What did you compromise on when buying a house?

posted 4 months ago in Home
Post # 2
5565 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

We sacrificed size for location as we are still young and don’t need a big home, what we do need right now is a short commute and a buzzing, lively area.  We can leave our front door and we are a 3/4 minute walk from several coffee shops, pubs, wine bars, restaurants and it is a really great place to live. 

In a way we compromised the interior for the area too, however we had the money to renovate and we are both in architecture so we were actually hoping to do that.  The dated inside was a bonus as it shaved off a nice % of the purchase price and we ended up having a much nicer place for the same money once we renovated. 

We really want to live closer to our work, but it would mean the inside of the house is crummy.

Buying a house is long term and the inside can always be changed.  I would never let the inside stop me from considering a house.  I know someone who passed on a gorgeous house because of the bathroom tiles. In my mind that was crazy, the home was not far off a million and it would cost like 2k to change the bathroom tiles?! 

Post # 3
1560 posts
Bumble bee

Fellow Aussie home owner! Personally we hate commuting so we made a big sacrifice on size for a 15 min drive to work. We figured we’re still young and have many working years ahead and still enjoy going out so proximity to the city was prioritised, for our next house we’ll move a bit further out for a bigger backyard/more rooms. We also wanted to become home owners sooner so went for a townhouse which was more affordable, and low in maintenance. 

Post # 4
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

We compromised on size, but it was to buy a larger house than we wanted. We live in an area where most houses are 3000 sq ft+ and we wanted to be around 2000, ended up right at 2500. The price was low because it needed all new HVAC, which was an opportunity for us to put in an energy efficient system. We also ended up with room in our budget for a weekly cleaning lady, which helps a lot!

Post # 5
1257 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

We compromised on yard, neighbor proximity, closet/storage space, and a mudroom. 

ALthough having come from an apartment with no outdoor space I really wanted a nice big yard – now that we have our very modest yard I actually love how low maintenance it is but we still have green space for the dog and a nice patio to eat out on and our neighbors are lovely so it all worked out for the best!

Closet space is a bit of a struggle still but that’s what comes with old houses (which we new we wanted). 

Mudroom we’re hoping to add in the next year or two so hopefully that won’t be a compromise forever!

Is it the house of our dreams with updated and modern interior? No. But it’s our first house and not our forever house so I’m sure we’ll upgrade in the next 10 years or so to something more permanent.

Post # 6
7904 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

shadows9x :  we sacrificed yard size and a garage for location and interior space. We also had to do a lot of renovations but in our case it was well worth it – had we waited until we could afford something updated we would have been priced out of the market.  A crummy interior is just a chance to make it what you want! Our kitchen was awful but we lived with it while we saved up to renovate and now it’s my dream. I love it so much. And I can 100% guarantee it’s not what most new houses would have since I didn’t just slap up some white cabinets with white counters and gray walls which is what all the new flips have. 

We have a family and a dog on a main road and it’s totally fine. The back yard is fenced and they can play back there safely. 

Post # 7
796 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

We were looking for a home, not a house. I’d say we sacrificed on having a shiny nice interior. It’s an older home and there are quirks and lots of upgrades that could be done with a handful that should be done. We also sacrificed in the money area – the property taxes where we live are very high, almost as high as our mortgage. It works for us though because we really aren’t fancy people and tend to be home bodies. We get a lot out of having a nice yard and a friendly safe neighborhood.

Every now and then I have moments where I wish we had bought a newer house that doesn’t need help, but then I remember that it would have been much smaller with a smaller yard and a non loveable neighborhood. Not worth it to me.


Post # 8
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I bought my house as a single mom with a good income, but in a high cost of living city with excellent schools where we had planted roots while renting.

I would have preferred a newer, bigger house that was updated. I could afford a smaller home with less updates. I preferred 2 Full bathrooms but my house has only 1.5 bathrooms.

There were some pros- somewhat updates, huge yard, vaulted ceilings with skylights. Newer roof, windows, etc.

Now fiance and I in the process of updating this house (2 bathrooms done, kitchen to go!) and we will upgrade in about 2 years. Sadly even with his income and me going to school to DOUBLE my income… we will still have to compromise in this city. But we love it here and should be able to get a much bigger newer house.

Post # 9
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

We sacrificed the newest, modern and updated interior and size for a home that needed some decent upgrading and for land. Darling Husband and I both wanted land and were 110% willing to compromise on a smaller sq-ft home to get more acres, which we did. 

Just for perspective on what we compromised on – we had some friends who built their home brand-new and exactly how they wanted from the get go. Their house was about 700sq-ft bigger than ours, newer BUT in a subdivison with zero to minimal yard space.

We got a 1965 model house, that was move-in ready but needed updating to our standards (remove the wood paneling walls in living room and kitchen, primed and painted, a wall removed, bathroom 100% redone). It needed a few new major appliances (furnace, water heater, new roof this summer) but it had a beautiful deck, a barn, fenced pasture and was located on 6.5 acres… and we paid less for our home + land + renovations than they did for their house. Tbh, we felt like we got the better deal but that’s also based on personal preference. 

Sometimes we wish we built, but our finances got tight when we bought our house now. I think we were smart in compromising how we did because we have the potiential to re-build brand new on the current land we have or do a complete remodel on our house down the road. 

Post # 10
732 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

We compromised on everything. I live in the South East of the UK, near to London in one of the most expensive counties in the country.

We bought a 2 bed end of terrace on a new build development with a small garden and 1 parking space. And we had no other option. It was literally the only house (we did not want to buy a flat) we could afford in the entire county. The housing market is so ridiculous where we live, and it makes me fume that we earn really decent salaries between us, had a respectable amount of savings for our deposit and STILL we had zero choice at all about what we could buy.

There is basically nothing about my house that I would have chosen had we had the luxury of choice, but as it happens it’s fine and I do not take for granted how lucky we are to be homeowners in a very nice area.

We are hoping that our house will gain in value and that when we sell up (possibly in 2021) we will be able to afford a 3 bed property with more space, a driveway and a bigger garden.

Post # 11
2527 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

We sacraficed a little on location and size. Our home is pretty modest on the inside, definitely needs some updates. It was our 3rd city choice, the farthest from my work (still only about a 30 min drive), but it’s still a great neighborhood with good schools. When we bought it it was 3 bed 1.5 bath, but we renovated the master bath to add a shower. 

Try to focus on the things you cannot ever change. Location, lot size, school district, etc. 

Post # 12
372 posts
Helper bee

We sacrificed on size rather than location. We were lucky cause the interior of our home doesn’t need much work other than cosmetic preferences that we have. But now that we are living where we live I see how important location is. We love our neighborhood. We’re close to the lake, shops and amenities. It is a quiet beautiful area and I’d trade hanging out in more space (within my house) with spending time in our neighborhood any day.

Post # 13
215 posts
Helper bee

Boyfriend and I are going through this right now. We want somewhere with more space between neighbours, a rural outskirts sort of place with lots of green space and can have a fire pit but still close enough to the city. A better commute to my work would be ideal or at least a place my commute won’t get doubled/tripled/quadrupled if there is an accident on the main road. (only 3 ways to get into my city and all go to a dead stop when something happens on the main bridge).

Our current house we were able to check off most of our boxes but I would say we compromised on yard space, needed some minor renovations/maintenance, and proximity to neighbours and i compromised on commute. (For me the commute was longer by 15 mins and for Boyfriend or Best Friend it was shorter by 10)

Post # 14
3223 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

shadows9x :  we compromised on having no garage (and no room to build one on), no fence (my husband put one up once we moved in), no open floor plan (we plan to knock down one wall eventually to open up the main area), and a longer commute for my husband than where we were before – but shorter than the other side of the city where we could afford to buy. We also paid 16k over our ideal budget to get what we got. 

Post # 15
1342 posts
Bumble bee

We compromised on a lot of things, we both have reasonable salaries for the UK and our area (Midlands), but as we’re both starting out in our careers (FI graduated two years ago and I’m retraining in another profession) our budget was limited. We borrowed much less than the bank would have given us and bought the worst house on the best street that we could afford, that was also liveable while we slowly renovate. 

We compromised on area (the areas we love are way over our price range), the internal configuration (we have a ridiculously small kitchen so need to knock down the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a good sized kitchen/diner), the bathroom as we only have a shower and no bath (I love baths), everything cosmeric (whole house needs renovating), the driveway (we only have room for one car on our driveway and we have two cars) and the garden (the previous owners covered the back garden in ugly brown painted concrete so it needs landscaping). 

We did however buy a 3 bed semi on a nice street, close to our places of work, with good transport links, loads of potential and for a bargain price due to Brexit (market is very slow here atm). We can add a lot of value ourselves and that’s our goal over the next five years as our salaries increase, after which we sell and buy something in a better area and maybe a bit bigger.  

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