My very first job was a silver spoon catering company for exceedingly rich people in their exceedingly big homes. I was an awkward 15 year old with goofy braces who has never seen such luxurious houses, let alone been in one. I often stood with my mouth wide open, staring at their sweeping grand staircases, swimming pool rooms and internal balconies overlooking the lounge. I was constantly in awe of the grandeur of such a house that had only ever existed for me in my Sims games.
I knew however that that was absolutely zero chance I would ever had that kind of money to afford these million-pound homes, however as I grew up, I started to slowly realise that although the size was impressive, it wasn’t what made it stunning. A home’s beauty can shine through no matter it’s size. Beauty for me comes from a clean, decluttered & minimal space and stylish design.
Ever since I’ve craved a space to make mine and perfect to me.
When I started looking for a house, I didn’t actually think I would be able to buy one. Anything in our budget was dingy or too far away from work however I still used to wake up and browse my apps to see what was out there out of curiosity. One day I found a very affordable, very cute little cottage-style home that I would have been proud to have called home.
Even though we were months away from our deposit goal, we decided to go view it just to see what was out there and we actually very quickly fell in love with it. Out of nerdiness, I came home and make it on the Sims and imagined where our furniture would go. It was at that point we realised that even the small amount of furniture we own wouldn’t be able to fit in and it was much smaller than we realised. We respectfully didn’t make an offer on House #1.
Every morning, we both travel into work via the train station so being close to that area is important to us. It takes us about 5mins in a taxi at the moment (we both don’t drive although that’s on the list once we move). The second house we saw online was the opposite direction to the train station so we would be doubling our journey time and cost. It would go from £2000 travel costs to over £3000 per year and wouldn’t be any cheaper if we had learnt to drive as parking at the station was £12 a day. However, we loved the pictures so we went along to view anyway. Let me say, if I could pick up House #2 and place it nearer to the train station – we would have purchased it without hesitation. It was an old house but had been done up to an impeccable modern, minimal standard and was just ready to move straight in. We thought long and hard and decided that it just wasn’t worth the extra time and travelling to our day.
The third house we saw was a very old end-terraced with a good sized garden and 3 bedroom – everything we want. We went along to view it and I got the same feeling I got when I found my wedding dress. The couple who lived there showed us around and we both just fell in love but true deep love where you can see past the minor flaws and just love it. It didn’t take long after leaving the property to discuss and agree on putting in an offer.
The listing had a price that was ‘offers in excess of’ however on the advice of our parents we ignored that and put in an offer which was £5k below the asking price. We did this by simply calling the estate agent and stating what we wanted to pay. They then called the seller and then called us back saying that they at least wanted the asking price. So, we told them we would pay the asking price but we wanted it off the market and not shown to anyone else. The estate agent rang the seller and then rang us back. They were happy to leave the asking price on the table but would be still showing it to others or we could offer £2k over the asking price and it was ours and not shown to anyone.
Considering we were happy to go to £5k above the asking price, we accepted the offer. I do also firmly believe that the house is worth more than that and they would have easily got more if we had let others view it. That’s not my greed for the house talking, it’s genuinely a lovely house that’s a steal. Did I mention it’s right near the train station too?
This process probably took around 6 hours as there was a lot of calling back and forth. At the same time I was also speaking to a Mortgage Advisor which I’ll cover the steps below.
Whilst everything above was going on, I reached out to a Mortgage Advisor who was actually recommended to me by two separate and amazing #ukdebtfreecommunity Instagram accounts I follow (@Thrifty_Clair + @Living_Thrifty). They have both used his services and recommended him separately to me so I took that as a good sign. Before I go into the process, if you need a Mortgage Advisor, I 100% recommend you use lyonsmortgageandinsuranceservices.co.uk. This is not financial advice, an ad, paid post, affiliate link or anything like that. I’m just recommending you check out someone who’s amazing at their craft.
So, I rang Chris and introduced myself and just wanted to know what the next steps were. Before I knew it we had sorted everything in a 45min phone call! What Chris does that’s great is he is an independent worker so he can check all the different services and find you want that’s perfect for your budget. I only had to answer questions, provide 3 months of payslips and 3 months of bank statements then Chris did all the work for us and had found us a mortgage that suited us in no time.
We opted for a 22 year mortgage which Chris said it basically unheard of for a first time buyer but it was possible because our finances were in such a good shape. Let me tell you, as someone who has struggled for a long time with money, that made my week!
Chris provided us with a mortgage in principle which we shared with the estate agent. It basically a PDF that said the bank would lend us that much in theory so the estate agent were confident we were legit. We also had to provide proof we have the deposit money which was just a screenshot of our banking accounts.
After they confirmed they had that, they then rang around all the people who has appointments and then rang me back to congratulate me. I was standing in the corner shop buying milk at the time and you couldn’t have smacked the smile from my face if you had tried.
I’ll write a post monthly about my process as I hope these posts help someone understand the process in plain english rather than legal talk. You can keep up to date with my house buying process here.