Friday 13th October 2017, we moved into our home,which at that point was most definitely just our house.
I had lived in a city centre apartment for 9 and a half years, which was fabulous, and I love it. Mr P moved in with me there. We had a lovely life there.
We made the decision in early 2017, having been together for 2 and a half years we wanted to start thinking about our future. The conversations led us to imagining what our future might look like. I fantasised about an old house with fires and room for my books. Mr P spoke of trees and eventually getting a dog. At this point it was also important for him to find somewhere that was all about us.
The apartment sold within weeks. We had started looking for our home, we could move anywhere we wanted to really, if it was within driving distance of work. We pinned our apartment location on a map, and drew a circle 10 miles in all directions, this was where we would start.
In my dreams of a future house I always imagined the country, but when the reality set in of it maybe happening, the idea of not being able to walk to a shop, for a coffee or the local pub ground us to a halt. This move had to be about us imagining our future, we did really sit down and ask ourselves what we thought that would look like and what are the things that would make us happy.
We looked and looked, and nothing felt quite right. We started driving round areas rather than looking at specific properties and one sunny afternoon in May we stumbled across the village we now call home, under 3 miles from the glamorous city apartment. We sat on a little table in the sun in front of the bar with bi-folding doors, with two cold beers and thought well this is the life. The life we imagined started to feel like it could become a reality. Major problem, and no surprise houses don’t often come up for sale. There was one house that suited our budget and the type of property we were looking for. We booked a viewing, we didn’t like it. We went in a huff.
We moved in with my parents when the apartment keys were handed over. (My parents are wonderful and my best friends, but I didn’t ever really envision living with them again, as four adults. Sometimes lovely, sometimes not). The same week as moving in with my parents, we were emailed Information about a property that had just come to the market. I didn’t like it, I moaned, I was not bothered. Mr P booked us a viewing anyway.
The Saturday viewing came around and off we went, we drove through the village we fell in love with smiling. We could not find how to get to the house, we could see it but not how to drive to it. Abandoning the car we set off on foot, there is the gates for the back, there is the house, but where the heck is the front door? Eventually we found the little private walkway that goes directly to the front of the houses. My eyes were beginning to go into soft focus.
On entering the house, I could see there were a few existing Victorian features. The house was far from nice décor, and there was stuff everywhere. A couple were already in viewing the house when we got there, and a couple arrived after us. The popularity for the area and period houses was becoming obvious. I was showing some interest but still hadn’t been swayed from my previous days moaning’s. That was until I saw one of the couples out in the garden whispering among themselves. Standing in the spare room looking out the window, I turned to Mr P and said, “they are going to put in an offer”, shocked he answered “what do you care”, “We can’t lose this house” I said.
We walked around the house again, this time looking at what it could become, how would we use the space. It had three bathrooms, what period property would we find again with three bathrooms. It had a loft conversion with a possible master bedroom and ensuite for us. Mr P was quick to point out that with me being a very private person but loving family and friends staying at our house, the loft room would become one of my favourite things about the house.
We clutched the property details, smiled all the way back to my parents’ house. I wasn’t even sure why I was smiling. I had not wanted to view the house, and I was very overwhelmed about how much work would need done.Mr P takes everything way more in his stride, thinking we just need to make the decision if we want to put in the offer, the rest can come after the first decision. Meeting my parents in their local, we started talking about the house, the area and everything we thought it might be. My parents booked a viewing for the following Monday.
I remember the call I received from them both as they sat in the car outside one of the coffee shops (well actually my Mum remarked she could see the champagne bar) on the village high street telling me how much they loved the area and they could imagine us walking down said high street. At this point they hadn’t seen the house. You don’t know my Mum and Dad (unless you do, and in which case, Hi!) but they can be particular about what they envision for their children in all areas of our lives. The house looking like parts of it did, I was expecting a call to say “Princess* – what on earth are you thinking”. This has to be said in a sarcastic Glaswegian accent.
*Princess – Yes I know this doesn’t seem like me and I am not really a princess, but it is what My Dad calls me, always has been and always will be. And for the record my parents are Mammy and Daddy to me.
That call never came, what came was a buzz of words one after the other, about what we could do, the space it could be, the bathrooms,the privacy etc. They had the same reaction as I had when I saw the other couple interested. Mr P smiled that he had known all along.
We went back for a second visit and by the Tuesday afternoon, our offer was in and by Wednesday it was accepted. We then had a few months of all the legal stuff, the chain of house moves that had to happen. We started making plans and having surveyors, engineers and builders round to the house (even before it was legally ours), to be certain the plans we had in our head could happen.
On Thursday 12th October 2017 the keys were ours and on Friday 13th we officially moved in.
We had found, bought and moved into the house that would hold our future memories. Our growth as a couple and what family may mean and look like to us. To invite our families into our home, host and entertain the way our parents and my sisters had done. To hold hands as we walk to our local pub or pizzeria. Walks along the canal, through the fields, looking up at the trees to remind us there is a world outside the day to day. We had a long way to go to make our house our home but just like that our future had begun.