Unless you’re hugely wealthy, choosing a house tends to involve all sorts of compromises – there’s a trade-off at every turn.
If you want to keep the costs down, you might have to forgo an extra bedroom. If you want an extra bedroom, you might have to sacrifice some garden. If you want a bigger garden, you might have to live in a less desirable area. If you want to live in a more desirable area... well, you get the idea.
Most of us are used to struggling on without a heated indoor swimming pool, but some items on the wish-list are harder to do without, and off-street parking ranks high on many people’s list.
In fact, it consistently ranks as one of the most important features – along with central heating, double glazing and a garden – looked for by potential buyers, with around three in five regarding it as a “must have”.
In some areas, every house has ample space for extra vehicles, but in many others – particularly those dominated by homes built for the masses in the pre-car era – homeowners have to contend with a daily tussle for parking spaces, made only slightly easier in some cases by the distribution of residents’ permits.
The option of swapping the car for a bike is simple but impractical for many, and a year or two of enforced on-street parking is enough for many to vow that their next home will have a garage, or a carport – or at least a drive.
The following three homes avoid some of those difficult trade-offs. They all have off-street parking, but they also have that extra third bedroom – and, despite the rapid price rises of recent years, they all come in at £200,000 or less.
Whyn Cottage is a stone-built semi-detached house built on the main road in Summerbridge, and the inscription carved above the door says it was built in 1843.
It’s undeniably fairly compact, with three bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, a pantry and a living room, but outside there’s also a garden with patio and lawn, plus off-street parking – much-needed for a house fronting onto the main road – and beautiful views across Nidderdale. It’s also right in the heart of the village, and so is just a stroll away from all the amenities that make Summerbridge so unusual.
In Harrogate, 25 St John’s Road is a well-presented semi-detached house in the Bilton/Knox area, on the northern edge of the town. It too has three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, and on the ground floor there is a dining kitchen, sitting room and conservatory/store extension.
Outside, there’s a garden with lawn and seating area, plus off-street parking on the drive and a single garage with power and lighting.
Finally, 4 High Farm Cottages is a deceptively spacious cottage-style terraced house set back slightly from the main thoroughfare through Helperby, east of the A1(M) in the Vale of York. Again, it has three bedrooms – one of them currently used as a dressing room – and a bathroom above, with breakfast kitchen and sitting room below.
To the front is a small forecourt garden – complementing the cobbled equivalents in front of the far older houses opposite – and to the rear there’s an enclosed patio garden with fence screening. To the rear, in a separate block, is a good-sized single garage.