We bought our flat in London over two years ago so this post is a little overdue. I thought I'd pull together 5 things I have learnt since owning our own place.
1) A lot of lingo. As soon as you start looking round properties you are introduced to a whole new world of words and it gets even worse when you actually go through the buying process. Freehold, leasehold, exchange, completion, fixed mortgage, tracker mortgage...I could go on. It's quite intimidating as it's all so unknown but luckily there are lots of websites out there to help, and people to ask who have been through it all!
2) Sometimes you have to take a risk. I'll admit - I was a nervous buyer as a lot of people are when they buy, especially for the first time. I wanted to feel completely in love with a place and that it was 100% right for us. It may just be the intense London market but I realised pretty quickly that this wasn't going to be the case - there wasn't time to be fussy or fall in love with somewhere. I probably wouldn't have gone for our flat if Chris hadn't of pushed it - the location was perfect but the flat needed lots of work and the survey highlighted even more issues with it. I would have pulled out following the survey but Chris was persistant and the risk paid off- we both love it now and the brilliant location has put us in a great position.
3) Buying and owning a house = an endless money pit. You think that once you've bought your place you'll have a break from having to spend lots of money. Nope! There are so many things you don't think about that cost money- boiler services, paying for the leasehold if you're in a flat, buying all of the little bits and bobs that you need to furnish a place. As soon as we moved in we had to pay out £500 for the house to be painted and then another chunk of money for roof repairs!
4) You will become a house magazine & Pinterest addict. In the first year after moving in I was a Pinterest demon and bought every house magazine I could find. I nearly bought a subscription to Ideal Home magazine (still my favourite actually) as I loved it so much. Now that the flat is mostly done I've calmed down a lot on my interior obsession but be prepared to go a bit mad with it in the first few months.
5) It's all so very worth it. Owning a place really is the best feeling. I struggled when we lived in rented places as felt like my money wasn't going anywhere and it made me feel quite unsettled. We had to make sacrifices to get the money together to buy- we both moved back into my parents house (twice!) to save as it's so difficult, especially in London. It's been so worth it though- I feel so secure and it's lovely to know that we have our own piece of property. It's something that we will never take for granted.