Really there's not a lot, mostly just stuff we were aware of moving in and just need to get used to.
- 'Apartment Living' as the Americans call it can take a bit of getting used to (before this we lived in a maisonette and then houses), there are people living above us and on both sides. Sometimes there can be noise from them, and sometimes I'm conscious that we might be disturbing them. We also share the wheelie bin, so have started using litter tray liners and bin liners for the cat litter and are more conscious about not filling the bin up in the first few days. Also being used to having a driveway and a garage etc it takes some getting used to living in a flat.
- From that last point, not having a driveway or being able to park right outside our front door. There is free parking on the other side of the road and if there's no spaces there there's permit parking (Tom pays £80 per year so not too bad but still an added expense) down a side street just round the corner, only twice have we found no spaces on either road and had to park further away. I don't have the car, so it's mainly Tom that deals with this and most of the time he gets a space reasonably close, but when it's tipping down with rain and/or you have heavy shopping to bring in it can be a pain. We do have an access road out the back though so we can unload stuff and bring it in through the back garden but then we have to go and park the car.
- On from that point, not having my own car. This really isn't a downside of the property really just something I've noticed. I could have a car (we're allowed 2 permits) but really it would be a massive extravagance financially to have 2 cars, I don't need to drive to work (Massive plus point there though!) so it would stay parked for the whole week and only be used maybe at the weekends. I really miss having my own car though, it's a minor inconvenience but it just means I've lost a bit of my independence, I have to get used to waiting for Tom to ferry me around or waiting for him to get home so I can have his car. Anyone who knows me will know this is not really 'me' to rely on someone else so much and to have to ask Tom to do stuff all the time, even if it is stuff I always did when he gave up his car at our last place (I keep trying to remind myself it's just his turn!).
- We used to have a big living room at our last house that held our sofa, armchair, turtle tank and a drop leaf dining table. It was the first and only place we have had a dining table and I loved it. We had Christmas at home for the first time, and had Sunday dinner regularly inviting family round, we had nice meals sat at the table rather than eating off plates on our laps. I really miss having a dining table here, although I'm trying to find a small table that we can use as both a desk and a table and hope to remedy this soon. Although I'm afraid we will never be able to have 10 round for Christmas dinner again while we're living here, as it will have to be in the office in place of the desk and will be a table for 2 or at the most 4 if we pull it out into the middle of the room. I want a table where we can have the printer, laptop and cork board which can be converted to a dining table quickly by adding another chair and taking the computer stuff and cork board off it. Really if we didn't have the turtles or could move them into another room you could get a bigger table in there, or you could put a table in the entrance hallway but that's pretty far from the kitchen so wouldn't really be great as a dining room.
- Also on that note of having people round, not having the spare room so we can't have people stay over. We still have the storage space as we have the office and the entrance hall, but we don't actually have a spare bed any more. Although we only had people stay over twice at our last place, and we have a sofa which people could comfortably sleep on or we could always get an air bed to put in the living room if we wanted to.
- Lack of natural light in the bathroom and office, these are rooms we spend minimal time in but if I start using the office more it would maybe become more of an issue. I usually type posts on my netbook while sat on the sofa, but have been going to a chiropractor for my back recently and don't want to do this long term. Once we have a table/desk set up with a proper chair I want to actually use the office, so will have to invest in some good lamps! A solution I've thought of would again be to move it out to the entrance hallway, but in the winter it's a bit cold out there so wouldn't be a nice place to sit and work. We'll see once we get the table and get it all set up.
Really that's all I can think of right now, and none of them are really massive issues, just some little niggles we've discovered along the way. I'm hoping that I'll get used to not having a car (I'm telling myself it's greener, I'm getting more exercise and I can get another one whenever I want to!), and we're pretty used to living in a flat now and not having the same amenities as a house. The other issues are really things we can work around we just need to figure it out and make adaptations, so there's nothing really that I regret about taking this place and on balance we definitely like more about it than we dislike about it, in fact we're very happy here!