House 2

Having spent 6 years in a safe, modern detached house on a development in a quiet village, what on earth made us go for a Victorian terrace in a town? A number of factors led us towards this property - in no particular order:

  • Build Quality

    When buying our first house, I knew almost nothing about buildings, and was simply considering the obvious factors such as size and location. But the more time I spent in the house, the more I realised that it wasn't a quality piece of engineering. For example, the prefabricated roof trusses make the loft unusable, plus the 600mm spacing demonstrates that the builders were working to the extremes of the regulations. The first floor was similar - joists spaced as far as you could get away with, supporting the thinnest chipboard flooring you can buy. All perfectly legal, but not exactly confidence inspiring...
  • Location

    Being in a village was great, unless you wanted to do something! Because everything involved a car journey into Norwich city centre, we tended to simply not bother - especially as Norwich has become very "car-unfriendly". Now, we are just a short walk from the shops and amenities, and I can cycle to work. We could easily give up one of our cars...
  • The "playground effect"

    When I first moved into the close, I thought it was great that it was a safe environment for kids to play. After a few months, I changed my mind about this! Don't get me wrong - I love children. But when you've got 10 or 20 of them running up and down in front of your house using your front garden as a playground, it gets very tiring.

So we were looking for something solidly made with a reasonable garden. Our main criteria was to avoid modern developments and also villages, as most of our problems seemed to stem from these factors. We knew that we would have to compromise on a number of other things, especially considering our budget in view of the property market over here - for example, a detached house in a nice non-estate location was almost certainly out of the question.

After a lot of ups and downs we eventually settled on a Victorian terraced house on a busy road in the town, just a few hundred yards from the river and the shops. It had been recently double-glazed which dealt with the worst of the road noise, which you only really hear in the front two rooms anyway. And thankfully, the rumble of traffic is much easier to ignore than the noise of screaming kids and balls hitting your front windows and cars!

Because of the main road, there are double-yellow lines outside the front - this means you never have to look at someone else's van that's been parked across your drive. Instead, we get a nice view of some older Georgian buildings opposite that have recently been restored. Of course at certain times of the day we get to look at the poor people stuck in traffic, but that just adds to the variety! Because of the nature of the street, traffic can't really go any faster than 20mph most of the time, so it's really not as bad as we feared.

Luckily there is parking and a single garage at the back, but unfortunately one of the cars has to live in the garage! Perhaps one day we'll turn it into a large double with workshop space, but in the meantime I've been able to make use of the cellar. The loft is also quite large with lots of potential, so one day we'll be able to convert it, should we need the extra space.

More to follow...