She dreamed of buying her own home, a place where roots could grow, and happiness be sown. Where walls would hold the stories of a young couple in love. Stolen kisses laced with honey, creating a serenade that banishes all pain. A symphony of laughter, bouncing off the walls. In their very own colourful bedroom, whispers of affection twirl through the air. Where hearts can truly rest, enveloped in adoration. She would be greeted by the echoes of those who lived before. The scent of promise dancing through the air. And so the journey to acquiring their dream home would begin. Imagining a house that would belong completely to them.
Two home-bodies, cozy at last. Bringing colour into the home, a dopamine filter. Reds, greens, and purples too. Three cats dancing in a garden of whimsy. Paws swiping at petals, a ravaged bloom. Their emerald eyes gleaming in the inky darkness of night. Yes, she could imagine it. A simple couple. Wanting nothing more than a home where their three cats could enchant the stars, with their expressive yowls. For many, the property ladder seemed like a far off dream. But to A, no matter how long it took, they would buy their own home. A place with a garden to escape the world outside. Their very own conservatory. A large bedroom, and an office space too. A home that felt comforting yet vibrant. A safe space, a haven. Where they could collect their thoughts in tranquility.
But how could they make that dream a reality? As first-time home buyers they were unexperienced. For the last two years, they had rented a flat, which came with trials and tribulations of its own. Cupboards that were falling apart, a leaky ceiling. Mildew on walls, stained floorboards. Heat that was never-ending. Yet, despite this, they loved their home. A loft-style bedroom, with hidden nooks and crannies. An open-plan living room wafting into the kitchen. Just above a shop, convenient too. But a home was different. How would they know what they needed? Would it be a one bedroom house, with a garden. Or would they look to the future? She would make it her mission to find out. From finding the right estate agent, to setting a realistic budget, here was how they would find their dream home.
Budget For Your Dream Home
She wouldn’t call them fancy, far from it. Their needs were simple, all they needed was each other. Sure some craved a grand facade, that whispered tales of prosperity in the night. A rich mansion, swathed in opulent halls. A fortress of marble regal and grand. Eternal staircases cascading, carpeted in the finest fabrics. But to them, it was a fairytale. A game of make-believe. Sure, it would be nice. To have chandeliers like shimmering sunbeams. To dance in rambling gardens, a sea of green. But they looked for something different. Something real, something tangible. They didn’t have that kind of budget. They wanted something normal. Refreshingly normal. A place that felt like home. A dream home that was just right.
Instead their dreams were smaller. A soft pink cottage, dainty and sweet. Crawling with creeping ivy, threaded with roses. A fixer-upper, something that would build over time. A project that they would finance on their own. Work hard for. The fruits of their labour would come through. Slightly weathered and worn, a tumble-down, yet romantic. A cottagecore enthusiasts dream come to life. Where time would slow down, and worries would be rare.
Yet, they were realistic. Their first home would be something simpler. Every room a canvas for love and unity. Where windows would smile, embracing sunlight’s grace. A house that invited warmth and solace. The reality of their finances was they couldn’t afford much just yet. The cost of living in London was only getting higher. Their rent increasing, bills going up. Even the most basic neccessities were more expensive than they should be. But they wouldn’t let the rat race get them down.
Even if it took a few years, their dream home would become a possibility. They would track their outgoings, cutting down on unneeded costs. Takeaways to a minimum, walking where they could. Minimizing food shops, and being better with their money. They’d make a list of costs they may have overlooked. Of how much they could and should spend. Initial down payments, a fresh coat of paint. Keeping an eye on mortgage rates. Insurance, local taxes and routine upkeep. They would always think long-term.
Dig Deep Into The Housing Market
She’d always fancied herself as Sherlock. An investigator, whose curiosity often got the better of her. Who didn’t like being left in the dark. The unknown scared her, she needed all the answers. D, her partner was the opposite. Living for the present rather than the future. More spontaneous than a planner. Who took each day, one step at a time. Yet, when it came to the housing market, finding their dream home meant planning. She would note down what they couldn’t compromise on. A house without a garden? Not a chance. A small room? Not with their storage.
Finding out what they couldn’t live without would narrow the search. Leading them one step closer to the house of their dreams. Location was important too. Near to work opportunities, and their local doctors. The hospital nearby. Close-by to ammenities like shops. A home that was close to the station, but not too close. Not too noisy, not too quiet. Granted, they could budge on some of their requirements for the right home. But this was their basic needs and wants.
They would look at their buying options too. Perusing a useful guide on shared ownership, that eased their money worries. Supported by the government, helping people buy a home who couldn’t afford to do so on the open market. That was them. Part-buy, part rent, one of the most affordable home ownership options. A chance to purchase a share of a property, usually between 25% and 75%, while paying subsidised rent on the remainder. Whether they stayed in London, looked at great options in Essex, or elsewhere, their deep dive would pay off.
Pre-Approval: Your Golden Ticket
A mortgage pre-approval would come next. A lender showing how much we can afford to borrow to buy a home. A great head start on the home buying process. Showing financial documents that would help confirm their income, credit score, assets and liabilities. Sharing tax documents, recent bank statements and a few payslips were a must. Yet, it would all be worth it, when their dream home transpired. After all, having a pre-approval letter would not only evidence their budget, but it would also show sellers they meant business.
Once the pre-approval was complete, they would feel much clearer. Knowing their price range, and how much they could afford. Beginning their hunt in a realistic way that managed their expectations. But they would need to seek their pre-approval a few months before they would purchase a home. They would sit down with a lender, who would assess their financial health. Gathering relevant documents such as tax returns and W-2s (two years worth), and bank statements. Employment history and verification would be needed.
It seemed like a lot admittedly. That much was true. But with the lender’s home, it would be a smooth transition. Filling out the mortgage application, using your social security number. Your credit report checked. Two months worth of documentation put forward for any assets you planned to use for youe home purchase. This would include (but not limited to) savings accounts, stocks or bonds .
Picking Your Real Estate Sidekick
The property world seemed like a dizzying maze. Where mortgage rates would dance with budgets, figures entwined. In a waltz of uncertainties, a puzzle defined. Sure, they’d done their research. But they weren’t housing experts. They’d enlist the help of an estate agent. In their hands, keys to doors yet unexplored. Where dreams are moored, and futures unfold. Breathing life into crumbling bricks. With delicate words, tales of humble abodes told. A sigh of relief, as they would guide as gently. But how would they find their dream agent? They could ask around for reccomendations, but wasn’t that a matter of personal taste? It seemed like Google would be their friend. Looking for an estate agent whose experience and area knowledge matched what they were looking for.
Someone who understood them. Who wasn’t trying to sell them a dream, but to live their dream. So what made a good estate agent? What should they look out for? They would start with the reviews. Understanding what was important to them. They would need someone who lived, and breathed houses. Who had years of experience selling properties, with success. Who often made a sale at asking price. Who had a good average selling time. Not too quick so they weren’t at the expense of price. But not too slow either. The agent would need to be reputable. With good proven reviews, and accredited by a reputable estate agency.
Their track record was important. But so were their virtues. Someone who was open and communicative. Who had our best interests at heart. Comfortable with adapting to our needs, but managing expectations too. It wasn’t just about the buying of the property process. But the way the agent operated too. Offering advice but listening to what we needed too. Feeling like we were being taken care of.
Making The Move To Your Dream Home
Their dream home might be a few years away, but they felt like they were already there. Embracing the dance of change, as a new chapter was formed. A house filled with the laughter of owners past. The walls adorned with stories, woven tapestries of time. They would be ready to take the plunge, overcome with emotion. Each room a different memory, leaving behind the shadows of the past. They would discuss their future house with their agent, and arrive at a sensible offer. Once accepted, sifting through countless paperwork, tick tock, 1,2,3. But it would all be worth it to see the dream they visualized come true.
Their new home would be just a signature away. Until at last it would be theirs. But still, even all these years in the making A and D had so many questions. She put them into bullet points:
- How would they know if they were ready? They would gauge their finances, until they were stable. If there were no immediate huge expenses, their dream home would be in reach.
- Tax on buying? Property tax existed. That elusive waltz of measured gold. But there were benefits too. Mortage interest deductions, worth researching a bit.
- Insurance types? Jargon that made her head spin. But homeowners insurance was a must. A safety net for their precious house.
- Best mortgage deal? If there was one thing she knew, it was to do her research. Compare, compare, and compare. They would never settle on the first one they saw.
- Home-viewing tips? Last but not least. The structural health and the vibe of the locality. Also, some heart. Would it be right for them?
Decorating Your Home And Making It Yours
At last the keys were in their hands. Jingle-jangling, as they opened their front door for the first time. Sure, the paperwork was done, but their journey was just beginning. It would be exciting, a tale of personalization. A chance to put a stamp on their home, and make it come to life. They would start with a lick of paint. Bold, and vibrant colours cascading across blank walls. An empty canvas for memories they’d look back on fondly. She felt the colours burst gloriously, a dopamine rush. Heady like fizzy strawberry laces, nostalgia washing over the pair. Walls of duck egg blues and pastel pinks. Sea greens, and neutral accent hues.
Personal touches that would make the home uniquely theirs. The front door that created conversations. An Instagrammable pink door that Barbie would be proud of. No patterns just colour, a welcome surprise to visitors. Inside, their dopamine candyland; complementary colours, blending seamlessly. Acessories as fun and serotonin inducing as the quirky pair. Novelty lamps, and acid-bright posters. Colourful yet somehow put together. The living room their crowning glory. Carefully considering the layout and structure of their home. Upcycled old furniture given a new lease of life. From drab to fab, the blank space transformed.
Regular Maintenance Is Key
It went without saying that maintenance was significant. Even in their current flat, there was never ending work. A toliet that needed to be fixed. A leaky ceiling made worse by torrential rain. Regular cleaning of mildew and mould. A house would be no different. From cleaning the gutters to checking the roofing, she knew being proactive would save money in the long run. They’d set aside a fund for home repairs. After all, unexpected housing issues like plumbing could crop up when least expected. She had other housing musts too. A checklist, like the planner she was. It helped to be mindful if they needed to make an insurance claim. If their property was in disarray, the insurer could refuse to pay out!
Looking up at their own weary roof, as it spun dreams of clear liquid, she pondered. Having their dream home wouldn’t be easy. But it would teach them so much about life. How they’d navigate living together in a larger space. They would carry out routine maintenance. The easier checks that were just as important. Working fire alarms, a boiler that functioned properly. Fixing any damp patches that sprung up. The outside of their home would matter too. Gutters that were in good shape. Not blocked or overflowing. Brickwork just as important. Looking for any erosion or missing pointing in the joints.
Then there were the seasonal checks. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Autumn particularly a key time of year. Radiators that needed to be bleeded, to ensure an even spread of heat. Pipes that were properly insulated so they didn’t freeze in the colder months. If they kept on top of it, their home would be their dream project come to life. But left to disarray, it would become a ruin, financially spiralling out of control. They knew what option they would choose.
Be Active in Your Community
The two of them never had an environment were they were so involved in their community. Having their dream home (and hopefully nice) neighbours, could show them something new. After all, they didn’t just invest in bricks and mortar.They would be part of a community now. But how could they take part? They would attend local meetings and participate in community events. Local fairs, and local stalls. Events for their local area, raising money for the people that lived there. A always said she liked doing things that helped make a difference. Even now, living in a flat, they tried to make a change. Donations to a food bank, clothing given to charity.
But they wanted to do more. Even outside of community events, getting to know their neighbours was key. Growing up in the countryside, everyone knew and spoke to each other. Let in London, it could seem isolating. People who barely spoke to each other. They hoped that their own home would change things. After all, with three beautiful cats, how could the neighbours not fall in love? Besides, the neighbours and community would have incredible advice. From the best nearby restaurants, to finding a handyman, they would be a beacon of knowledge.
Refinancing And Future Financial Decisions
As time passed, they would consider refinancing their mortgage to benefit from lower interest rates. But what did that mean? If their current deal was about to end, they would be put on a higher standard variable rate around 7.5- 8%. Granted, it went without saying that they would assess their finances. But most importantly, it could help them save money. Especially if their home had increased in value, and they were worries about their interest rates going up. Money always seemed like a tangled web to A. A mis-match of numbers that went over her head. A source of constant anxiety, that left her scared. Yet, with the right advice, their home would be complete.
Then there was option two. Buying a second property as an investment, to add to their portfolio. Becoming property moguls, with a vision for a secure future. After all, the UK market was resilient. Despite the cost of living crisis, and COVID-19, it would bounce back. Offering consistient short and long-term returns. They would diversify their income, while brushing up on market trends. An asset that would grow over time. In their minds investment could lead to greater rewards, with significant long-term returns.
Wrapping It Up
And so their dream home would become a reality one day. In a quaint little cottage nestled by the trees. Where the gleaming sunlight teased the wispy breeze. A splash of colour, blooms in green, pink, and red slithering through the grass. Bemused felines digging for hidden treasures in this secret garden. Soft paws deftly hunting, emerald and hazel eyes sparkling in the light. Autumn leaves unfurling on the floor, the tip-toe of a young child squealing with excitement. A couple watching on, tucked up on their special bench. Tears in their eyes. Their dream home wasn’t just a place. It was a feeling. One they would cherish forever.
A continous learning experience, a journey that kept them on their toes. But they wouldn’t change it for the world. Every step would offer something new. From the initial purchase to maintaining its charm, the work would be incessant. But in the best way. They would remember to enjoy the essence of their home. To hold onto memories, to live life the way they had always wanted. Above all their dreams would come true. Because their dream home would be their forever home. Bringing warmth and laughter until the early hours. Walls that crackled with life and vitality. Rooms that whispered tales of love, and adoration. A happy place, their place.
What Are Your Tips For Finding Your Dream Home?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.