If you don’t follow me on Instagram (or don’t read my whiny captions) it might have escaped your attention that I moved recently. However, this wasn’t a move to my fifteenth rented property in ten years, it was to a flat which I OWN. Yep, that’s right I’m a homeowner – also I can’t read that word properly every since my Mum pointed out that “meow” is slap bang in the middle of it. Moving out of the city centre was a big deal for us, but we’ve now been living here for just over a month and I think it’s definitely been the right decision.
Purchasing a flat is the reason that the latter half of 2018 was one of the most stressful times in my life, but it’s been worth it. My boyfriend and I are now living in a flat we can call home indefinitely, and there’s no chance of being forced to move out by scummy landlords, and no need to go through third parties just to get the boiler fixed. Instead, it’s all up to us. We learnt VERY quickly that as great as owning your own home is, it definitely has its downsides, as we required an emergency plumber on our very first morning there. Even if it cost us an arm and a leg, at least we were able to organise it ourselves and get the problem fixed ASAP. We’re rapidly becoming okay at DIY, after a trial by fire involving curtain poles and a drill, while led to a need for polyfilla but thankfully no need for a trip to A&E; I’d say we’re almost competent but that might be stretching it. Judging by these photos you might think we’ve moved to Silent Hill, and fog does seem to be pretty common in this area, especially for us since we’re relatively high up.
The actual process of purchasing the flat was the most stressful for me; normally this sort of thing is done by two people, but I was very much on my own. My Mum is on my mortgage with me but in name only, not contributing financially in anyway – it’s a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage if you’re interested – but I’m the only person named on the flat’s deed. The plan is to remortgage with my boyfriend when the fixed rate period runs out, but since it’s effectively my property until then, I had to do all the running around. Slow solicitors, endless banking paperwork and irritatingly unhelpful sellers made the process take far longer than it needed to, and generally led to me pulling my hair out and losing the will to live. I’m told it’s not always like this though, so don’t let me put you off buying property.
Living in the city centre was wonderful in so many ways, but after years of it the sheen wears off. You may have fantastic bars and restaurants on your doorstep, but the constant noise, lack of green spaces and the fact that you inevitably come up against some of the more grim aspects of humanity meant that we were ready for a change. I’ve seen too many men pissing up the side of my building, and have witnessed far too many arrests and domestics. We were both ready for a slightly slower pace, and moving out of the city centre was the logical next step
Don’t get me wrong, we’re not exactly living in the countryside; our flat is ten minutes on the tram from the centre of the city, and is as close to the centre as you can get without actually being in it. It’s an area that will likely be seeing a lot of development and investment over the next 20 years or so, meaning hopefully the property will have increased in value by the time we move on. We overlook a park and a bit of a car park, but having a view of trees and the sky is a massive improvement from a view of just another building and an ever decreasing patch of sky and building after building went up, obscuring the view more and more. We also have much more space as a result of moving away from the centre. On our budget we could have just about afforded a one bedroom flat, but by moving just slightly further out, we have a two bedroom flat that’s absolute huge compared to most city centre properties. Since my boyfriend and I seem to have accumulated an obscene amount of stuff over the years, storage space is very necessary. While in theory it’s less convenient for work, realistically we actually work from home a lot, and since there’s a tram stop literally across the road it’s not proving to be much of an issue.
As stressful and migraine-inducing as this move has been, now that we’re here life is so much better. Next weekend we’ll finally be getting a dining table and a sideboard to put the TV on, and we finally got bedside drawers a few days ago, meaning I’m no longer throwing my glasses in a bag on the floor every night. There are grand plans for the master bedroom and living room, and we’re still figuring out what we want to with the spare room and hallway. Safe to say though that there will be a lot of green paint and plants in our future!