After the post on Monday about things we love about our flat a year in, here's the post on the things that we don't love.
- '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. We are pretty much used to this now, our own private garden would be great but we are just not going to get that in the town centre with a 1 bedroom in our budget.
- Not having a driveway or being able to park right outside our front door. There is parking on the other side of the road and down a side street just round the corner, only a few times have we found no spaces on either road and had to park further away. I don't have the car often, 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. We are used to this now, a drive would be great but again not something we are likely to get for a 1 bedroom in the town centre.
- 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. Still kind of sucks, especially as the climbing centre is over in Gloucester, along with all my family, so sometimes it feels like I moved to Cheltenham to spend half my time getting buses back to Gloucester, but it saves a lot of money and a car would just not get used enough to justify me having my own.
- 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. Solved! We have a dining area now, and a new laptop rather than our old big desktop so no need for a proper desk as I work at the table or on the sofa.
- 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. Sort of solved, I wouldn't invite people round for a sleepover on purpose but we have options if people do want to sleep here. We had 2 people stay on the sofa last year and both said it was fine to sleep on (although both were after nights out, and one was pretty much passed out by the time he got back to ours so we could have left him sleep on the kitchen floor and he probably would have slept through). We also bought an air bed for camping which if needs be we could inflate for people to sleep on.
- 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. Never really became an issue to be honest, I rarely work at the table for long enough to make it an issue, it's not like I'm in there for hours every day, so the way we use the space makes this not a big deal. We spend most of our time in the kitchen and living room (like most people do I'm sure) not in the hallway or bathroom so it's become less and less of an issue.
That's everything really, they are all quite minor things or things that are being sorted out. There are a few other little things I would change if I bought this flat tomorrow that I've talked about in my 'If I owned the flat' posts but they are really more down to personal taste, things like take up the doormat in the hallway, put more shelves or units in the kitchen, knock through some walls, change the carpet, or put in an extractor hood.