Thursday, 11 June 2020

Your questions answered on all things moving!

Why did you move?
We moved for financial reasons. I don't know how transparent you want me to be with costs etc but we were paying over a grand just for mortgage and rent alone on a house that was only 60% ours. We wanted a 100% mortgage and it meant it would free up atleast £300 a month (which goes into the renovation funds). We had 3 reasons, we wanted to be financially more stable, we wanted a family home and we wanted a garden. All 3 happened the second we walked into our new place.

What made you move from a new build to a renovation property?
Well firstly, I lost my mind...
I joke... So we lived in our new build for 5 years, there's only so much you can do to them right? Ours in particular had a really tiny garden, and the downstairs wasn't big enough. If I could've extended the downstairs and picked the entire house up and put it on a plot of land, we'd have lived there forever

Hidden fees to buying houses?
Totally depends on your circumstances I'm afraid, watch out for estate agent fees, make sure you factor that into your equity or deposit, then if there's anything legal missing from with the home you're moving from aka if there aren't documents for certain changes you've made you'll have to pay for them to be created. Valuations cost us as we were shared ownership and again for shared ownership, with our particular case we had to pay for like a "pack" to be able to sell which we weren't aware of... cause they're SO informative and great at communicating (hopefully you sense my sarcasm)

Do we regret buying a shared ownership property?
No, but again because of our circumstances. So I moved out when I was 16, and rented. Todd was living at home, I couldn't have ever contributed thousands to a full mortgage deposit, whilst renting and putting myself through college. Shared ownership meant we got on the ladder and still had that 60%. Surprisingly our property had made us a decent amount of equity (I say surprisingly because typically new builds don't do great in terms of making money, just kinda goes with the housing market at the time and obviously a 3 bed old new build, surrounded by a new build estate with loads of new 3 beds, well, buyers are likely to go for the latter) Only thing I regret is not getting out of it sooner or not staircasing - but if we had done either we wouldn't be in the position we are today.

How do you budget for your renovation?
You'll think we are totally nuts here and quite irresponsible, but we haven't. We used equity to pay off debt and put down a good deposit so we can free up some money monthly, we also used it for the bathroom and to book a holiday. So we are taking this steady, we are doing it as we go. I'm not interested in the pressure of Instagram and people who have different budgets to us who smash out a renovation in a year. We are not getting in debt, this is a project for the next 10 years. We are doing a room at a time. I'll share costs of things on my stories and be quite open, because I wish I followed someone like that on Instagram so you knew exactly what you're looking at financially before committing.

How to save?
I'm not sure exactly what these questions meant so I'll answer what I think the question was intended... Depends how good you are with money, we'd take money out and give it to a family member. Money envelopes really work for me, lovely finding an envelope with £50 you forgot about. We've been taught to always put a 1/3 of our wages away and any child benefit etc goes straight into separate accounts. For me I'm more visual, I like things in front of me so if it means withdrawing most of my wages and then saving, I do it! That's how we saved for me to have 8 months of mat leave and it also meant I was less likely to spend it because I'd have to physically remove it and see the pile going down. Lots of savings accounts on online banking works for most people. In terms of houses, you can get saving accounts for the purposes of mortgages which are great, alot of building societies do that, try Nationwide and Natwest?

How do you cope with being overwhelmed with how much there is to do?
Knowing that there's no timescale is really helpful, once you've done a room that feeling sort of dissapears. The mess drives me nuts don't get me wrong, but knowing we are doing it all properly and right first time instead of rushing to get it done, is just what we agreed we'd do. Plan each room, make some mood boards on Paint on the PC or use the "mood" app. Get labouring quotes and then make a realistic plan. Once you've set that out (we actually have a notebook just for house plans) it's alot more manageable. I'm a firm beleiver, after decorating and re decorating 80 million times in our old place, you really need to live somewhere to figure out what you want to do with each room and what works best for each room. Simple things like sockets for example, they're little decisions really but until you have lived in a room and know what you want layout wise, you don't really know where you'll be putting sockets right? Just take is slow and plan. We have joint pinterest boards aswell which helps Todd see my visions haha.

Would I recommend renovating with a toddler?
THE MOST ASKED QUESTION. Guys... it's savage. We are working from top to bottom because downstairs is structural and I'm not prepared for the dust. But it just works, you just get through it, each room doesn't take forever does it, it'll just be a period of time you're without something, but most stuff you can get that's portable. They're likely to not have a clue and not remember and the end result will be worth it. Plan plan plan. Don't not go for it, just because you have young kids. Do a room at a time so you always have somewhere to store the shit and it'll be fine.

Favourite part about moving?
If you read my moving journey blog post, you'd think my answer would be none of it right? I mean you're right but I did like viewing houses, you don't often get to wonder around homes and get inspo do you, so that part was great, but honestly it'd have to be moving day for me - although it was a sad end of an era the excitement I felt for just knowing it was the best decision we made as a family and opening those doors for Gibson and see him run riot around the garden - I'll always have that memory in my mind, it was amazing.

Would I recommend a new build?
Yeah for sure! I actually really enjoyed being on an estate, it's a family vibe and great for kids being in a tight nit community. If you don't want to do work on a house, then it's perfect. If it wasn't for our place costing so much and the garden being small, we'd still be there.

How did Carter find the transition?
I don't think he noticed... he was a year and a month. We kept his routine exactly the same and he was still going to nursery. Luckily I had two weeks of leave, not sure if it was this house or nursery but he was SO poorly with the flu so wasn't a great start. Deffo recommend getting a professional cleaner in before you move into a place if possible.

How does selling a shared ownership home work?
Totally depends on the housing association I guess... for us, we had to give notice, then we had to buy a pack from them for £250, we had to get a rics survey which was £200 and then get an estate agent to market the house, then you give a percentage to the housing association and estate agents. The housing association also have to vet the new buyers to make sure they're eligible for shared ownership. You can market the house at shared ownership or 100%. I'd recommend putting it on the market for both to attract more buyers. Selling shared ownership houses is now easier than it used to be, we tried to move two years ago and it was awful, we had to market it ourselves and do viewings ourselves and the valuations were much more in depth and costly.

How did we save whilst I'd been on mat leave?
Well I was actually back at work when we started the process of moving so it wasn't as hard. I don't think, I mean this is obviously personal opinion, but I didn't find I spent that much on mat leave. If you're pointlessly going for coffee every day and buying everything you don't need then yeah it'll be impossible to save for sure. (I say that loosely, I appreciate those coffee dates are needed on days when you're loosing your mind) Withdraw money, even if it's just the £80 benefit and put it in an envelope somewhere safe and watch your savings grow.

What's the difference between your old and new home apart from the obvious?
So our old house had a big upstairs (was a townhouse) and small downstairs. This house is total opposite... garden is ginormous and downstairs will be pretty big once we've knocked out the walls. Upstairs is 3 bedrooms like our old place but two are pretty small... not sure if I think that because our old 3 were all easily doubles? New build bedrooms are generous.

Is this the forever home or will you move again?
Never say never... I live by that motto! I said on my Instagram Q&A recently that I'm not massively fond of the area and I'd like to eventually be detached, so in that case no it isn't our forever home... But I am in love with this house and it isn't even how we want it yet, I moan about it everyday but it just feels like us and I just finally feel settled.

Feel free to pop some questions in the comments if you have more questions, I hope I managed to group together and answer everyone's questions otherwise! X



Frankie said...

Never normally comment but you answered some of my questions so thank you! My husband and I are looking at shared ownership because it’s the only option for us at the moment, but we would love a RENO project one day! Xx

thiswillislife said...

Thanks Frankie! Hopefully you found it useful... Sounds exciting! Shared ownership is a great scheme if you manage it properly - I'm grateful for it! All the best xxx

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