Side Street Style: What I've learnt from being a homeowner

Side Street Style

A UK family travel and lifestyle blog

16/06/2018

What I've learnt from being a homeowner

living room


John and I are finally coming to the end of our second home improvement project and aim to sell before the end of the year. This will be the second time we have done this although our current home is the first one I have also been on the mortgage and deeds. Like many I spent years renting both in the UK, Europe and in South Africa and while renting can be exhausting in many different ways there are certain things you are not responsible for such as major repairs or mortgage payments and there are certainly some differences you notice when becoming a homeowner and knowing the buck stops with you should something go wrong.

Owning a home can be expensive so you need to be on top of things

While our mortgage is a lot lower than rent the general upkeep of a home can really add up. You have to become savvy when it comes to bills and providers and I know a lot of people mention this but do shop around for the best deal especially when you come to the end of a contract. We have noticed for example year after year our broadband provider has put up our service to the point it's just so much more expensive than any other broadband provider so obviously we are going to be changing this. Bear this in mind with house insurance and utility bills as well. Also having a small savings pot aside for home maintenance and any increase in council tax is a good idea too.

Renovations take time

Unless your looking for a fast turn around on your home it's just not going to happen all at once. We have done things slowly in our current home because we didn't want to take a huge loan out to do the improvements but rather take our time and pay for it as and when. Even when major renovation works have been completed you also need an extra budget for remodeling and interior design, all of these factors have to be taken into account so when it comes to making a house a home you also have to learn how to be patient. I have written a post about saving money while renovating which may be useful to read if your planning on doing some.


sunshine portrait


Learn to be frugal

Finding that balance of working, family, finances and living can be a hard one to achieve but it's really important to make sure you have some time to just enjoy the moment and save on things around the house when you can so you have more in the pot to have fun. Make Ebay and Gumtree your friends and your go to place when your looking for a new piece of furniture, artwork or other interior accessories - you can find some real bargains and often either new or nearly new items for more than half the price of retail.

Check your mortgage

We have all heard of PPI but not many of us know that you could also have been mis-sold your mortgage, this is something that I have only recently found out about and while we haven't been affected as we have a very thorough adviser there are many that have been affected and it's worth researching as you could be entitled to money back as well as making your repayments far more affordable in the long term. A mortgage in theory should be cheaper then rent so if you took out an interest-only mortgage, subprime mortgage or your mortgage is going to run long after you retire than I really advise seeing if you are eliagable for a mortgage claim

Don't sweat the small stuff, things don't stay perfect

While I would love a spotless home I have to be realistic that my two young boys just don't get that concept as well as I would like. You can either let some mess stress you out or just go with the flow because at some point they will grow up. Also newly painted walls get a little scuffed at some point and occasionally things get broken - this is just life, it can be replaced and don't get too worked up about it.


bang the drum



A sense of pride and feeling like an adult

Nothing signifies adulthood more than becoming a homeowner, it is the pinnacle of "I am now a responsible adult" and the way you feel about your home changes from how you felt about a rented property. This is now your own space to put your own stamp on it and it's strange how quickly you become somewhat houseproud of that fact and Is say embrace it. Make your home a happy place/

These are a few of the things I have learnt along the way and one thing for sure is while I am excited about the next step we take and the next house we decided to call home one thing is for sure I am not looking forward to the stressful process that is moving, but then who does?


property tips


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17 comments:

  1. it's amazing how quickly newly painted walls get gunked up! never was something I expected haha

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    Replies
    1. It really is isn't it!! Especially with kids around lol

      Laura x

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  2. When my husband and I bought our flat together in 2012 there was a lot to consider especially the financial side of things but I am so glad we did it! We now rent it out which makes for a helpful additional income. It's worth the hassle in the end.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is worth the hassle in the end and so good to hear it's worked out well for you :)

      Laura x

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  3. I cant wait till the day I won a room and feel like a real, responsible adult! I think I will find it hard to accept that tings wont stay as clean, tidy and perfect as when I first buy it though! Interesting post, thank you for sharing.

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  4. Great post this! I 100% agree with you that you have to accept the renovation will take a long time to do. Nothing happens overnight and a LOT can get in the way while you are renovating your home!

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    Replies
    1. Yes it does take time thats for sure! We have been doing our current home for 3 yrs now, but so close to being finished

      Laura x

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  5. I couldn’t agree more about it being expensive! When you own a home so many things go wrong and break and it’s all on you - we have spent a lot on our home the last 12 months just fighting fires mainly!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is but it does settle out in the end and you reap the benefits later on

      Laura x

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  6. It's amazing how much you will learn when you have your own property. Being frugal can make a big difference - why not sell items that are no longer needed, you not only get some money back but it's also saved someone else money from if they had bought new.

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  7. It's so true - when you own a house they can become bottomless pits for money. Every time we do any renovation it always ends up costing more money than we plan it to!

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  8. Owning your own home is a double edged sword - on the one had it is the most wonderful (secure) feeling, but on the other there is SO MUCH responsibility.

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  9. Being a homeowner comes with do many more responsibilities In our last UK house we had to replace ALL our white goods (fridge, freezer, washing machine etc) all within 12 months. It was an expensive year!

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  10. Being a homeowner comes with so much more responsibility. In our last house in the UK we had to replace ALL of our white goods (fridge freezer washing machine etc) within 12 months It was an expensive year!

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  11. Living in a frugal way is something I'm trying to practice. It gives us a sense of fulfillment when you are able to w=enjoy something while saving.

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  12. Owning your own home is definitely a lot of work. It can be rewarding but with kids around it can be hard to keep it pristine 🙈

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  13. Inwork in property so I'm always around people who are moving into their new homes and try to prep them as much as I can but even I feel you only learn things on your own when you are in that situation yourself!

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