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Saturday, 22 August 2015

New House!

Well it has taken almost 5 months, but we finally completed on our new house!

Previously we have always been lucky enough to rent or own new build flats and so purchasing a property almost as old as me and the Mr has taken a huge dose of adjustment! We purchased our house on the shared ownership scheme and although it is far from perfect (and admittedly very over-priced!) we know we were lucky enough to be accepted as the scheme is highly sought after with huge waiting lists.  For us (like most), it was the only way we would ever be able to buy our very own home.

The major drawback with viewing shared ownership homes is that only the barest of details are listed (both online and with the estate agent/housing association) and you are lucky to see a photo of the outside of the property, it is almost never that a listing will feature interior shots or floor plans.  This means that you get into the habit of booking to view and having to keep an open mind when it comes to figuring out if this mystery house could be your dream home.

We had spent a total of 10 minutes viewing the house and although we could see it was tired and needed a lot of work, we knew we had to register our interest anyway as securing a house on the shared ownership scheme is a rare thing indeed.  We were initially told that the house had been offered to someone else, however a few days later we received a call to advise us their funding had fallen through (told you it was over-priced!) and were we still interested.  We jumped at the chance and were pleased as punch to finally be on our way up the housing ladder.

There were a lot of niggles with buying shared ownership that I will address one day in another post, but for now let's just focus on the awesome house!

Because the buying process dragged on, by the time the completion date rolled round we had mainly forgotten about the exact layout of the house and argued a lot about where things would eventually go!  As I mentioned before shared ownership property photographs are rather thin on the ground, BUT with a bit of internet detective work I did manage to find a 2008 listing for the property in the rightmove archives, complete with floor-plan!  Now we knew from our viewing that this was massively outdated (the latest owners were not a fan of domesticity and it really showed!) but it was better than nothing.

As you can see from the floor-plan, it isn't a mansion but it does have some nifty storage and a slightly bigger than average (for the house size) garden.

The outside looks pretty much the same, just even more tried!  A definite lick of paint is needed on that woodwork.

A perfectly functional kitchen

The garden is quite a good size and was at one time low maintenance but looked after.

I quite like the layout of the dining area as although it is attached to the living room, it still feels separate and has the bonus of the kitchen door being opposite the table area.

We are lucky enough to have two bedrooms and this is the master, a good size.

When the current owners moved out, they were inconsiderate enough to leave the house in quite a mess (I spent hours cleaning our flat making it welcoming for the new owners).  In fact I was so shell shocked at how severe the dirt and damage appeared (since our 10 minute viewing 5 months prior) that I forgot to take photographs until we started working on it!

We are actually lucky enough to have a hallway off the front door, a rarity in todays newer builds!

Just off the hallway we have a downstairs loo, essential in any home!  This room was probably the dirtiest in the house.  I usually have an iron stomach, but it took me a few days to steel myself against the filth to tackle it with bleach, gloves and a mask.  The wall tiles actually turned brown when I started wiping, it was months (if not years of filth) and yes that is a plastic cistern you can see, definitely original to the house :)

This poor sink was so old/dirty that all the metal work has corroded and not even the wonders of cillit bang can bring back it's sparkle, it definitely needs replacing.

The lounge isn't a bad size and although we aren't a fan of the dado rail, the work needed is mainly cosmetic.

I am slightly worried if our leather beast of a sofa and huge cuddle chair is going to fit, but I'm being optimistic!

We know just how lucky we are to have patio doors that go straight from the dining area into the garden and it is something the dogs will love!

Just off the living area we have this under-stairs cupboard with full size door.  It is a great area for storage and I have my heart set on converting part of it for pantry use!

The under-stairs cupboard isn't huge, but I think I can give it a makeover so the hoover can live in harmony with the pantry part.

 According to the latest owners the kitchen was updated two years ago.  In my opinion it was trashed two years ago!  Plug sockets were replaced at wonky angles and since the 'new' kitchen went in it has suffered major damage from improper use.  We have missing handles, broken cupboards and drawers, holes in cabinets, cracked floor tiles and the dirt is unbearable to think about.  The kitchen in our old flat was almost 6 years old and I am proud to say looked almost as good as new thanks to our careful ownership.

The old owners also left us with an unusable sink as they had bodged removing their washing machine and couldn't find a waste pipe cap to replace the part they removed.  A quick trip to wickes luckily solved this.

The kitchen isn't huge, but it's definitely bigger than my last one.

The stairs are actually off the hallway which is the preferable alternative to having them in the living room

Because they are so enclosed the stairs are quite dark, a light colour is definitely going to be needed.

The upstairs landing is tiny and windowless meaning like the stairs it is pretty dark unless all the bedroom/bathroom doors are open.

We do have the old airing cupboard where the heating tank used to be housed.  Although that curtain has to go!

Plenty of storage for towels and bedding in here!

When we first moved in, there were no bedroom doors attached to either room.  Quite annoying but I'm sure the previous owners had their reasons.

The master bedroom once belonged to children and so like the rest of the house it is worn and filthy.

Admittedly I am a little worried about painting over the areas where the vinyl has been, I just hope it doesn't take too many coats to stop it peeking through.

This room is a good size and definitely bigger than our old master bedroom.

When we tried re-hanging the second bedroom door, we realized what a bodge job it was.  There was a good 2 inches difference in height between one end and the other, with a wonky connecting line to boot!

We are lucky enough that this is a double bedroom too, we just need to decide if the baby or the business gets it!

The bathroom isn't a bad size, yet again it's just been poorly finished.  The toilet has a huge lean to the right and so far no one has been brave enough to use it!

The garden is beautiful and sunny!

Although it definitely needs some TLC, it definitely has potential!

We have a nice flowering tree in the corner

As the house is semi-detached, we are lucky enough to have side access from the front straight though to the back, this will be invaluable I'm sure!

The current owners put these weird trip hazards randomly dotted around the garden and my lovely mother in law is terrified I am going to trip (clumsy, me?) and squish the baby, they have to go!

One of the nicest surprises about the garden was this double shed.  Although it's been placed in a very awkward position (the middle of the garden!) it is going to be perfect as a work studio once water proofed and insulted.

I have to admit that I think the house looks very smart from the back!

In truth I am itching to move in, but we have owned it for two weeks now and the list of work that needs to be completed before we can finally start moving our items in seems to be growing.

Next time the make over will begin and I will reveal some of the slightly odder DIY quirks that our new house seems to possess!


  1. I see what you mean now about the downstairs loo. Looking at the photo made me feel ill! You're a brave lady getting in there and cleaning that up!!! Despite all the filth from the previous owners it's a lovely house and I just know once your done with all the decorating it's going to look amazing!