As I mentioned in earlier blog posts, 2015 is the year that we will buy a house. Originally the plan was for one of us to pass our driving test, then buy a car, and then buy a house, but we’ve starting looking more earnestly at houses already. And today we had our first couple of viewings.
The first house was… well, pretty terrible actually. One of those that looks great in the photos on the estate agent web site, but is very different in real life. I get the impression that the current owner bought it cheap to do up and only got part way before having to emigrate, so whilst it has a nice kitchen and bathroom the rest of the house needed work. And the roof was leaking. We don’t really have the time or money to spend on major improvements like that, even though it was quite a lot cheaper than other properties in the area and was already vacant.
House number two was much better though. More expensive, but bigger – four double bedrooms (three is our minimum), not too far away from the town centre, in good condition with character. Not 100% perfect but it ticks off a lot of the things that we’re looking for and will definitely go on our shortlist.
We have a third viewing tomorrow morning; a cheaper house but one that’s hopefully in a reasonable state. Although the photos suggest that the current owners have a rather… ‘unique’ sense of style.
We’re looking to stay roughly in the same area, i.e. Sowerby Bridge, or perhaps some parts of Halifax that are not too far from the railway station so that I can commute to work in Bradford. We know the area and we like it here – plus, it’s ‘up and coming’ so hopefully if we do end up selling in a few years’ time the house will have at least held its value. But we’re hoping to stay put for some time if we can.
As first-time buyers the whole process is a bit daunting – it’s certainly a far more involved process than renting a house and the stakes are much higher. We’re lucky that there seems to be enough good houses in the area that are in our price range, but as I’m about to start a busy period at work it’s going to get harder to find time for viewings. I’ll keep you posted as we progress through the year, but I’m reasonably confident that by the end of the year we’ll be living in a house that we own.