I can't quite believe it, but it has been a whole year since I completed on my house, picked up the keys and became a home owner!!
Although I've only been living in this house for six months, this has been one of the best adventures. I feel like I've grown up so much in that time. And of course I'm very proud of what I accomplished (with a lot of help from my Vati).
I spent about four years saving for the deposit. Then the buying process took almost FIVE MONTHS, but then it was allllllll mine! I have spent roughly 5k on decorating, appliances and furniture.
In celebration, I will take some photos to show progress later on when the house is tidy, but today I'm going to talk about why I chose this house and what I wanted.
It was actually only the fourth house I looked at in person... I was finding it hard to take my house hunt 'seriously' until around the time I ended up buying this house, mostly because of finances. Whilst I could have done it, it would have been tight. I'm so glad I was able to wait that little bit longer and save that little bit more money to make the monthly bills easier. Also, the almost-five-month long process allowed me to save even more money, which meant I was able to redo the kitchen.
I had a few criteria to meet when I was looking at a house.
1. Parking - I really really wanted off road parking, or if not, then a quiet street to park on. In the UK, the majority of houses in my price range are terraced with no drive, so you have to parallel park on the road. My friend lives down such a road and they have to often park streets away to find a space. As I would be living on my own and the areas I could afford weren't too great, I really wanted to be able to leave my house and go straight to my car. Plus it helps with car insurance costs, and my parallel parking isn't the best (it's not the worst either, fyi).
2. Two bedrooms - I wanted people to be able to come and stay, and to have room to have a little office area.
3. Room to have a dining table - it seems to me that many kitchens in this country are tiny. And then the living area is taken up by other furniture. So where do you eat?
4. Easy commute to work - self explanatory.
5. A garden - somewhere to have a table, plants, a BBQ, and obviously, a bird table.
That was pretty much it. I like to think I'm not too fussy. All of the houses I looked at more or less met all these criteria, so at least I could do it all within my price limit and I wasn't totally deluded. Strange thing is, when I walked into this house for the first time, I didn't love it. But I knew I wasn't really going to get anything better in my price range. I'm not overly keen on modern houses (I prefer a bit of character), but I was realistic and knew that this house wouldn't stay on the market long. It needed a bit of work, but I knew I could make it work for me and put my stamp on it. My house has a drive at the side, and even has a garage. It has a good size garden (it's actually bigger than both of my neighbours'), and a spare room capable of fitting a double bed. I suppose one of the plus points of having a newer build house is that hopefully there wouldn't be too much wrong with it that would be costly and time consuming and too difficult for me to cope with on my own. It was also chain free - they wanted a quick sale. I guess it was head over heart... I weighed up all the options and it just seemed like a smart choice.
Now I'm living here think I do love it. Obviously there are things I would change, but you can't expect a first house to be perfect. More than anything, I am happy and proud and content. So all is good.