My wife and I are in the market at the moment for our first home, so securing my first run on the property ladder now occupies pretty much all of my time, not just the normal 9-5.
Having looked at over 20 properties in as many days I’ve found I have a soft spot for old cottages, buildings and houses that have that ‘hug ability’.
For me the downsides of steep staircases, un-insulated walls, quirky layouts and even the odd patch or in one case entire house of damp does little to deter me, as the visual benefits of period coving, stone/ wood floors, high ceilings and my personal favorite, an open fire wrap me in my very own comforter blanket.
As a child we lived in a cottage with an open fire, I spent a lot of time in front of the fireplace with my dad rolling up old newspapers and standing next to one now fills me with nostalgia. This combined with the draw of village life makes it very hard for any houses on estates, towns and city’s to get a look in on my long list of preferences.
The list of Burt:
- 2 bedrooms – both doubles.
- Semi detached.
- Garden, with good sun light.
- Side access.
- Garage, preferable.
- Village -Overton or surrounding village.
- Cottage, with period features preferable but open to a restoration project.
- Parking – harder to find than I first thought.
Oh and to cap it off, must have curb appeal. In other words the dream house is exactly that – a daydream.
This is not to say that I don’t love modern design too.
As a marketing manager for a construction company I get to view lots of potential contemporary projects from a wide range of Architects, designers and technicians. Houses that stand out, buck the trend, utilize modern technologies and hold testament to a new age -If I was a wealthy man, I would be asking the likes of Design ACB, Nick Shipp Architects or Crawford Partnership to design my very own piece of ‘live in’ design. Alas, I’m not – at least not just yet.
The real problem – the list. Its pretty one sided. My wife’s list is far shorter, two bedrooms – and a garden.
Its hard to argue the toss over who’s willing to give up more for the right house, when I’ve got a list a long as my arm and my other half only has two, both of which are on my list. And then there’s the third party to consider… the third person in the room, or at the very least the back of your mind… ‘THE BANK’
Is it over budget? Is it over valued? Is it a risk? Am I a risk? Hayley (my wife) walks around the house and I’m pretty sure inside her head she’s placing our furniture, re decorating the rooms, hiding all of my toys and setting out a baby room. Mine however WW3 looms on high. I’m trying to second-guess ‘THE BANK’, becoming an estimator (something I have no clue about) consider the potential resale value, worry about the housing market overall and all whilst I’m playing a game of Russian roulette with the Estate agent. Not the walk in the park I had pictured when we first started saving for our very own piece of England.
So where are we now? Well faced with the dilemma of either paying 20% over our budget, moving into a high-rise block of flats or paying to live in a part of town that require the use of stab vests as mandatory it would appear we are back to square one. Decision for today, not to buy!