Category: Housing

In the middle time

I realised last I left the house purchasing stuff at waiting on paperwork. Well the paperwork went through and we exchanged contracts, so we are now in the middle time between having committed to buying the house but not owning it until a few more months because we agreed on a delayed completion.

Time to worry, plan, fret, dream and such like. It is an odd time, one where there is impending work but the exact details of which we don’t actually know. So many decisions to come. It is exciting of course, but scary too, like standing on the edge of the precipice and looking down and not being able to see the bottom…

So Pinterest has become a good friend for ideas. I have begun perusing websites I hadn’t seen before, begun looking at magazines in dentists waiting rooms which are *all* about kitchens. Who am I turning into?! We’re getting there, taking tiny steps in the right direction, zig zagging a bit here and there and inching closer still to being home owners. Exciting times.

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Getting lost in the house purchasing maze

The purchase is still ongoing… We have filled in a lot of forms. We have spoken to solicitors, estate agents, surveyors, an architect and countless friends and family about the purchase. The latest hold up is our mortgage provider not telling us they needed additional documentation and then wondering why we hadn’t provided it when I called to ask how everything was going?! Grrrr.

We agreed with our vendor to do a delayed completion. I had no idea this was even an option before we heard about it. Basically we’ll exchange contracts sometime soon and then next year we’ll actually complete on a set date. This gives us time to plan which is most important as there is a lot of planning to do.

In the meantime we’re going to move from our current place to another one, closer to our new house and *shock horror* outside of London! We’re going to be proper commuters, in the main because to afford anywhere vaguely like what we were after we have had to make the decision to make the leap. I’m sad and excited. This is the next step in our life, the next place after the next one will be one we own and that is just immense, overwhelming. On the flip side we moved back to England to be in London and then are moving away from it. That bit I’m sad about. We’ll still be in the city, coming in for work and seeing friends up here, so all is not yet lost.

The whole affording to live in London is a conversation we’ve had many times over, both between ourselves and with friends. Some of the house prices I see astonish me, it is eye-watering to see how much it costs to get so little. Concerning too, I do wonder how long this can all last. But that is a longer discussion and probably one best over a bottle of wine with some heated debate.

Next steps

We’re currently trying to buy a house. We said that when we came back to the UK we would buy somewhere that was ours and was somewhere that we wanted to live and we could paint the walls and make it look and feel like *ours*. Then between April and the end of September my work travel went mental again and I was hardly ever around to even try and look for a house.

We kept getting asked about when we were going to buy a house and we kept putting it off. Until one weekend we finally got to go and look and realise what we could afford and what this all actually meant.

Now, we’re beginning down the long journey. Offer accepted, solicitors involved, survey done, ticking things off one by one. I’m learning something new practically every day and having to work out what all this new language is. That and having to spend the most money we’ve ever spent in our lives. It’s going to be a journey. We have very much made it that in our decision to purchase somewhere which is quite the project. Way to take the easy road.

I have a feeling this little corner of mine might become more about house renovations and trials and tribulations of such than anything else. However that will be my (our) life for the next many months so apologies in advance. If, and when, I manage to get to this space I apologise now that it will be considerably focused on houses and DIY.

It is both equally exciting and terrifying to be embarking on this next step.

Herbs

We used to have window boxes in London where we grew herbs and flowers and I loved them dearly. It cheered me up to see the greenery and know that I had grown it! It also saved a fortune in fresh herbs once they got going, the basil especially grew like gangbusters during the summer.

So when we moved to DC one of the first things I noticed about our flat was the lack of window boxes or opportunities to grow anything. All the windows have fly screens to keep the mosquitoes out and I would rather have no mosquitoes than plants.

Then last weekend our church was having a flower mart and they had lots of herbs on sale so I decided that now was the time to invest. We then had to get something to put our indoor window boxes on and chose a red Ikea bench which if needed can also be used as an actual bench rather than just a place for our plants.

I love seeing them in our living room! Tending to them and checking them for how they are doing. Our basil, thyme and parsley are all looking very happy in their new homes. Our coriander on the other hand is taking a little longer to settle in but I’m sure it will get there eventually.

Artwork

One of the nicest things about having our new flat is that we can put our own artwork on the walls. In our previous flat we had two large posters in the lounge that neither of us liked but because they were the landlady’s we could do nothing about then. So it’s been really nice putting up our own stuff! Once our container arrives we shall also put up photos we have taken but for now I thought I’d share what we have with you…

A wall map of America which was given to me as a leaving gift from work. This is in our lounge/dining room.

My new Sharon Montrose prints (I love them!), these are in the bedroom.

And finally a set of three posters we given by some very close friends of ours. These also hang in the lounge/dining room.

Improvisation

Last night was my first home cooked meal in the apartment (crab cakes, garlic mash and salad). Always interesting when you don’t have very much. Hence the vacuum cleaner box as our dining table, wine from mugs and no chairs. All of this leading to me realising that this could be good for my creative spirit, forcing me to improvise…