When me and Alex first got together, we were both still living at home with our parents. I had bought a property a couple of years before, but ended up renting it out instead of moving into it, which is a bit of a shame as I’d done it all up nicely as if I was to move in, but financially it was better for me this way. After about 6 months of us being together, I started looking at other properties, as I wanted to buy one to do up and move into myself, so we started looking at some of the more ‘run down’ properties around. The original plan was that I would buy a property and Alex would buy her first property around the same time, but after having separate meetings with a financial adviser, and speaking to my parents, we realised that it didn’t make sense to buy two places separately, and instead we should be looking to buy together.
I admit, when the idea first came up, I thought it was crazy as we’d not even been together a year by that point. I soon realised that as long as we split everything 50/50 and wrote some sort of agreement for if things were to go wrong, it did make more sense as we could buy bigger and better together… let’s face it, we were already basically living together at my parent’s house anyway so it really didn’t make too much of a difference!
My goal is to be a property developer, and I knew I wanted to kick start that with our own property, and Alex has always loved the idea of doing up a house and making it her own. It was an easy decision that we would buy somewhere that we could completely renovate, but we needed to figure out what we each wanted from the property. I wanted something that had potential for an extension, at least three bedrooms and in a nice area of town. Alex wanted somewhere that had the potential to be quite airy and open plan, not overlooked, and with a lovely garden. We looked at a couple of places, and made a few offers which all got rejected, but this turned out to be a good thing. Looking back, all of the other properties that we looked at had some level of compromise, whereas our home now is perfect and meets all of our needs and requirements! We actually saw this property come onto Rightmove two days before we were due to fly to Cuba for a two week holiday, and we fell in love! It had three bedrooms, loads of potential for conversions/extensions, in a really lovely part of town on a quiet little crescent and we could both see exactly how we would make it our own! The thing that really won us over was the garden; it was a good size and was just full of luscious grass, bordered by tall shapely hedges which blocked out any possible views people would have into the garden – it was secluded and quiet and it’s just what we were looking for!
So, we’d both fallen in love with the house but the only problem was, we couldn’t go back for another viewing for over two weeks, by that time it was SURE to have sold as there were already loads of viewings lined up for it. Once we landed in Cuba, on the second day, we decided to make an offer there and then. Because of the time difference, there was lots of toing and froing between us and the estate agent, and it took a couple of days of nervously waking up to see if our offer was accepted. I remember it now – we were lying on the beach with my parents, cocktail in hand, connecting to the WiFi from Alex’s phone when we got the news.
They’d accepted the offer!!
We tried to barter them down a bit but in the end, we made the decision to offer the asking price (we possibly could’ve got it for less, but this was the first house we’d both loved equally and we didn’t want to risk someone else out-bidding us).
We completed on the house on Friday 1st March 2019. We picked up the keys after work that evening, got the whole family round and ate fish and chips on the floor in the living room. This was our house. The next day was a Saturday, and we got straight to work ripping out carpets and beginning the treacherous ordeal of scraping 10 layers of paint and wood-chip wallpaper (which took Alex about 6 weeks to finish!). The house was built in the 1950’s and the decor hadn’t been updated much since the 70’s maybe, so there was a lot of work for us to do to modernise it. We got all of the messy bits out of the way, and did up the main rooms that we needed to (living room and bedrooms), and we officially moved in on 10th May 2019.
Since then, we have applied for planning permission to do an extension which got approved, but for now we are putting that on hold until we know for sure if we want to stay in the house for the long run, or move somewhere bigger and better. We’re going to properly re-do the kitchen/diner and bathroom so that the whole house is modernised, and then re-assess in future!
I hope to buy another property within the next year which I can flip and start my property development portfolio with, so finger’s crossed things get back to normal soon!