I can still remember it so vividly. Frog was about 6 months old. I’d been at home with her all day, stewing. Something in our house had broken and it wasn’t the first time. We couldn’t fix it, because the cottage was rented. It was another reminder that we didn’t own our own home. We couldn’t paint the walls or fix a leaking tap without asking permission first.
Fast forward a few months and we had the conversation. “We need to accept we’ll never be able to buy our own place,” said the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine. I reluctantly agreed. With a small baby, a teacher’s salary, a fledgling freelance career, living in one of the most expensive parts of the UK, I had to accept he was right.
We didn’t have super rich parents. We didn’t have any inheritance. We only had what we earned, which covered our rent, petrol, living and childcare costs. We were lucky if we could scrape a spare fifty quid at the end of the month to chuck into savings. A 25% deposit on a house in our village stood before us like a mountain, impossible to scale.
But yet, we wanted it so badly. The thought of paying rent as a pensioner was scary. More than that though, we wanted to put down firm roots. We wanted to know the place we were raising our little girl was going to be where she would grow up. We wanted to plant vegetables in the garden and watch them grow. Make plans to paint the walls. Maybe buy a pet. Overall, I wanted to feel settled.
Then, a couple of years ago, I got a new job. My contract meant I was earning more, alongside my other freelance work. We could finally save properly, substantially. But still not substantially enough to afford a 25% deposit on a house in the region of £350,000.
So we saved. And saved. And saved some more. I worked. And worked. And worked some more. Some weeks I was pulling 80 hours alongside looking after a toddler who needed regular hospital and physio appointments. We went without posh holidays. I turned my face away from handbags and shoes that winked at me from shop windows. Gradually, the money in the bank started to grow. We wondered if, perhaps, the idea of owning our own home may be a possibility one day.
And now, here we are. The NLM got a job in Devon, relocating us from Berkshire to the South West this summer. Prices here are far, far cheaper. The cost of living is far, far cheaper. It’s pretty, relaxed and affordable. It wasn’t until August that we had a mortgage in agreement granted. We threw ourselves into house hunting with enthusiasm, putting up with the tiny rental we had secured safe in the knowledge it was only temporary.
Eventually, we found her. The dream house. A terraced cottage in a little village on the edge of Dartmoor. It has a meadow and a river at the front and a garden with a vegetable patch at the back. There is a park, a village primary school, two pubs and a shop. There are high ceilings, a log burner, an open fireplace and three sizeable bedrooms. The bathroom is bigger than our current bedroom. And, downstairs, we have a living room, opening onto a dining room, a kitchen and a sun room we will use as an office.
After months of false starts, other buyers trying to gazzump us, promises of exchange and huge disappointments, we finally have her. We exchanged today. Completion is in a week.
In one week we will be sitting in our own home. Our very own home that we have worked so bloody hard for. With space and walls that are all ours to paint.
Our very own home. I can’t quite believe it.
Mummy Barrow said:
Damn you. You made me cry!!! I am so so happy for you. I remember the stress you were under when working those 80 hour weeks. Totally focused on your dream of being a home owner.
You should be mighty proud.
I cannot put into words how pleased I am for you
Thanks T. It’s been a long time coming! I’m not even going to moan about packing and moving again!
Woohoo! Nice one congratulations; looking forward to lots of pictures!
My Instagram won’t know what’s hit it.
Sonya Cisco said:
Awww congratulations!! Almost made me shed a tear too!
Thanks Sonya. Can’t believe it!
Wonderful!!! I remember reading your post about not being able to buy! I felt your despair, but now feel your excitement!! Wow!!! Well done and can’t wait to hear about your new adventures
I am beyond excited. Thank you so much for your lovely comment.
Kate W said:
That is utterly AMAZING news……so happy for you, I might even cry a teeny tiny bit myself!!!
So so pleased for you all, still remember walking into our first house, it might have been tiny but the deposit was paid for with our hard earned money. Enjoy – it sounds idyllic x
Thanks Karen. I am SO excited. I never want to move ever again. Buying a house has been the most stressful thing I’ve ever done!
domestic goddesque said:
Congratulations, so happy for you! We are desperately saving for something bigger…..hopefully one day xx
Ahhhhh!!! Amazing I’m so thrilled for you Molly, proper happy tears here. I think anyone who reads your blog will know how hard you’ve worked for this. Enjoy every minute of your new home xxx
Thinly Spread said:
Oh I am SO pleased! At last! Pop the kettle on, I’m on my way with a Victoria sponge!
Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer said:
That’s wonderful news Molly – told you something better would turn up when your last one fell through! Sounds like this one had your name on it and was waiting round the corner. So pleased for you – perfect X
Oh Molly, I’m SO happy for you! I know exactly how hard you’ve worked over the last couple of years and its so great to see all that hard work paying off. I hope you have many, many years if happiness in your new home.
Mary Keynko said:
Yay! so can we all come stay next summer?
lucy at dear beautiful said:
Congratulation. I can just imagine how excited you must be to be living a dream come true. Good luck with the move! x
Mary @AsturianDiary said:
Congratulations! Sounds absolutely wonderful, and very well deserved. X
Anne Johnson said:
Fantastic news , so pleased for you, this Christmas will certainly be a very special one for the 3 of you.
Unfortunately La + J are even more stuck than you were, being in London. Where they live is a very pleasant area but even with enough deposit all that they coud afford in east Dulwich is probably a 1 bed flat with no outside space !
Fingers crossed that they will eventually be able to buy their own place, but they will certainly have to move away from the area they like and have friends nearby.
Have a wonderful 2014 in your new home, love Anne and Keith x
Thank you Anne and Keith – lovely to hear from you! We have friends in London in a similar situation. SO hard for first time buyers these days. We got very lucky but have left lots of friends behind too. Hopefully it will prove to be the right decision though. I’m getting carried away with plans to paint EVERYTHING in sight already. Must calm myself down! xx
Actually Mummy... said:
Oh huge congratulations! It’s such a momentous occasion – I hope you’ll be so happy there x
I liked our rented houses many moons ago but I longed to splash paint on a wall or put up a picture without asking permission so fully know how awesome the feeling is!
Kath Knitty Mummy said:
Congratulations! Its so wonderful having your own place, you might not be able to afford all the things you want to do – but its at least a possible dream when you own the place.
*does happy dance* That’s awesome news and such a truly lovely post. Happy moving and hope your new home is filled with much happiness (it sounds bloody gorgeous!) x
Alison Perry said:
Yay yay and thrice YAY!
I’m am so utterly chuffed for you and relieved for you too.
PS Obvs send me your new address so I know where to come, to stand outside your window and stare in.
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Peggy Reinvented said:
Aw, finally catching up with the latest blog posts. Your house sounds like my dream home too! Well done to you both for working so damn hard to get what you want for your little family. I’m now in a rented house after 13 years of owning my own (narrowboat) home, but one day I will own my home again! *rubs hands together and makes an evil plan* mwah ha haa!
Thank you! It must be a readjustment being back on dry land – hope the new place is working out for you and wishing you all the best for the home ownership very soon!
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