor had Covid without informing her, and the conveyancing took until March 2021.

Personally I don't like living in a bungalow as I miss going upstairs/being able to see the view, but know I have done the best with the money I had, and I have future proofed.

Good luck!

Nanola Thu 25-Nov-21 11:34:34

We sold our house in Scotland in February 2020. We have been in an unsuitable rental in Kent ever since.
We have looked at dozens of overpriced houses that need mega work to make them liveable in. We cannot give up, we have to find a home and experience the luxury of having pictures on the walls, carpets a wardrobe etc etc.
Most of our stuff is in storage, haven’t seen it for 2 years.
Hopefully the market will become more reasonable next year . . .

Happysexagenarian Thu 25-Nov-21 11:41:09

Have you considered 'advertising' for the kind of property you need? The last time we moved we had leaflets printed detailing our requirements and budget and went door to door around our chosen area. A little legwork needed but it also gave us a greater insight into the area we were searching. It resulted in some interesting properties being revealed that were not yet on the market.

We decided against a newspaper ad as people read them then forget them, but they might keep a flyer if they're thinking about moving. We later noticed a couple of the homes we had leafleted suddenly appeared in the estate agents listings, so perhaps the owners just needed that little push.

It's early days for your search so don't get disheartened, as you say there will probably be a flourish of fresh properties appearing early next year. Good luck.

Skydancer Thu 25-Nov-21 11:47:11

The last time we sold our house we moved into rented. It was quite and fairly relaxing as there were so few jobs to do. We put most of our furniture in storage which wasn't expensive. We were then in a fantastic position to pounce. This is exactly what we did and acquired a bungalow for £30,000 less than the asking price because we were cash buyers and could move straight away. I'd advise anyone to rent as, although you might think it's expensive, you can save so much on the next property.

Dempie55 Thu 25-Nov-21 11:47:15

Good luck in your search. I sold my home in June this year and still haven't found a bungalow I want to live in. 5 months renting, but there are hardly any bungalows coming onto the market, and those that do need a complete renovation. I am on my own now, and can't face any sort of project. I need a place that's ready to move into. Like others on here, I am now considering a flat or apartment, though I am worried about high maintenance fees. The estate agents are useless, I have told them all exactly what I'm looking for, but none of them contact me, I always have to do my own research. Hoping things improve in the New Year.

Willow73 Thu 25-Nov-21 11:57:29

Please don't wait to see bungalows on the market they go like hotcakes apart from those in bad conditions or bad areas.
Best thing is to contact all the estate agent and tell them you have a cash buyer and need a bungalow asap or you're sale might fall through, they will listen and do the foot work for you. As soon as someone asks for a selling price from them they will be onto it for you to get a deal.
Also as you know the areas you could mail drop to all the bungalows owners, that you are interested if they think of selling in the near future to contact you. Just leave an email address with them. It does work.
Good Luck.

FarNorth Thu 25-Nov-21 12:05:10

Make sure that your purchaser knows you are keen and are actively looking.

I'd be concerned that your purchaser could get fed up and find somewhere else, if your search lasts too long.
For myself, I'd be much happier to get the sale all done even if that meant moving into somewhere temporary until the 'perfect place' turned up.

(Assuming that English law allows people pull out at the stage your sale is at. Scottish law doesn't.)

Germanshepherdsmum Thu 25-Nov-21 12:30:09

I would happily live on one level as I have had osteoarthritis in my knees for many years but have yet to see a bungalow within my (generous) price range which is anything but a boring box in a road of similar boxes. And there are a lot in my area, being near the coast and sought after by retirees. OP would be spoilt for choice. The architects and builders seem to have zero imagination and there is no scope to do anything to make them any more appealing. And I would rather go upstairs on my backside than have a stair (or other) lift.

Nannan2 Thu 25-Nov-21 12:33:38

I have been looking nearly a year for such a property, or at very least with a downstairs loo- & upstairs bathroom- but as i can only afford renting its even harder- we are getting very despondent to put it mildly and as im reliant on them accepting housing benefit too (even though ive got money waiting for rent/deposit) its like proper gold dust- diamond dust even! Cant see it happening before xmas for us- all i can suggest to you is buy something older with two reception rooms separate so you can use some money from your sale to convert one reception room later.Thats what I'd do if i had money to buy.😐

Nannan2 Thu 25-Nov-21 12:35:38

Its even harser as we need 3 bedrooms and social/council housing only seem to think everyone who needs a bungalow lives alone(!)🙄

Nannan2 Thu 25-Nov-21 12:35:57

*harder