We’ve bought our own place – yay! Ken & I have made the decision to buy a place, get a mortgage and live together. For the first two years of our relationship, we’ve lived separately with our friends, which was great but we were always staying around each other’s houses and then cluttering each other’s rooms with our stuff so… why not get our own place?!
We’ve bought a beautiful, two-bedroom apartment which is a 5 minute walk from Cheltenham Racecourse! We instantly loved this area as it’s a little village just outside of Cheltenham town which means it’s close enough to walk to when we need to go shopping but also just enough in the Cotswolds countryside that we can enjoy the lovely views.
We bought this apartment off-plan, so it wasn’t built. We bought through Bloor Homes which we couldn’t recommend enough as they were brilliant. Even now, they’re ringing us to see how we’re getting on! The best thing for us as first home buyers was the amount of government schemes there are to help people get on the property ladder! We used the “Help to Buy” scheme which meant we needed a 5% deposit rather than the usual 10%, and our mortgage is only 75% of the total value of the property as the government loan us 20%, which makes it a lot cheaper for us initially, although this will slowly creep up in a few more years, but nothing that would be totally soul damaging. As first home buyers, we also didn’t have to pay Stamp Duty which saved us about £6000!!!
If you’re looking into buying, then please look in to these government schemes – they’re great and a lot of housing developments can offer other intitatives like paying £3000 towards flooring, giving out new TV’s or paying for mortgage fees!
We got the keys on April 30th and slowly moved things in as we were still living in rented accommodation but we officially moved in on May 26th – this was unfortunately the same day that Liverpool lost the Champions League final, which Kenny was not at all pleased about, although he was soon made happy with a 20″ pizza.
Over the past couple of weeks, it seems that we’ve spent 80% of our time building flat-pack furniture, watching “Come dine with me” whilst sat on the floor as we didn’t have our sofas and watching ‘Ikea Hacks’ on YouTube so we could make our home super organised but now we have all of our furniture in, (minus the dining table) it’s now feeling really homely as we’ve add our own little touches.
*I’ve added a few pictures at the bottom of this blog post so you can see how it’s all coming together – there’s no pictures of the second bedroom yet as it’s pretty much empty!*
So, y’all know this wouldn’t be a blog post of mine without some sort of advice or hints/tips. My experience of living with Ken has been amazing so far, although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to cope with his gross habits or the fact that sometimes he believes in the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” statement – yup, truly gross but, I still love him.
These are just some of the things you should be prepared for when buying your own place or moving in with your other half for the first time:
#1: Save, save & save some more – You may think you’ve saved enough but trust me, there will always be things you need. Plus, if you’re buying your own place, make sure you save at least £3000 for solicitors fees, moving fees, security fees, removal vans, valuation fees, mortgage fees and all stuff like that – it really adds up and will bleed you dry if you don’t have a good amount of savings before you start.
#2: Look around for deals – this is probably an obvious one but when it comes to buying sofas, flooring, furniture and so on, make sure you really shop around! We bought our sofas from ScS on the Easter Bank Holiday which meant our sofas were more than 50% off which mean’t we saved just over £1000! We managed to get an extra 20% off our carpets and laminate flooring with ScS too which was great, although I wouldn’t recommend them. The products are great but the customer service is awful and we’ve had way too many problems with them.
#3: Inevitable arguments – Ken & I don’t shy away from silly arguments but it is quite hard to adjust to living with someone for the first time. We knew we both had annoying habits so that was fine to deal with but as this is a massive progression in our relationship and lets face it, getting a mortgage is SCARY, there is bound to be some tension. It’s easy to let this get the better of us sometimes but we quickly snap out of it when we realise how lucky and happy we are.
#4: Sharing finances – Normally, we all get so frustrated with finances but it’s a much better situation to face when you’re not facing it alone. Even down to splitting the weekly food shop does wonders to my bank account!
#5: Don’t DIY – Ken & I are completely incapable of doing anything to do with DIY. In fact, it took us 1 hour and a half to put up a shelf that isn’t straight! We may have had a little bit of help, (alot of help actually… thank you Manse & Pete!!!) but if we had done it ourselves, the apartment would’ve fallen down around us. This brings me to my next point…
#6: Command strips will be your best friend – Want to put up a picture but don’t want to get holes in the wall? Command strips!!! Want to put a mirror on the wall? Command strips!!! Want to hang your oven gloves on the side of your cupboard? Command strips!!! You can get them pretty much anywhere, I think they’re cheapest in B&M but they are a god send – cheap, cheerful and they don’t mark the walls!
#7: Embrace not having internet for the first few weeks – We’ve only just got internet & all the TV channels today, hence the new blog post but for the past few weeks, Ken & I have been going for walks, we visited a few of the local pubs, we’ve been decorating and just been spending lots of time talking to each other about lots of things rather than getting distracted by a TV show or being on our phones… seems a bit silly but enjoy the quality time you get whilst you can because, we have internet now and Love Island is on every day so… quality time is limited!!!
#8: Enjoy it – This is your time to really flourish in to adult life, so enjoy it and don’t stress too much. You’ve got your own place with your other half so just realise how lucky you are to have that. Just make sure you split the chores equally, make sure you communicate to each other and have fun.
Also, now you can walk around your home in just your pants and nobody can tell you not to, so there’s no reason not to enjoy it!