All I’ve wanted has been my own house. I’ve dreamed about what my rooms will look like even when I was in primary school. When I went to my friends’ houses I would take note of their decor. Where their wallpaper was likely sourced, what colours worked and didn’t become too tiresome.
Then I grew up and left law school at the height of the recession with a mountain of debt. Once I qualified I started looking at houses, like seriously looking, and the prices were just soaring. It was a nightmare. No matter how much my salary increased I was being out stripped by the housing market. Paying £1500 on a two bed flat in Balham for my mother and I, was not going to be feasible soon as the prices kept going up.
In 2014, I’d taken over the house bills and rent. I was pulling my hair out. How on earth will I be able to afford another rent increase….
I had signed up to the Shared Ownership websites and scoured them. I spotted one property that seemed affordable. It had been a flat on intermediate rent so it wasn’t brand new, about 8 years old. I rang and made an appointment.
After years of anguish I managed to climb onto the property ladder. But it has been at a compromise. I went down the shared ownership route. Instead of a house, I bought a two bed flat. It was a horrifically stressful process. Not to mention I had really strict time limits set by the housing association to complete by but I was also already quite ill with some mysterious illness and I was drafting my dissertation for my masters final. The dissertation deadline was in the same week as completion. To say it was horrific is an understatement. But I got through it!
The keys were in my hands! Then the fun began with how to decorate it and what I could do with it. I had two weeks off work and had two weeks overlap between the flat we were renting and moving into our new abode.
When I got in the flat I realised there was quite a bit to do to it. Here’s the list:
Bathroom:new floors, new tiles, new hardware, new shower, new toilet
Living room: re paint, shelving, flooring
Kitchen: new cabinets, new floor, new washing machine
Bedrooms: repaint, wallpaper, new floors
Hallway: Paint and new floors
Let’s just say that it took roughly two years to complete. I’m almost there. During the refurbishment process I learnt a huge amount as I did most of it myself.
I’ll be blogging about my refurb room by room!
If you have any questions about my experiences of the shared ownership route, drop me question in the comments below.