On Friday 5th August 2016, we finally bought the home we had been chasing after for months.
Our house hunting process was long and painful. It was stressful, expensive and fraught with problems at every possible step; there was a massive housing market bubble and houses were getting sold the minute they went on the market. We lost out on this house to first time buyers, then the house came back to us and we got a second chance. We had problems with our mortgage lender not wanting to value the property, then they didn’t want to let us buy it because it was a probate sale. We thought there might be subsidence, then we learned the extension was built “to a poor standard”. The mortgage lender dropped how much they would lend us by £15,000 and we had to try and explain that to the poor sod trying to sell the house. That’s not even all of the issues that we faced!
But we did it. And here we are.
This is the house I cried about, for hours, when I learned we lost out. The one I wrote a blog post about, and that we made an offer on before we had even seen it. I absolutely do not believe in fate, but I now honestly feel that this house was waiting for us – and we were waiting for this house.
Its a project house and by no means is it perfect. One of the former owners had a penchant for DIY and we have found all sorts of odd little quirks and strange additions; much to the amusement of our friends, who are helping us renovate. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve heard them shout “Why on EARTH would you do *insert ridiculous DIY idea*” and “Tony! Come and look at this”.
But its an old house, and with that comes some very lovely aspects too. The external wall on the side of the house is marked; engraved with the names of all the people that used to live here. The plants in the garden were the former owner’s favourite – roses and fuchsias. We’ve found recipe books, old bus passes and snippets of history from the family that used to live here. This feels like a home.
The past three weeks have been all about stripping wallpaper, removing polystyrene coving, testing electrics, making the stairs safe and getting it ready for rewiring and plastering. I’ll be blogging about our progress as we go, but for now, here are some of the ‘before’ pictures; taken from the Estate Agent’s website.
We’re renovating the house now, but carefully. Part of that does mean pulling down some stud walls and removing bits that aren’t safe – but we’re saving as much of the essence of the house as we can.
This used to be someone’s home. Its our home and we couldn’t be happier to be in it.