In November, Ian and I finally got onto the property ladder and bought a house. It had been a long time coming. We’d had a deposit in our bank account, but needed to find the right house.
We’d started looking in earnest back in 2012/2013, when we were renting a lovely flat near my parents’ house. I hadn’t believed we would be able to buy in our area, as it was horribly expensive, even with two good salaries and a decent deposit.
However, an old school friend had put me in touch with her husband, a financial advisor, who was able to put our finances into some perspective and tell us exactly how much we could afford.
At the time, it was a balancing-act between not being too far away for me to commute in time to get to work, and drop the kids to their places of childcare. It soon became apparent that it was going to be impossible to find that balance. So we ditched the plans.
A couple of years later, I had quit my job, which meant that our situation seemed even more despondent regarding buying a house (or flat/bedsit/kennel). We were living with my in-laws, and desperately wanted our own space.
Out of nowhere, my parents found some money and gave it to us. (This isn’t strictly true – it was largely due to dad being a ‘financial genius’ – but that’s another story.) It was a lot of money, and with our deposit over twice its previous size, we suddenly felt as though buying a house could become reality.
As I was no longer tied to my old job, we had more flexibility with our geographical location. We looked in various places outside of London, before finally finding a little house in a west-Kent village last summer.
The second I laid my eyes on the house through my laptop, I thought it was charming. We could afford it, too. Mum encouraged me to go and see it immediately. Upon phoning the estate agents, they were very helpful and accommodating and arranged an immediate viewing. I pegged it over to Kent with mum and the kids in tow.
We loved it.
Ian came with me to see it two days later on the weekend, and he agreed that we should put an offer in for it. This was a miracle, as Ian had been notoriously fussy (and quite rightly so).
We entered months of a very long-winded purchase. It was what it was. Nobody’s fault in particular (probably mine, if anybody’s, as I was terrible at keeping up with administrative duties on top of everything else).
We finally exchanged in November, and were in just before December hit. We’ve been incredibly busy ever since – home-improvements, Christmas, friends visiting, furniture being made (thanks dad!).
It has been pure magic living in our own home. Two months in, and the children are happy and settled. Finley loves his preschool. We love the area. Our house truly feels like home, to the point where I just don’t want to leave it!
We are very lucky. Yes, Ian works hard to pay the mortgage and bills, and I’ve just started to earn some proper money through freelancing. But I would be kidding myself if I were to say that we wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for the wonderful people who made it happen for us.
So, we wanted to say thank-you.
Thank-you to mum and dad for giving us some of the financial injection to make this happen. Dad ended up taking over the admin duties of the purchase, and basically took on all of the stress and hassle of buying a house on our behalf. He did it all. Mum was obviously living with him during this, supporting him and living it with him. Without them, we quite literally wouldn’t have been able to buy our house.
Thank-you to my in-laws, who took us into their home for nearly two years. They supported us financially during this time and also gifted us the other portion of our deposit. They let us turn their lives upside-down during our time there, and we were given the breathing-space to figure out where we were going to live.
Thank-you to our financial advisor Sebastian for sticking with us for the last few years. He provided an outstanding financial advisory service – went above and beyond in sorting things out for us so many times. He came to see us to go over figures, diligently responded to my emails – even when he was on holiday! He never appeared exasperated at us with our changing numbers and cock-ups (although I’m sure he was!). Sebastian essentially spoon-fed us everything we needed to do, was patient and kind with it, and we are forever grateful. Ian and I wish him and his family every success for the future.
Thank-you to our estate agents, KMJ Property. I know everyone loves to whinge and moan about estate agents. I cannot extend that sentiment to these guys. They are a family-business and were professional, thorough, transparent and helpful throughout. They were right on top of the purchase, giving me a good kick up the backside to get things done when needed. They advised us when we asked and were totally approachable. Nothing dodgy or unpleasant about them. They are a true credit to an industry which has a terrible reputation. Well done, Suzanne and David. London estate agents take note.
Despite my parents moving and buying properties several times throughout my childhood, I really had no appreciation for just how stressful property purchasing can be. We will be staying here for a few years, enjoying it until the boys grow out of it – which they inevitably will.
I have learnt a few things during the last few months… But, that is a whole other blog post! I just want to enjoy everything for now.
So, although I have tried to find some words in this blog post, I don’t think I can convey just how thankful we are to all for their vital and wonderful roles in getting us to where we are now – our own house.
Fiona, Ian, Finley & Fraser x