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LuckyOne

Quality Is Not The Only Reason To Buy Houses ......

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I am waiting for the right time to buy a house.

During my research / due diligince phase I have looked at everything from Regency to new build houses.

Apart from the obvious quality issues, the fact that is glaringly obvious to me is that the newer the house, the worse its location.

We live in a country with a lot of old villages, towns and cities. It is natural that people built on the most desirable pieces of land a long time ago. As time passes, the only places left to build upon (especially in the context of our planning rules) are the worst bits of land that no-one would have dreamed of building upon until recently.

While there are some major exceptions (train tracks and busy roads which were not as busy 100 to 150 years ago), the simple fact is that old houses are in the most desirable locations as well as being better built.

Anyone who buys now will lose money. I suspect that less money will be lost by those buying older houses than those buying newer houses.

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Interesting.

A couple of years ago there was this godawful development in Cambridge called the Belvedere. Hemmed in a triangle made up of student flats, a dual carriageway and a rail track. Still they marketed it as pretty much the best location in Cambridge. Probably mostly vacant BTLs now. Havent been to cambridge in a while but the retail units below it never seemed to get let out.

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Interesting.

A couple of years ago there was this godawful development in Cambridge called the Belvedere. Hemmed in a triangle made up of student flats, a dual carriageway and a rail track. Still they marketed it as pretty much the best location in Cambridge. Probably mostly vacant BTLs now. Havent been to cambridge in a while but the retail units below it never seemed to get let out.

Exactly.

It would suprise me if the "best location in Cambridge" hadn't been discovered by someone else in the last 1,000 years or so .....

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yeah Milton Keynes is the worst designed city there is, no one walking around all pathways hidden behind bushes so no one uses them.

No cafe's to sit and have coffee and watch the world go by unless you up up to the shopping center.

and yet people still think at 3 bed semi is worth 160-190K when put on the market.

Rip of place

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Apart from the obvious quality issues, the fact that is glaringly obvious to me is that the newer the house, the worse its location.

Not just worse in terms of location, but also more dangerous for example those homes built on flood plains. However I'm thinking that houses were built in bad locations in years gone by, it's just that they've been knocked down or re-developed where the location didn't work.

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I am waiting for the right time to buy a house.

During my research / due diligince phase I have looked at everything from Regency to new build houses.

Don't rule out houses older than regency. Though they do tend to be either tiny cottages or top-end individual places.

Apart from the obvious quality issues, the fact that is glaringly obvious to me is that the newer the house, the worse its location.

We live in a country with a lot of old villages, towns and cities. It is natural that people built on the most desirable pieces of land a long time ago. As time passes, the only places left to build upon (especially in the context of our planning rules) are the worst bits of land that no-one would have dreamed of building upon until recently.

Can't agree there. Anywhere rural there's a nasty conflict: the older buildings are on the main roads and get all the pollution, while the newer ones are built as crap. An older place in a quiet location is a rare gem, and bears a price tag to say so. In an urban area it's more pot-luck.

But yes, lots of newer houses are both poorly-built and poorly-located. And I'd agree with drawing a line somewhere around 100 years ago between the stuff worth looking at and the total crap.

To get the picture of what could-have-been, look at Germany. After 1945 they built high-quality housing, while we've always been obsessed with low-cost. Result: they have some very nice modern housing, including not least big estates of tower blocks.

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Having lived in an old house and a modern build, the big difference to me is old houses are freezing. Although some may argue about build quality its clear that insulation has improved significantly.

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Having lived in an old house and a modern build, the big difference to me is old houses are freezing. Although some may argue about build quality its clear that insulation has improved significantly.

I hear you on that one, I'm glad to be well away from the titanic gas bill of my old victorian student let.

Ex-LA is about the best kind of modern building you can hope for.. the 70's and 80's stock isn't bad.. I'm now living in a flat with a 22' lounge, decent sized bedrooms and kitchen and lots of storage. £450 pcm.. would have been £550 this time last year.. sod house prices, I'm happy enough with the rent price crash. :)

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Having lived in an old house and a modern build, the big difference to me is old houses are freezing. Although some may argue about build quality its clear that insulation has improved significantly.

If you were brought up in an old house, spent your student days in college rooms that were genuinely cold, then moved into rooms that cost most of a new-graduate salary just to rent but don't have luxuries like working hot water, you become accustomed to it. I find that a great advantage in adult life, especially when I hear about other people's gas bills.

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Don't rule out houses older than regency. Though they do tend to be either tiny cottages or top-end individual places.

Can't agree there. Anywhere rural there's a nasty conflict: the older buildings are on the main roads and get all the pollution, while the newer ones are built as crap. An older place in a quiet location is a rare gem, and bears a price tag to say so. In an urban area it's more pot-luck.

Agreed.

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I am waiting for the right time to buy a house.

During my research / due diligince phase I have looked at everything from Regency to new build houses.

Apart from the obvious quality issues, the fact that is glaringly obvious to me is that the newer the house, the worse its location.

We live in a country with a lot of old villages, towns and cities. It is natural that people built on the most desirable pieces of land a long time ago. As time passes, the only places left to build upon (especially in the context of our planning rules) are the worst bits of land that no-one would have dreamed of building upon until recently.

While there are some major exceptions (train tracks and busy roads which were not as busy 100 to 150 years ago), the simple fact is that old houses are in the most desirable locations as well as being better built.

Anyone who buys now will lose money. I suspect that less money will be lost by those buying older houses than those buying newer houses.

I'd say this is true in the majority of cases, but the exceptions are quite numerous.

My area is Victorian, but there is a fair amount of modern infill in the most sought after roads. These houses are often 60s-70s builds and very ugly, but this means they are often 20% cheaper than the Victorian house next door. Add this to the inevitable savings on energy bills, and it represents a good value way to live in a location that may otherwise be out of reach.

When/if green belt land is released for building around London, the new houses built in these locations could become very desirable, and it will actually reduce the value of the existing houses in the vicinity which will no longer have such a leafy position.

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I find that a great advantage in adult life, especially when I hear about other people's gas bills.

I dont want to be accustomed to being cold anymore than Id want to live in rags, or eat out of bins. :lol:

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Having lived in an old house and a modern build, the big difference to me is old houses are freezing. Although some may argue about build quality its clear that insulation has improved significantly.

You can build a house now that barely needs heating, insulation has improved so much.

The OP is right about the locations in most cases though.

It's difficult to beat an old house with thick walls(no noise issues with neighbours) and a large high-walled garden near the centre of a nice town so you can walk to everything. Even in the event of the land being available to build something like this now, it would never happen, instead there'd be 3 houses built with postage stamp gardens and no topsoil.

So to develop this thread, does anyone know how easy or difficult it is to take an old house like the one described and make it warm and efficient? My guess is it's very expensive and difficult, and of course anything listed can be discounted.

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I dont want to be accustomed to being cold anymore than Id want to live in rags, or eat out of bins. :lol:

I may have expressed that less-than-optimally. I meant, you grow accustomed to, and comfortable with, our maritime UK climate. Summer and winter alike.

It's not as if we have extremes of anything. Heat, cold, wet, dry - a little of each, but always in moderation. Comfortable, so long as you dress appropriately and don't suppress your body's natural ability to adapt (which Brits have a tendency to do by living in stuffy rooms, causing the circulation to stagnate - that above all is what makes you *feel* cold).

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There are some 'luxury executive apartments' in Exeter sandwiched between central train station and overlooked by the top floors of HMP Exeter.

I guess executives enjoy the rumble of trains and being shouted at by prisoners.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-45...-soundproofing-

save-neighbours-shouted-abuse.html

Exeter Prison wants £500,000 soundproofing to save

neighbours from shouted abuse

LUKE SALKELD

Last updated at 00:26 24 May 2007

MP Ben Bradshaw backs Exeter prison’s bid for £500,000 to soundproof windows

A woman says she has suffered six months of sexist abuse from prisoners whose

windows overlook her house.

Fiona Keen, 27, and her 55-year-old mother, Christine, say their lives have been

ruined by the constant stream of suggestive comments aimed at them.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw has contacted the Home Secretary to support Exeter prison's

request for £500,000 soundproof windows.

Miss Keen, a student, said the abuse started as soon as she moved into the £200,000

house opposite the prison six months ago.

She added: "It is really awful. Nearly every time we walk out we face the most awful abuse.

"They shout lewd comments and awful things. My mother is suffering from depression as a

result. It is a nightmare."

She added: "Other residents of the flats here have been subjected to it and nearly every

woman who walks past the prison faces the same sort of tirade.

"I can hear them shouting after I have gone to bed ? and that is with my windows closed."

Her divorced mother, a hospital office worker, said: "We knew the prison was there but we

didn?t expect to be able to hear them.

"The prisoners smash their cell windows and shout abuse at us through the holes. It?s

horrendous."

Prison spokesman Mark Whysall said the £500,000 needed for the windows was "a lot of money

for the prison service to find".

He added: "The matter was raised with the Home Secretary through Ben Bradshaw and we

are looking at a new type of window which opens only one way and will make it more difficult

to shout out.

"I fear the problem will never go away. We know with the summer coming residents who live in

those flats want to be out on their patios in the sunshine ? and not face abuse when they do."

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So to develop this thread, does anyone know how easy or difficult it is to take an old house like the one described and make it warm and efficient? My guess is it's very expensive and difficult, and of course anything listed can be discounted.

I've made an 1850s 3 storey house warm and efficient. Fixing the damp is step one - any damp (and they all have a bit), and the house just sucks heat. Loft insulation is pretty easy as well. Double glazing (in an old house) can get pricey, because you really don't want UPVC - but it is doable. If you have the floorboards up, put high density loft insulation into the floors - makes a huge difference to heat and noise. Then just chase down drafts. My gas bill is peanuts - £100 quarter on average, heat and hot water for a family of 4.

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I've made an 1850s 3 storey house warm and efficient. Fixing the damp is step one - any damp (and they all have a bit), and the house just sucks heat. Loft insulation is pretty easy as well. Double glazing (in an old house) can get pricey, because you really don't want UPVC - but it is doable. If you have the floorboards up, put high density loft insulation into the floors - makes a huge difference to heat and noise. Then just chase down drafts. My gas bill is peanuts - £100 quarter on average, heat and hot water for a family of 4.

An excellent tip. Thank you.

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Having lived in an old house and a modern build, the big difference to me is old houses are freezing. Although some may argue about build quality its clear that insulation has improved significantly.

Yea, I agree. Having lived in a modern place, and a quaint, picturesque, village cottage, I know which one I'd prefer.

The cottage had death-trap stairs and there was hardly a right-angle in the place. Doors weren't so much as hung, more 'shaped' to fit the frame and were generally a tight fit at one end, and a 1 inch gap the other.

Big open fireplaces are romantic once or twice a year, the rest of the time they're a giant vacuum, sucking all the heat out of your house.

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I've made an 1850s 3 storey house warm and efficient. Fixing the damp is step one - any damp (and they all have a bit), and the house just sucks heat. Loft insulation is pretty easy as well. Double glazing (in an old house) can get pricey, because you really don't want UPVC - but it is doable. If you have the floorboards up, put high density loft insulation into the floors - makes a huge difference to heat and noise. Then just chase down drafts. My gas bill is peanuts - £100 quarter on average, heat and hot water for a family of 4.

yep totally agree, the only time it gets expensive is if you cant/wont do the labour your self.

if you attack each room and problem individually correctly there is no reason an old house can be made to be as efficient or more efficient that any modern house.

also upgrade the boiler (if its old) and put a more efficient (read shorter/better quality pipe) if you can afford to streach that far.

what amazes me is people with big houses (over 3 bed) who insist on heating the whole house to 100 degrees C then complain about their bills.

if your clever about it, then heat the main living room to comfortable temp, have the halls heated to a less of a temp and the same for the bedroom, if you must, i only like to have heating in the living room, as i spend so little time in the others it doesnt matter. apart from the bedroom and kitchen, but with in 10mins of being in the bedroom im in bed and getting warm, and if i am in the kitchen for a prlonged time its because im cooking and the cooker will heat up that room

And dont obsturct radiators with stuff like sofa/washing etc

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Anyone who buys now will lose money. I suspect that less money will be lost by those buying older houses than those buying newer houses.

Yes, of course. Just like a new car you pay a premium for getting it "new". I rented a new build as a young lad (only a few years back ;)!). It is totally true that you get "sold" on it - they look fantastic, the en suite seems a great luxury, the gf will love the state of the art kitchen. Awesome! Until you move in and realise there is NO SPACE! These places are tiny!

So I since moved into a Victorian house and the rooms are all so much bigger. No more hours of rearranging the sofa to maximise space, you can put in large wardrobes and still walk around your bed!

Colder? I can see that. I rented a Victorian conversion that was freezing - but it had rotten sash windows that didn't close properly. My new place is fully fitted with double glazing, layered with loft insulation, blah blah - much better. Still not as warm as the new build flat I was in as you could get that place warm in seconds. In the winter I love getting a real fire going. In the fire place ;)! You can turn the heating off, veg out in your living room on a Sunday for a couple of quid on some coal or the free logs from the nice man down the road.

And finally, yes location, location, location! There are plenty of places in the UK where you can buy a nice big house for very little money. But you just don't want to live there do you! I have always had a sneaky suspicion that many people on here don't appreciate that our parents and their parents first home was probably in a less favourable area, probably in a less favourable house. And then when the reality starts to sink in that actually only the most well off will ever be able to afford the best houses in the best location no matter what the market conditions are doing...

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Yes, of course. Just like a new car you pay a premium for getting it "new". I rented a new build as a young lad (only a few years back ;)!). It is totally true that you get "sold" on it - they look fantastic, the en suite seems a great luxury, the gf will love the state of the art kitchen. Awesome! Until you move in and realise there is NO SPACE! These places are tiny!

So I since moved into a Victorian house and the rooms are all so much bigger. No more hours of rearranging the sofa to maximise space, you can put in large wardrobes and still walk around your bed!

Colder? I can see that. I rented a Victorian conversion that was freezing - but it had rotten sash windows that didn't close properly. My new place is fully fitted with double glazing, layered with loft insulation, blah blah - much better. Still not as warm as the new build flat I was in as you could get that place warm in seconds. In the winter I love getting a real fire going. In the fire place ;)! You can turn the heating off, veg out in your living room on a Sunday for a couple of quid on some coal or the free logs from the nice man down the road.

And finally, yes location, location, location! There are plenty of places in the UK where you can buy a nice big house for very little money. But you just don't want to live there do you! I have always had a sneaky suspicion that many people on here don't appreciate that our parents and their parents first home was probably in a less favourable area, probably in a less favourable house. And then when the reality starts to sink in that actually only the most well off will ever be able to afford the best houses in the best location no matter what the market conditions are doing...

We do seem to be going back to those days again don't we?

I wonder whether this who debt bubble was a failed experiment in social mobility based on debt rather than aptitude and income.

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We do seem to be going back to those days again don't we?

I wonder whether this who debt bubble was a failed experiment in social mobility based on debt rather than aptitude and income.

Why failed? It's made millionaires of spivs (solidly, in cases where they got out in time), and paupers of people who followed last generation's wisdom of getting well-educated for responsible jobs. Sounds ... compatible with ... labour's agenda.

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yep totally agree, the only time it gets expensive is if you cant/wont do the labour your self.

if you attack each room and problem individually correctly there is no reason an old house can be made to be as efficient or more efficient that any modern house.

also upgrade the boiler (if its old) and put a more efficient (read shorter/better quality pipe) if you can afford to streach that far.

what amazes me is people with big houses (over 3 bed) who insist on heating the whole house to 100 degrees C then complain about their bills.

if your clever about it, then heat the main living room to comfortable temp, have the halls heated to a less of a temp and the same for the bedroom, if you must, i only like to have heating in the living room, as i spend so little time in the others it doesnt matter. apart from the bedroom and kitchen, but with in 10mins of being in the bedroom im in bed and getting warm, and if i am in the kitchen for a prlonged time its because im cooking and the cooker will heat up that room

And dont obsturct radiators with stuff like sofa/washing etc

I agree with most of your post, but the bit in bold is an exaggeration.

I saw a large house on the TV the other day that only has any heating in it (it has one large woodburning stove) because the lady of the house was afraid it would be necessary. I think they said it's been lit 5 times in 2 years.....

I grant you this is an extreme example, the place was purpose-built for efficiency and passive heating, but this could not be achieved in an old house.

That said, it was in the middle of nowhere in the Doubs(i.e. cold in winter), a reasonable heating bill is probably worth being able to walk to the shops....

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