Buy a house: DONE!

Posted on Posted in 30 by 30

house3At long last – a house is ours!! I am as happy as can be. We finally found our forever-home!

We have easily seen a hundred houses over the course of the past year house-hunting and put in offers on about 6 of them.

I posted previously on the topic when we were already a fair while into what turned out to be quite a lengthy process for us (or me really, perpetually impatient). We had wanted to buy a house by ‘quarter one’ of 2013, but in retrospect we had probably wildly underestimated how competitive the housing market would be and how easily it would be for us to buy the house we wanted.

All that to say, in February we spotted a perfect little place in amazing condition (all new fittings!), and in the perfect location for both of us. We went to see it and immediately put in an offer although we didn’t get our hopes up. We thought they’d never accept our offer, and we’d been disappointed before for similar bids on houses in similar neighborhoods.

Luckily in less than a day our solicitor called to say the sellers had accepted!
house1The little 2-bedroom with the big back garden was soon to be ours!

Thus began a series of meetings with the bank/mortgage advisor (and sub-process of me getting my name changed for my paperwork) but with the end of this massive process in sight: all things going to plan, we get the keys on April 11th.

Mixed emotions with planning to get the keys to our new amazing house only to go on vacation (talk about power gaming life!) but so excited for our grown-up future!

house2

Buying a house is a lot of work. I knew it would be complicated, and easily the most expensive thing I would ever buy in my life (and I thought the wedding was bad!), but really nothing prepares you for it.

We had been saving for ages, and had already met with a mortgage advisor to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
We had a solicitor lined up who submitted our bids and offers on our behalf (as is the way in Scotland).
We had scoured ESPC for months (they’re great – it’s going to be bittersweet unsubscribing from all my notifications from them!).
We had even put in a couple bids on houses we’d seen and loved (and in fits of desperation, some we thought we could learn to love…).

We had everything set to go so that once we got an offer, things should in theory go smoothly towards us buying our first home. We didn’t know exactly what we were doing, but were ever optimistic.

However, try as we might, we just couldn’t seem to win a bid! We always seemed to bid too low or have to go to a closing date (wherein everyone who has bid can compete against each other for highest bidder). The closest we’d managed to come before having our offer accepted for this one out of the blue, was 6th-best. A real shock when you’re talking about differences and shortcomings in the 10s of thousands of pounds.

Ultimately, I think it came down to luck. I often wondered to myself how other people are able to buy and sell their houses so quickly and easily. Were they being less picky? Had they saved more money? Had they offered far over the valuation of the houses they had bought? It’s hard going when you’re a first time buyer, and although we have amazingly supportive families, often the market has changed significantly since the last time anyone had bought and so it was hard to come by any trick we could use when bidding.

I think I had hoped our solicitor would give us advice on how much to bid in order to win, but apparently this is not what a solicitor is meant to do.

In the long run, I’m so glad we stuck it out and got the house we did.

  • It’s in the perfect location. In retrospect, I can’t imagine living in Kirkliston – it would have totally changed our quality of living to be so far out of the city center.
  • It’s just the right size – far smaller than our current flat, but so much more potential to grow, convert and expand as we build our savings over time.
  • It has an outdoor space. BBQs! Chickens! Vegetable patch!
  • And it’s ours… finally a place we can hammer some nails in the walls without worrying about losing our deposit!

house4

I can’t wait to get settled and nest in a bit. As ever, I am so grateful for my smart and patient husband who keeps me calm when life hands me lemons. Can’t wait to do some gardening and BBQing with him this summer!

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