I say our new home because this house we recently bought and moved into is definitely a home. Within two minutes of our first viewing of the house, we looked at each other with bright eyes and big smiles and didn’t have to say a word. We both just knew. This was the place we wanted to buy and to start our family together. It all happened very fast, but to say it was meant to be is an understatement.
We found out we were pregnant 8 days before Easter and 5 days before Richard was set to leave for his annual skiing holiday with the guys. It was also a day after much of northern England was pounded with a massive snow storm. The amount of snow we had rivaled the winters of my childhood in western PA. It was crazy! We walked everywhere that weekend and spent a lot of time just puttering around and smiling at each other. (This, in my opinion, is a totally normal way in which to react when you find out you will be having a baby!)
We also spent some time online looking at houses for sale. This had become a fairly regular occurrence for us over the past 6 to 8 months. During that time, we saw one house that we were interested in viewing. I contacted the estate agent and that house was under offer already. We just laughed as it obviously wasn’t right for us. On this day though, Richard spotted a house that we knew we HAD to see. I called the estate agent first thing on Monday morning from a hotel in Wiltshire as we had driven down the night before because Richard had a meeting. The woman I spoke with first asked if we had a house to sell before she would arrange an appointment for us. I explained that we planned to rent our current home then she proceeded to ask if we could come that evening to which I told her I would get back to her in a few hours as I had no idea when Richard’s meeting would finish and if we could make the 4- to 5-hour drive in time for a 7:00 viewing. It turns out we could, so we were set and we were anxious.
That evening, when we arrived at the house, we were greeted by the seller who lived there alone. He was friendly and we chatted with him about skiing and travel and the guys bonded over Sky Sports. When you walk into the lounge (the living room to those of us from the US!), you cannot help but immediately walk to the back of it, which offers the most stunning views of the countryside. The same is true for the dining room. He showed us around the rest of the house and then let us have a nosey on our own and we knew. This was it. The only house we ever viewed, but we could see Christmases here and barbecues in the back garden. We could actually have visitors stay with us because we would have space for them. We both pictured us cozy in the lounge relaxing with a new baby this winter. It was everything we had discussed and pictured when we spoke of buying a new house.
Our garden and our view.
We were probably in the house for 20 minutes and had about zero questions for the seller. We said our goodbyes, got in the car, and started to try to figure out how this was going to work. This house came probably about 10-12 months before we really had planned to buy, but we could not let this pass us by. The next day, Richard got to work by contacting the estate agent to put an offer on the house and by meeting with a mortgage advisor to acquire proof of funds. (What?! You won’t just take our word that we can pay for it? Come on!)
So, that was all taken care of and the waiting began to see if our offer was accepted. Richard took off to Austria, the pregnancy hormones kicked in, and I cried a lot. Awesome. On Thursday, I got a call from the estate agent and my heart stopped. Our offer was accepted! I was ecstatic! And, I couldn’t get in touch with Richard. Haha! Both sets of parents knew, but he was still oblivious in Austria. He called me later that night asking if I was joking about the texts I had sent. Um, no…who jokes about something like that?! (We later came to find out through the estate agent that there were 2 other offers the same as ours, but the seller really ‘took to us’ and that sealed the deal for him. We both took this as a massive compliment!) Three days after we had put the offer in, it was accepted and the craziness started. Not only were we buying, but we were renting our other house. We were a great team – Richard dealt mostly with the purchase and I dealt mostly with the rental. Thankfully, we found a couple around our age to rent the house very shortly after it went on the market, so that was a major relief.
Yep, so that is how we bought a new home completely out of the blue! I’m not going to say I recommend this way of making a large purchase, but it definitely worked for us. I had to laugh one day whilst shopping for a new lounge/living room suite as I realized it took us three trips to the same furniture shop before we finally made a purchase, yet it only took us 15 minutes to decide we wanted to buy a house. But, so it goes sometimes!
Just out of curiosity, would anyone be interested in knowing more about the buying process in the UK? I think I could get Richard to either guest post on it or else I can do my best to explain it with his guidance. Let me know!
Don’t worry — more pictures are to come!
Just a note: I must take a minute to say how amazing my husband has been through all of this, especially as I have been not well with
morning all-day sickness. I don’t see his work personality much (I mostly get the fun-loving, stress-free guy!) and he deals mostly with contracts and overseeing both small and large-scale projects, so I knew he would handle this home-buying process well and he did. But wow, his professionalism and gentlemanly-ness throughout it made the whole process run smoothly and quickly for us. From the date we found out our offer had been accepted until we moved in, it was only 6 weeks and 1 day. This might not seem that fast when it comes to buying a house in the U.S., but in the UK, it is extremely quick. Richard had a lot to do with that because he was on the ball with emails and appointments and following up with appropriate people that it all went through without a hitch. This house was something we both saw as an incredible opportunity and investment for our family and he did everything to make sure it happened for us. Thank you for always doing what you feel is best for us, babe!