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House and home

Any advice on what size house to buy?

(59 Posts)
flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 08:22:14

I've posted previously on buying a 2nd home to be nearer my daughter and her family.
So. We've seen a nice small flat, one bedroom, garden. But compact. But also no maintenance. £100k.
If we want a bit more space, it would be a Victorian terrace. Which would give us, usually, another small bedroom, and, perhaps, a dining room. A back yard, rather than a garden. Plus maintenance issues. This would cost us another £30-£40k.
We have budgeted to spend up to £150k.
I would be interested to hear whether people think it would be worth paying the extra chunk for more space.

tanith Sun 12-Jul-20 08:27:56

For me the benefit of the outdoor space would be worth the extra money but that's just me.

Missfoodlove Sun 12-Jul-20 08:30:06

Are there any new build properties n the area?
It would have 10 years NHBC cover.

A flat without outside space is not a good investment, it’s really important to have some outdoor space even if it’s small.

Is there any 55+ housing available or housing trusts where you could rent?

flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 08:34:35

The flat does have a nice garden. The issue is that it's small. 1 bedroom, 1 small living room, kitchen and bathroom. Is it worth spending more a big chunk more for another small bedroom and a dining room?

flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 08:36:33

As in, the garden is just right (not too big, not too small). It's the flat that is compact.

sodapop Sun 12-Jul-20 08:41:14

I'm not sure what your plans are flopen you say this is a second home. If you are only spending periods of time there and its not your main residence then lock up and leave, a small home is ideal. If however you are spending a lot of time of there then opt for more space.

V3ra Sun 12-Jul-20 09:06:38

Are there any bigger flats available?
Would an extra bedroom be useful for grandchildren to sleep over for a treat, even though they live locally, as they get older?
Could you manage the maintenance of the house if you end up on your own (sorry if that's insensitive but maybe worth considering) or would you move to a flat at that point?
What an exciting problem to have!

CrazyGrandma2 Sun 12-Jul-20 10:38:54

I guess it depends on how often you are going to use it and whether it will ever become your main home. If the former then probably ok. If the latter then think about what your future needs might be. A lovely problem to have. Good luck.

Americanpie Sun 12-Jul-20 10:45:17

Are there any on going costs to your flat to cover general maintenance of the building such as shared areas, the roof and gardens? My cousin recently moved into a flat and I was quite shocked by how much he pays a month.

flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 10:47:27

Yes, but very low (£300pa)

4allweknow Sun 12-Jul-20 10:50:31

Unless you are going to be in the second home a lot of the time a bigger place may be a burden eg maintenance, gardening. If all you want is your own accommodation to stay in whilst visiting then the small flat sounds ideal.

shysal Sun 12-Jul-20 10:51:38

Are you likely to have grandchildren to sleep over in the future, in which case a second bedroom would be more convenient?

Aepgirl Sun 12-Jul-20 10:57:24

Remember, maintenance fees can rise without any warning or discussion.

Elegran Sun 12-Jul-20 10:59:37

The garden is a useful outdoor space, but however small it is it will need maintaining, and as you get older you may not want to spend time in your second home doing gardening chores. Unless the garden is included in the maintenance fee, I would restrict it to a patio with a few containers.

EmilyHarburn Sun 12-Jul-20 11:02:24

What are you hobbies. Do you need an office? The maintained garden and no repairs sounds marvellous but can they put up the annual amount each year?

Gwenisgreat1 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:06:15

How is your fitness for going up and downstairs? I assume the Victorian Terrace would have stairs. If you are fine then I would go for the freedom of the larger property!

biba70 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:08:08

WE are all so different, with different priorities - so very hard to advise someone without knowing that person. For me/us- a small SW facing garden will always be a priority. Large living kitchen and no dining-room. The huge draw-back with flats in the UK- is that there is no storage space at all apart from wardrobes- so would have to rent storage nearby.

Madwoman11 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:14:18

The flat will be leasehold of course, and can cause no end of problems you have no control over. Also service charges are extremely cost.
Personally I would go for a suitable freehold house or bungalow.
Enjoy 😊

cassandra264 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:29:32

If you think you are ever going to move nearer to your daughter and family permanently, it might be a good idea to consider something with a second bedroom (and second bath/shower room, or at least a second w.c.) so that if either of you have health problems or disabilities in the future it is possible for a carer to stay overnight. You can then retain your independence for longer while still being near to your nearest and dearest. And if you choose a flat, make sure there is a lift! Friends of mine who bought a third floor apartment without one years ago are now having difficulty getting in and out of their home.

Oopsadaisy3 Sun 12-Jul-20 11:39:15

I think it will depend on how long you will be living there, will it just be the odd weekend? 6 months of the year? If the flat is compact now, once you get some bits and bobs in there you might feel it’s too tiny.
If you can afford extra why not go for the larger property, if you are spending lots of time there? You can always close the doors on rooms you don’t use.

Candelle Sun 12-Jul-20 11:39:48

The house every time!..It gives you flexibility as you have room to have grandchildren or other visitors to stay.

The maintenance issue re. garden could be covered by a gardener or better still, artificial grass or even attractive paving perhaps with a pond/large planters.

I understand the attraction of the flat in as much as it would be easy to maintain but the house offers so much more.

A flat also means you will be unable to do exactly as you want: the exterior will be painted to a schedule and not when you think it should. You will have to agree with other owners on gardeners, window cleaners, maintenance of communal areas etc., so if you have the funds, buy the house and be free!

The service charges for the flat could be used towards a fortnightly gardener at the house.

Wishing you well with whatever decision you make.

flopen Sun 12-Jul-20 11:50:02

thank you everybody. It's given me plenty to think about

Rosina Sun 12-Jul-20 11:54:53

I would go for the Victorian house any time - absolutely no contest. Maintenance costs can increase as others have said; a relalative has just been greeted with the news that her service charges are to double, and there is no redress. A tiny garden can be made pretty with pots and gravel, and can be almost maintenace free. I would hate a flat with the close proximity of others, but again we are all different. My friend loves her flat as she like to think of having people above, below, and next to her. It's hard to advise anyone else!

Jillybird Sun 12-Jul-20 11:54:53

You are talking second home. It entirely depends how much time you are going to spend there. If you are going for just a few days every now and then, definitely the flat. What's the point in spending loads of money on council tax, exterior maintenance, etc. etc. for somewhere you are just going to use, well, how many days out of 365? I'd have thought it would be ideal to have a maintenance plan - if all the plumbing goes haywire and leaks appear, it would be very reassuring to have maintenance on the spot, dealt with when you aren't there.

If you anticipate actually moving in eventually, then go for the house - even a nicer house!

As someone else has said, what a lovely problem to have!
What fun! Let us know what you decide!

grandtanteJE65 Sun 12-Jul-20 12:00:10

Are you considering turning your second home into your primary home at some point?

If so a bigger property might be advisable.

The day might come when two bedrooms are an advantage.

That said, a flat is much easier to run than a house, but if you have never lived in a flat you need to consider such things as noisy neighbours.