Volkszone Forum banner

1 - 20 of 139 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
That's right, as if there wasn't enough going on in the world, we are attempting to move! Actually, we have been thinking about it for a long time, and now we've decided the area we want to move to, we have got on with prepping our house.

It went on the market last Thursday, first viewing was the next day, and they have offered us the asking price. They are sold, to a first time buyer, their finances check out as far as they can, so we're on :)

We have narrowed down our choice to two houses, both of which we are visiting next Monday, and I wanted to get some info in advance, as one of them is a bit of a departure for us.

House number 1 is on the edge of town, with views over fields. It's a 3 storey, 6 bedroom detached, with more than enough internal space for every eventuality, double garage, and a reasonable-ish size plot. It was built in 2005 in a development of 4 "executive homes" and although a "select" development, it's on an estate, albeit the edge of one. That's really the issue with it, other house close by, and not a lot of space around it.

House 2 is in a small village a few miles outside of town. Built 11 years ago on a plot of land bought from the owner's parents. It has much more land, a large drive and big double garage. The house itself is 4 bedroom, and is actually quite modest, but straightforward, with enough space (2000sq ft, compared to the 1500 we have now, and the 3000 of house 1)

The basic question of town or country is one that only we can answer, so I'm not really after opinions on that. What is in the mix however, are some details concerning house 2. Whereas house 1 has mains water, drainage, gas, etc, and conventional central heating, house 2 does not...

It does have mains electricity and water, but not drainage, so the first question is what it's like to live with a bio-digester system. Does it need regular emptying, or maintenance? Is there a limitation on what cleaning products can be used?

It was built to be fairly energy efficient, and has a ground source heat pump with underfloor heating throughout. From what I have read on this, it's a really good combination as the relative low temperature from the heat pump needs large area heat sources. My concern is whether it is an efficient way of heating water for washing, etc.?

It has a gas cooker, using LPG cylinders, although I'm not so worried about this as I presume it'll be easy to have a regular delivery.

Although house 2 is more expensive, we are leaning towards village life at the moment, assuming that the points above are not going to be a pain to live with.

What thinks the hive mind?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,540 Posts
My parents have some sort of on site drainage/sewage system. It's shared with the property next door. No issues in 20+ years of living there. It gets emptied about every eighteen months.

LPG in cylinders is (comparatively) ridiculously expensive. Changing to a gas tank brings the price of gas right down.

My parents have a special insurance for the water supply, less than a fiver a month. You're responsible for where it meets your boundary to the property. Theirs is about 600 metres and up a hill, so worth it. United Utilities wanted over £50k to replace the current feed.
 

·
Help! I'm trapped in here
Joined
·
19,324 Posts
I have gas cylinders at my house to do the hob and the boiler. The boiler is ridiculously expensive to run, but the hob isn’t. Just make sure you put a bit back as it’s a lot of money in one go to replace the cylinders. Mine are the big tall ones. I have since had a pellet burner fitted which is doing a good job of heating the house, so I only use the boiler for hot water now.

The gas thing didn’t put me off buying the house though as I knew it was the one for me when I saw the double garage with 2 post lift :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,320 Posts
Living in in the sticks is not such a hardship and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages as far as I am concerned.

The rules of thumb are - gas for hob, not oven - certainly not boiler.

Heating preference in this order -

1, ground source
2, air source
3, gas,
4,oil.

Klargester type treatment plant uses a little electric, but not much and very rarely needs emptying.
You get a discount on water rates too.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,540 Posts
Klargester! That's what my parents have. I don't recall any electrical gubbins attached to it. Maybe some sort of soakaway?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
My parents have some sort of on site drainage/sewage system. It's shared with the property next door. No issues in 20+ years of living there. It gets emptied about every eighteen months.

LPG in cylinders is (comparatively) ridiculously expensive. Changing to a gas tank brings the price of gas right down.

My parents have a special insurance for the water supply, less than a fiver a month. You're responsible for where it meets your boundary to the property. Theirs is about 600 metres and up a hill, so worth it. United Utilities wanted over £50k to replace the current feed.
Good shout re the water, there's a lot more pipe between the road and house than where I am now!

I have gas cylinders at my house to do the hob and the boiler. The boiler is ridiculously expensive to run, but the hob isn't. Just make sure you put a bit back as it's a lot of money in one go to replace the cylinders. Mine are the big tall ones. I have since had a pellet burner fitted which is doing a good job of heating the house, so I only use the boiler for hot water now.

The gas thing didn't put me off buying the house though as I knew it was the one for me when I saw the double garage with 2 post lift :D
I was assuming that the cylinders are expensive to buy initially, but then you are effectively only paying for the gas, but could be wrong. As far as I know it's only for the hob.

^^^^this wins for me.

I personally would categorize the downsides as small, compared to the gains.
Both houses have a similar size garage, although the town one has two doors rather than one. There's more driveway in the country though...

Living in in the sticks is not such a hardship and the benefits outweigh the disadvantages as far as I am concerned.

The rules of thumb are - gas for hob, not oven - certainly not boiler.

Heating preference in this order -

1, ground source
2, air source
3, gas,
4,oil.

Klargester type treatment plant uses a little electric, but not much and very rarely needs emptying.
You get a discount on water rates too.
Thanks, that's helpful. Gas is only for cooking, I would assume only for the hob rather than the oven, and I believe that the heating uses no gas at all.

Heating is deffo ground source - it was built, and is currently owned by, a plumber, so I am imagining anything pipe related will be top notch!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Klargester! That's what my parents have. I don't recall any electrical gubbins attached to it. Maybe some sort of soakaway?
Having looked at all the planning documents on-line, it is a Klargester system. I think they are one of the biggest in the UK for this type of stuff and have a base near where I live now.

Apparently, it filters the effluent and discharges "clean" water into the storm drains. Seems that the neighbour at the time was concerned about it as there are letters in the planning documents with his comments.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,540 Posts
Last time I looked into it, on the LPG front:

A big cylinder (47kg) costs around £70-75 and holds about 90 litres of gas. Gas in bulk is around 30-35p a litre.

I think an above ground tank is free, but you'll need to sort your own concrete slab. Below ground installation, about £1000.

Don't paint your tank to look like Thomas the Tank. Don't box it in, or if you do leave about a metre around it. If you know you're due a delivery, pick up any dog/cat sh1t in garden, we don't like reeling in hoses covered in it and are likely to drive off without filling your tank. Oh, tea with milk, no sugar. Biscuits are welcome, but not essential. :D
 

·
Saddest VZi'er 2020
Joined
·
6,729 Posts
...currently owned by, a plumber, so I am imagining anything pipe related will be top notch!
Knowing what I do about tradesmen you have a 50/50 chance. It will either be absolutely top spec and perfectly installed, or it will be utterly bodged using whatever used/free/liberated parts that could be slung together with the minimum amount of time and effort, and will be totally on its last legs. :lol:

If it were me I'd definitely go for the more rural option. The idea of living on an "executive" estate fills me with horror. There's probably a residents' association (or something more pretentious, like "owners' council"), and you'll get aggro for putting your bins out too early, or for having a manual gearbox or some such. :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,320 Posts
Thanks, that's helpful. Gas is only for cooking, I would assume only for the hob rather than the oven, and I believe that the heating uses no gas at all.

Heating is deffo ground source - it was built, and is currently owned by, a plumber, so I am imagining anything pipe related will be top notch!
Don't be surprised if your Electric Bill is a little more than usual, the energy required to move all that water around is quite substantial.

The last system I installed had 4 kilometres of underground pipe to collect the heat.

Klargester! That's what my parents have. I don't recall any electrical gubbins attached to it. Maybe some sort of soakaway?
The ones I have installed have a small motor, slowly rotating the paddle though the 'poo soup' to expose the anaerobic bacteria to the air to keep the process working naturally.

The only thing left after the bacteria has digested everything is clean water and methane gas.

It is best not to put bleach In the karzi if you have this 'digester' system.

Knowing what I do about tradesmen you have a 50/50 chance. It will either be absolutely top spec and perfectly installed, or it will be utterly bodged using whatever used/free/liberated parts that could be slung together with the minimum amount of time and effort, and will be totally on its last legs. :lol:

If it were me I'd definitely go for the more rural option. The idea of living on an "executive" estate fills me with horror. There's probably a residents' association (or something more pretentious, like "owners' council"), and you'll get aggro for putting your bins out too early, or for having a manual gearbox or some such. :lol:
Yeah, my Daughter just moved to an estate like that - they have two cars, and a four car driveway.

However, the day they moved in one car was left on the road outside so the removal van could get on the drive - within minutes some septic old bitch was having seizure fits about the parking.

Those soulless tricky tacky 'executive' houses on these sterile estates are my worst nightmare living experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Quick update - went to see the country house yesterday, along with another in town (but not the new estate one, this was a large 3 storey stone built end of terrace). The one in town was OK, but it was smaller inside than it looked, and due to it being a main house and a cottage in the garden joined together, it was a weird long layout downstairs, where you had to walk through rooms to get to other rooms. It was also quite shabby in places, and there looked to be a lot of making good. No garage, but a substantial garage sized building in the garden with electrics.

The house out in the country was as expected from the photos, not a huge plot, but substantial front and rear, with views to die for in all directions. Garage is amazing, with a room over it, stairs and all we'd need, plus a generous driveway. House itself is a fairly small 4 bed, although well laid out, and with a large en-suite to the master bedroom. The loft has been made into a useable but occasional room, with stairs. Downsides are that the bedrooms are quite small, and a low roof makes them feel smaller, plus the windows upstairs are in dormers and are also very small. I am guessing that this was a planning constraint, and in keeping with the cottage style, but it doesn't help to open up the rooms.

We did make an offer yesterday, lower than the asking price, and are waiting for a response. We know that there are some viewings today, one of whom is a cash buyer, so aren't too hopeful TBH. We can't go any higher really as we will need to leave some cash to add a necessary outdoor workroom.

I know with a constraint on budget, there's always going to be a compromise somwehere, but it's proving really hard to find what we want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I wish we could find a house that we wanted so quickly :lol:
We've been looking for months, and at various times had thought that the "country house" was the one, but that position had been occupied by a number of options over the time.

It's only now that we have sold that we can really start viewing, and even then we are looking to move quite a way, so it's a 2+ hour journey to view anything. We are also finding that estate agent photos are great at making everything look huge!

We haven't heard anything yet about our offer, so I am expecting them to reject it, and as I'm sure you can detect from the previous post, we're not dead set on this one, so are happy-ish to let it go if someone offers more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Offer has been rejected as predicted, but it seems that the 3 viewings today did not produce an acceptable offer either. Two, including the cash buyer, were looking to downsize and found it too big, and the other has "a lot to think about" before they make an offer.

If we up ours a little we could have it, but it's never that simple. If we had our hearts set on that location, we probably would go for it, but we have an idea now to look at a slightly different area, to try and find the one (or something that we could make into it) so we shall see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Viewed some more this weekend, one was a very old cottage right in the centre of a town, but with what looked to be a reasonably large plot. We could see from the pictures that the house was in need of some attention, and was a weird layout (en-suite bathroom with a balcony anyone?) with tiny bedrooms, but it was cheaper, and maybe there was scope for development. It was a definite no on that score - everything was smaller in reality, the garden was all at the front (back of the cottage IS the boundary wall) and on a steep slope, and it was a very damp and small space.

Next up was a bit of a wild card, right at the top of the budget, another rural one, with 2 acres of land. It was a lovely property, originally a gamekeeper's cottage that has been recently extended. Bit quirky, with 3 bedrooms upstairs and one down, 3 en-suites, but no family bathroom or separate downstairs toilet, a lovely bespoke kitchen with oil fired Rayburn doing heating, water and cooking, but with an electric oven and induction hob alongside, study, breakfast room and lounge. Garden is amazing, and there's a massive workshop, complete with authentic barn find car!

It's got decent Internet with a wireless line of sight setup, and as it is used as a repeater to other properties, it's free, apparently. Mains electric and water, septic tank for waste (owner has been there 30+ years and it's never needed emptying!) and an oil tank, that he said is pretty economical. There is a neighbour, but at a distance, and farms all around, plus it is 10 minutes from the nearest town. So far so good.

Big question is about the workshop - it's an old farm building with a curved corrugated asbestos roof, and I am not sure whether that is a problem or not. From what I have read, this use of asbestos is fairly safe, as it's encased in concrete and is a stable material in general. Obviously, it's a problem if there are breakages, and it just feels like a bit of an issue. If we did move there, we'd probably want to remove the workshop anyway, and replace with something in a different place to give more parking and turning options as the house and drive are right in the corner of the plot, making juggling multiple cars a bit of a bind.

Questions for those that know:
- Would the workshop be picked up on a survey as an issue, and would it be a requirement for it to be dealt with, or more an advisory?
- How much of a problem would it be really?

We're still struggling with the decision on whether to go full rural, and are finding the compromises so difficult...
Do we have an older property with character, or a newer one with a more logical layout (and usually bigger rooms)
Do we have space inside or outside?
Do we want to live in town or out of town?
Ideally, we'd be on the edge of town, with a big plot all around us, in a big house, able to turn one way and walk into open country, or turn the other and walk to the shops. Problem is, where those houses exist, we can't afford them!
 
1 - 20 of 139 Posts
Top