Two years ago my wife and I purchased a 3-bed house. It needed a lot of work doing to it, but the price was right for us and we were willing to do the work. For our first home we wanted a house, which wouldn’t stretch our budget and would be of a size that we weren’t going to outgrow quickly.
In our first two years we have fully plastered, carpeted and decorated all the 3 bedrooms, installed a whole new bathroom suite and redecorated our lounge. On top of this we have fixed plumbing, electrical and lighting issues. On the outside we have gone about getting the gardens under control and this now just leaves us with the hallway and kitchen to update.
It has been hard work but fun work. I think we have added some real value to the property in the process and should easily be able to sell it for higher than the price we purchased it for. Now we are getting to the end of the renovation period my wife and I are taking stock and looking at what the long-term future holds.
Through this process my thoughts on houses have changed. The types of properties I would be willing to live in have changed, as have the areas. I think being in the house ownership game really teaches you a lot and really gets you thinking about the type of property you want to live in.
One thing I have become addicted to is checking websites like RightMove (http://www.rightmove.co.uk/) and Zoopla (http://www.zoopla.co.uk/) a lot to see what properties are out there. I spend a lot of time comparing the properties to what we have and seeing what we could afford. I feel sorry for the homeowners advertising their houses through these sites, as I must give their pages a lot of views but never arrange a viewing and I don’t think I am the only one who does this.
When looking at properties I have started looking at floor plans in greater detail as I think these are key. Not only has this changed, but my lists of what I consider to be pros and cons have changed also. Unless you build a house yourself I don’t think there are many, if any perfect houses out there for you, so its being able to know when a house ticks a lot of your wants and what negatives you can live with. If you are trying to search for a perfect house, you may be searching for some time.
You get what you pay for
With houses you get what you pay for in most cases. If a house seems cheap, there has to be a problem with it somewhere. My main word of advice would be, to take someone with you when you view a house your interested in, that knows about the building trade and whilst you are there be ready to take your time and check everything out thoroughly.
House ownership is a big responsibility, but I find it so rewarding and I am so glad to be on the property ladder, we may be on one of the lower rungs now but I am determined for our family to keep climbing up it.