1 July 2022

House

Thirty three years ago today we moved into this semi-detached house in the south west of Sheffield. It cost us £65,000 but today it would sell for - around £450,000.  That summery day back in 1989 we had no idea that we would live here so long. I guess that at the time, I viewed it as a stepping stone and before too long we would move on but it never happened.

Our two kids were always very happy here. They attended two good schools - both within walking distance and they grew friendships here that will last them a lifetime. How could we rip them away from this suburb, this street, this house?

I remember how neglected our garden appeared the day we moved in. Evidently, the previous owners had zero interest in gardening. The garden is forty five metres in length and it was a jungle when we moved in. It hadn't seemed so bad when our house offer was accepted the previous February.   One of the first things I did was to hire a petrol-driven strimmer and cut the vegetation right back as I accepted the challenge to make a usable garden in which there would be a lawn, a shrubbery and at the top a vegetable patch and a place for occasional fires. 

I had to pull out hundreds of bricks that had once formed the edgings for paths. They were all embedded in the ground at a forty five degree angle with just the tops showing. A pick axe was required to lever many of them out. There were enough to build a small cottage but of course I didn't do that.

Since 1989 we have done a lot to the house. Usually this is at Shirley's behest because I'm not passionate about home improvements. I could live in a cave and not wish to change it. But she has always got another idea up her sleeve  and I find myself being nudged to change things from time to time. Pick up a paint brush, make a phone call. There's always something.

On the whole we have been happy here and safe too. We have good neighbours and there are plenty of facilities within easy walking distance - including bus routes and shops. There are certainly a lot worse places you could live and looking back, I think we made a good move back in the summer of 1989. I have lived in this house longer than I have lived anywhere else. It would be hard to leave it.

29 comments:

  1. Your house must be in a very desirable area to be worth so much or perhaps just very nice and a large size Close to good facilities must help too.

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    1. Sheffield is a very divided city. The south west sector is very affluent. Unlike the north and east sectors.

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  2. Your story is exactly the same as mine. I bought my house in 1970 and I'm still here. Our intention was to stay for only one year. we've been happy.

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    1. The same house for fifty two years! Was it new when you moved in Red?

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  3. There's no place like home, and when you find it, why leave?

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    1. Sometimes I yearn to live in a detached house - a pleasure taken for granted by most Americans I believe.

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  4. Sounds like your very content and settled YP. If I won the National Lottery I would buy a villa in the Algarve and a thatched cottage in Dorset with a walled kitchen garden. It's good to dream.

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    1. If I won The National Lottery I would buy The Sheep's Head Peninsula and turn it into a nudist colony or a llama farm. Money talks.

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  5. We feel much the same about our house of 30 years. We thought we would stay a few years and then move bigger, but loved the location so much we extended instead. Everyone stays around here - walks straight out into the countryside and so on. But we're all ageing. We've had the same neighbours most of that time - in fact we're still third from newest of the 10 nearest houses. It can't stay that way and our and our concern is that the nature of the area could quickly change if a lot of young families moved in. We're gradually preparing for a quick escape if necessary, but as you say, you can never truly know where you're going until you've been there for a time, bringing frying pans and fires to mind. The other thing I'd say is about prices, increases unearned and untaxed wealth. Much more in many parts of the country. There lies the answer to a lot of our problems.

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  6. We bought our 1930's semi in March 1983. We are still here. We paid £27,500. Zoopla informs me it's now worth £250,000. We spent £30,000 on an extention in 1999.
    We will never move.
    It's a good place to be. A bus stop across the road for when we can't drive. A downstairs loo if stairs become too difficult.
    Another reason for staying put is my dad lives 12 doors away in the house where I was brought up.
    He's almost 90 and caring for him is easier, him being so close.

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    1. How lovely that you are so close to your elderly father and how wonderful that he still lives at home!

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  7. It can be difficult to find the perfect home but it seems you have found yours.

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    1. I would rather be living in a detached converted church on the edge of a small town.

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  8. We moved to this house in 1979. It cost £29,000 . It was a modest 3 bed semi, and is now a modest 4 bed semi! We did 2 extensions early on, and it is probably now worth around £7/800K. 10 mins walk to the station and 25 mins on the train to London is what makes it worth so much! Not planning to leave any time soon!

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    1. Sounds like you are sitting on a gold mine Frances!

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  9. I wonder why you thought you were going to move on soon; it seems like the right size and right kind of house for you, first as a family with kids and now for the two of you. From what glimpses we have been gathering through your blog, both your house and garden look well cared for and very much like a home where people can live happily. Why would you want (or need) to change that, unless health issues would mean you or Shirley can not climb the stairs anymore.

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    1. I have always wanted to live in a detached house.

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  10. I'm wondering now just which of the houses in the picture is yours. None of my business of course, I'm just nosy. and nosy enough to ask just what did you do with those hundreds of bricks? I have lived in this tiny one bedroom box for 10 years and eleven months and this is the longest I have lived anywhere. I am hoping for a lottery win too, so I can go somewhere bigger and better, although the bigger part doesn't have to be too much bigger. As long as there is some yard for vegetables and fruit trees and a washing line I can call my own.

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    1. See the white square to the left? That is the roof of our next door neighbour's garage. We are the next property up. With the bricks I made a circle around an apple tree and built a small dividing wall but the rest ended up in a skip (American: dumpster). I hope you win the lottery. Your dream is not outrageous.

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  11. As Dave Barry said once, if it weren't for women, men would still be living in caves and sitting on rocks. I believe this to be true.

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  12. I think that the deciding factor to living in a semi-detached home is the people who live next door. It is hard once you work hard on a place, and have made it 'your own', to move and leave it all behind.

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  13. We moved into our home in 1990. Now that my children are grown, I wonder about down-sizing but I haven't found any place I would rather live and so I stay in my home. It is worth a lot more than it was but of course, so is everything else. I like having room for my kids and grandkids to visit and so I will stay here for awhile yet - until I can't manage.

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  14. Debby's comment is so accurate.
    The first home my husband and I had was a brand-new, very modern, three storey semi-detached. Having come from detached homes, we had no idea of the impact very close neighbours would have. The noise, through the thin walls, was appalling - the couple had a marriage made in hell, blazing rows, blaring TV and a constantly crying child. Fortunately, we were both out at work during the day, but the evenings could be less than relaxing, and we soon spent our weekends house-hunting. We vowed we'd never live in anywhere "adjoined" again, no matter how lovely the property.

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  15. We've only lived in our house for six years, as long as we've been married. Hopefully we can stay here for twenty years, fingers crossed. I love my garden.

    Sounds like you two enjoy living there, why would you move?

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  16. Sheffield prices are silly ..I should have stayed in Hillsborough

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  17. It's funny how our imaginations fill in details that we don't actually know. I pictured you living in a smallish cottage in country-like surroundings with no close neighbours!

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  18. Paper money in the owning of houses nowadays. Being happy where you are with family is the most important thing of course.

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  19. I think kids benefit tremendously when they grow up in one place, with stable friendships and a path through the same schools. I can see why you wouldn't want to move.

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  20. So many parallels with me YP. I moved into my house in January 1988. I can't believe I've been here that long

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