We Bought a House!
Well, guys and gals, not a sentence I anticipated writing after the past few weeks, but here we are. Dan and I put a holding fee down on a property on Friday, so I guess that means we're semi homeowners now? There's a story to go along with this so buckle up whilst I catch you up and regale the tale of us finally getting the house we wanted...
ps - also did not expect to find these snow photos useful again but whilst I'm writing this there is ANOTHER layer of snow out there - blooming typical eh.
In the beginning...
Around summer last year, Dan and I started to consider that in the nearby future, we wanted to own a house. We've been living in our rented flat for around 3 years at this point, and totally outgrown the space. Half of our stuff lives in rooms it shouldn't be (the slow cooker is in the wardrobe as it's the only place it fits) or in friends houses. I stumbled across a new build estate that had just popped up, so Dan and I clocked it and decided to wait it out until the plots were released.
This was an agonising wait. For most people, I imagine they might have moved on, but we knew the builders had a good rep and came within our budget. Finally, they released the site plan (still no price details), so Dan and I spent a couple of weekends driving around to different estates by these builders to look at show homes.
Let me tell you, I loved looking at show homes. Because the people letting us in knew we weren't going to be buying on that estate, we got free reign. We realised a lot of stuff that we do like (a fully flushed kitchen with no gaps) and stuff we don't like (en-suites making the bedroom TINY). But with still no idea on price, we fell in love. The builders make this gorgeous 3-storey townhouse that we almost couldn't resist. The storage, the sheer amount of space, everything; I remember jumping on Dan saying "yes! This is perfect!"
Knock knock, reality says hello
Finally, after what felt like a century of waiting, we got an email saying an open event was happening. I didn't expect much in all honesty - probably some prosecco, tiny food and a bunch of sales people telling you about the "grand plan" for the estate. Dan and I went ready to be told stuff we already knew.
Wrong, wrong, so wrong.
It was much more "sit down with a sales rep and get told everything you need to know cause guess what next week they're going on sale". Shit. Wasn't quite prepared for that.
It was at this point we discovered the dreamy 3-story town was potentially out of the budget. It was so much more than I had anticipated. So as we went to sit down the financial advisor, we started to go through Plan B, which other property do we want? Our friends already live in one of the other styles of houses, which is really similar to the dream one but without a third floor, and whilst waiting we decided we'd still be as happy in that one.
Cue a spanner in the works...
After acknowledging we couldn't get the bigger home and accepting the smaller one would be better, it came to us to meet with the financial advisor. He tallied everything up and apparently, we could, in fact, get the larger home. I think mine and Dan's jaw hit the floor. We almost immediately changed our minds back to the townhouse cause, hell, we could do it!
After getting home seriously overwhelmed with information. We did the sums. Yes, we could afford the month to month payments, but no way could we afford the upfront cost. It felt like another blow in a rollercoaster of emotions (I hate that phrase too, sorry). So we went back to the drawing board. The 2-storey financially was the better option. After visiting it again, working out what was best for us, we knew we had made the right choice and all we needed to do was put down the holding fee.
Getting the house
In the days leading up to us putting down the fee, I had a phone call from the builders to say they opening up the rest of the estate on an "early bird" situation, due to interest. Feelings at this point were mixed - great we could get a place, but if people were this interested, we also might not. We put plans in place to get to the sales place around 2 and a half hours before the properties went live. A lot of people agreed we'd look eager, but at least we'd walk away with one.
We were the twelfth to arrive.
A lady had been there since 5 am!! 5 in the flipping freezing cold where she had stood outside for 2 hours before anyone turned up to let her in. Dan and I were gobsmacked as they handed up our ticket. I think we sat in silence for around 45 minutes until one of us said: "at least we know we need to be earlier next time".
It was agonising waiting at this point. Around an hour before the plots went live, they went round and asked us which one we'd be interested in. Dan spent this entire time trying to listen and cross off the ones we could get. Halfway round (and of course far enough away so we couldn't hear a thing), one of the girls waiting started sobbing. Let me tell you there is nothing more stressful than feeling empathy for this person who has clearly not got what she wanted, but not knowing if I should hate her for taking what I wanted. Awful.
Eventually, they got round to us leaving us a choice of two that would be in phase 2. Dan and I picked the plot, sighed a breath of relief, and finished off the paperwork. We put down the holding fee on Friday, so right now, it's ours.
We won't get to move in until next year, but I'm fine with that - more time to save! I know this is the start of probably a lot of stress, but it also felt like quite a tale.
To celebrate (even though it was prebooked), we're off to Amsterdam! So be prepared for copious insta images. Oh, and for balance, I also got rejected for a doctorate course. I'm not as bothered as I thought I would be - it's just made me realise that I'm not ready yet, so I'll just try again
Update me! What's been going on in your life? Have you gone through the process of buying a house before? Give me all the tips!