So, as per our very strict plan, we are (were) aiming to save like crazy for a solid 5 years and then move into our “forever home.” We had some grand ideas about what we wanted in this perfect home;
- In a rural or semi-rural setting
- Detached (we’re totally over being at the mercy of neighbours)
- Four Bedrooms (or more if we’re greedy)
- Lots of Outside space to the back so we can watch the kids play from the kitchen
- Large kitchen – it’s the heart of our home and so the traffic and activity couldn’t happen in a small one.
Thanks to the good and tenacious people at Property Pal, I can’t check out Facebook without some fantastic property falling into my newsfeed and working its way into my subconscious. Now, while most are fantastic properties well out of out price-range, inevitably, when I’ve had a nosy on the link they shared, I’ll have a quick look (yet again!) at what’a for sale in our area. And that’s how I fell in love with a house that’s about 1 mile from our house. Check out how beautiful this house is…
I had a wee daydream about this house…and then I went to look at the price with a view to breaking the spell, but I spotted it was only £149,500!! Any others I’d had a second look at that were semi-rural, had 5 bedrooms and had some outside space were in the region of £200k so I thought this warranted a further look. We took a casual drive up to visit it and we fell in love with it. It was on a lovely secluded road beside the motorway and had all this lovely space around it. We were seriously keen so we called the estate agent to get the first of our red flags… there was no paperwork to detail how/when the sewage system was hooked up to a mains system and despite being “sale agreed” previously, the buyers had pulled out.
We thought this was a fluke in our favour and it well could have been. We viewed the house one Saturday and we were so smitten. We walked around imagining where we would hang our wedding pictures, but had zero practical thoughts – like where would our sofa go..? However, like all initial loves, we missed everything that we should have spotted and didn’t realise the extent of this until that evening. Glass of wine in hand once the kids were in bed, after we’d sourced a moving company and sat down to look at the best mortgage deals, did we realise that none of the bedrooms could actually take our current bedroom furniture!
After this, the reality flood-gates opened and the realisations started rolling in. We’d have to knock two bedrooms together, we would need a new fence at the back of the house to contain F, our runner, the kitchen would need fully replaced, the energy rating was dismally low and would cost £10k to bring up to the Northern Ireland average, until then, heating costs would be triple our current costs, being beside a motorway was likely to have an effect on the kids lung development and all the work needing done would be at the expense of our weekends with the kids…
And so it went on and on… we stood back and realised that even if we plumbed every penny and every spare minute into this house, no amount of fairy lights in our perfect garden would make up for the fact that we’d no extra room in the house and the motorway isn’t going to get quieter any time soon. So, we had to walk away. We’re sad but we’ve learned a bit more for when we start looking again in a couple of years…
- Deposits make such a difference to the mortgage deal you get – so save, save, save
- Be confident on what are essential and non-essential features in your home – we nearly compromised on some of our essentials – being detached for example.
- View a property repeatedly and take your time- not least because studies show that people who view a property 3 times or more, spending a total of 90mins were 71% more likely to pay below the asking price.
- Know how big a job you want – I had an idealist view of doing work to a property but scoping this made me realise that I was more of “colour swatches and new rugs” kinda gal and less of a “knocking down walls as a necessity” gal.
Back to saving for now it is… and also time to hide Property Pal from my newsfeed for a while 🙂