Property or Location?

This post may come as a surprise to most of you, especially since I haven’t mentioned anything or gave any hints about moving.  Before Christmas my husband and I decided to put our little house on the market.  After the new year, we were lucky enough to have a few viewings and after awhile, received and accepted an offer.

As some of you may know, the husband is a history lecturer for the Open University.  That means he works mostly at home, except when he has tutorials/lectures that brings him to Exeter or Plymouth.  We only have two bedrooms in our little cottage.  It was perfectly fine when it was just me, him and the Mutt.  But when little T arrived, then Boots, and Doc, our little house has become even smaller than it really is. Can you imagine trying to get some work done with a three-year-old and excitable pup yelling/yelping in the background?  I’m actually amazed that he has managed this long.  But the time has come to move to a house with a study, so we’ve decided to take the plunge and look for a house with a third bedroom and maybe even a bigger garden. Guess what that might just be in the offing for us soon!

You can’t imagine though how stressful this month has been.  We’ve viewed about eight properties.  Made an offer for a house that had lovely views but needed a bit of work, but the bank who owns it, refused our humble offer, which means back to the drawing board folks!.

My question is, what’s more important to you, the property or the location?

I know that you can’t change location and can easily change the property, but what if you don’t want to stretch your budget and have to do renovations/refurbishments that would mean robbing the bank or at least your bank account?  The husband and I are allergic to debt and we’ve always been debt free, but since we live in an expensive area where a lot of the houses here (especially in our present village) are second homes or holiday properties, this move would mean a small mortgage.  Sometimes though I wonder if we are mad to actually want to be in debt no matter how small it may be?

Anyway, my husband still wants to live near the coast, but as mentioned, prices here can be a bit exhorbitant.  Whereas I am willing to move inland to get more space for our little family as long as the house and place is somewhere we wouldn’t mind living in for at least the next ten years.

After all that hullabaloo with trying to make a deal with the bank who owned the house with the beautiful view, I just feel that I’m not up for a project anymore, especially since I doubt if my husband could manage living/working in a house while it’s being done.  Also, can you imagine little T running around while there is some building-works going on?  At the moment, I just want to move in, unpack then de-stress. It doesn’t really matter to me if I don’t have this view from our window, what am I saying?  If we win millions of pounds in the lottery, why not?  Perhaps, it’s time to start buying tickets now?  So if you know any lucky numbers, please mention them in your comments 🙂

The photo above was taken in Polzeath (not far from our little village) where UK readers will know that properties here can easily cost a million pounds.  This is also where David Cameron, the present UK Prime Minister likes to go on his summer breaks with his family.  Yes, you get the picture.

Over this stressful month, I’ve learned a few things though about this whole selling/buying malarkey:

1.  Expect the properties to be smaller in reality, though the people who’ve viewed ours have commented that the rooms in our house looks so much bigger than in the photos.

2.  A house that might not have moved you in your first visit might actually be the most practical house for you and your family.

3.  And another thing that really surprised me is that estate agents in the UK are not a bad breed AT ALL.  You see, before all this began, my husband warned me about them, how they can be sneeky and lie through their teeth just to sell a property.  So far J, the estate agent we’ve been working with has been really genuinely nice to us and especially to little T.  He always makes it a point to have a real conversation with her and not just the usual “How are you today?”  kind of thing and then ignore her for the next minutes or so, that to me makes him a really good estate agent 🙂

Having mentioned the lessons learned, there is one property that seems to be the most practical one for us.  Let’s just say the house doesn’t have much character or soul (as my husband said as we stepped out the door), but it is practical and most importantly we can just move in and just do minor things like give it a new lick of paint.  And did I mention that it is chain free?  That will definitely save us the stress of waiting for the vendors to look for a place to live.  This has also made me realised that I’ve actually matured!  That I’m finally growing-up at the tender age of 40.  The old me wouldn’t even think of moving into a house that looked like the rest of the houses in the street.  I’d insist on something with more charm or character.  Oh wow, the impossible has happened 🙂  Did I mention that the house is still near the coast, and to our present village, which will mean that little T won’t be so far from her best-friend F and play-school.  I don’t even know why I mentioned that, since she’s off play-school again. I’m not even getting into that right now, that would only add to my stress and insomnia!

Or who knows?  We might just surprise you guys once more and head off to the city?  You’ll never know!  Seriously though, do send us some of your positive vibes and happy thoughts, that we find a place that’s really right for us soon!  And don’t forget those lucky numbers! 😉

This is a sponsored post, however, the photo and all words are by Yours Truly.

Have a great weekend.


  1. Pecora Nera

    Good luck with the house move. Mrs Sensible and I are also moving house in a couple of months. We need to decide what to do with Scooby Doo, He really belongs across the road but he has lived in my garage for the past 3months.

    • Are you and Mrs. S moving back to dreary England? 😉 Thanks PN. Can’t wait till this is OVER. Good luck on your move too.

  2. livinginthelanghe

    Having moved house 5 times in 4 years, I can categorically state that location is more important than the property. So long as the house is vaguely suitable you can do all sorts of things to it. You can never change the location though… Other than that, just keep plugging away, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect place eventually! Best of luck!

    • Thanks! Yes, looks like we will be choosing the most practical house in a lovely location 🙂

  3. thesecretfather

    Ah wow – I don’t envy your dilemma. There are so many considerations and variables.

    The best piece of advice I got when we were going through house purchase in 2009 was that unless we were really lucky (or rich) we would only ever find a house that ticks 7/10 of the criteria we had set out as priorities. The rest was a compromise.

    I do think location is crucial – but having said that, these days with two crazies running around, I think I might compromise for space.

    We also bought for potential. We bought somewhere that we knew we could make structural changes to, to maximise space. We made sure it had a large loft too, for the inevitable conversion.

    I do wish you all the luck, it is a stressful time, and whatever you end up doing, I hope you are happy.

    And in terms of numbers you could consider 2, 14, 23, 33, 35, 47

    But if you win, please chuck a couple of quid my way!!!


    • Thanks for the numbers! Must buy the tickets now :)…. Seriously though, we’ve just done our numbers and I’m feeling a bit scared of letting go of the security of being debt free!

  4. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    Wow!! You have had a lot going on! Moving isn’t easy, so I don’t envy you at all! It will be nice to have a place where there is space for each to do what they want, and with little T, my only advice is that you want one as ready to move in as possible because you are right, it would be madness to have a place that needs a lot of work! One of my few requirements when I was looking was that the fence be in good shape. I knew that I couldn’t worry about my dog getting out while everything else was going on! 🙂 Good luck!

    • Thanks Kate! And it really looks like we are going to choose the most practical house for us… and there is actually a fence already, thank goodness for that. I agree with you, it is madness to embark on a project with a little child, a pup and a busy husband. Let’s see how things go.

  5. hurrahforgin

    Ahh this is a tough one Dean. I think i would have always said location but having kids now i know space is so important. I think if its not much of a compromise on location and you can still get to the sea/town/wherever you want to be relatively easily then i would do with the property.
    I have done a couple of properties up which is also a great way to add value but it is certainly challenging with kids. My Mum and Dad helped do up our current house and we carried on renting until it was finished – not sure how we would have done it otherwise with a toddler in tow.
    Good luck with your decision – exciting times though! xx

    • The “practical” house I mentioned is still in a good location (about 5 mins from the beach). The only compromise is the house totally lacks character. But at the moment it is the most practical choice for us. It has a big-enough-secure garden, perfect for little T and our pup. It’s got the extra room we want and a garage which wasn’t even on our list. I’m confident though that if we do get it and move in, we will be able to manage to put some character in the house. The price of the house is a bit on the top-end of our budget, that means once we move, we won’t be able to get much done, but at least we’ve got space! Thanks Katie 🙂 xx Can’t wait till this is all over!

  6. MontgomeryFest

    Oh my. Sending you strong thoughts…that’s a lot on your plate. Good luck with everything!

    • Thanks! I can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel now… Can’t wait till this is all over 🙂

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