Today I want to talk about my very first experience of house hunting.
First of all I will tell you what kind of places we were looking at. This was a new thing for me too, I don’t know if it is just the UK but there are so many different types of dwellings and they all have different names and some have nicknames! We have been looking at either upper flats or terrace houses which are also sometimes called 2 up 2 down. That is because usually there are 2 rooms down stairs and 2 rooms upstairs plus the bathroom. It took me a while to learn which ones where which and which ones we are interested in. Both of the ones we have been looking at typically come with gardens and some times come with drive ways too. I personally prefer the 2 up 2 down to the Upper flats. Even if the actual square meterage is the same I just think that they feel bigger.
My first tip is your cellphone. I always ask the person showing us around if they mind if I take photos and so far they have always said yes. I started off taking photos of the rooms but I soon found that I couldn’t always remember which room was which especially if they were empty rooms. So I started taking videos instead and this I found worked the best for me. It also means that if I like the place I can send the video to family and friends and see what they think of the place. Just remember to have your phone charged before you go! And you also want to make sure that your phone has enough space to take the video. The only place I didn’t take photos or video was the place that we viewed that was still inhabited. I just felt awkward.
We always take the bus to go and look at places because we don’t have a car yet. So we often land up being a bit early for our appointments so we usually take the time to walk around the area and see what it is like. Even if we are viewing in the evenings after dark it is still good to walk around and note, is there a lot of rubbish lying around, is it very noisy, are there strange people loitering around, do a lot of the houses look like they are falling into disrepair. These are all good things to notice and to take into account when you are looking at a place.
Another thing I did was pack a packet of crisps or some sort of snack for Husband and I when we went to see places in the evening. Because of Husband’s work we often could only view a place late in the evening and this meant that we were often pretty hungry by the time we were leaving the viewing. And then we still had to take the bus back home. And the one place we viewed it took over half an hour for the bus to arrive! And I find that if I am hungry I get annoyed and irritable easily and I will often think back on the house negatively because I just think about being hungry. It also means that I am tempted to stop for fast food on the way home and that is not good for my waist line or my wallet especially when you are saving up to buy a house!
What I really didn’t expect was how much house hunting would affect my anxiety. It really is a high tension experience. Here where we are looking for houses, they sell really fast. There have been a couple of times where we have viewed a place on the Sunday and when we phoned the solicitors on the Monday to say that we were interested… they said Sorry an offer has already been made and accepted!
Another thing is that I feel like I can’t do too much research on my own into the houses because I work from home. That sounds odd but the thing is that which area we buy in is really up to Husband because he is the one who has to make the morning and evening commute. But it’s not as easy as saying okay he only wants to have to travel for 20 min or 40 min etc. He may decide that he likes the price of a house enough to sacrifice 10 min in travel time. Or something like that. But only he can make that decision for himself. So sometimes it leaves me feeling helpless. Especially as this is the busy season at work for Husband so he often doesn’t have time to be looking into these things.
I feel a kind of pressure to find a place because I really want to get a pet. When husband has to go away for work I get desperately lonely. If you didn’t know we are not allowed pets in our flat, most land lords here don’t seem to allow it.
Buying a house is also completely unlike buying anything else I’ve ever bought. It is so incredibly frustrating. Because it doesn’t have a fixed price. By this I mean, if I want something from the shops I usually just save up enough money and go and buy it. It doesn’t work like that with houses because you don’t know how much you are going to need for a given house you might think okay we need “x” so you save up enough for “x” but then when you look all the houses for “x” are sold. Ect. And then you have to wait for something else to come on the market or you have to look in another area. ect. I was not prepared for how frustrating this would be.
However this being said, it is also a very exciting process. Husband likes to look at a house and imagine how he might do renovations in the future or what he might use the different rooms for. Or how we might decorate it. The two things I am looking forward to about getting a house is, getting a cat, and having a bath! Haha. We only have a shower in our current flat.
I hope that you have been having a good start to your week. And I would love to hear some of your house hunting experiences 🙂