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Monday, 17 November 2014

Owl Guy: Buying a flat!

Renovation ideas London

As Candy has previously mentioned we are currently at one of those big life landmarks, becoming homeowners. But before we get into all the fun posts about interior decorating I am going to talk about the joy of actually trying to buy a house, or at least our experience. Now a quick disclaimer, this is by no means a generalisation, merely how it went down for us.

We started looking for places about a year ago, it was pretty disheartening initially since we had wanted to try and find something near our flat in South London. However, we quickly realised that London house prices being what they are we had no hope of finding something nice. We started looking at other areas and while much of London is painfully expensive there are lots of nice areas that are much more reasonable. After putting in a few offers on various places and getting outbid we put in an offer on a little place by London City Airport, we really liked it, super cute and a really interesting location (great for Candy’s love of aeroplanes). After quite a nailbiting wait the bank approved our mortgage application and we thought everything was going to work out. Alas upon the bank valuing the property they decided it wasn’t worth as much as we had offered and so they wouldn’t give us as much money as we needed which meant that we couldn’t go ahead with the purchase. We were pretty devastated at the time and did a lot of “grieving”, but in hindsight it seems to have worked out for the best.

After that, getting back into the house hunting game was pretty hard. It is hard to psych yourself up about something after a disappointment like that, but we did and after a few weeks break we started looking again. Around the end of March I went to a viewing in a Victorian terrace conversion flat, it was in pretty bad condition, woodchip wallpaper and artex everywhere and the kitchen ceiling was falling down, but it felt like with a bit (or it turns out, A LOT) of work it could be really nice. I got Candy to come and take a look and she totally agreed (yay!). Anyway, then began negotiations… Now I won’t get into too much detail here but the lease on the flat was short (which in the business means less than 80 years apparently…) and so we agreed that we would buy the flat only if they extended the lease first (because otherwise the bank wouldn’t give us a mortgage… notice a recurring theme). The seller agreed and so we were all set, we got the mortgage approved and were expecting to complete by the end of June, but wait! The lease! It turns out extending a lease is a painfully frustrating legal process... Coupled with all the lawyers going on summer holidays, we didn’t actually get the lease sorted until the end of October! So finally, about 5 months of constant emails and phonecalls we had bought a house!

So now we are in the process of renovating it so we can move in, I won’t give away any of the interior decor, since that will be in other posts, but I will say that watching the transformation is incredible. So watch this space, we are hoping to move in by Christmas and it will be the best present after what has been a completely exhausting year!

"Owl Guy" is a (nearly) monthly series written by my husband Dan, in which he chats about what we've been up to recently!

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60 comments:

  1. You're in now and this is where the fun starts! I am so happy for you guys, it must be such an exciting time for you both!

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    1. Eeee, thanks! I can't wait to get the renovations finished!

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  2. Wow- I'm sorry you had to go through so much hassle to get there, but it will be much more appreciated once you move in. I can't wait to see photos of your place once it's renovated!
    xx
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

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    1. I think we're going to be so relieved when we move in, and I don't think it'll feel real for a really long time!

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  3. Yey welcome to the land of home ownership - now the fun really starts! I don't think I could actually have done the UK house buying process, it all seems so drawn out with too many fingers in the pot. The turn around on the house we brought (after the first one fell through) was a little under 30 days, mind you we were approved for our mortgage before hand and the way the Michigan house buying regulations work you don't need lawyers etc to close. House buying certainly falls into place in the end, and I'm glad the first house we tried to buy fell through and we ended up living where we do now. We'd of loved to have brought a house, especially one in Detroit that needed work but we couldn't afford our apartment rent and a mortgage sadly so we'll have to save more of the doing up for another time and just work on fixing all the wood paneling and old kitchen in this one.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I believe that you'll reach all of your housely goals! And you'll do a great job of fixing your kitchen paneling too!

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  4. I would love to see before and after post! I think it would look great:) Can't wait to start my own house hunting

    Luxveritatis.| Beauty.Fashion.Crafts

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Don't you worry - there'll be one for every room! Haha! :)

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  5. Ohh, the process sounds so familiar, long and stressful. I can't wait to see the decor and I hope you'll be able to move in time for Christmas.

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle | UK

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    1. Eeee, me too! Fingers crossed! :)

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  6. Good luck with rest of it!! So glad you are finally getting there. I dread the house-buying process which we are looking at doing in the next couple of years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not always this arduous, I promise!!!

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  7. Sounds like a tiring process! So glad that it all worked out in the end. And that staircase is beautiful :)

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

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    Replies
    1. It was definitely tiring! It still is, what with all the driving and commuting back and forth. I can't wait to move in!

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  8. Home ownerships sounds complicated! I think for now, whilst we can't decide whether we want to settle or not, we will stick with renting. Although, I miss the idea of freedom that comes with owning a house.

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    1. It's really complicated, you're right! But remember you can always rent out a flat if you want to travel/move after buying!

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  9. Congrats, very happy that you've found a house finally! Good to see another Owl Guy post too :)

    vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Dan is so happy that people comment on his posts! He reads them all. :)

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  10. Hunting for apartments has been a nightmare for us already so I can imagine how house-hunting could be tough! But I'm glad you found a good one now! :)

    Looking forward to what you guys can transform it to!

    - Aileen | http://iAmAileen.com

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    1. Thanks! Stick around and I promise you will get to see! :)

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  11. Yay I'm glad y'all found a house! I can't wait to see more posts about it so I can see some before and after pics :D

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG please say "y'all" to us again! <3_<3

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  12. I'm so glad you Have found a house, I Wish you a good luck!
    Love, Paola.
    Expressyourself
    My Facebook

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  13. We look forward to how you plan on fixing it up! Fixer-uppers can be a long process but worthwhile!

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  14. Wooo! Go Owl Couple! Love that Owl Guy got to pen this post and get all the manly housing terms in like 'artex' *runs off to Google* Good luck with all the renovation and decoration - I can't wait to see what you do with the place! That kind of Victorian interior layout is just like the little terrace house I grew up in :) xx

    Tamsin / A Certain Adventure

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  15. This sounds super exciting! The house hunting & work will all be so worth it! :)

    Style Sunrise ☀

    :)
    x

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  16. Wow,I'm sorry you have to go through all that, but on the end you will be glad that you did.
    http://www.fabuloustorture.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's going to seem that much sweeter because of all the shizz we've been through!

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  17. Oh my gosh, how exciting!! I am a sucker for watching renovation shows so cannot wait to see how your house transforms - especially with your great taste. The whole process does seem pretty stressful and daunting. People never really consider factoring in the whole legal side whilst day dreaming about buying a house. Wish you all the best of luck with it and hope everything goes smoothly :)

    Cats In Crop Tops

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    1. I am getting obsessed with renovation shows too. The Great Interior Design Challenge is a firm favourite right now!

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  18. Sounds like you guys have been through a lot, but you must be so excited now to be creating your own place to live! Looking forward to seeing it! :)

    Hannah x | hannatalks

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    Replies
    1. Having our own little nest will be such a treat after crashing with the in-laws for such a long time! :)

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  19. It sounds like you guys are on a really exciting journey. Glad to hear things worked out the second time around.

    rae of love from berlin

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    1. It is exciting I guess, but nothing compared to yours! Your blog is an absolute inspiration! <3

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  20. hoorah! well done and congratulations you guys!

    can't wait to see the transformation!

    The Awkward Blog

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  21. Lots of my friends have just bought houses and the process sounds so frustrating! Scary. I don't think I'll be buying a house for another five or ten years to be honest! I'd love to do up a house though, at least when you're finished it will be exactly what you want :)


    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

    Too Faced giveaway

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    1. It is definitely scary but also incredibly exciting! :)

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  22. Good luck with doing up the house, I'm sure you'll make it look gorgeous in no time! x

    Beauty Soup || UK Beauty Blog

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    1. Thanks! It's coming along nicely! :)

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  23. Congratulations, that's fantastic I can imagine how hard and sometimes frustrating it must have been, but it paid of at the end I guess, can't wait to see the transformation!

    Much xxx
    CHRISTINANISTA.COM

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  24. glad everything got sorted in the end! i'm so excited to get my first place - enjoy decorating yours!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com

    ps. if you want to, enter my christmas giveaway to win £660+ worth of beauty products! click here.

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    1. I can't wait to get all the little details perfect!

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  25. At least you finally got everything sorted, hope everything else goes well with the house! Sounds like house hunting is extremely stressful, my only experience has been finding houses to stay in at uni, and that was stressful enough!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

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  26. Congratulations! I can't wait to see pictures of your renovations and your decor!

    Characters & Carry-ons

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  27. Congrats:) how exciting for you!

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  28. Its very nice post!. Congrats, very happy for you have found a house finally good to see another Owl Guy post too so very nice of your .Nebosh course in India thanks for sharing.

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  29. Your the best person I would love to this very nice post!see before and after post! I think it would look great! nebosh course in chennai|best safety training institute in india sound like good house!

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