Our first steps to finding our family home 

I have always been a private tenant, never owned my own house or had a mortgage. The thought of it is quite scary, but something is telling me it’s our time to get our very own house. Our own family home. Something that we can decorate, renovate and put our own little stamp on. Everyone around me is either on their second home, or renovating their properties and the results are amazing. It fills me with excitement that hopefully one day we will be doing that too. 

It’s been quite hard living, privately renting and trying to save a substantial amount of money towards a deposit but we’re getting there. Very recently we’ve reached about 95% of our deposit goal, which is amazing. So we’ve started actively looking at the market and trying to understand what is out there for our budget. I set up a Help to Buy ISA as I am a first time buyer, it’s a great way to save each month and I know we will at least save £200 as a minimum. I set my ISA up with Santander and it was really easy, I opened it with £1,200 and each month you can add an extra £200. When you’re ready to buy your property (and you have over £1,600 in the ISA) the government top the balance up with 20% of your total savings. A great help. 

Next step was to understand the process and the extra costs. I had no idea we would need money for agency fees, search fees and solicitors fees. That’s another wedge of cash we have to save on top of our deposit. There is no end to the little pockets of money you need to buy your own home. I am, however,  determined we’ll get there. Each house we view, each month we are searching is another month of saving. But also another month of renting I suppose. Pro’s and con’s! When the right property comes on the market I’m sure we’ll know and the balls will start rolling. 

So far there has been a narrowing down process with each house we view. It’s helped to create the list of what we want, what we would negotiate on and what we definitely will not negotiate on. For example the first house was too dangerous for the children and too much of a project, the second house was beautiful but too tiny for us as a family. We have seen perfectly presented houses and the complete opposite. We now know we want something that we can put our own stamp on, so not perfectly finished and although I would adore a character property with a loft conversion so that Noah and Isla can have bedrooms with a juliette bathroom. I love the thought of decorating one side blue and one side pink, with a cool children’s bathroom in between. Disney Velux blinds in the eaves and Disney muriels painted on their walls to match. We can negotiate on the latter for our first family home!

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