Our 2021 Interior plans for our New Build Home

I moved into a new build home 1 week before Christmas…did you know? Of course you know, because it was the only thing I was banging on about the back end of 2020.

Yes, the end of 2020 was as hectic as can be, but there’s no complaining, it was nice to be ending that strange old year in our brand new home. Alas, upon moving in, we began to see the huge task list we were subconsciously building in order to make our blank canvas our home.

Aside from painting and injecting colour, we seem to have adopted some other internal jobs that I hadn’t expected when buying brand new. Of course, everyone has different tastes, but there seems to be a hugeeeee list of jobs despite having that just finished, completely new home.

Tile the main Bathroom

Our quote for more tiles and a shower fitted over our bath in the main bathroom was extortionate, especially considering how much it would cost privately to have the job done. So this is something we knew we would do once we’ve moved in. Having lived in our property for a couple of weeks, we have realised it’s something we are desperate to get done, just to add something more to what feels like a bland bathroom.

Install Towel Radiators

Once again, this is something we didn’t upgrade with the builder, mainly because we wanted a different colour compared to what they offered. It’s another job to add to the list but one we are desperate having previously had towel radiators and already missing their practicality.

New Internal Doors

A rather controversial one when we spoke to family and friends initially, but now the flooring is down and our furniture in, everyone agrees. The internal doors original to the house were not plain white like usual, but a horrible, bland oak design which does not match our decor at all.

It’s something we are fairly frustrated with as its not something the developers would change and all we want is the usual white door that you would typically find in any other new build home. But its a change that will finish off our home, especially once we start painting and implementing our colour palette.

Extend the patio

Turning our eye to the exterior of our property, there is alot to do outside our home. With a mud bath as a garden, we do have a blank canvas to sculpt a garden to suit our lifestyle. Firstly, we want to extend the patio from the measly 4 x 4 patio we were left with.

Like others, we like to host, so having an extended patio for evening drinks and summer BBQs is a must.

Lay Turf

Our cockapoo pup is desperate for some green turf to run, explore and of course poop on. We are hoping this is something that will be done promptly, as having a puppy pooping and weeing on that tiny patio is wearing thin. It would also be lovely to look outside and see a lawn of Green.

Soften with plants

Just like inside, we want to soften the outside too. We have some plants to the front, but of course, we want to soften the stark garden with foliage and seasonal bulbs. We are not usually green fingered, but after some practical garden Christmas presents, we are both excited and eager to get stuck in in the garden.

Window Boxes

Whilst there are some flowers and greenery out the front, being a new build, it isn’t exactly established. A window box for our kitchen window will add some much needed colour and interest where it seems a little bland.

External Lighting

One external light outside our front door is just not enough, especially having a drive which quickly gets dark during the winter months. We hope to install some external lights to illuminate our drive and the brick wall that edges it.

We have a busy busy year ahead, making our new build property our home. This pretty extensive list of jobs and interior wishes of course doesn’t include those cosmetic jobs like painting, furniture and artwork. But we like to keep active and this year is a year we will be more so then ever.

We are ripping out our brand new, new build kitchen! – Here’s why…

I would be lying if I said we didn’t get a lot of raised eyebrows when we say we are replacing the brand new kitchen in our new-build property.

When it comes to buying a brand new home, you would think you have endless options and choices to make when it comes to making your new home personal to you and your style. And whilst some house builders do offer a lot of upgrades, additional extras and general options on the basics, some do not. And unfortunately our house-builder falls into that latter category.

Now call us snobby, but we were so desperate for some upgrades in our kitchen, and yet unfortunately we were told we do not qualify to upgrade anything! We were prepared to spend a little more on different style doors, a higher quality of worktop, a bigger oven. And yet we couldn’t. So, after 3 hours of choosing a kitchen that we didn’t like, weeks of searching for additional units, and trying with all our might to like the options we had, we decided it was best to buy all new.

Read : 6 Things to know before you buy a new build property.

Functionality

Number one reason for installing a new kitchen is functionality. The kitchen in our new property lacked storage and user-friendly space. With a under counter oven, two over counter cupboards and just one draw, it really lacked usable storage we desired for a family home.

Compared to the kitchen we had in a two-bedroom apartment, we were losing 50% of our cupboard space and storage. Despite having more wall and floor space available. We had been given a downsized oven and sink too!

Our new improved kitchen will give us 7 usable cupboards with smart storage solutions, one large pull out larder, 3 plinth draws, 2 narrow spice racks and space for our built in fridge/freezer, washing machine and dishwasher! We have kept all counter space and moved our oven into a tower unit and given ourselves a larger sink. Win Win all round!

Design

As with any part of a home, it can often be to personal taste. So whilst many would love what we choose from the developers, unfortunately it isn’t exactly what we had in mind. We had dreamt for a dark, matt, handle-less kitchen, which was far from the only dark colour ( bluey – purple) high gloss, silver handled, light butcher block design we opted for with the developers.

The newly designed kitchen instead has the look and feel we were looking for. Our new home style is modern retro and we wanted our kitchen to reflect that. With a darker colour palette, including the units and counter top, we’ve achieved the look and feel we were after for our modern new build home.

Long Lasting

When we were choosing our first house ( second property ) we knew we would be in it for a long time. Any property purchase is an investment, but for us, this was especially. We are up sizing, hoping one day to fill the spare rooms with little feet. So, a kitchen that can’t support a family Christmas with a over sized Turkey, and offering plenty of storage and cooking space is vital for many happy years in our new home.

We have come across lots of raised eyebrows when it comes to our kitchen plans – even from the developers themselves. But we are so excited to upgrade and get the kitchen we have always wanted.

Throughout our entire house purchase process we have been making sure we choose what we want for both practicality and style. And that was the same for our kitchen. We knew the functionality would grate very quickly, along with the downgrades on what we had previously. So instead of us waiting to get incredibly frustrated with the kitchen, why not fix it straight away.

Revealed : Our New Home Colour Palette – PLUS how you can create yours!

One of the biggest things I am determined to nail in our new home is that all important colour palette. It took 4 years to inject some colour into our previous property and I am fixated on the idea of getting ours right, first time around! I just couldn’t cope with living in a white box again.

I believe establishing an entire home colour palette helps focus the search for new pieces and styling – key when furnishing and decorating a new home. Since we had lots of furniture pieces to keep and incorporate into our new home, we already had something to work around.

After lots of searching, in home stores and on pinterest, we have managed to create a home colour palette for paint and furniture, to work with and drive focus for styling and purchasing. So without further ado, here’s our home colour palette, and how we managed to pick and create it, so you can do the same!

Read : Lessons I learnt from decorating our first home

A New Home Colour Palette

I am so in love with our colour palette it is unreal. After lots of ‘soul searching’ I really did wonder whether we would be able to find a new colour palette that felt like us, complimented our personal style and was ultimately new.

When thinking of an entire home colour palette, its important to define your rooms as different spaces, but also bear in mind the palette as a whole also. Having a complete palette that compliments throughout will help make your entire home flow and feel as one.

Essentially, if we were to bundle every colour from our palette, into one room, it would work together well. This is a sign that we have created a unified colour palette.

How to do it digitally

I used canva to create our colour palette. Search paint websites for different shades and upload these into a template. Overlapping them and playing around with different colours digitally can give you a real representation of your palette and how well the colours work together on the screen, but eventually in a space.

Our ‘Red Thread’

Despite the rule really being you should have one ‘red thread’ colour, we have two. Yep, two. And ours is Graphite and Off-white ( Hollyhock ).

With every space in the new home, I was leaning towards black furniture and white styling pieces. And whilst at first I thought that should just be the palette of the home, I really loved having colour in our last property, and I didn’t want to feel like I was living in a black and white film!

Our home ultimately has both Graphite and Off-white ( Hollyhock ) present in every space, unifying the entire home and making it feel flowing throughout. These star colours bind the palette together and offer a base colour for every space in our home. These colours will be used in the furniture and woodwork.

For example, in the Kitchen the Graphite is our kitchen units and surfaces. The Hollyhock will be paint work and walls. Slaked Lime Dark will be our feature wall backing onto the dining space.

My advice to create yours

There is no one size fits all when it comes to creating a home colour palette. But there are some key points to remember when starting afresh and defining yours.

Here are my top tips for you to kick-start and create the perfect home colour palette for you.

1 : Don’t Rush – start early

Rushing a colour palette will always end in disaster. Take your time, order lots of samples and search pinterest for inspiration. Start early too. If you want to be painting and decorating in the new year, start thinking colours now. This will give you plenty of time to swap and change, without fret of taking too long.

2 : Consider your furniture

Whether you will be buying new, or keeping your current pieces, considering the furniture you will be using throughout your home is vital for choosing a palette that compliments them, rather than clash!

3 : Focus on the key areas of your home

Kitchen, Living Room and Bedroom are your vital areas of your home. Trying to inject different colours or shades into every room is a hard task, so focusing on those key rooms and working out from there, will help focus your palette.

Remember, you don’t need to have lots of different colours and shades for every room. Much rather, use the colours from other rooms differently to keep consistency and flow.

I will be using a combination of the colours I have already picked for my other spaces in my home ( WC / Spare Bedroom / Office / Bathroom ).

4 : Don’t dwell on the trends

It’s so easy to be swept up in the new trends when it comes to painting. But, who wants to re-paint their entire home every year as the trends change? Keep your soft furnishings and styling pieces for the trends and use paint colours and shades that will compliment these changes.

5 : Use feature walls

If you’re not afraid to change the paint colour often, use feature walls and different painting techniques to inject some of the bolder colours of your palette. Top and Tailing spaces with feature walls can bind in those colours, without overwhelming a space.

Read : Unique ways to paint your walls

I have thoroughly enjoyed creating our home palette and would strongly urge everyone to do the same. It’s proved instrumental in making key decisions for our new home including flooring colours, tile choices and key furniture pieces. It’s helped us truly define our style for our entire home, whilst embracing different moods and trends in different spaces.

If you want to create a unified, flowing home that oozes style, nestle down and create a home colour palette. It’s not just for paint colours, its for soft furnishings and styling too!

Will you be creating a home colour palette? Is there more you want to know about how we are creating a unified home? Get chatting in the comment section below!

6 Things to know BEFORE you buy a New Build home

We sold our house in 3 days, during a pandemic, and went into panic mode. Talk about moving quickly! We honestly had no idea we would go under offer so quickly, ergo, we panicked and kinda forgot some of the most important things when buying a new build home.

Whilst we had bought a new build property previously, there were somethings we didn’t need to think about before, and new things to consider since we were both buying and selling. So what is really important to know, when selling a property and buying a brand new property?

I have created an easy guide that would have really helped us when starting the process of buying a new build home. Some of these things you may not have considered, and others might be things to just bear in mind when looking at buying new.

This might seem like a witch hunt on new build properties, and it really isn’t. We bought a brand new property for our first home, and we have recently exchanged on our second. New Build homes offer modern properties which are ready to live in. Whilst they may lack the character of a Victorian or similar space of a older build, new build properties offer all the mod-cons a growing family or first home owner would need. Much like buying a new car, there is reassurance to be had when buying new, knowing that there’s nothing else more to be done, than make it your own.

Read : How to decorate a new build home to create a beautifully styled abode.

You’ll need to pay a Reservation Fee

Unlike any other property that you may put an offer on, a new build home usually requires a down payment / reservation fee to secure the plot. Yes, it makes my blood boil. And it can range from just £99 to as much as £2000. This is usually taken off the deposit you pay, but it is an upfront cost to bare in mind, and one that usually is only accepted by bank transfer – so no credit cards can cover it i’m afraid!

You’ll often be given Tight Deadlines

Developers are notorious for wanting a quick turn around when it comes to their properties being under offer, exchanged and of course completed – especially if the property is already built. This is something to consider, as most developers look for a period of just 28 days before exchange. For many, this comes and goes with little problems and developers tend to be flexible, especially if they are aware things are moving forward. But beware, they will certainly be on your case a heck of a lot more than a normal house sale / purchase.

They’ll push for you to use their services

And by services I mean solicitors and mortgage brokers that they recommend. This is mostly so they can earn some commission from referring you to these other companies and tend to be corporate, national providers. We made a mistake on our first property by using the recommend solicitors and brokers and have since ( whilst selling ) been missing key information and documentation that we should have received during our purchase. Don’t believe that you can not buy without using their recommend services, and stick by your guns if you would prefer to use local solicitors and brokers.

Additional extras are non-refundable

Most developers offer lots of additional extras to their properties, including light fittings, kitchen finish and much much more. This can vary hugely from developer, but all will need to know options and any additional extras before the roof is complete on your property.

Choosing your kitchen cupboards, surfaces and tiles choices are basic practice and shouldn’t cost you any extra, but this may not be viable if your property is already in its final stages.

Common additional extras include the following :
  • Spotlights ( instead of single light pendant )
  • Flooring package throughout the property
  • Shower fitting and screen over a bath
  • Up to ceiling tiling in the bathroom
  • Heated towel rails ( instead of a radiator )
  • Shaver sockets in the bathrooms
  • Upgrade on plug sockets finish

Any additional extras you do choose, will require upfront payment, and will often be non-refundable should you not proceed with your purchase. This is well worth noting, since its an additional outlay for some prior to exchange.

There maybe some covenants

If you’re looking at purchasing a new build which you plan to immediately alter, for example building a conservatory, extending the back or even building a garage, be weary of convenants on the property. Lots of developers include convenants on their properties for a period of 5-10 years. Once again this can depend on the developer, but it’s worth asking and considering, especially if you’d want to make any additions early on.

Other common covenants include satellite dishes being banned from the front of properties. Ask this when you visit the development and look at other already established properties on the site if you can, to see if they have satellite dishes.

It really is a blank canvas

Some people hate this and others love it, but new build properties are quiet literally a blank canvas. Aside from some upgrades, a new build home is one to make your own, but this shouldn’t be underestimated. Rear gardens often lack grass, every room tends to be white, and without little else, it can feel fairly stagnant. Know that whatever additional extras, or how keen you are, it will take time and funds to get the property looking and feeling like a home.

This is of course the same for any property, but it shouldn’t be underestimated how much time and work creating a green space and injecting some personality takes to a new build home.

With all this being said, and it possibly sounding a lot worse than it is, new build properties offer space, modern living and an opportunity to either step up or on to the property ladder. My biggest advice is to be open, honest and be prepared to do chasing when needed. All the whilst you are prepared to get going, it tends to work out fine. Developers just don’t like dawdlers.

Would you buy a new build property? Were there some things that you didn’t know when buying new? Get commenting in the section below.

How to decorate a new build home and create a beautifully styled abode.

A little over 4 years since we moved into our new build, 2 bed apartment. And whilst pinterest makes white on white interiors dreamy as hell, decorating a white washed, no personality new build can be tricky. Where do you start?

I’m ashamed to admit, that we made some pretty awful design ideas when first moving into our new build property. It’s daunting when you have so many rooms and little to no idea on how to utalize space and incorporate interior design. So, how do you easily decorate a new build without splurging un-necessarily.

Here’s my top tips on nailing a new build interior, and how I would do it again.

Don’t rush

It’s really easy, in any home, to rush right in and paint, choose colour schemes and buy furniture. My biggest regret in our new build home was buying new furniture without really living within the property. We ended up having to sell or make do with some of the pieces we had purchased and wasted money and time.

Even if it’s for a couple of weeks, live in your home before purchasing anything new and deciding on anything certain.

Your home changes in the light, so living within it for some time before deciding colour can help you establish what will work in the space and lighting.

Moodboard

A really coherant home centres on spaces that work together. Having a colour palette across your entire home can create a real flow and sense of unity in your property. Moodboard as much as you can, and be weary of each room and the impact on the entire feel of your property before going ahead with anything.

Consider your red thread in your home too. This is a idea that a single colour can be found in every room of your home , unifying all spaces and creating that much needed flow, through the use of one colour in every space. For example : Grey is our red thread and can be found in every room of our property. It is used in different ways in different spaces, and combined with different colours in different spaces too.

Moodboards are really easy to create, on and offline. I hugely recommend canva and of course using pinterest to source ideas and imagery. You can get old school and use magazines, printed images and scissors and glue.

Go Bold

Many avoid new homes, partly due to the reputation they can hold, but partly because they lack character. New build homes can be found nationwide with little to no difference from each other, being branded as boring.

I don’t agree. New builds can certainly carry character, especially inside. Going bold with colour and installing your own design elements can carry your new build into a new dimension.

Any change to your bare white walls will feel huge, but know that colour can transform your bland new build. Don’t be afraid to feature bold wallpapers, patterns and designs too. Know that pattern can add depth into your space and allow you to play with space and colour.

Paneling is huge. Mainly because it’s super easy to incorporate into a modern home and is fairly inexpensive. Going bold with unique paneling on a feature wall is a great way to inject character and easily decorate your new build. Paneling can be used in any room, including a bathroom.

Change the fixtures and fittings

Most new builds come with run of the mill fixtures and fittings. Upgrade them. Swapping the usual door handles, plugs, sockets, light switches and kitchen handles can upgrade and refresh your ‘basic’ home. If it’s just the colour, why not spray paint handles for a inexpensive upgrade on the usual.

Inject personality

There is no one way to inject your personality into your home, much rather is a combination of lots of things. Don’t worry, I will explain them all and how you can use these ideas in your brand new home.

Styling

Styling is so so so important in your new home. Style your space using decor pieces, ornaments, house plants, candles and more. Shop wisely and take your time. Carefully purchased decoration pieces will help inject personality and decorate your new build home.

Wall Art

Walls should never be completely bare. Hanging wall art, gallery walls and hangings can all inject much needed personality into your new build home.

Shop prints, have memories framed and vary the frames you use to incorporate different styles

Layer

There is nothing more comforting than layers within a home. Fluffy cushions, throws and blankets create a softness in your space. It’s another opportunity to play with colour and patterns too. Make sure your new build home has plenty of layers.

Colour

Colour is really important, especially in a blank home. As mentioned before, curate a colour palette for your entire home, focusing on colours that you enjoy and emit the correct energy and vibe for your home.

Texture

A great home has lots and lots of textures working together within it. Hard floors, fluffy rugs, cane furniture, wicker baskets. A balance of different materials throughout your home can help soften the harsh blandness that can often be felt in new build homes. Carefully selecting a combination of different materials can help massively.

Decorating your new build home will take time. Unfortunately it’s something you don’t want to rush and its wise not too. Getting it wrong will only cost you in money and time. Be brave and enjoy the process.

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Buying your first home – Top tips you need to know

Owning a home is a millennials dream. And whilst it’s easy to laugh, it has become almost impossible for many of us to take that first crucial step onto the property ladder. With property prices on the rise, and the demand for higher deposits do too, it’s no surprise it seems a pipe dream for many.

And yet whilst I type this, I’m sitting at my dining table in my mortgaged 2 bed apartment I bought nearing 4 years ago.

No I’m not an enigma, and yes it is absolutely possible to own your own. It takes hard graft of saving and some discipline when it comes to spending. I and my partner didn’t rent beforehand so luckily we didn’t have high rents to pay whilst trying to save for a deposit. But, enough about how I got here, I’m here to help you now you are ready to buy.

So where do you start? Do you really know much about mortgages, interest rates and solicitors? Here’s my top tips when you’re embarking on your first steps on the ladder.

Read : Furnishing and Decorating your new home
Read : CURTAINS & NETS INTERIOR STYLE : A REAL LAYERED LOOK

Shop for your mortgage

Don’t just settle for what seems like a good deal. Shop around as much as you would for anything else. If leaning on a fixed-rate mortgage, you will be tied to this for atleast 2 years, so you want to make sure you get the best deal possible. As a first time buyer, there will be lost of different incentives and rates avaliable. Take your time and seek advice if needed. 

Seek advice if needed – don’t do it alone

I just touched on this, but seek advice and do not be scared to ask plenty of questions. You are not expected to know what everything means, so google, ask and make sure you know what you are signing up to, before making the final decision. There are plenty of people around that can help and advise you from mortgages, surveys and estate agent jargon. 

Save for worst case

Might seem a little silly, but save save save. There may be hidden costs, as well as those planned, but more expensive than expected. Remember, surveys cost, and can flag up things you may need to address sharpish.

Try and not splurge on the pointless things

It’s all so exciting when you have a new home awaiting for the contracts to be signed and keys released. But hold yourself back from purchasing the pointless and quiet frankly, stupid things, it won’t help you when you have bills to pay and no money.

Wait for most furnshings 

A little bit of the above, but ultimately, wait for some of your furniture before you purchase. Again, it may be a little difficult, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run. We purchased many things because we could, and regretted it within months. You won’t know what you will need, or how any room will be arranged till you have lived in it. Hold back and make decisions when you know what will work best.

There is plenty of advice to give when it comes to making your first purchase, and most you will take on board. Although sometimes you will think you know better, like we did!

Just try and be sensible and don’t be scared to ask lots and lots of questions when in doubt. This is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make – you really have to be sure you are making the right decisions.

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Furnishing and decorating your new home

The excitement of your first home – there’s nothing like it. Whether you bought or rent, are in a studio flat or a seven-bedroom mansion, it’s oh so exciting. But damn, do you need so much stuff! And who knew it would be so difficult to choose paint colours and make it look fresh?

Having been in our humble abode for a little over 4 years, we have had our fair share of shit flat pack furniture, shoddy paint samples and DIY mistakes. Yes, you’re bound to make your own. But in a bid to help the newbies from making the easy to avoid ones for themself, here’s how to furnish and decorate your new home, without wasting money!

Read : Curtains and Nets Interior Style

Think carefully

It can be really easy to jump in the car and buy everything on your Ikea wishlist, but my biggest advice – don’t. Whilst you should buy key pieces ( bed, sofa, wardrobe ), really consider the other pieces or wait until you are living in your new home before you commit to buying them.

Our mistake : we purchased lots of furniture we believed we wanted/needed and it wasn’t long into living in our home we realised we made a mistake. Had we waited and established how we would really live in the space, we would have made better purchases. It turns out, the pieces we had bought wouldn’t really work across the whole home neither, and so we had to get rid.

Invest in key pieces – or buy second hand

When it does come to buying furniture for your home, I would highly recommend investing in key pieces. Buy furniture that may cost a little more, but will last. Or just avoid the desolate flat pack of Argos – it really is shite.

Buying pieces that will be flexible in your home and will potentially work in future homes too will always be a great investment.

Read : 5 Small changes to make you happier in your home

Don’t paint straight away – or go neutral!

Its easy for me, the person who bought a new build first off, to say not to grab the paintbrushes straight away but once again, patience can be hugely advantageous. We took 3 years to decide on colour palettes and the style of our home and now we have finally started to properly decorate we are so thankful we waited. We have managed to create a style and a home that fits and works with the space we have.

If you can’t live with the vibrant colours of the previous owners, then just get it to a neutral base. Not only will that make it easier when you do want to paint, but it will also give you time to figure out colours you do want to incorporate.

Create a colour palette to implement across your whole home

Since you’re going to hang back and really consider the colours ( if any ) that you are going to use, you really should create a working colour palette across you whole home. Creating a palette that you can implement across all your spaces will create a completely harmonious, coordinating network of spaces, all merging with the use of select colours.

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New Home Interiors : What to spend and what to save on

First and foremost – congratulations. You have clearly stumbled across this post because you have, or at least are about to, buy a new home. Yayyy. Now the fun begins of course.

You may find that you have no idea where to begin, or you are in fact starting a fresh in your next home, so want to know what to spend and what to save on? Well, you’ve certainly come to the right place. With so much to consider when it comes to a new abode, it can feel like you have a lot of expense upcoming that you can’t avoid.

Especially if you’re like me and go into every home section of every store and wish you had everything within it. It’s not unusual for me to purchase something for the home at least once a week – oops.

But there is some hope when it comes to purchasing and being ready for your new / next home – you really don’t have to splurge on everything, especially not right away.

Grab your pen and pad, you’ve got some notes to make.

Read : Curtains and Nets Interior Style

Lighting – Splurge

I cannot explain how important good lighting is in any home. Whether you install under counter lighting, or up the pendant lighting in every home, it so important to make sure every room is carefully considered in the light department. This is certainly an area worth splurging on, yet it can be delayed. Living in your new home for a little while to establish natural light and how you use the space can save you on spending in areas not needed.

Under counter lighting, cosy lamps, low-level hanging shades, and chandeliers with ornate beading. Don’t underestimate how a stunning shade or light can transform your home.

Bedding – Save your pennies

I may seem like a hypocrite as I currently sleep in Egyptian cotton sheets, but buying rather expensive bedding really isn’t necessary when it comes to a new home. Many of our good ‘old supermarkets have a lovely home section featuring gorgeous bedspreads, covers, and cushions. Be sure to check there before you splurge on home stores for their over-expensive similar designs.

If you do want to sleep in Egyptian cotton – its worth waiting and spending your money on other areas first.

Appliances – Splurge 

This is a area you really can’t compromise on. Spending decent money on your appliances – whether it be washing machine, dishwasher or fridge freezer will be money well spent in the long run. Choosing reputable, reliable brands may cost more, but can last longer and save you on new parts and replacing the product earlier than expected. These are items that will be under excessive use – its well worth spending the money on them.

Furniture – Save the pennies and look to up cycle

By no means am I saying to buy cheap and tacky, never going to last a month furniture. But there are ways to furnish your home, without spending the earth. If you like the shabby chic look, be sure to explore up cycling and re-using old furniture from charity shops or even your parents loft.

Check out antique stores for gorgeous, retro and classic pieces, which will add character and charm to your home. If you like all things modern, make sure you head to firm fav Ikea. Explore, purchase and eat meatballs. Their quality can’t be beaten, and whilst you regret your purchases when building one of twenty items, you love it because ahh you have your clean line, pinterest worthy home for an amazing price.

Mattress – Splurge all day everyday!

One place you will notice scrimping back the spends will be your mattress. We spend a huge amount of our life in bed, so it’s only right you spend good money on being comfortable and supported whilst sleeping. You can purchase mattress’ on finance too, so there’s no reason to have a shoddy, low quality mattress.

Save – Storage 

You can get some bloody good storage out there for next to nothing you know. So when you need that plastic box for bits and bobs that take a whole draw, make sure you hit Poundland. Plastic is plastic after all. The organisation feels so much better when its cost you next to nothing!

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to saving and splurging on home buys. My best piece of advice is consider the wear and tear to the product, and the impact on your home it will have. There are lots of bargains to be found across the web and on the highstreet, so I always recommend shopping around when possible.

What do you splurge and what do you save on when it comes to your home? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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What you need to know before buying a property #2

Can you tell we ourselves are looking at moving up the property ladder? For many, young people, the idea of buying a property is something of a cruel joke. And we are feeling it! 

You take a look at the house prices, have a look at your bank account, and think, sometimes rightly but often not, that home ownership is a dream that’ll never be realised!


However, it’s important to keep in mind that owning your own place isn’t some far-flung dream – it is possible, though it won’t be easy!


I have posted a many content on buying your first property, moving up the ladder, and everything you need to consider before taking the plunge either in your first, or next home.

Since there is sooo many aspects to consider, I thought I’d post a second edition, for everything else you need to consider when purchasing property. Catch up with the previous post here, and listen up for more considerations.

Your Budget Is the Biggest Thing

The actual property you’re looking at buying is important, sure, but it’s not as important as your budget. This is key! Before you begin looking at what’s available, take the time to figure out your finances and decide how much money you’re able to comfortably spend on your property. Note the key phrase there – comfortably spend! If you have to stretch your finances thin each month just to afford your mortgage payments, then your enjoyment of your home is going to be severely compromised. It’s all too tempting to think “oh, we can stretch our budget for THIS home,” but fair warning, this approach will only end in tears sooner or later.

It’s Not Something to be Rushed

You’ve spent a long time saving up the money for your deposit, why would you rush the home buying process now? Like most other things in life, you’ll be well served by showing an ounce of patience during your search. You’re going to be living with this decision for years to come; you want to make sure that you’re making the right decision! It’s all too easy to get excited by the prospect of owning your own home, but take your time, and only take the next steps along the home owning process once you’re sure you’ve found the right property for you.

There Are Needs, and There Are Wants

No house is going to have everything you’re looking for in a property. But there are some things that will be non-negotiable; these should be in your “needs” list. The other things, the aspects of a home that are desirable but non-essential should be in your “wants” list. Finding the property that’s right for you is not about finding a balance between these two lists; it’s about making sure that everyone one of your “needs” is there – in an ideal world, they’d have a few “wants” too. Of course, you’ll need to be a little bit strict with yourself. As much as you’d like to think otherwise, a walk-in closet is not an essential component of a home.

There Will be Compromises

As we said before, you’re not going to find a property that has everything. All of life is a compromise. You try to get what you want, and then when that doesn’t work out, you go to the next best thing. It’s the art of the compromise, and you’ll need to have this skill in abundance when it comes to looking for the right property.

But You Should Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Having said that, don’t go overboard with the compromises. There’s no reason why you should “settle.” If you find that you’re not enthusiastic about a property, then pull the plug. Making too many compromises will only lead to buyer’s remorse, which, once you factor in the cost and the length of time you’ll be living with the problem, can be one of life’s biggest regrets. Understand what you’re buying, be happy about it, and you’ll avoid this issue.

The Neighbourhood Is Just As Important

You might be buying a house, but there’s a neighbourhood thrown into the mix for free with it, too. In many ways, the neighbourhood is just as important as the property! You want to feel safe and secure walking home, don’t want to be disturbed by loud traffic or neighbours, and want to have all the conveniences of modern life on your doorstep. Not much to ask, is it! Before putting an offer in on a house, it’s recommended that you spend a significant amount of time in the local area. You’ll get a feel for what life would be like if you lived there – and may avoid any nasty surprises further on down the line.

You’ll Need Other People

No-one buys a property on their own – or at least, they shouldn’t. They need experts to help them through the buying process. After all, it’s complicated, and there’s a lot that could go wrong! You’ll need help making sure the property has no major problems, completing the sales and purchase agreement, and moving into the house, among many other things. Given the time and money you’re investing in your future home, it’s wise to ensure you’re getting the best help possible – it’ll make the whole process much more straightforward.

Checking for Problems

And talking of major problems: don’t take them lightly! It’s easy to overlook an issue if you really love the house, but it’s like buying a footballer with a major injury – you know how good things could be, but the problem is too big to ignore, and it’s best to pull out of the deal before it’s too late. It’ll only end of costing you more money and adding some extra stress – and you’ve got more than enough of both to handle at the moment already.

It Can Be Stressful

We say “it can be stressful.” but what we really mean is: it IS stressful. Studies have shown the stress induced by moving home is comparable to that of a divorce or mourning. So you better prep yourself for some higher than normal blood pressure. This can be combated, in part, by giving yourself more time than you’d think to get the move completed.

The Art of Negotiation

Who pays full sticker price anymore? When it comes to buying property, take the asking price as just that – an asking price. They’ve likely inflated it somewhat anyway because they expect people to haggle the cost down slightly. Even if you’ve found your dream house, avoid panicking – it’s better to play it cool when it comes to negotiations.

The Bigger Picture

Finally, remember that you’re not just buying the house for today – it’s for years to come! I feel like this is the MOST important aspect. Always keep in mind the biggest picture, as it’ll help you to avoid buying a house that’s only good for your present circumstances, and instead buy a house that is suitable for your plans. Consider starting a family, the cost of children and the possible drop in income due to maternity and childcare.

Charlotte x

 

The Ins and Outs of buying your first property


The idea of buying your very first home is a huge deal. That’s been drilled into us since its considered a huge and rather valuable investment. Whilst buying a property may not be something for everyone, nor be achievable for many, it should not be down played as huge accomplishment, especially in this current property climate.


Your hard earned cash is being put into a property that will one day completely be your own. How awesome is that!

Whether the investment becomes your retirement income, or something to leave to your family, its something of a financial safety net as so to speak. 

Whilst the rental market has a ‘black mark’ against it, it’s no surprise many of us consider buying before renting. Buying your very first property is something for a large consideration and whilst I have informed you of the ‘real costs of moving‘, whether from one property to another or your very first, I’ve tailored this post for those looking at their very first property.

Here’s everything you need to know, going alone, with your partner or friend, and the real in’s and out’s of property ownership. 

Knowing What To Expect

Buying a property isn’t as cut and dry as you may think. There is a lot to be said for purchasing a property, whether it be your first or ninth. You will need to be prepared mentally for the challenge. Chances are, it will be a long and possibly overdrawn process, and that’s not even considering the time it takes you to save. Mortgage applications and property purchases can take months to go through, so this is something to consider, and be aware of.

Saving

Next up, you need to start saving. And this can take years! You will often need 5-10 percent of the property value in savings as your deposit. And this can be overwhelming when you’re looking at somewhere that costs £200,000! But if you’re really determined to buy your own place, unfortunately it is the process in order to get you your own home. Consider things like help to buy equity loans and saving help if you are really struggling to find the cash. Be aware, the equity loan however, can only be used on a new build property.

Searching

Now you’ve pooled in the funds, and prepared yourself, you’re going to want to start the property search. And trust me, it’s not as easy as you may think. Whether you are purchasing through help to buy or not, finding a house can be a long process.

Really make sure you leave yourself enough time to find, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Purchasing your first home will by no means be your forever property, however, choosing a sensible property now can save you cash in the long run. Consider your future desires and if you can, purchase a property that will give you the scope to live there for a pro-longed  period. 

Extra Costs

I have done a whole post on the real costs of buying and / or moving home so I have all the details in that one. But the long and short of it, there will be extra costs when it comes to property purchases. With property solicitors, surveys, and more, it’s good to have a buffer. It’s a really good idea to have some extra cash, aside from your deposit so you’re not stuck when extra bills and costing arise. 

Renovating

The final consideration is any changes that you want to make to the property you end up buying or considering. If you are buying a new build, then hopefully you won’t have to do any work, just a lick of paint here and there.

However, an older, more tired property will need a little more TLC. It’s a good idea to factor in not only the renovation costs, but the time it takes to do it too. Before putting in an offer, be sure to add the overall costing to your outgoings. Whilst some of the work maybe something that is done later down the line, it’s a cost that will effect how much money you will make on the property in the long run. Consider this also when putting in offers, as money you can save now, will pay off massively when it comes to selling the property later on. 

Hopefully this little post has helped those first time buyers considering their first property. Remember not to rush into anything and always ask questions if terminology or problems arise that you’re not clued up on. Get all in information you need when it comes to mortgages and make sure you are not over committing to something that can potentially apply financial strain.

Property purchases are a ball ache, but they are totally worth the hassle in the end!

Are you purchasing your first property? 

Do you have any advice for First Time Buyers? 

As always, let me know in the comment section below. 

Charlotte x