The Willis Home

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Did you know we live in a new build?



I was chatting away to some Instagram friends recently, who seemed shocked that we have a new build home? I mean I thought it was common knowledge, did you not know?

Well just so that you do, Todd & I live in a new build. A three bed, town house or two and a half storey whatever you like to call it!



Why did we go for a new build? Simple, 3 years ago, when we got a mortgage, it was cheaper! The deposits were a heck of a lot cheaper than older homes, due to all the schemes available - the monthly repayments were also cheaper than half the rented homes in our town too. There are many schemes that apply to older houses now though. The complete blank canvas was so attractive, to do whatever we wanted with, meaning you could move straight in with no fuss. Everything was brand new and no work had to be done before (or after to be honest) you walked through the door. Another reason was, the developers offer great incentives, from paying for your flooring, stamp duty, money towards legal fees or free white goods etc

Other reasons were, it took 8 months to build our home, so we had an additional 8 months to save and pay fees in stages - it didn't feel as though we were departing with money we'd saved straight away. Developers don't have things like estate agent fees (well ours didn't) so it was great to not have hidden fees. Secondly, with new build homes you don't start paying for your bills straight away (I'm talking actual new build not a resale new build) we didn't pay council tax or energy bills until we had been in 5 months, so we had time to save for the back fee and just find our feet with paying out for the mortgage to start off with - ease us in gently!

I also loved the idea that we would be the first people to do anything in our home, the first to eat, sleep, be drunk, shower, laugh etc. I was renting and Todd was at home before we decided to buy, I was 18, he was 22/23 I think. Our money was saved for alcohol purposes and sun. We were young and didn't understand the importance fully of how expensive the real word was (and isn't it just!?) so to start our life on the ladder renovating and needing much more money, wasn't an option for us back then. Besides, I have zero patience, it's my biggest downfall!



There is so much speculation that new build homes have no character - that's rubbish in my opinion. Granted older homes have a heck of a lot more character, but that's only down to how they've been decorated or quirks put in by owners over the years right? I think it's quite a harsh critique actually, because a lot of people love the showhome, glossy everything style - and that, is totally up to the person who lives in that home. I've always grown up in cottages and quirky type of houses, so for me I did want character and didn't want to feel like we had a show room style home and have to call the cleaner every two seconds (jokes, I am the cleaner, I just like to take a lot of annual leave paha!) I don't want to ramble too much here, I'm going to save where this is going for another blog post in the future about making a new build home, homely.


So, we do intend to do our home up over the next year. To be honest with you, I think our style has added character and warmth to the house anyway (there I go again tooting my own horn!). Your home is what you make it, most definitely, but there are many things you can do to make it truly homely and cosy. Since Todd & I moved in, we've been finding our feet with owning a home, having holidays, marriage etc. Now our focuses are all about making our home, one we can truly say we love.


Plans for the future? Right, pay attention to the floor plan. The under stairs cupboard is now our pantry to free up some cupboards in the kitchen for a potential refit. The out area by the WC downstairs is currently undergoing a face lift to be Gibson's area and a coat hanging/mudroom area. First floor, we are splitting the bedrooms up, to eventually continue the bathroom into bedroom 3 - we want a walk in shower and big old bath tub. This will in hand, make "bedroom 1" less long, it gets on my nerves. Second floor, the cupboard at the top of the stairs will become a WC. Little things like that, we are hoping will add value. Our driveway is also huge, it can comfortably fit 3 or 4 cars on it with space on the road to park also, so I mean one day, we may think about adding a garage or extending outwards.


We are talking a while yet before half of the above gets done, because lets face it... I like me a holiday and a good old ASOS binge. But the ideas are all up top and duly noted!

What have we done so far? Ummm, not a lot! We've finally finished the downstairs bathroom and I'll be sharing the before/after reveal soon, the above photos aren't finished ones. We have painted and wallpapered, but  I paint every year and change my mind on colour and theme more than I change my knickers...



Negatives of OUR new build:

  • No fire place - but there are a lot of new builds with space for a fire place or one already built
  • Tiny garden - new builds will never have the dream garden, but there are alot that do have huge gardens, we just didn't find it a necessity at the time, in hindsight I would've added that to my list of wants for a home
  • Not as much character or quirks as a resale - but I like shiny new things and we plan to add character ourselves, it'll be exactly what we want so that's all that matters right?
  • Small entrance way - again, this is just our home, but it's not a massive deal for me
  • Awkward living room space - you have to be careful with new builds, if you don't ask for where you want your sockets and points to be, they'll stick them anywhere, we obviously had no idea about this type of thing and so our TV and the electric points are all wrong in our living room, having said that, we make it work.
  • They are built rather quickly - It's common knowledge new build homes aren't built as well as older style houses, the materials are different, cheaper, but hey - they do the same job, your house won't fall down

Positives of having OUR new build:

  • Fees - as I was saying earlier, you get incentives usually. For example we had a huge chunk of our legals paid for us by David Wilson. But many people I know who went with Taylor Wimpey got their flooring, stamp duty, white goods paid for... so there's always that!
  • The wide stairs - new builds, by law, have to have wide stair cases as they are built with wheelchair users in mind and have stair lift points - therefore they are much wider than a resale
  • Long landings - for the same as the reason above... 
  • Two stair cases - I love this about our home, my family home was a three story so it was nice to have my own home, with similarities 
  • Sizes of our rooms - bedroom sizes are brilliant in most new builds, I do a lot of comparing with re sales on Rightmove and nothing I've seen/liked has beaten our home... yet
  • Our utterly dreamy bedroom space - for me, if we went for a resale I would've wanted a loft bedroom, and if the house didnt already have one that would've been a very spenny job!!
  • Our big kitchen - I never post this, because we were on holiday when our options were naughtily picked for us, but our kitchen is a decent size for us and fits in a dining table.
  • ALL the parking space - as mentioned earlier, we've got brilliant parking!
  • Easy to move in to - unlike a re sale, and having work to do, we were able to just move in and put our decor and everything out straight away, there was zero work to do. I would one day like to do up a home, I think you should do it once in your life!


The good definitely out ways the bad for us in our new build home, do I still get to call our home a new build? It's almost 4 years old!

Anyway, stay tuned to see us characterize our "modern" new build.

Love, Rey x


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