And so without any further ado, cryptic messages or inexplicable excitement, we. have. officially. bought...... a house! Our very own home. A place to call our own, to make memories, to raise our
WHAAAA?? We can hardly believe it either! As if planning a wedding wasn't already enough!
Here's how it happened. In August we were visiting Lauren & Sarah in Birmingham and spotted a house on their estate for sale, that Laura had picked out as one she wanted from the very first time we saw them in May 2012. Even though we knew we weren't financially ready (you know, with a wedding to pay for and all) we wanted to see the house so we had some idea of what we would get in the area for the price they were asking. It was an interesting visit. The house was a good size and although decorated it was an interesting colour scheme (burnt orange stripes, nice!), we weren't sold but we saw potential. That was until we spoke to L&S afterwards and found that there were lots of not-ideal things we should be aware of about the house....we were soon put off completely! The estate agent we had met had thought we were an easy sale so when we met up with her later and told her we weren't interested she wasn't impressed in the least!
Thankfully she recovered and with a bit of quick thinking she suggested that she show us another house on the estate as we were in the area. As we walked through the door the house was so well finished it was like walking into a show home- it was perfect! There was more space in this one, the kitchen had a built in dish washer - a must for Laura (and surprisingly uncommon in UK homes). As we continued to look around the smiles on our faces grew and by the time we reached the last room we were so excited......then reality hit. This house was a good deal more that the one we had visited originally. We couldn't even afford the first house, so what were we excited for?
Sarah's Mum, who 3 months ago had made a huge step in inviting Laura home for Sarah's 30th, had come with us as she loves looking at houses. We were so grateful to have her with us as she comforted us when we realised the first house wouldn't work out and spent time asking the people selling loads of questions - about the neighbours, the local rates, the appliances etc - all the grown up questions we wouldn't have thought about, and then as we sat on the couch facing reality she offered us a solution - a loan from her and Sarah's Dad - then she spoke to Sarah's sister to ask for her help and in a whirlwind of organisation and funds she got us enough to cover a deposit and, we still can't believe we are writing this: WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!!!
|Isn't it the most British-ist thing you ever did see?|
We decided to move out of our London flat to save money, as now instead of saving up to buy a house, we are saving to pay everyone back! Typical us, doing it backwards, but it is much more rewarding missing a few meals out here and there as we know it will help us get our dream home. In another amazing surprise move, Margaret and Andy offered to let us stay with them! So generous, and is enabling us to save quite a bit each month. It's also been really fun involving them in house-related fun times, like looking for fitted wardrobes and purchasing our first sofa!
It's not been without hardships, though - because we are living in Reading and working in London, and driving in, it takes about two hours to get to work each morning, and 1.5 to get back home in the evening. That's a lot of time travelling! Laura also has to stay at work almost an hour longer than her hours each day, while Sarah is on her way back from her work, further in town. This means way less time to ourselves during the week as we don’t get home until gone 8pm. But on the plus side, we love coming in together and not using public transport – lots of hand holding, radio singing, waking up quality time! And we are very grateful to Sarah’s mum, who makes dinner for us ready for when we arrive.
In the new year, we will be finding a Monday to Friday flatshare, so we can continue to work in London while decorating our dream home on the weekends.