I’ve made reference in my recent posts to a house move that I’ve been going through, and I thought it was high time I shared a little more about what’s been going on over these past few months now that things appear to be settling down a little bit!
It’s been a whirlwind few months, and I guess when I think back to, say, Glastonbury at the end of June, I never would have guessed that before the end of the year I’d be a homeowner for the first time. It’s fair to say it’s been a really exciting, but really unexpected, few months. Steve and I had talked on and off, after moving in together in his house at the beginning of 2015, about thinking about buying a house ‘in the future’, but it was a dream with no time frame on it and I know how easy it is for plans to drift when life gets in the way.
But, almost out of nowhere, at the beginning of July, we had a talk and agreed to stop halfheartedly flicking through the Rightmove app every once in a while with no further action, and decide to look with a bit more intention and actually go view a house if we liked the look of it online. Before this, we also decided we should get some more expert advice on what we could actually afford and it was a good job we did so, because those houses we’d been halfheartedly looking at previously were waaaaaaaay out of our budget!
So, the second house we went to view was the one we both fell in love with, although I really didn’t like the look of it online and wasn’t at all bothered about coming to see it – thank goodness Steve thought otherwise. Because it wasn’t being lived in at the time, it looked soul-less and empty to me in the pictures online; it looked like it didn’t have a story to tell. But, when we saw it in reality, we saw a blank canvas and a place to make our own and fill with our own stories. We agreed that it might be a long while before we found anything else that we both liked so much, so what the hell, we put an offer in.
One thing lead to another, as they say, and we moved in at the end of September. This house move was my third move in two years and after wanting to lay down some roots for a good while longer but never having owned a property before, this felt like a really special move for me, and one I really wanted to savour.
Although the whole process was pretty quick in comparison to what house moves can be, it wasn’t without its stresses. For the first couple of weeks of living in the new house, I think we were both numb – and really busy – and it didn’t really feel like ‘home’, although it didn’t feel completely alien either. I’d expected a big ‘It’s ours!!!!’ moment but that didn’t really happen. I did have little fleeting seconds of feeling ‘oh my, I cannot believe this is our house’ but then that was very quickly followed by a horrible sense that something was going to go wrong, or that someone was going to march through the door and tell us to get out, that this wasn’t our house after all.
Now, after just over a month in our new house, we are settling in better. We’ve been decorating some of the rooms and making our mark on the house. It’s been fantastic to have those brief moments of looking at something we’ve just finished together and thinking ‘good work, team!’. We’re slowly warming the house by inviting family and friends over, but have now decided to have a full on housewarming party at the end of January, after the rush of Christmas is over. I’m excited but a little nervous about the party – oh, my carpets! I’m seriously trying to suppress the Hyacinth Bucket in me whenever I think about what could happen to our cream carpets at the party…
Time for a new chapter…
Even though I’m 31, I’ve rented all of my adult life and done very little in the way of home improvements, so it’s fair to say I’m a complete novice at all of this, but I’m enjoying it on the whole! I’ll share any mishaps, tips, things to try or things to avoid as we continue to build our home over the coming months but for now, as we embark on a new chapter, I’ll leave you with a few things I’ve learned so far as a fledgling homeowner:
- Hanging curtains is an absolute faff if you don’t know what you’re doing – and neither Steve nor I did! We bought some God awful cheap curtains from Dunelm (although I will say Dunelm has been amazing for most other things on this journey) to ‘put us on’ until we decorated the bedroom and they looked crap once we’d put them up! Plus, they kept falling off the hooks whenever we opened or closed them. We then found out a couple of weeks later, after Steve told his mum how rubbish they were, that we’d actually attached the curtain hooks to the string that pulls the pleats together and not to the bit that you’re supposed to hook them to!! Curtain fail.
- As above, Dunelm is amazing for a lot of things and is not the cheap bargain basement that I’d once thought it was in my naive state.
- They’re not lying when they say house moving is one of the most stressful things you can do. I thought, because I’d moved around so much in the past, that this would be a doddle. But moving into your very own home for the first time is something else. It’s obviously bloody expensive, and I’ve found I’ve wanted everything to be just right. The Hyacinth Bucket in me has been having a field day – and this can sometimes lead to a bicker…!
- Having family and friends round to your new home is without a doubt the best way to make it feel a little more like yours, and make you feel happier and more relaxed, fact.