When we first decided we wanted to try and buy a house, we still lived in a shared house with friends. We had become very comfortable. Probably too comfortable. We were in a brilliant location, five minutes from Fulham Broadway tube station, surrounded by bars and restaurants and near most of our friends. We had fairly easy commutes, paid low rent, no bills and had enough disposable cash to flit away on holidays regularly.
It took us about five months to let this sweet situation go and finally get the wheels in motion. We had about 5k saved up, which in the greater London house market is like having fairy dust- so we had to move home.
It was not the easiest thing in the world, by any means, but we were lucky my parents live in south London and we could still get to work easily and pay much, much less in way of rent.
That was ten months ago. Tonight we have our first viewing. It’s been a weird year, 2016, aside from like, Brexit, some of my favourite celebs dying and feeling generally disillusioned about the world, it’s also felt like hitting pause on life. I realise now though that doing that was the only way we could truly have moved forward.
We’ve spent endless time over the past ten months scouting out locations, staring at Zoopla and Right Move, doing calculations and desperately trying not to spend money.
The finding a new place to live part has been the hardest. We’re fairly open about what we move into it, but I don’t want to be flippant about where. We could probably afford a very small flat in my home town, but its close proximity to the city means it’s getting more expensive all the time. We don’t want to be far away from friends. We don’t want horribly long, cripplingly expensive commutes. We don’t want to have mortgage payments so big we have nothing left over. We don’t want to have to move again in a couple of years to get more space if we can help it.
It’s quite the conundrum, home owning. It’s one I’m more than happy to have though and I know we’re very lucky to be in a position to do it all in this part of the country. But I have had a headache for five straight days now which is definitely a combination of stress and staring at a laptop all hours of the day and night, so it’s not all joy and excitement.
The next part is the viewings. I’ve only ever viewed to rent and that mostly involved glancing into a bedroom and nodding happily at a not-very-good ensuite then going for a drink with my friend who conducted the whole thing. There has been a lot of googling. A lot of questions to parents, colleagues, older friends. I even feel like I might start talking to my dog soon.
We have our first viewings this week, so I’m keen to see how useful the questions and hints I’ve got scrawled in a notebook in the bottom of my bag will be. I’m also quite scared.
Wish me luck.