Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

If bungalow is the answer what is the question?

The question is the one that the lady of the manor and I are spending many many hours discussing at the moment and that is “what house shall we buy?’.

We love our little house we really do, but we compromised by living on a busy road in order to buy this our first house. It’s our dream Victorian terrace with wooden floorboards and fireplaces, the one we have lusted after during all those years of renting in Bristol. We’ve poured our heart and soul into working on it over the last 3 years along with an awful lot of sweat and a few tears. It’s also the first real place that we called home as a husband and wife, the place where we became first dog owners and then parents.

The memories (and at least 3000 photos) will stay with us but now it’s time to move. We’re ready (and more importantly can afford) to move to somewhere bigger, with a nice garden for Bracken and the kids, on a quiet street, with a driveway rather than a bumpy track. Simple desires but ones that are becoming more burning with each day since we made the decision.

However there is a small problem, we love our Victorian house with it’s high ceilings, wonky walls and fireplaces but looking at the properties available it’s at least £350k to buy a detached 4 bedroom house with character and more than 10 years old. Somewhat higher than the £150k ours is worth and definitely a lot higher than we can afford without a lottery win.

So what now?

A 1930′s semi perhaps? Not many of those in this area. A larger terrace house? Affordable but distinctly lacking in driveways or sound proof walls. Which leads us to the topic of this post; the bungalow. Much mocked and ignored  and something I would have turned my nose up to in the past. But I’m starting to come round to the idea, many have very big gardens which is a big tick, they are detached and have driveways, plus if you buy one where the loft hasn’t been converted there is the opportunity to add some value. It should also mean being able to live in a house for 15-20 years if you desired rather than wanting to move again in 5 years or so.

I know I’m not alone in this quandary, the many conversations I’ve had on twitter tell me that. A whole group of people of a similar age to me who don’t want to live in an estate house, crammed in amongst all the other identically looking houses. It depresses me seeing some of the gardens that these so called family houses have, I know not everyone wants to have grass etc but a small patch of patio or concrete for a 4 bed house is surely not good enough?

So the search begins, our first time selling a house and a hope to buy a real family home where I can quietly become even more middle aged. Wish us luck.

P.S Any tips on selling a house much appreciated, not entirely sure how you keep a house with 2 babies and a dog in it tidy though.

P.P.S I realise that house prices where we’re looking aren’t as high as in some areas but it doesn’t make them any more affordable.

  • http://knittymummy.blogspot.co.uk/ Knitty Mummy

    A bungalow doesn’t sound like a bad idea because you could turn it into a much bigger house a few years down the line and not have to move again. Have you been watching Sarah Beeney over the last few weeks? Thats exactly what they’ve been doing

    • mutteringfool

      Haven’t seen the Sarah Beeney thing but that’s exactly our thought on a bungalow, can live with 3 bedrooms for now but would need to expand soon

  • Penny’sMamma

    We recently viewed (and then had it fall through on us) a beautiful bungalow. I’m totally sold on the idea and although our new house isn’t so, next time around it’ll be my first go to. I love them! Its difficult to figure out what is best though isn’t it! Grass is a must for us, even though it’s Joe’s pet hate to cut. … Good luck with your house hunting! – met your lovely wife and little one at Born’s nappaccino yesterday and subsequently found your fab blog. Looking forward to reading more, as a total newbie and novice blogger!

    Fern xox
    PennyBakesLove.blogspot.co.uk

    • mutteringfool

      Hey – lovely wife? sure it was mine? :)
      Thanks a lot for popping over to my blog, I’m no expert but if I can help at all with the blogging part just shout.

      • Fern

        lol… Im not even sure what I need help with, but it probably needs something hey- Like er, someone actually reading and me being interesting? haha. Thank you for the offer! .. you watch it! She might read that ;) .. .. Bungalows are always like time machines, I have seen some.. er. Interesting decor in our searches. What is it with salmon pink twill carpets?

    • mutteringfool

      Oh and totally agree on bungalows, but there sure are a lot out there lived in by old people that need a lot of updating!

  • David

    Oh I feel your pain there. Buying and selling at the same time is hell. And that’s with the Scottish system where you can’t get gazumped. We’ve done it and it wasn’t fun.

    As you’ll know tho there’s always a compromise. Ours was a shared garden and no driveway to live in the house and village of our dreams.

    And don’t get me started on new builds. Bloody hate them. Hot, stuffy generic boxes with zero character. However they require no maintenance and cost pennies to heat, compared to an old slate roof, centuries old drains and old foundations….

  • eggdipdip

    We’ve just accepted a good offer on our 2 bed shoebox. We spent weeks decluttering, removing any furniture that we didn’t love/need and re-painted every room except 1 – mostly in magnolia (boak). We cleared out cupboards, sold cds and books by the truckload (I really didn’t need my biochemistry textbooks any more), cleaned the carpets and varnished the wood work. It was exhausting – lots of late nights and lots of cbeebies. But it did the trick. It meant that the house was easier to keep clean and tidy and we were show-home ready in under 30 minutes one weekend. So that’s my tip. Declutter as much as you can. Be ruthless. Think “do we really want to move this to our gorgeous new house?” If they answer is no, then ebay or recycle. Don’t get sentimental.

    As for the new house conundrum….we’ve opted for a new build. But, in our defence, it’s a very small development on the edge of the town we grew up in where there are very few houses the same. There’s forest on either side, the beach is 5 miles away and my mum is 15 minutes walk away :-) We had to compromise somewhere, new build versus money pit for us. So we plumped for the new build.

    Good luck!

    • mutteringfool

      Good tips, with 2 babies and a dog at home cleaning and tidying will be interesting

  • http://newmumonline.blogspot.com/ NewMumOnline

    Great post and thank you for visiting me. I’d also love to be house hunting but sadly got made redundant in July.
    Liska x

  • http://twitter.com/daddacool Daddacool

    The problem with bungalows round our way is they’re more expensive that detached houses (this one: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-34269619.html is £500k for a 3 bed semi FFS). The problem is, in our area, property developers look at those lovely huge plots and think, “aha! we can knock that down and put 3 detached houses on the plot- kerching!”.

    And then we’re left with loads of crappy new builds again :(

    • mutteringfool

      That’s nuts, there is a small premium here but no where near that level. For me they’re attractive due to the big garden as that’s what we’d love, only if there is an option to extend the building itself.

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