So here's the good news I was going to share a couple of weeks ago! If you follow me on Instagram you probably already saw it - but we moved in our first owned home! It's been a pretty exciting (albeit stressful time) and we're super thankful it finally happened.
Technically we started the formal process a little under a year ago. It's a new build property and so it was essentially bought "off plan". This means that we were simply shown the plan of the development and then it was built from scratch. So I remember it was pretty hard for me to visualise how exactly it was going to turn out. But thankfully Tee was very much on top of it - being able to read the measurements and description off plan.
But to make up, my legal skills kind of came in handy, as I had a pretty good overview of the entire process and was able to review the contracts from a legal background. But the absolute great thing about new build is simply how new everything is! And being able to design it to your taste. So in one of my old posts, you may remember me rolling my eyes at the pretty horrible green carpet in our previous house that we couldn't do much about!
So flipping back a bit. While we started the formal process a year ago, we probably started talking about this like 5-6 years ago! When we both realised that we'd be in the UK - getting a house was something we considered. And so when we got married, it became a major goal. We started searching immediately mostly for inspiration and to understand how the process worked. We'd visit show homes regularly as well, and try to find a location that works. It's interesting how much you have to think about - location, (access to amenities, i.e. Train stations, leisure centres, shopping, schools), reputation of the builders and incentives, and of course budget!
Speaking of the latter the more practical bits of it was saving for the deposit - which was something we had to do together. So we put a percentage of our income separately for this. That's obviously something that isn't so easy. Unexpected bills come up and you just have to dip in there. But I think being intentional about it helps a lot!
Enough of an overview, here's the top four things I'm currently loving about this house:
1. The Open Plan Living
I may be wrong, but I feel like open plan houses are more typical to the US, but are definitely becoming more common in the UK. And I totally love it. For me, I love the fact that the kitchen is an extension of the dining area and living room. So while I don't really mind cooking, I actually quite dislike being locked up in a room called the kitchen while others are having a laugh in the living room. But with open plan, it's just one big space everyone can get along. Tee may be watching football in the living room and with me in the kitchen, we can still be having conversations. The one down side could be that food smells will easily diffuse into the living area, but an extractor is able to expel such smells (even though the sound drives me nuts!)
2. The Kitchen
The one thing I'm often particular about in a house is the kitchen. Small kitchens are an absolute no no and even in our rented home, the kitchen was priority! So I'm super happy with this one. It's not overly massive, but it's got sufficient storage space for our needs at this time. And what really has my heart now? A dishwasher! Oh my goodness. We had both never used a dishwasher and actually had to watch a YouTube video on how to use one. Plus I had no clue dishwashers used a separate kind of soap - which is more expensive than regular washing liquid. But nevertheless, I think it's a life saver especially for bulk washing.
3. My Space
Not really sure what to call this. But Tee objects to the idea of calling it "my room". Plus it really isn't because it won't have a bed. The idea of separate rooms isn't one that appeals to us. But that said, a woman needs extra space! If we broke down the walls connecting it to the master bedroom, that might be useful, but way too much hassle. Anyway this space would basically have my dressing table, work station, and wardrobe and maybe a couch for mediation, relaxation and prayers. One thing I know is that I want a white/mustard theme and I hope it turns out well - and not one of those things you visualise in your head perfectly, but actually just doesn't come out as planned.
I was in a conversation with someone once, and she said she didn't particularly understand how people had just one bathroom/toilet in their house. I rolled my eyes (only in my head as usual) and let her know we had just one of each. But asides the fact that we have a couple now thankfully!, I'm much more excited by an actual bath tub. Obviously I don't think I'll have a bath (in the tub) everyday, the shower is much more likely. But then having it as an option is great. On some days, I really wanted to simply relax in the tub - but no matter how hard one scrubbed our previous grey one, I simply couldn't put my back to it. So here's hoping those candle lit, champagne-in-hand calming-baths-as-a-form-of-self-care actually do happen.
This is own list. If we were to ask Tee, he probably would swap his home office/ study space for the kitchen or my space.
That's pretty much it. We'd probably be done decorating in a few weeks hopefully. At least such that its a functional home. I'm sure they'd always be stuff to tweak and include. My 'to-buy' list just keeps getting longer, and one must apply wisdom in money matters! Maybe I'll share photos of any thing particularly exciting, or storage solutions I've found helpful. After so many trips to IKEA, I feel they really do owe me a reward.
The one thing that we'd miss? Knowing that you could previously call a landlord to take care of any damage or hassles. Now we're pretty much in charge. We need to remember to call in all the warranties on appliances, get home insurance and generally try to be careful to avoid any major damage!
But it's an exciting journey.
And maybe time to start thinking of the next one? My friends want an 8 bedroom American style house that's incredibly massive with a bowling alley and everything you can think off. Perhaps the UK mindset is getting to me, but while I definitely want a big house, my dream house would be more of practical, cozy and functional.
What's your dream house and in what country / city would you love it to be. I'll love to hear and be inspired. Plus as my one time favourite quote by Walt Disney goes, "if you can dream it, you can do it"
pS: The above picture isn't the front of our home. Just in case you ever visit and become perplexed. But I love that yellow and white! So pretty.
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