We live in an end of terrace Victorian house on a crowded street in the South of England. Our house has many wonderful features – bay windows, some nice moulding, a beautiful fireplace and stripped wood floors. However, it is small. Too small for a family of 5. With only 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom we are quickly outgrowing our British home. The children’s bedrooms are tiny, there are no closets and there is only 1 storage cupboard in the entire house. Our washing machine has to go in the kitchen because there is no utility room to house it. In addition to the inside space being so small, we have very little outside space. The back yard, or ‘garden’ really is just a tiny patch of garden. We have no front yard and no place to park our car apart from on the street. If we are lucky, we’ll find a space just outside our house. If we aren’t so lucky, we’ll have to park on another street altogether. This is a typical English terraced house. I feel fortunate to be living in a lovely house but I do feel like I’ve been cheated. When I see the type of house and amount of land we could have in America for less than what we paid for our British house, it makes me sick to my stomach. This is why I don’t look very often.
It was brought to my attention this morning (by my children) just how small our house is for us and the fact that we will never be able to afford a bigger house in Britain unless we move to a crappy area or up towards the North where my husband doesn’t have a job, or if we win a million pounds. The thought of moving again within Britain and paying so much money in fees and stamp tax also makes me feel sick to my stomach. 7 years ago when we looked for a house to move to because my husband got a job in Brighton, this was the only house we could afford that also offered the number of bedrooms that we needed at the time. It was also in the right location for a commute into Brighton and schools for the kids. So we had to down-size from a 4 bedroom house with a decent sized garden to a 3 bedroom house with a tiny garden. It seemed like the best plan at the time and we really did make the most of a difficult situation. (I won’t dwell on the fact that I burst into tears every day for 6 months). Houses are just so incredibly expensive here and even some of the expensive ones only have 1 bathroom and no utility room and tiny gardens.
Sorry for such a depressing post. I will be back on good form next time, I promise.
This is what is available within our budget in the States. Photo from the Keadle Real Estate website. I can’t event look at the interior – the rooms are so spacious it makes me want to slash my wrists!