I can’t believe we’ve been homeowners for over 12 months. Anyone who’s rented for a set period of time and tried to save in conjunction, knows the struggle is real when trying to get yourself onto the elusive ladder our elders and the media wax lyrically about.
But low and behold last April Darren and I achieved what we thought was still years away. We own our first home – a lovely townhouse new build property in South Liverpool.
When we started the journey to buying a home we first looked at doer uppers. But with literally just the deposit and fees money in the bank and no other budget to actually do a property up, we looked at new builds.
A shiny home that was freshly built with clean walls, new kitchen and bathroom and fresh carpets was heaven when you’re rented. It literally felt like we’d won the lottery and it’s all ours.
So what have we learnt about owing a new build in the last 12 months?
1. You’ll come across snags along the way
New builds are prone to shrinkage, meaning cracks can appear as the walls settle into place. It’s expected and you’re advised of this during your home demo. This is covered by your warranty and easily fixed by your builder.
2. Don’t rush to decorate and make it your own
Following on from point one, shrinkage is expected so don’t get carried away with wanting to paint and decorate as it negates your warranty. I’d also advise living in the space and getting a feel for each room. You can see from the photos that we’ve switched the lounge around since moving in and it feels so much bigger and lighter.
3. Take full advantage of your builders warranty period
New builds will have shrinkage and other issues so report them to your builder and utilise your warranty. We have two years so we’ve only just reported our shrinkage, meaning the house had a full 12 months through all seasons to sit. The biggest issues we’ve had include receiving new grass in the back garden and the first lot wasn’t laid properly and died and next month our en suite will be retiled due to cracks. All covered in the warranty and don’t require us to spend a penny.
4. You underestimate having a blank slate
It never occurred to me that we’d have to tile our house, buy curtain poles, curtains, blinds, lampshades. It rented, they’re just there. For us, we had to start from the bottom and before you even think about paint colours, we had to chose curtain poles and lampshades. Making a house takes time, so isn’t rush the fun stuff.
We have had it pretty plain sailing bar a few snags and have so much planned for the coming months/years. We don’t know if this is our forever home. It could be as there’s space to expand. We’re in no rush and have the entire house to decorate, kitchen and bathrooms to tile and want to redesign the garden, adding decking and extend the patio.
Instagram shows you the beautiful home reno’s and new builds that are immaculate. I adore looking at them, but there’s no rush. We’re so thankful to be home owners and we’re enjoying the process, step by step. Let’s see where we are in another 12 months!