My Home: One Year On

I can’t believe it has been a year since my boyfriend and I moved into our new house! This is the first house we have bought previously; we rented a flat for two years. We officially got the keys on the 26th June 2016.


A Brief History

I moved 30 miles away from my parents to live with my boyfriend, so we decided to rent to make sure I settled in ok. The flat we lived in previously had three bedrooms; we had a flatmate for the majority of the time which wasn’t ideal.

We always had lots of problems with our flat and estate agents. The main problem was THE DAMP, and the reluctance of anyone to do anything about it! The mould was especially bad in our flatmate’s room: he has asthma, and it made him very ill, forcing him to move out. Oh, and we didn’t have any heating most of the time! We lived upstairs, and there was a family downstairs- it was one big house turned into two flats.

We then decided enough was enough. We never went house hunting, the house just kind of found us (things happen for a reason!). We had looked on Rightmove a couple of times just to give us an example of what was available and the price in our town, but that’s it. Then one day my boyfriend mentioned the new housing estate in town; we had a look online, and that same afternoon we went to speak to a sales representative about the houses. The rest is history!


How I Saved To Buy A House

I started my first job when I was 15; I used to be a waitress in a pub after school and in the evenings. From a young age, I was taught the value of money and the importance of saving. I made a rule for myself; I decided to save all my wages and only spend my tip money. When I completed 6th form and started my first full-time job as a chef, my parents just charged me a small amount of rent, so I was still able to save 80% of my earnings.

My parents were always careful with their money and never overspent, so that got passed down to me. Whilst I was living at home, I only bought what I NEEDED so that I could save the majority of my money. I always knew I wanted to buy a house one day- that goal kept me going! My boyfriend wasn’t so lucky though; he wasn’t taught the value of money and the importance of saving. This left me on my own to pay the house deposit.

I get a paid a little over the minimum wage, but I still managed to buy a house- I am very proud! It can be done, people- save more, spend less!


The Experience Of Buying A House

Like I said at the start, we didn’t plan to buy a house, it just kind of happened. I think if we had been looking at houses for a long time, then I would have found it more stressful. I am an anxious person, so I think I would have over-thought the whole process and found it overwhelming, but as it happened so quickly I didn’t have a chance to over think things.

The house we bought was a bran on a brand new housing estate: we started the process in February 2016- the house hadn’t even been built yet! We decided to go for a shared ownership scheme: we own 75% and orbit housing own 25%. I won’t go into details about how this works, but the property is leasehold; we are exempt from paying ground rent.

As we were first time buyers, we were offered an incentive of £10,000 to be spent on the house, or to go towards the deposit.
We decided to put the money towards the house: we had carpets laid, turf laid, shower installed, and many more things, so the house was ready for us to move into. In hindsight, we should have had the money for the deposit: my Dad is very good at laying carpets and general DIY so he could have done it cheaper, but we were in a hurry to get out of the smelly, mouldy and cold flat!

When it came to all the legal stuff, the sales representatives were very helpful; everything was pretty much done for us. We had a mortgage broker to sort things out because not many mortgage providers accept shared ownership arrangements. I got a bit stressed out about the whole process (who wouldn’t), but everything was well explained, and we had lots of help.


The House!

Our house is on the end of a terrace of 4 houses, and we have two car parking spaces. We have a front and back garden: there is plenty of room to extend our kitchen and have a porch if ever wanted to, and there is room to extend out the back or get a conservatory (always thinking ahead!). We have two bedrooms; our room is the one out the front, and the spare room is a man cave at the moment!

We obviously had furniture and homeware in our flat, but we decided to get rid of it all and start again (most of the furniture was falling apart, and homeware was mouldy). Sooo, we had a lot of stuff to buy! We bought the most important things first like a washing machine, fridge freezer, dining table, sofa and bed. The kitchen units and the cooker were included with the house, and so was the bathroom suite. There is a cupboard in our bedroom, so we put a wardrobe frame in there. We then bought the remainder of the furniture and turned our attention to homeware.

I feel like it takes a long time to make a house a home; it is still quite a blank canvas at the moment. I have a colour scheme each room, but still working on it! I’d say our house is 70% completed; I’m giving my bank card a break at the moment! Here is a little list of I need/need doing…

  • Tiles needed in kitchen above sink, and walls need to be painted a sage green colour
  • Herb canvas prints need to be hung in kitchen
  • A little shelf is required for additional storage
  • Copper coloured lights needed in hallway
  • Plant table needed in hallway
  • It would be nice to have pictures of the staircase wall
  • Large grey rug need in living room to go under dining table; then the yellow one can go under the footstall
  • A second small sofa
  • Walls in living room need to be painted pale yellow
  • Net curtain rail needed in bedroom
  • A feature wall needs to be wallpapered in bedroom
  • Some shelves and canvas pictures required in bedroom
  • EVERYTHING needs to be done in the garden!!


In Conclusion

We couldn’t be happier with our little house! I take a lot of pride in my house, and I like to keep it clean and tidy at all times. Owning a property is so much nicer than renting because you can design your home however you wish. I like the security of having a new house because it’s unlikely you’ll have any expensive building repairs to make (we have a 10-year building warranty). I’m glad we made a move when we did, because the price of houses in this area have already increased considerably.

Let me know about your housing situation: do you live with family? are you renting? Have you got a mortgage? 

My Home- One Year On


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68 thoughts on “My Home: One Year On

  1. I love the brick! Here in Seattle we don’t get many homes with character like this, since this is a newer city and most construction didn’t really get booming until the 60’s and 70’s. I would love to own an old Victorian style home, but those only exist here in the outskirts in small historic port towns that are very far away from anything. We have a duplex that was built in he 90’s and are doing a lot of work remodeling it to get it to a place where I am happy. Sounds like the two of you were very smart with your money and made a great decision!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your house! I am living in my parent’s house and am also able to pay very little in rent, but I’m focusing on paying off my student loans so I’m not saving as much as I could be. I still have quite a bit saved up but I’m planning to use a lot of that towards my graduate school studies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mine is a similar story to you! We lived in a flat that had old storage heating which never seemed to work and it was freezing! In February it snowed so heavy it leaked through our front door! Then a house came up for rent near my mum but the landlord wanted to sell it. We persuaded him to let us rent it while we got a mortgage and now we officially own it. Your house looks lovely em – i like the yellow cushions on your sofa!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is still amazing Em! Well dome on buying a house, you guys really lucked out that the perfect house found you! I agree it wuld take a whil to make a house feel like a home but that process sounds like so much fun and I hope to get to that point someday 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your a chef??? No way…. Need a bread supplier?? 😂
    Thats amazing, well done!! We’re in London and the deposits are mental. They keep moving the goal posts….. But one day (fingers crossed) I’ll be writing a post like this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll admit, I’ve never quite understood how home ownership works in the UK! But what a lovely thing to celebrate a year in this house! We are renting at the moment till we know where we’ll be permanently, but I can’t wait to buy a house someday!


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  7. Congrats on buying your own place it’s great to see a year on review and I love that’ you’ve wrote all the things that you need to do as well x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so special, congrats and well done! Hope it all works out for you! We’re living together at the moment in my mums house but he leaves soon to go back to uni – but this is exactly what we plan to do when he’s finished!

    Jessica & James | /

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on buying your first home. You have made it look so lovely. Over the years I have rented and bought. We have been living in our rented home for 5 years. The longest I’ve lived anywhere! We’re on the lookout for a barn to convert into our forever home.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That is so fantastic that you own your own house, it looks lovely! I’m still at uni at the moment so rent in my university city with two other girls! Our flat last year was a new build and was lovely and had no problems with it but moving into a traditional tenement flat this semester and bit worried about the problems often associated with older housing! I live with my parents in there house at the moment though as uni is off for the summer and I’m between leases (old one ended in June, next one begins in August!) Can’t wait to own my own home one day though!

    Kirsty | The Monday Project |

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your attitude towards money and I wish my parents had the same values! It’s so important to teach your children the value of money. Congrats on your home! Do you and your boyfriend co-own it and pay for the mortgage as you paid for the deposit? Or is it your home? Either way – amazing work!
    Monica @

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this post! I’m really nosy about other people’s houses Haha! I’m so glad you’ve found a lovely place that you’re happy in. I can’t wait to move out and rent or get a place of my own – I can’t wait to decorate! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations on owning your own home. Rui and I have lived in 2 different places, always renting. We do want to buy a house but we’re interested in something big, maybe a farm so we’ll have to wait. You’re a really inspiring person, the way you were able to save for all those years. The only difference is that Rui and I don’t share expenses. All money is our money, doesn’t matter who makes more or anything like that. Only one wallet in our house 🙂 I wish I had been so good at saving as you were. I’ve been working for so many years and have 0 savings.

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  14. Your house is adorable and looks nothing like the houses over here. I love the kitchen. Good for you for owning a home at a young age! We also decided to get into the market, and it is a different experience than renting. Congratulations on your one year house-iversary.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi! I live in Ontario, Canada. We have lots of housing styles. Most houses here are detached (one house) or semi detached (two houses joined together with a wall), or townhouse (lots of houses joined together with many walls). My neighbourhood is filled with the first kind. How about you guys?


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