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    • DD265
    • By DD265 15th Sep 18, 3:47 PM
    • 1,752Posts
    • 4,180Thanks
    What's your must have/nice to have/won't touch list
    • #1
    • 15th Sep 18, 3:47 PM
    What's your must have/nice to have/won't touch list 15th Sep 18 at 3:47 PM
    When buying a property, budget and geographical location aside, how did/would you narrow down your search?

    We're trying to compile a list which we can refine as we view properties, and I'm sure there are things that we haven't thought of!

    For example, prospective houses for us must have off-road parking. A dining kitchen would be nice to have. We won't/can't take on a non-livable project as we don't have the money to completely gut a place straight away.
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    • Zorillo
    • By Zorillo 15th Sep 18, 7:39 PM
    • 527 Posts
    • 355 Thanks
    We've got the sheep, front and back. I wouldn't want a house with a swimming pool, though.

    Must have: four walls and a roof.
    Would be nice (that we haven't already got here): gas central heating, electricity to the garage, decent broadband.
    Wouldn't touch: swimming pools, property prone to flooding, anything that wasn't a definite improvement on our current house.
    • Marvel1
    • By Marvel1 15th Sep 18, 7:41 PM
    • 4,080 Posts
    • 4,498 Thanks
    Open living room and kitchen
    Garden with grass
    Main road
    School opposite

    Driveway - if not then have a front garden or something not just off the road
    Shop nearby, don't want to drive just for a loaf in the bread in the morning

    Must have:
    Choice of both BT Line and Virgin Media
    Last edited by Marvel1; 15-09-2018 at 9:08 PM.
    • CarrieVS
    • By CarrieVS 15th Sep 18, 7:51 PM
    • 199 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    • Directly on or backing onto a main road or railway line. I want a cat, and I won't keep a cat indoors (I appreciate that many people feel equally strongly the other way. But I was brought up with the understanding that cats need to be allowed their independence.) If I didn't live in a safe enough area, of course I wouldn't let a cat out: I wouldn't get a cat at all.
    • Shared entry. I'm not ruling out maisonette flats but I'm not buying anywhere where simply leaving my house is a potential social interaction (plus own back door needed for catflap - see above.)
    • Going through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. I've rented places like this and I always feel faintly squalid trailing through the kitchen in my towel.
    • No outside space. I can compromise on how much and what sort, but I insist on something both front and back.
    • Significant repairs or renovation needed. I'm going fairly close to the wire in terms of savings, in order to borrow as little as I can, so I'll struggle to afford anything major for a while.
    • Must have at least a corner shop within easy walk.
    • Must be mother-approved in terms of roughness of the area. I think my personal standards aren't quite as high (though I do want to be able to pop to the shop on a winter's evening without worrying) but I'd never hear the end of it if she thought I wasn't safe.

    Really want but could compromise on one of these if I like the property enough:
    • Off-street parking for one car. I don't mind no garage but I'll only consider on-street if it's clearly going to be easy to park.
    • No back alley. If at all possible the garden should back onto another back garden or an open space like a park. Partly for feline safety again. Also because back alleys are always a little bit grotty and almost anything else you can back onto is likely to be noisy or annoying or unpleasant to look at.
    • A bath and a shower.
    • Two bedrooms (three if right price and I like the property enough.) Second bedroom should be big enough for at least a 3/4 bed, preferably a full double, and the usual other furniture. If at all possible also a desk. I mean to let the second bedroom for a while to help replenish my savings, and I want it to be a certain standard.
    • Freehold. If I'm buying a house I want to actually really own it myself. But leasehold wouldn't be a total dealbreaker if the terms were good - the reciprocal lease arrangement they apparently have on a lot of upper/lower flats in this neck of the woods sounds like it should be ok, assuming I could get a mortgage on it.
    • EPC C or better.
    • Modern build.
    • Decor I can live with. I don't want to lay out the cash to redecorate the entire place right away.

    Major pluses:
    • Supermarket and post office in walking distance.
    • Good public transport links. Not an absolute must as I have a car but metro's often going to be more convenient and cost-effective if available.
    • Walking distance of city centre (and work.)But I've basically given up on this one as virtually all the housing stock in these areas misses several of my "really want" criteria. But I shall miss the area I currently rent in, and especially my walk to work along two rivers where I see kingfishers and cormorants.
    • En-suite in the master bedroom. As I'll be letting the other room, nice not to have to share a bathroom with a relative stranger.
    • Lawn in the back garden.
    • YoungBlueEyes
    • By YoungBlueEyes 15th Sep 18, 7:54 PM
    • 487 Posts
    • 660 Thanks
    This is the list I created when I was house-hunting -

    Must have - gch, front is south facing, upstairs bathroom (with a bath in it), garden of soil and actual grass and solid boundaries, no open staircase nonsense, no open anything actually - I like my rooms to have walls and doors, walk to town or at least a food shop, front garden - even if only very small, back garden not overlooked, a decent view. Edit: must be freehold.

    Nice to have - a kitchen diner, not a galley kitchen, front door leads to a hallway and stairs (not a front door into lounge jobber), outside storage (old coalhouse and wc ) my own garden - no shared access.

    Won't touch - council estates, new build estates, any estate actually, south facing garden (too facking hot in summer!), downstairs bathroom, major reno jobs, double yellows right outside, teeny tiny wee rooms cos some 4rseh0le's been watching too much daytime tv and turned his alright 2bed into 3 pokey beds, anything in a bad crime area or on a flood plain, anything where the neighbours look rough.

    The last one I added when I viewed a house in Shrewsbury a few months ago. The house was great (ex-MOD ) the area was good, the house was good enough to move in to (bit to do but nothing major), I was mentally calculating my offer. Then as I left and the fellah was giving me directions to get back into town, the neighbours came out and sat on a bench under their front window. Naked to the waist, tattooed from their eyebrows to the bellybuttons (yes literally), drinking cans of cider and smoking god-knows what. At 930AM. Instant kybosh. I was sorry about that one for a long while, til I found a better house

    Draw up your list, be honest about what you want, and stick to it.
    Last edited by YoungBlueEyes; 15-09-2018 at 7:58 PM.
    I don't make the same mistake twice. I like to make it 5 or 6 times, you know, just to be sure.

    Look before you leap. No I mean really look. And take a friend so they can look too. Then leap. Maybe.
    • Lurkingtoposting17
    • By Lurkingtoposting17 15th Sep 18, 7:57 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 167 Thanks
    Must have:
    - Upstairs bathroom
    - Garden
    - Two double bedrooms
    - <10 min walk to station
    - <1 hour journey to office

    Nice to have:
    - off road parking
    - excellent decorative condition
    - semi rather than terrace

    Ruled out:
    - houses off the road (where you can only access via a footpath)
    - fixer uppers (I didnít mind some work but Iím a single non diy savvy female... I didnít have the inclination or finances to do lots of work)
    - townhouses where ground floor is a garage
    - maisonettes and flats

    That being said I got a houses that fitted all my must have rather than nice to haves plus a few I didnít even know I had and even then people still say things like ďoh such a shame the garden isnít south facingĒ proving that even when you think you have it all, you canít have it all!
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 15th Sep 18, 8:15 PM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 4,434 Thanks
    Must have -at least 3 bedrooms, a drive, either a utility room or a large kitchen, a reasonable amount of space (which rules out 95% of new build 3 beds)

    Nice to have - garage, separate utility room, large garden, double drive, 3 good size bed rooms (ie 1 large double plus 2 small doubles are preferable to 2 large doubles and a box room of the same total floor area) , detached, downstairs loo, bathroom with separate bath and shower cubicle, a hall, gas central heating (as opposed to electric)

    Won't touch - anything sold through modern method of auction, shared access driveways, a badly overlooked garden, fully open plan**, bus stop immediately outside house, very close to shops or school, mid terrace, a downstairs bathroom as the only bathroom.

    ** by this I mean a single large room with no separation between kitchen and lounge. Ours is what I'd describe as semi open plan with a through lounge and large kitchen/diner next to each other but with a solid wall separating the lounge from the kitchen area of the kitchen/diner.

    With our current house the only thing we weren't so keen on is the semi open plan layout but the design is such that it wouldn't be a huge job to add a plasterboard dividing wall at some point. Of the nice to have criteria the only ones it doesn't meet are being a semi rather than a detached, it doesn't have a hall (although it does have a larger than average porch with plenty of room for coat and shoe storage) and it only has half a garage (the other half has been converted into the utility room) which is fine for storage but too small for a car.
    Last edited by NaughtiusMaximus; 15-09-2018 at 8:34 PM.
    • SeasideSally
    • By SeasideSally 15th Sep 18, 8:45 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    We're putting together our list right now, but so far we've got:

    Must have:
    At least two bedrooms
    Bathroom with bath in it (no shower rooms)
    Large garden
    Off road parking
    Open fireplace in living room

    Must be:
    Build before 1930 (preferably before 1890)
    Not on a main road

    Would be nice to have:
    Utility room
    Period features (cornicing, sash windows, etc.)

    Won't consider:
    Shared drive
    Shared access
    Actually, shared anything
    • Waterlily24
    • By Waterlily24 15th Sep 18, 9:42 PM
    • 1,116 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Ours was large garden and no near neighbours lol. The house didn't matter as much as we intended renovate and extend if necessary.
    Must haves after renovations at least two bathrooms, separate lounge, dining room and kitchen. Kitchen big enough to eat in. Utility room. Garages and own driveway.
    • novelty-socks
    • By novelty-socks 15th Sep 18, 10:20 PM
    • 239 Posts
    • 177 Thanks
    In in the market for a flat in London at the moment.

    Must have:
    * 2+ bedrooms
    * 10 minute walk to local centre (shops / pubs etc)
    * 80sqm+ total space (more specifically: a sense of space, we've seen loads of places that feel pokey)
    * Good broadband (Hyperoptic would be ideal, but I'll settle for Virgin Media)
    * Good public transport (I don't own a car)

    Won't touch:
    * Properties on main / busy roads. Air pollution is the great scandal of our time and I have a young son. Plus, I'm convinced this issue will hit property values on major routes.
    * Open plan kitchen / lounge. I cook a lot, I need a proper kitchen.
    * Basement / lower ground. Had a couple of bad experiences with damp while renting.
    * New builds. They're all so tiny and flimsy. Besides, at my price point it's hard to find one that doesn't have open plan kitchen/lounge.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 15th Sep 18, 10:39 PM
    • 34,019 Posts
    • 21,469 Thanks
    Id like:
    Garage and driveway
    Parking for 2 cars in total
    A house that wont require too much work, could live painting or say a bathroom being put in.
    A garden thats not too large.

    Cant be doing with a shared driveway.
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 15th Sep 18, 10:43 PM
    • 15,976 Posts
    • 133,123 Thanks
    Wanted: access to shops, had lived somewhere needing a car to reach any shops.
    A toilet separate from a bathroom.
    Not terraced, too noisy.
    Handy for trains, buses.
    Not open-plan which I regard as madness on stilts.

    Would have liked off-road parking. Didn't get it. Garages in London are useless. The ones I see were all built to hold a motorbike sans sidecar.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • Computer Beginner
    • By Computer Beginner 15th Sep 18, 10:45 PM
    • 269 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    Computer Beginner
    the neighbours came out and sat on a bench under their front window. Naked to the waist, tattooed from their eyebrows to the bellybuttons (yes literally), drinking cans of cider and smoking god-knows what.
    Originally posted by YoungBlueEyes
    I've heard the men can be even worse..
    • todayisagreatday
    • By todayisagreatday 15th Sep 18, 11:28 PM
    • 212 Posts
    • 145 Thanks
    Our list was:


    - Something we could do up
    - Semi-rural, walking distance to shop/bus but drive to train station
    - Location, low crime rates, good neighbours
    - Private drive/parking/non-estate or new build
    - Detached

    Would like:

    - Close to water/outdoor space
    - Not overlooked

    What we compromised on:

    Nothing really, well our neighbours are opposite but across the canal so with water between us it's fine and I guess we are overlooked to some extent as we have barges go past our window daily (but I love it)! We aren't on the towpath side so anyone walking past is on t'other side of the canal.

    Edited, not compromises at the time but things I've found since. Discovered since, mobile phone signal is terrible. Been with every main provider since moving at Easter. Apparently the other side of the canal makes all the difference as the neighbours have no issues! Another point, how much we miss mains gas and the complexity of oil and the daily price changes. Hopefully with the renovation we will be updating to ground source heat pump.

    Oh the wife had to get rid of her Audi TT as it wasn't practical driving over the canal bridge to access the house!
    Last edited by todayisagreatday; 15-09-2018 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Edit
    • Flugelhorn
    • By Flugelhorn 16th Sep 18, 7:56 AM
    • 1,325 Posts
    • 1,728 Thanks
    Looking at present for somewhere to retire to.
    Must Have:
    * newer than 1970's (fed up of cold Edwardian with impossible roof)
    * more sensible roof!
    * don't mind oil FCH
    * 4 beds, downstairs loo
    * parking, garage,
    * sensible supermarket within 2-3 miles

    * semis / terraced
    * 4 storey houses
    * plots with uncontrollable boundaries ie wild hedges (or neighbours)
    • maisie cat
    • By maisie cat 16th Sep 18, 8:18 AM
    • 682 Posts
    • 847 Thanks
    maisie cat
    For me it is all about location, not next to a very busy road, enough space between us and the neighbours in case they decide to build a housing development next door. A large size plot over a nice house with parking and some sort of outbuildings for stuff that would otherwise take up space in the house. Internal layout can be reconfigured, but you can't lift the house. I would not buy a "recently refurbished" property. I do not want to pay a premium for somebody else's cheap but flashy kitchen installation, although I know that people are swayed by the shiny new stuff.
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 16th Sep 18, 8:28 AM
    • 664 Posts
    • 2,861 Thanks
    When we were looking for our first property, the following were important to us:

    Need to have:
    - Excellent public transport links. Need to get to work (slightly out of town) within an hour, with max 1 change of buses.
    - Close to shops, cafes, etc (basically 'somewhere central')
    - 1 bedroom

    Also need to have:
    Either a garden or a second bedroom. We knew we likely wouldn't get both, but wanted one of those.

    Need to haves (which we only realised after viewing a fair few flats):
    - Needs to feel light and have reasonably high ceilings
    - Needs to have a decent size living room

    Nice to have:
    - Close to the sea
    - Period features

    Happy to say we got all of the above, aside from the 2nd bedroom.
    Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
    MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
    Current: £175,350
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 16th Sep 18, 8:38 AM
    • 4,287 Posts
    • 6,832 Thanks
    Given that I'm in London so choice is limited by price, I had a simple must have list: toilet and bathroom on same floor as bedroom; structurally sound; walking distance to a station; some outside space.
    • quantumlobster
    • By quantumlobster 16th Sep 18, 9:31 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 936 Thanks
    Must have:
    • On the coast - this means a sub-5 minute walk to the sea.
    • Off-street parking for two cars, side by side.
    • An enclosed garden for an idiot lurcher to run around in, also for me and quantumspouse to sit about in and drink beer, of a summer afternoon/evening
    • Separate kitchen - I can live with a through lounge/dining room, but must be able to shut the dirty pots and the smell of cooking in the kitchen
    • Double-glazing and modern heating
    • A decent corner shop within walking distance - this means open 7-11, 7 days a week
    • Lots of light. Quaint little windows ain't gonna do it for me.
    • Good connectivity - I work from home a lot, so decent broadband and mobile signal are essential.

    Nice to have:
    • Sub-30 minute commute to work
    • Supermarket within walking distance
    • Fancy bathroom - as long as it's clean and functional, I'm not bothered about mood lighting and piped music and full-body power showers etc. But a rainfall shower is lush.
    • Detached - we're in a semi on a corner plot so the neighbours (nice as they are) aren't too close (except for the ones we're attached to, but they're quiet as mice)

    Won't touch:
    • Terraced. Did that for a long time, never going back. I like the fact that it's a good 20 metres from my living room window to the end of the front garden and 10 metres to the front gate - after having my front door open directly onto the street (albeit with a small front lobby), it's a revelation
    • Anything that's not freehold.
    • New builds. It's not so much the interiors - lots of sockets and lights is good, after all - but it's the cheek-by-jowl nature of the estates (there are some new detached houses here that have literally less than two metres separation on each side) and the crap nature of the gardens. They also rarely have decent parking without sacrificing the front garden to the god of the motor car. Also, my house has 2.7M ceilings, which I'd struggle to give up.
    • On a related note, anything with daft covenants/management fees/other restrictions
    • Any weirdness like flying freeholds, crazy access arrangements - shared access can get in the sea
    Last edited by quantumlobster; 16-09-2018 at 9:33 AM.
    • mollie78
    • By mollie78 16th Sep 18, 10:04 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Basic criteria :
    4+ bed, detached, off road parking for 2+ cars, 2+ bathrooms, decent sized hallway, no major work needed, garden / gch / double glazing

    Wish list :
    all bedrooms good size with good storage or space for it, separate reception room for piano / kids toys, utility room, storage for hoover / mop / ironing board (little thing but don't have at the moment and drives me mad!), freehold, kitchen / diner on the back facing south, minimally overlooked front and back
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 16th Sep 18, 11:20 AM
    • 17,561 Posts
    • 49,199 Thanks
    If I were able to move again then:

    - Genuine detached (ie more than a couple of feet of space between myself and neighbours) (got that now)
    - Normal road (not unadopted).
    - Not leasehold or any service charges (got that now)
    - At least two bedrooms (got that now)
    - No worries about whether lots of new building may happen nearby (got that now)
    - Not busy with traffic (either on road or air)(got that now)
    - Reasonable neighbourhood (got that now)
    - Nothing powered by oil/calor gas or anything else that isnt "mains" fuel (got that now - but had to rip out "other" stuff).
    - No broadband problems (still working on that one....).
    - No troublesome neighbours (ie would-be land nickers etc).

    - A decent area in my home city
    - Either a very large bathroom or two bathrooms
    - Private back garden
    - Bigger garden
    - An extra bedroom or two
    - Garage or other suitable storage space
    - Conservatory
    - No major work needed and, hopefully, it would already be neutral decor/modern/etc. Perfection would be no work needed at all.
    - Utility room
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 16-09-2018 at 11:25 AM.
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