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Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Old Sep 15th 2013, 2:33 am
  #781  
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by martinw01908
I just spent a day looking at many of the shoe boxes that pass for a 3 bedroom detached house these days (all built after the 1980's). I've come away thinking how on earth these tiny things with bedrooms barely large enough to swing a cat are 'worth' the asking prices of £220K. The gardens are also tiny. USA/Canada/Ireland/Spain are all much cheaper with a decent plot and house size although the standard of build you get in Ireland is not very good unless its new.
I read an article this morning that reported the average size of a new build in the UK is something like 800 sq ft (about 80 sq m for the metrically-minded). That is about half the size of a typical house in the US - but then US houses seem to have a lot of excessive space. My living rom in the US was something like 22 ft long - I only really "lived" in half of it and the other half just added 10 ft to my journey from the kitchen to my sofa.

Whereas older properties in the UK seem to have a fair bit of ingenious storage, newer houses seem to have almost none.
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 2:41 am
  #782  
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Yes that's true. Although I would rather have the space, than not. Also the garage in most new houses is about as wide as the car so even if you could fit your car in it, you wouldn't be able to open the car door to get out of it! So of course due to this and the lack of space most garages are used to store junk instead of cars in the UK!
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 3:29 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by martinw01908
Yes that's true. Although I would rather have the space, than not. Also the garage in most new houses is about as wide as the car so even if you could fit your car in it, you wouldn't be able to open the car door to get out of it! So of course due to this and the lack of space most garages are used to store junk instead of cars in the UK!
Bigger space= more to keep clean and tidy
Bigger space= more unneccessary clutter

Even though garages here are enormous you will find a lot of people still do not park their vehicles in them, they are used for storing all the junk they get tired of from their oversized houses
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 3:30 am
  #784  
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

The Town and Country Planning Act restricts building to only a small proportion of the UK landmass. As a result new build property is subject to density limitations.
That is the flip-side of the perennial complaint that builders are encroaching on the Green Belt.
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 3:40 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma
Bigger space= more to keep clean and tidy
Bigger space= more unneccessary clutter

Even though garages here are enormous you will find a lot of people still do not park their vehicles in them, they are used for storing all the junk they get tired of from their oversized houses
I know there is a case for 'decluttering' your life, after all it is just 'stuff', but some stuff you need to have for your hobbies, interests or even working from home.

I know that if I had enough storage space in the current tiny house it would certainly be far tidier. I've got stuff stacked in my lounge that I have nowhere to put. I have a recording studio which doubles as an office and it is too small to do both properly. If I had a lounge big enough or a dining room the office could go in there

Last edited by martinw01908; Sep 15th 2013 at 3:53 am.
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 3:44 am
  #786  
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

I've always thought the UK housing industry could do with learning a few tricks from the boat-building industry, in terms of smart use of space.

A friend in the US had a small townhouse next to the beach, that had a very "boat-y" feel to it, including a single bed built into the wall in the hallway, that doubled as a cubby-hole/storage space. It wasn't a pull-down bed, it was a horizontal cubby - so you just climbed in and slept with your head-to-toe in the same direction as the hallway and pulled a curtain across if you wanted some privacy.

Can't say I particularly miss the larger home in the US, but I do have two huge garden sheds and a floored attic that holds a load of my "stuff" and where I keep the bike on its turbo trainer for training sessions in the colder months. No garage, though.
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 4:11 am
  #787  
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by dunroving
My living rom in the US was something like 22 ft long - I only really "lived" in half of it and the other half just added 10 ft to my journey from the kitchen to my sofa.
Never considered moving the sofa to the end nearest the kitchen?
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 4:14 am
  #788  
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by roaringmouse
Never considered moving the sofa to the end nearest the kitchen?
Tried that, but I couldn't see the telly from that distance.
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 4:17 am
  #789  
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by dunroving
I've always thought the UK housing industry could do with learning a few tricks from the boat-building industry, in terms of smart use of space.

A friend in the US had a small townhouse next to the beach, that had a very "boat-y" feel to it, including a single bed built into the wall in the hallway, that doubled as a cubby-hole/storage space. It wasn't a pull-down bed, it was a horizontal cubby - so you just climbed in and slept with your head-to-toe in the same direction as the hallway and pulled a curtain across if you wanted some privacy.

Can't say I particularly miss the larger home in the US, but I do have two huge garden sheds and a floored attic that holds a load of my "stuff" and where I keep the bike on its turbo trainer for training sessions in the colder months. No garage, though.
On the subject of floored attics - Is there a weight restriction on what you can store up there?
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by martinw01908
Yes that's true. Although I would rather have the space, than not. Also the garage in most new houses is about as wide as the car so even if you could fit your car in it, you wouldn't be able to open the car door to get out of it! So of course due to this and the lack of space most garages are used to store junk instead of cars in the UK!
It's so annoying isn't it? Maybe they weren't meant for cars at all do you think? There is nothing worse than parking in a new build garage, and not being able to open the doors. They should advise people to have a convertible or cars that have an opening roof.

Failing that always carry a bag of sandwiches,-maybe a packet of crisps, water,-a flask of coffee perhaps? If no one is home to winch you out with the pulley system that comes with these garages, well, excuse me-but you are in the pooey!

My cousins friend knew someone who lived alone; their skeletal remains were found surrounded by empty crisp packets and a half eaten mouldy bloater paste sandwich.

It's a national disgrace.
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by scot47
Come to a place where we don't do riots -
I agree but we are trying to keep that quiet here in Herefordshire.
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Old Sep 15th 2013, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by martinw01908
I just spent a day looking at many of the shoe boxes that pass for a 3 bedroom detached house these days (all built after the 1980's). I've come away thinking how on earth these tiny things with bedrooms barely large enough to swing a cat are 'worth' the asking prices of £220K. The gardens are also tiny. USA/Canada/Ireland/Spain are all much cheaper with a decent plot and house size although the standard of build you get in Ireland is not very good unless its new.
Why not go a bit further out and look at bigger houses? We wouldnt have even looked at a tiny house. Its like looking for a car and complaining the Fiat 500 is too small.
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Old Sep 16th 2013, 9:34 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by chris955
Why not go a bit further out and look at bigger houses? We wouldnt have even looked at a tiny house. Its like looking for a car and complaining the Fiat 500 is too small.
Nothing at all like the car analogy. The rare 60's or older house in a good area is priced way above the inferior rabbit hutches. To go further out would mean moving so far away from work it wouldn't be practical.
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Old Sep 16th 2013, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by martinw01908
I just spent a day looking at many of the shoe boxes that pass for a 3 bedroom detached house these days (all built after the 1980's). I've come away thinking how on earth these tiny things with bedrooms barely large enough to swing a cat are 'worth' the asking prices of £220K. The gardens are also tiny. USA/Canada/Ireland/Spain are all much cheaper with a decent plot and house size although the standard of build you get in Ireland is not very good unless its new.
It's all relative though, you can't compare a house in Milton Keynes to all houses in the US/Canada/Ireland...

I relocated to Los Angeles from Milton Keynes, and now live in the SF Bay. I have a 4 bed detached house in MK, with a conservatory and an ok size garden, and a garage that I could have got my car in (and still got in and out of), value around 250k gbp. I lived in a 3 bed detached in LA, with a pool with next to no garden, bigger kitchen, double garage, 2 beds were around the same size as the ones in my UK house, living area around the same with the conservatory, value around 800k gbp. In the Bay I have a 4 bed detached with a small garden and a double garage. 1 of the bedrooms is huge, the rest are smaller than in my UK house, and the living space is around the same size, value around 950k gbp.

I would be more than happy if I could transplant my lovely MK house here and live in it. Sure you can get huge houses in the sticks in the US, for much less, but you can also get huge houses in the sticks in the UK for much less.

Last edited by N1cky; Sep 16th 2013 at 11:03 am.
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Old Sep 16th 2013, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Is the situation in the UK really that bad?

Originally Posted by N1cky
I would be more than happy if I could transplant my lovely MK house here and live in it. Sure you can get huge houses in the sticks in the US, for much less, but you can also get huge houses in the sticks in the UK for much less.
You can, however, compare house prices versus income and rents. On both those values, some would claim that Uk house prices are overvalued. But as this article points out, there are huge regional differences at play since the start of the great recession in '08:

http://www.economist.com/news/britai...-rubber-bubble

And some commentary here:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-0...ince-2006.html

Last edited by Giantaxe; Sep 16th 2013 at 11:29 am.
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