Wednesday 11 March 2015

HOUSE: Is this the house we could make into a home?

Tips to Save for Your First Home - Krystal's Kitsch: Sanibel, Cape Coral, Florida Lifestyle Blogger
I have mentioned here and there on my blog that my husband and I recently bought a house, a 'project' house. We had been looking for a house to buy for over 2 years but couldn't find something we liked that was in our price range and in the area we wanted to live. As our wedding approached in August 2014 we stopped looking, as we were just so busy with everything else. However with the news of a baby arriving in the early months of 2015, we really needed to get our skates on and find a house. After we returned from our honeymoon we started the search again, but this time with a different attitude. Originally we had been looking on the rightmove and zoopla apps, if we saw something we liked we would think about it for a couple of days before 'getting around' to ringing the estate agent to organise a viewing. We had liked a couple of houses in the past but after viewing them we just weren't quick enough in letting the estate agents know we were interested. 

This time that all changed. As soon as we saw a house we liked the look of we rang the estate agents to organise a viewing at the next available time. When we went to see the house we ended up buying we knew it wasn't in a 'habitable' state, so we entered looking for potential. This was a much better attitude to have and one that in the end allowed us to find a house which is perfect for us and our soon to be family. I'd highly recommend adopting the attitude of looking for potential, rather than is this house perfect for us as it is? The exciting thing about taking on a project is the potential. The potential to create the most perfect home for yourselves. The potential to make money. The potential to put your own stamp on the house.
Red Hen Home: For Sale!
We fell in love with the house straight away and just knew it could be perfect for us and our baby. We saw it on a Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning (acting fast is key) with my Dad, as he knows a lot about older houses and the potential problems that can occur. It got the thumbs up from my Dad, so as soon as we got back into the car after the viewing we rang the estate agents to make an offer. We had made the mistake of taking too much time to think about it before and we weren't going to again! As the owners lived abroad we had to wait a couple of days to see if they would accept our offer. Fast forward a couple of days and Tom got a phone call saying they hadn't accepted our first offer, which wasn't a surprise. We made another offer and made it clear that was our final offer, you have to be ruthless in the house buying world. They accepted!

Then there were months of paperwork, solicitors, mortgage advice, meetings, negotiations, checks - I can't comment too much on this part of this process because Tom dealt with a lot of it. Being pregnant meant I was falling asleep only an hour or so after returning from work everyday. I wasn't much use - I just did what I had to do, attended the meetings I had to and signed when I needed to. Tom was an absolute star.

When we finally picked up the keys to our new house, we were so excited we drove straight to the new house to start the renovation project. We decided to have a month overlap at our rented house, so we had a month to get some of the messy DIY jobs out of the way. We've now moved in and currently don't have a kitchen or proper bathroom (though the bath was fitted last weekend - I could have cried!). We have someone coming to decorate the nursery over this next weekend, which is seriously exciting. The rest of the house will just have to wait. It will be fine though, as long as we knuckle down and get the majority done before the baby comes.

Next time we would consider hiring an extra pair of hands from Shiply to help with the move, taking away a lot of the stress!

Would you consider taking on a house project?

Feel free to leave me a comment :)

Helen x


1 comment

  1. I've loved following your house posts on Instagram! We've just gotten our first home as well and it's needed some work. We are five weeks in today and we are so so happy. All the purchase stress has faded away and it's all been so worth it xxx x


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