Five Thoughts on Buying Our First Home
We've been in our new home for just over a month now, though it feels like we've been here for months. We've settled in incredibly quickly and have already started to put our stamp on it (you can have a look out our first little tour here) by painting it and filling it with our nonsense, there is so much left to do but it already feels like home.
We've had a little while to contemplate the move, the process of buying a house and started to realise how bloody expensive being an adult is so I thought I'd scribble down a few initial thoughts on the whole thing while it's fresh in my mind (while staring wistfully out of our rather bare bay window).
The whole process takes such a long time. I'm an incredibly impatient person as is Joe so we did not cope all that well with the whole being patient thing, and we got off quite lightly it seems! From when we had our offer accepted, it took around 3 months for us to complete even though there was no chain and everyone involved wanted to move as quickly as possible. This was mostly due to it being an old house that had to have the normal survey done and then another survey after that from the results of the first survey, boring.
Thankfully nothing crazy popped up but a small issue meant we could get a bit of money knocked off the asking price! If you're thinking of buying, a Home Buyers survey is well worth it in an older house and costs around £400, if you're going for a relatively new build, a Condition Report (around £250) will be absolutely fine. Both should show up anything dodgy that you could look into further if needed.
Everything is SO expensive. I'm not talking about the deposit, surveys or fees, I'm talking about when you move in. Have you ever looked at how much blinds or curtains cost? The answer is A LOT. Especially if you're moving from rented, furnished accommodation.
We handily moved from an unfurnished house so had pretty much all the furniture we needed apart from white goods, but then made the seemingly sensible decision to get rid of the sofa, TV and bed so now we're in the process of replacing all of those with better versions. We're investing in pieces that will last us forever so in the long run it will be better but right now, it's rather pricey, especially for January!
We also have great big bay windows in our living room and bedroom, neither of which have curtains or blinds. Sorry to our neighbours if you've accidentally seen my post Christmas doughy body...
We don't agree as much as I thought we would. Joe and I have very similar taste and tend to agree on most things, we're both keen on quality over anything else and love mid-century furniture but since we've moved into our new home, we've had quite a few disagreements on homeware. When we first moved in together, I moved into Joe's house from a furnished flat so didn't have a lot of say on what was in there, though I liked most of it so now we're finding out more about what we like.
We managed to agree on a TV and a sofa, now it's time to settle on a bed so wish us luck...
We constantly want to be at home. We love our new home so much and every minute we're away from it, we just want to be back! This weekend is our first weekend since we've been here to finish off little jobs, unpack and just be together which has been absolute bliss despite the mounds of washing, cleaning and unpacking that we've done.
Signing up for a Help to Buy ISA was such a good decision. Leading on from the expense point above, the Help to Buy ISA was an absolute dream as it covered the cost of our (now famous) fridge and sofa, if you're saving for a deposit or even thinking about it, get yourself an ISA stat. For every £200 you put in there, the government gives you £50 back once you've completed. It either comes off the deposit (so you don't actually see any of it) or it's paid into your account after it's all gone through, either way it can save you a lot of money.
Buying a home together is one of the best decisions we've made and I cannot wait to spend the rest of the year (and probably the next few years) making it perfect for us. Now I just live in fear of the boiler giving up or the house getting flooded, fingers crossed neither happen!