I’m so happy to finally share that we bought a house! (I’ve been meaning to hit publish on this post for well over a month, but you know, a new house keeps you busy!)
We started looking for houses in March, I think, doing a few viewings before we were even “pre-approved”. When we found one we quite liked and it was still available about a month later, we finally started getting our ducks in a row.
In April, Luke got in touch with our bank to hammer out the details of our mortgage. That’s when we found out that I wouldn’t be able to be on the mortgage due to my visa and how long I’ve been in the country. Even if I had been on the right visa (not sure how a spousal visa isn’t the “right visa” to be able to buy a house with your spouse, but whatever), we would have had to put a minimum of 25% down on the house since I haven’t yet lived here for five years. It was a small hiccup in the end because luckily Luke was able to get the mortgage on his own.
We saw the house for the second time about that time and officially made an offer under the asking price. We went back and forth a bit, but on May 4th, we settled on £5,000 under the listed price. From there, it was all a waiting game. It was a bit strange buying a house in a foreign country, I have to say. All of my knowledge of buying a house comes from friends and family buying homes in the US and things are a bit different here. On top of that, I was essentially not involved in the process except signing a document saying I would be an adult living in Luke’s house.
We got the keys to the new house on August 9th, just about a week and a half after we paid for another month on our rental, which was fine by us. It meant we could have a slow move in process and even do a few cosmetic touches before moving in.
Originally, we were going to move in on the 24th, but we ended up moving it up a week so we could get our puppy a week earlier. Needless to say, that made things a bit more chaotic. We weren’t even done packing on the 17th! But we had a great group of friends come help us move and pack that Saturday so we were able to do the bulk of the work in one day. I had already spent the week before painting the living room and dining room, but our house was still a mess for quite a while after we moved in.
The other big project we wanted to do before we moved in was fix up what would be our bedroom. I hated the wallpaper and the carpet (it was purple!), so we had to strip the walls, put up new wallpaper, pull up the carpet, and sand and stain the floors. The proved to be a bigger project than we had time for before we moved in, so Luke and I slept in what is now our guest bedroom for the first three weeks we lived there. We were finally able to move earlier this month after Luke worked his butt off to get it all done in one weekend.
Now that things are a bit more settled in the house and the post-moving mess is much smaller and much more under control, it’s feeling a lot more like home. Getting our bedroom done was actually a huge help because we were been essentially down to one bedroom upstairs with ours being under construction and the third bedroom being full of all the furniture and stuff from three rooms at the old house.
Unfortunately, our water heater broke on a few weeks ago, literally moments after Luke and I were texting about whether or not we should get a new one. (The water tank is in the bathroom, so it’s taking up a good chunk of floor space, which it wouldn’t do with a more eco-friendly boiler.) We FINALLY got the boiler replaced this week—literally they finished yesterday—so we went just under three weeks without hot water. (And it sucked.)
Of course we still have major projects we want to do in the house, not even including an eventual extension out the back. That includes renovating the bathroom, at most rewiring the house and at minimum adding more sockets to each room (the kitchen is the only room in the house with more than one socket), and renovating the other two bedrooms. There are still little things that need doing, like painting trim and radiator covers, hanging curtains, building shelves in the pantry and the cupboard in the conservatory, and adding a built in storage unit to the entryway. Also, we need to finish painting the living room and the conservatory because when I first painted, I didn’t have a ladder to get up toward the ceiling.
I’ll be sharing some of the progress we do on the house, but make no mistake it will probably take years. And of course, they say your house is never “done”. But in the meantime, I’ll leave you with these before photos so you can revel in the past owner’s obsession with yellow and off-white.
The Dining Room
The Living Room
The Guest Bedroom
The Master Bedroom
The Third Bedroom
The Back Garden