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Houses with lots of land

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  • LucidLucid Posts: 334
    Hi everyone. I've just been giving this thread another read through and have been reminded of how kind and helpful you all are.

    We've had a tough time over the last year and a bit as we unexpectedly had to have our dog put to sleep. We've been plodding along with our jobs but not really achieving much, and the garden is still left unfinished (quite a state at the moment actually) but hopefully if this warmer weather keeps I can start to get out there and tidy. A few weeks ago we came up with a new garden design which would extend the beds and give us a nice seating area, and a reduced lawn as we've not had much success with it so far. Feeling positive about it we put a deposit on a couple of mature apple trees which we could position for some extra screening, and obviously enjoy the apples from it too. I've been planning the new plants that we could use to help with further screening and also for wildlife. However last weekend my partner said that he felt we should seriously consider trying to move house over the next year. Our house is currently unfinished, and the garden is definitely unfinished, but he wants to try to find a quieter place sooner rather than later. We've always had a bit of a chick and egg situation going on of should we spend the money now to finish this house to exactly how we'd like it, or should we just get it looking nice and spend the money on an upgrade instead etc. We had thought there was no chance we could move anytime soon so it'd better to get it how we want now as we may be here for a long time. But we've done some exploring and it seems we could potentially move and upgrade over the next year!

    Plans are slightly different from when I first started this thread. We're now looking at buying a house, rather than attempting to build, as I don't think the build would be very realistic. We're trying to stay reasonably local (less than half an hour drive from family etc) so we're still caught in the price trap of the South. But we're going to be looking at detached places in (hopefully) a country village type area. There's one place in particular which I'd never been to before but visited in relation to my work, and we have fallen in love with it. It has fields surrounding the village, and several of the houses are backed on to by the fields, with views of trees and open land etc. There's a load of blurb on the parish website about the reason this gap (as they call it) exists and why it will be staying. I know that can't be guaranteed at the rate open areas are sadly being lost in the South, but there are country parks and Forestry Commission places nearby so hopefully there's a slightly increased chance the area would be left untouched. The local wildlife listed is quite a lot: badgers, deer, foxes, rabbits, frogs, voles, snakes (not sure which ones!). No mention of hedgehogs sadly but there are so many hedgerows around there I'd hope there would be some surviving. Birds listed are woodpeckers, cuckoos, thrushes, wrynecks swallows, owls, swifts, herons, redwings, snowy egrets. I've seen plenty of blackbirds hopping around the hedges, and while there's not mention of robins, blue tits and similar, I assume with all those other species mentioned they're bound to be around too? Definitely want to be in close proximity to robins and the smaller birds - am hoping that's not strange to base an area to live on the type of birds that are around! ;) In this area we may have to compromise a little on the garden size, but it seems there are places around there well within our price range where you can almost have it all! Not talking a massive garden but I would like one that's at least a very similar size to our current one ideally. As long as it's not overlooked and has space for a pond and a nice large wildlife friendly flowerbed, and hopefully our 2 apple trees (if the shop will extend our deposit period) then that would be great if we were next to the countryside. I'd love to be able to plant up a native hedge too but we'll just have to see. If we had great views of the fields and trees in the distance then we could compromise on a smaller garden, especially with all of that wildlife around. 

    My partner is feeling very positive about it all which is good as he has a lot of stresses with work. We now have the challenge of finishing the rest of our house to a basic standard so that we could get it on the market whenever we feel ready. We did the classic thing of seeing some lovely places up for sale, but there's no point getting excited until our place is good to go. Fortunately we'd got the big jobs done to a high standard (all of downstairs and the bathroom), so it's just really some repairs and decorating upstairs for the bedrooms. The garden I'm feeling more disappointed about. As I said I've fallen behind and it's looking quite a state. With the plan to move there would be no point spending all of the money on the new plants and seating/paving plans etc. I feel a little like I've failed as we started the garden again from scratch and I'll not get to see how it all ends up mature, and I'd feel sad to leave the pond behind too as there are newts that seem to thrive in there, and we saw our first frog this year. I'd also worry about new owners filling in the pond, as I know people with children can get worried about them. But I just have to hope they will love it, I will try to make it as pretty looking as I can. Obviously for sale we need to get the garden tidied and maybe some cheaper plants added to fill out the beds, so they don't look so bare. To be fair the South facing side looks alright in the Summer once everything has grown, but it's the North facing beds that haven't succeeded so much. And the lawn is very patchy and bumpy in places. Do you think it's the right approach to make sure the beds look full when putting the house up for sale? I know they won't look mature but just thought it might look a bit more appealing to see some nice green plants and flowers dotted about instead of bare soil. I had plans to plant a Clematis Montana Continuity on the North facing side, but am now thinking I should just buy a small Clematis Montana like you see for sale in supermarkets etc. I know it'll probably need potting on first, but could it potentially get strong enough to plant later in the year? Then there's the small perennials that can be bought for potting on which I'm hoping could also get planted later in the year.

    Anyway, I was mostly posting as an update but if anyone has any thoughts or tips that'd be great.

    Lucid  :)
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,818
    Hi Lucid. Sorry to hear about your dog :'(

    I wasn't around when you first posted but I'm another one with a big garden (2 acres) in the UK - East Devon. We've been here for 9 years now, still building the house (there wasn't one here when he arrived) and trying to tame the nettles.
    The thought process we went through to get here was long and tortuous but it culminated in a dog walk where we posed to ourselves the question 'if money was no object, what would we want to do?'. And as the answer was 'buy a barn in a field and do it up' we then went out and looked for a way to do that that we could afford. ('Grand Designs' it definitely is not - 'Catweazle's Shack' would be nearer the mark)

    I think you need to weigh up the things that are important from the things that are nice to have and then focus - find a way to get those things and a way to deal with the compromises that come. So if a house in that village is what you would want regardless of your financial situation, then it is the Right Thing to do, so you should go for it.

    A garden never outlives the gardener. Stop worrying about what you will never be able to affect, consider any plants you might want to take cuttings from or move wholesale and get that operation into gear (i.e. into pots and not in the ground) BEFORE you have any viewings. Then I would suggest you sow annuals to fill the gaps and cover the wilderness. Buying shrubs is probably a waste of money, in the same way as replacing the kitchen units would be - everyone always wants to do their own thing. The best thing you can do to sell a garden is make it look reasonably easy to maintain. You can take your current garden with you - physically as plants and in your mind in all that you've learned from it. Then make a new one to love even more. Build a pond and newts will come  :)

    Good luck 
    “This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.”
    ― Terry Pratchett
  • Lily PillyLily Pilly Central southern Scotland Posts: 3,845
    This thread is very interesting!

    Lucid, follow your dreams but at your age and stage remember if you choose something very rural you may have to make a second move. We all need facilities as we age!
    You will also spend a lot of time in the car!

    My oh took early retirement and we realised we needed a “project”. We would never have looked at this house if we had just seen it online. Once we saw it we realised it was ideal. Heavy work in the house had been done and the 5 acre garden desperately needed reinstated. It’s a fabulous challenge. Family, who thought we were mad to begin eith, love. coming here. We still maintain our friendships with old chums and have made new. We have been here 12 years now and can’t imagine living a city life again tho we have agreed if one of us takes ill, or worse, we may have to rethink.

    Oh, one thing, make sure you have at least one freezer, I have 3!  We have also a large booze cupboard. We can’t afford to run out of anything as this winter proved 
    Good Luck, keep us posted.

    Pansy is there not a local orange bus? It’s on demand, but does  runs to our hospital .
    Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
    A A Milne
  • UpNorthUpNorth South Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Posts: 362
    fascinating question....how to find a house with Land.   

    We all doubtless will mostly use Rightmove now to find a new home.  But Rightmove software is poor to say the least.....i don't understand why they don't improve the data they collect on a property, and thus expand what can be of done on the website for their users. (garden size, whether it's victorian/bespoke one off build, etc etc)  No wait, i do understand, they're pretty much a monopoly, and making loads of money, so why change things!  

    but to try and answer the question....I don't think there is any one good way but if someone here can provide a link to a website that provides this service, then great, but i'm not going to hold my breath.  

    finally, we found a house with about half acre plot/gardens and another 1.5 acre land....just found it on right move, when looking for a victorian/character house.

    i don't think it has to cost too much to get the land, providing it can't be built on, ie it's a lower value land.  if you can get permission to build on land, obviously the value of land becomes too much for most to leave as a garden.  sorry that might be stating the obvious!
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 3,975
    As another idea. Just to test out whether you have the energy, time, inclination to keep up an area of productive land, why not get an allotment for a few years in the meantime. You will then have a dry-run at the 'good life'.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Scariff, County Clare, IrelandPosts: 5,876
    Just read through this thread - it's fascinating!

    As far as preparing your garden for sale goes, most people want to see an inviting place to sit, and a bit of colour.  If you can make it look pretty near the house with cheap bedding plants or seed-grown annuals, that's enough, in my experience.  The other tip is - if you loved your garden, NEVER go back and look at it after you've moved...
    "The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life."  Rabindranath Tagore
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,703
    I am lucky with our property, no neighbours, no buses slow internet, hardly any mobile phone signal, but it’s only about 7 miles from a very small town which has supermarkets, doctors and other amenities. 
    I am finding the garden a bit of headache now, constant battle with brambles, thistles etc from the field.  will probably be selling in about 5 years time. 
    It’s right bang in the middle of this photo.


    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • autumngloryautumnglory Posts: 249
    We're feeling the same at the moment, we bought our first house as a 'doer upper'. We're almost there with it, and we do like our little house but we'd love to live in a nicer, more rural area. We go between wanting to finish this house to wanting to move a lot!

     There are lots of houses not too far from here but they're a fair bit out of our price range, so I think we'll be here a while yet. House prices are definitely still going up here if sold prices are anything to go by, so we'd have equity but it would be offset by the increase in the next house.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 15,703
    What we want is always just that bit out of reach, I wonder why that is.  Great expectations I suppose😀
    All the previous houses we’ve ever bought have never been exactly what we wanted, this is the perfect exact one, but it’s hard work now. 
    Gardeners are very expensive around here, that’s if you could ever get one. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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