This blog post is a paid partnership with Habito.
When it comes to buying houses and mortgages, I honestly relate that back to a time of such stress and turmoil. Whilst I now sit in the armchair of our recently finished extension, I can’t help but pinch myself and wish I could go back and tell myself at the time of buying this place, that it wouldn’t fall through, that it would all be ok.
Habito have asked me to share why we chose to live where we live, in the home that we live in and a bit about our experiences, unfortunately which could have been a bit smoother at the time of purchase.
We have lived in our now home for nearly 2 years. I can remember so clearly the day the estate agent told me about it, I just KNEW it was going to be ‘the one’ and a quick stalk on Google street view confirmed that even more for me.
After doing a lot of driving around our local areas and further afield we knew that we didn’t want to move too far away, we are lucky enough to have a support network of my parents and Kieran’s grandparents nearby and quite honestly, I just wasn’t ready to move too far from them, as well as the fact we had applied for schools nearby for Abbie to start in the upcoming September and the thought of a further move, more school applications and not having help in reaching distance was just a bit too overwhelming.
With living near London, the property market at the time could move quite quickly, and I knew we had to be quick to secure our purchase so we ended up offering above the asking price for that reason.
The house was in need of some serious work and with the potential to extend not only to the rear but also potential to add a dorma for a loft conversion, it was exactly what we were looking for and we couldn’t believe our luck.
I remember first coming here and Abbie running around the garden, it just made me feel so excited and happy and I could see then how much potential it had.
Unfortunately for us, buying this place was not a smooth process. I was under the impression that because we already had a mortgage, that it would be straight forward to get a new mortgage for a bit more money. How wrong I was. With Kieran being self employed and myself currently being on Maternity Leave and employed on a Zero Hour contract, it was stressful to say the least.
When we bought our first property it was pretty much the same, and I remember saying then that I would never do it again whilst on Maternity Leave because the amount of paperwork and to and fro with my employers was just a constant emotional turmoil, that coupled with now being on a Zero Hour contract made it even worse.
We used a local broker through the estate agents we were selling through, initially we were happy with the set up but towards the end we were far from it. The communication had been extremely poor and we basically just never got a straight answer, the day we actually completed on this property was probably one of the most elating days of our lives but we were then handed a pretty sizeable invoice from our broker and it felt like a kick in the teeth, on top of estate agent, solicitor fees etc because the service had been so poor.
We are nearing the end of our 2 year fixed rate on our current mortgage and we are using Habito to remortgage and secure our new rate. We are both feeling a bit anxious with all the uncertainty about at the moment but hopeful that with access to the whole market, over 90 lenders and 20,000 mortgages, Habito will get us the best deal. We went through the application online filling in all our details then had instant access (and reassurance) from a mortgage expert.
I find it such a nerve wracking process, as Kieran is self employed and I am still Zero Hours but also now self employed, plus the fact we now have a few credit cards after doing our renovations, the initial irrational panic that either a) someone will take our mortgage and our home or b) no one will touch us with a barge pole was a complete over reaction and thankfully Habito have been there to hold our hand through the process!
When it comes to the actual location of our home. The decision was based mainly on the fact that it wasn’t too far from our nearest and dearest as I said before, but also because we are in close proximity of London as we both need easy access for work and we are within a 5 minute bus ride of a tube station.
Whilst I absolutely love working in town and being close enough to pop in when I need to, we are also near big open spaces and not far from proper countryside, so I feel like we have the best of both worlds. We often spend time in the forest near our home and feel so lucky to have it on our doorstep. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of every day life and the girls are always just so happy to explore or go and feed the ducks!
Now we have completed the major parts of our renovation, I have been trying to take a moment to just appreciate what we have. But that being said, we are already talking about where we will move next and doing an even bigger project, I have officially got the renovating bug!
To see if Habito could help you I will link their website just here. And you can also enter a competition to win £300 for you and a friend to put towards your mortgage via their Instagram account linked here.