Tuesday, 26 January 2016

One Year Anniversary In Our Own Home

I can't quite believe that a year has passed since Jack and I got the keys to our very first home. It was a very exciting day, especially after the stress of the weeks leading up to it when there seems to be endless paperwork, keeping fingers crossed that the mortgage is accepted etc. but we did it! Here we are a year down the line and loving having our very own place. We'd rented a flat in Newbury before that and though our little flat was homely and nice we were both super keen to get a place of our own to decorate and also so that our money felt like it was going somewhere - even if our first annual mortgage statement that we received last week was rather depressing!

The view from our bedroom window - at our first viewing
The house was rather dirty when we moved in and so I spent the two weeks I'd booked off work cleaning like mad. The previous owner smoked in the living room and so my first mission was so get rid of the musty smell. Sugar soap became my new best friend and the filthiest rooms we painted in magnolia to freshen it up in the interim until we got around to decorating properly. Affording a deposit on a house is NOT easy! Both Jack and I worked extremely hard to save for our deposit and we were very lucky that our parents lent us some money too. What that meant though is that every penny we did save up went straight on the deposit and fees leaving us not a lot of savings when we moved in. That means that we've had to decorate a room at a time as we've managed to save the money up. We don't really mind this though because we've gradually seen the house transform from a neglected and out-dated two bed terraced home to a much-loved, brighter home. However, my tip for anyone who's buying for the first time (we've been trying to give some of our friends advice too) is that whatever you think you need... you need more! I'd like to have been in a position where we had a bit of savings set aside for decorating, tool buying and furnishing but then I suppose if you were buying a new build you wouldn't have the decorating costs quite so much.
I loved the bathroom tiles when we moved in but absolutely hated the wall colour...
Jazzed it up to a 'periwinkle' blue! The bathroom now has a beach theme
I like to be thrifty when possible and so we visited the local community project shop regularly to see what pieces of furniture had arrived. We came home with some lovely dining chairs which now sit downstairs and in the spare room. I also got a bargain old book case which I've already filled on the landing - I now need to source another antique book case because I won't diminish my quantity of books!
Lovely dining chairs - they only had 3 but they cost us a total of £15 and just need a little TLC.
The garden was probably what I was most excited about when we moved in; I've always loved gardening from a young age when I used to help my mum in the greenhouse at home. To have a garden of my own means so much and I love escaping outside to potter around the plants or just to admire the countryside views over our back fence. The garden was quite the jungle when we moved in so our first job when Spring arrived was to get the choking plants under control and I planted lots of new plants too. All look pretty healthy still, only a few casualties along the way which is par for the course and a learning curve for me.
The clematis had completely engulfed the oil tank and the oil company refused to deliver more until they could actually get to it so our first job was to give the clematis a hair cut. The small shed you can just about make out as also gone; it was totally rotten inside and this is where Jack has now built his shed
Jack and Dad putting up new fence panels ready for the imminent arrival of a little puppy... You can also see the very harsh hair cut I gave the clematis (near the trellis). It bounced right back last year and was covered in flowers, I look forward to it being in full bloom again this year.
When I started to put plants in...
 So we are very happy with our home and it's definitely lovely having your own place to do what you want and make changes that you want (as opposed to renting). We've still got lots to do, garden wise; Jack's almost there with the shed, I need to finish building the raised vegetable bed and finish the tortoise's outdoor run, then inside we have the hallway, kitchen, living/dining and conservatory still to decorate. All good fun and all in good time...
Em x 


  1. Your first house together is always exciting & decorating is like the Forth bridge - once you finish you start again. Perhaps that's only my house though! Much much better to buy your own than rent, our eldest is busy saving for a deposit to buy his own house. No doubt we will be helping him out too ( that's what parents are for :) ) xx

    1. I agree Jo, as soon as we finish decorating I'm sure I'll want to start again in a room that's already done, one big cycle isn't it! Good luck to your eldest, good to hear he's saving for his deposit and hopefully it won't be long until he's got enough. Great that you are going to help too, we made sure we didn't call in any favours over the years and then 'bank of mum and dad' was more than willing to help ;-) x

  2. It looks like all your 'TLC' is paying off - I'm sure that your garden must be gorgeous in the summer (and I am deeply envious of your lovely open view!!) Jx

    1. Thanks Jan, we're getting there :-) Yes the views are my favourite part, only a little garden but those open views make it! Have a good weekend x