Unfortunately Life With Mrs Lee has been somewhat neglected over the past few months which is mainly due to our recent house move! It’s already been almost two whole months since we moved in. So I thought it was about time I finally did a post all about the purchase of our first home and our renovation plans. I plan to document everything here on the blog as we go, so if interiors are your jam, keep an eye out for those posts over the coming months.
If you follow me on Instagram then you will know that at the end of last year we bought our first home! It was a little bit unexpected to be completely honest. I certainly wasn’t expecting to be moving house with such a young baby or so close to Christmas. We’d previously agreed that we’d like to buy a house in the next few years but we certainly weren’t looking (or so I thought!!).
But Josh is one of those people that is always browsing Rightmove. Whether he’s looking to move or not. It’s almost like he can’t help it. He is just property obsessed and loves to know what’s out there. He’d mentioned at the beginning of last summer that a house had caught his eye. Mainly because it was in a local village that we liked, one that has a lovely primary school that our niece and nephews go to. It was obviously playing on his mind. As by the end of September when he noticed that it still hadn’t sold, he told me he was going to book a viewing. I laughed and told him to go by himself as we weren’t moving any time soon. This wasn’t the first time he’d been to view a house ‘just because’ so I didn’t really think much of it.
So off he went to go and view it. He called me as soon as he got back in his car and told me he thought we should try and buy it. I think I told him he was crazy and we weren’t ready yet. But he was persistent (as always). He convinced me I should go and have a look around at least. We contacted a private mortgage broker to make enquiries about how much we could borrow and a couple of days later we went to have another look around. It turned out we could actually get a mortgage for much more that we had thought. By going through a broker he was able to find us way better offers than all the online calculators. We were also very lucky to only have to put down a 5% deposit.
Before I knew it we had put an official offer in, which after a bit of liaising, was accepted. Suddenly the ‘for sale’ sign turned to ‘sale agreed’. I didn’t let myself get excited as I was convinced something was going to go wrong and it would all fall through. But I was totally wrong and the sale itself was actually pretty straight forward as we were both chain free.
It was around two months between our offer being accepted and the sale completing. We moved in at the beginning of December which in hindsight, also went very smoothly. We used a local removals company to move all of our things and it made life so much easier on the move day.
The house is definitely not our dream home but it’s a really great start. And it has got us on the property ladder which we are so grateful for. Our new home is a three bedroom end of terrace. It’s in a quiet residential area of a lovely Sussex village. The previous owner had lived in it since it was built forty eight years ago. So as you can imagine, it’s pretty outdated decor wise but totally liveable. We have lots of renovation plans which will hopefully add value to it when the time comes for us to move on in a few years time!
We’ve wasted no time in getting stuck into doing up our new home. For us as a family the most important rooms in our home has always been the kitchen and dining room. The current layout of the house is a living room / diner and a separate kitchen. This just doesn’t work for us as a young family and we knew straight away that we would much prefer an open plan kitchen with dining space and a separate living room. So we plan to knock down the wall between the current kitchen and dining area to make our new kitchen diner and then to put up a wall to separate off the lounge.
After much deliberation we have chosen a light grey gloss handle-less kitchen with contrasting black worktops. White subway tiles (which caused ALOT of disagreements) with dark grout for the walls between the worktops and the wall cupboards. And a light grey toned laminate floor will run throughout most of the downstairs bar the living room.
There is also a room off the back of the house which was described as a ‘brick built shed’ but we have decided to make better use of the space and turn it into a utility room with a downstairs toilet at the back. We’ll have a second fridge freezer in the utility room along with the washing machine and tumble dryer. There will also be a few cupboards in there too for things like cleaning supplies and occasion table wear – which we have a hell of a lot of!
These two (soon to be three) rooms will probably be the biggest projects so we thought we’d get those out of the way first. We’re also putting gas central heating in at the same time as we currently have storage heaters and it made sense to do it whilst things were already being stripped back. Oh and we are having to re do all the electrics too. But luckily Josh is a qualified electrician, so he’s doing that all himself.
In fact, we are saving a small fortune by doing the majority of work ourselves (mainly Josh although I am pretty good at painting). My husband is quite the DIY enthusiast lets just say. So he’ll be ripping walls down, putting new stud walls up, fitting the kitchen, tiling, laying flooring, wiring electrics and painting himself. There are a few things we’re getting people in for like fitting the worktops, plastering and all the plumbing! I’ve had a few people tell me we’re crazy for doing the work ourselves, but I have every faith that Josh will do an amazing job. He’s a perfectionist with things like this, so I know it’ll be just fine.
I’m sure later in the year we’ll start on re decorating the other rooms in the house but this is all we have planned for now. We started a few weeks back and the utility room and downstairs toilet is already beginning to take shape. Things are starting to get a bit too chaotic at home with two young children around so we’re planning to move in with Josh’s parents for a few weeks while the majority of the work is being done.
Hopefully the next renovations related post I share will be of the finished utility area. I’m trying to take photos along the way so I’ll be sharing those here along with the after photos soon!