After months of talking about it, today as you’re likely reading this is the day of the move. I’m beginning to write this post a month before the date we’re packing everything up, and is the day we’re exchanging contracts. As the moment comes with some relief that it’s finally tied up, it’s also beginning to feel bittersweet.
We’ve been house hunting since January, our house was on the market since February and it’s felt like it’s taken a very long time to get to this point. Over the space of a few months we viewed probably about 20-30 houses, I fell in love with five and lost out for ours not yet being sold in what was a very fast-moving and competitive market for the property size we were after. In the end it all worked out for the best and on we loved the look of online (but could never get to view due to awkward tenants) which then sold came back onto the market – and after some hard haggling we finally agreed on a price.
Prior to purchasing our first house, we had moved a lot in a short space of time, within the space of 6 years we had both moved uni accommodation three times (moving home to parents in between too!), before moving in together after graduation into our first rented flat together in Kettering then a year later into a rented house in Leicester – before moving back home to South Lincolnshire for Ben’s job where we decided to move back in with Ben’s parents where we decided to save up for a mortgage after not being able to find anywhere near as nice to Rent as we had in Leicester for a reasonable amount of money. That was 15 moves between us in 5 years.
Whilst not one of us will probably fail to admit the 10 months we spent at Ben’s parents was hard on us all – we had gone from nothing saved to enough for a house deposit in 10 months – it does show it is possible if you’re strict with yourself! And after a few short weeks of looking we had found what we were looking for in Number 80 which has been our home for just over four years.
Whilst we’ve been very happy here, in the past 18 months it was clear that we were on the verge of outgrowing our semi detached two bedroom. Whilst it’s had enough space for us and our two dogs, we’ve ran out of room for expansion of our family, and not to mention we’ve been in desperate need of extra storage space for some time – but there’s no where to put it. It’s been hard to keep clean and tidy as we’ve just slowly outgrown every room. After the wedding we decided it would be time to consider moving, Ben’s Grandad who was already ill deteriorated further and we postponed everything as we spent most weekends travelling down to Windsor where he was in a hospice until he passed away on what would have been my Grandad’s birthday on the 2nd January.
Whilst we had been here for four years we were keen to find the house that was a fine balance of it being style wise something we liked, as well as it giving us a home for the longest period possible. The older you get, the more stuff you accumulate the harder and longer it takes to move. We’re hoping this next property may keep us in one house for the next 10-15 years. More detail will come about our new house later and maybe houses we loved and lost – but this is about our first owned home, number 80.
We knew when we moved in that elements of it would be hard to beat when we one day moved on. The fact that it had a large kitchen for a two bed, two bathrooms including a huge double shower room – but those are all things you tend to be able to amend when you own a home if needed. The things that you can’t change are almost what’s been most important at number 80.
It’s south facing garden with open field views, it’s great village location that’s perfect for taking about 200 steps from our back door before we’re walking down roads with barely a passing car (great for dog walks!). It goes without saying for me that I’ve been so incredibly, blissfully happy living here.
Number 80 was everything on the surface we didn’t want – it was too far away from my work, it was a semi-detached house instead of fully detached, it wasn’t the right era, it had two bedrooms not three and most importantly it wasn’t a cosmetic doer-upper. We wanted a house we could put money into and make a big increase of value over a few years, but we couldn’t find anything that was short of an extreme project. We looked at a lot of three beds and we found them pokey, and really, we only came to view this to ‘rule it out’ but within two days of looking at it, we’d bought our parents back and offered the full asking price.
Whist this house didn’t have anything that needed doing to it – it had been renovated and not lived in since. The kitchen was our style, the new bathrooms were ideal and the rest of the house was a blank canvas, white walls everywhere. The two whole house was much bigger than what we could get within the same price bracket (and then some!), and we thought we would get four-five years out of it before moving on. Everything they had done to it was what we would have done to it as a project and other than redecorating here and there, adding a few extra kitchen cabinets and adding some extra tiles to the shower room, there’s very little we’ve had to do and had a fairly relaxed time over four years.
The key really is getting on the property ladder – I won’t talk about how much profit we made in 4 years doing very little, but we’ve made a tidy little sum on it in quite a short time which allowed us to push ourselves significantly when searching for home number 2.
The past few years of living here have seen a lot of changes for us. We’ve gone from moving in with one puppy to having 2 fully grown dogs. We’ve gone from being being “boyfriend and girlfriend” to walking back in the door one day as husband and wife. We’ve had lots of laughter here and occasionally tears when times have been tough – but this house has always felt safe and I’ve always found comfort and happiness in being at home and I’m sad to say goodbye to it.
The house pictures in this post are the pictures I ended up taking for the estate agents as theirs were rubbish – our house over the past two months has become emptier and emptier and it’s not felt quite as homely without all our non-essentials around – so these are pictures from back in April when we kicked our estate agents butt.
So thank you Number 80, I hope your new owners love you as much as I have done and that our next home gets filled with all the happiness that you’ve given us so far.