Since I won’t stop talking about it recently, you probably already know that Ben and I will be moving from our rented house into our own home very soon – actually it’s only a week and 2 days until we get complete and get the keys! The above is a photo when we’d had our offer accepted on the house – it’s a terrible photo but so hilarious (my face!!), I just had to share it – really sums me up!! We’ve lived together since my second year of uni, although I’d basically moved into his flat during my first year since I didn’t get on with my flatmates very well, and have lived in two rented houses since then, so it’s not a big leap at all for us aside from parting with a lot of money!
It didn’t really occur to me though, until we started the process, that buying a house is actually quite a stressful process and involves a lot more little things than you’d imagine! So I’ve decided to do something of a series on moving house (and have a created a special “Moving House” category especially for it!) covering all the things we’re going through or had to deal with, right from the beginning to search to the moving and decorating – so please feel free to ask any questions I can cover. Obviously I’m not an expert, I’m just talking about my personal experience and what all the different steps were for us.
So starting out, with only a couple of weeks left of living in our old house (although we’ll still technically be able to live there for another few weeks until the contract ends), I’m starting to realise all the things I’m going to miss about it, both big and small. The last house Ben and I lived in together was a pretty small cottage, basically a 2 up 2 down, and we were there only about 7 months. In my head, that now feels a bit like an extended holiday and fortunately, as I talked about in my On Being Happy post, doesn’t have any of the negative connotations to me that I thought it might do. In fact, despite the tiny size of it and my general negativity when we lived there, we think really fondly of that little house!
Our house now is about twice the size of that tiny cottage, and did cost quite a bit more in rent each month, but it was pretty much exactly what we wanted and needed at that time. So thinking about moving into our current rented house, this was our priority list (not in order though). We did think about it before here, so it’s interesting to look and compare!
After living in a flat in Newcastle with laminate flooring throughout, I always wanted my house to have carpets in all the living and sleeping areas, simply because they’re colder and more difficult to keep clean (box number 1, check!).
We also wanted to be in the countryside, either on the edge of a small town or a village, and wanted to be overlooking said countryside (box number 2, check!).
We were looking to find a house with a small lawned area of garden, since our last rented house only had a very small “yard” area (check!).
We wanted stairs, since our Newcastle flat was all on one level and I prefer going up to bed, just being fussy (check!).
We wanted two or more bedrooms, mostly just for my stuff (check – our current rented property has 2 doubles and a teeny single which functions as my wardrobe).
We were looking for a fairly modern, fairly spacious kitchen (check!).
Magically, we also managed to get a few things that weren’t on our list, such as a lovely decking area out the back of the house, a gorgeous oven and hob (yep, I did just call a cooking appliance gorgeous, #awkward), a big spacious bath and that extra bedroom which wasn’t exactly necessary but was nice to have.
Fortunately our new house has pretty much all of the things we loved about this house, plus a few extra things such as a conservatory (apparently it’s technically an Orangery since it’s brick on the bottom and glass at the top – fancy!), two ensuites and an extra bedroom (again, unnecessary at this point in our lives, but we do intend to stay in this house for a good while). But there are a few things, as I said, big and small that I’m going to miss about our rented property.
1. The outside space and view
Our rented house is on a private lane at the very edge of a small Georgian market town in North Yorkshire. It means that we have a small lawned garden at the front with a tall beech hedge, plus a slightly larger lawned area at the back. On the other side of our lane are fields (picture above is out of our bedroom window); out the back of our garden is a sort of marshland and woodland area (where the cats like to hunt!). Further behind that is a local park which you can just see from our upstairs windows.
Our new house is in the same town, but not on a private lane. It’s on a new build estate, overlooking a green (which is lovely but not the same as fields for me!) and has a lawned garden area at the back that’s about half the size of our current one. We don’t need a garden any bigger than this really, especially since it’s more work to look after, but it is always nice to have a larger garden! I’m definitely going to miss the view, but at least we’re still in the countryside and in the same market town that we love.
Such a first world problem – our new home has no dishwasher! Okay, we are planning to purchase one as quickly as we can after moving in, although it may take us balancing up some finances first. Neither our Newcastle flat nor our rented cottage had a dishwasher, but our current rental house does, so we’ve been spoiled and can’t really live without one now! It has all the other appliances including a washer-dryer and fridge freezer incorporated into the kitchen, but it looks like in time we’ll be kicking the washing machine out to the garage in favour of the dishwasher!
Before recently, I wasn’t too bothered about the size of a bath. But with our current house, I’ve been spoiled. The bath is a lovely big one with taps in the middle (rather than at the end) and a rounded shape. There are two baths in the new house – one in the family bathroom which is a generic sized bath, and one in the spare room ensuite which has a shower over it and is under the eaves since it’s in the attic. While it’s amazing that we’ll have two baths, neither are as spacious as what I’m used to now. I’m keeping fingers crossed that in a couple of years’ time we’ll be able to afford to fit a new bath (hopefully with waterfall taps like we had when we stayed at Ox Pasture Hall, but that may just be a pipe dream, sigh).
4. Rodney & Jeremy
So this is a slightly silly one – as I said, we live on a country lane essentially so we have plenty of wildlife around, many of which return day after day. This includes Rodney and Jeremy, affectionately known as “Rodders” and “Jezza”. Rodney is our resident blackbird who just so happens to be a rarity: he has white feathers on his head, very similar to this. I think there’s a bit of a family of them, since I’ve also seen one with a few white wing feathers too, but you’ll see Rodney on any given day in our front garden and down our lane. He’s pretty tame too, and you could practically approach him and touch him (not that I do!).
Then there’s Jeremy, our resident barn owl. As I said, we have an area of marshland and woodland behind our house where he lives. There was a time where we’d see him daily, but over Winter we only see him once or twice. He’s reappeared for spring ago recently, so that’s nice.
I’ll miss seeing these little birds who I’ve, of course, named! I’ll also miss how we’re woken up by birds singing on a morning when we move – our new house has much fewer trees round it, whereas we’re completely surrounded by them here.
5. Our “snug”
Despite the fact that I think light, open plan rooms look lovely, Ben and I much prefer to spend our evenings sat in a smaller, cosy room. The rented house has a large living/dining room plus a small separate room which is listed as a dining room, but since our dining table fills the rest of the empty space in the living room, we turned it into a “snug” instead. It’s only just big enough for our sofa (an old super comfy one from my parents!), the TV and a sideboard, but it’s lovely to sit in. The new house has a living/dining room too, plus the conservatory. neither of which are particularly cosy rooms. Nevertheless, I think we’ll manage to make them suit our needs enough, plus we’ve got a couple of new sofas to go in the living room which I’m super excited about!
So despite all these things that sound like moans, they’re only very slight things that are tiny compromises on what we want rather than what we need. I’m just so excited to get in there now, especially since we haven’t actually seen the property since our initial viewing in November which we were rushed round in 10 minutes, so it’ll be nice simply to see it again!!