We have lived in our new home now for over 18 months! Although I feel like we’ve only just moved in, so much happened since then.
We got engaged 6 months after moving in, then I got pregnant in March 2020. Coronavirus was starting to hit around that time.
This meant that our needs changed. Although we did plan to have this house for a long time, we already wanting something more – a little sooner than expected. Don’t get me wrong, our home is perfectly fine. It’s in a lovely area of York, there’s a handful of pubs in walking distance, it takes around 30 minutes to walk into the centre of York. And we paid a premium on our house for these privileges. But our lifestyle has changed a lot since then.
So I’m regularly looking on local estate agents like Indigo Green (they follow me on Instagram and engage with my posts, their marketing totally worked, I love a local company that interacts!) and checking out mortgage calculators to see what we can afford. That calculator is pretty cool because it allows you to see repayment graphs and I can look into overpayments on our current mortgage.
As we are not in a rush to move house, we are able to wait until we find the perfect opportunity. So here are the things that we will be looking for in our new home.
Detached house with views.
We live on a new build estate now and that means we have families around us. Our neighbours have five young children that play outsides and are loud constantly (even when it’s cold), plus the fences have gaps in so they can see into our garden.
Of course, you cannot complain about children being loud in their own garden, or peering through the fence at me and telling me about their day as I hang my washing out – but there are times that we want some quiet time in the garden and some privacy.
There is also land behind our house, but more houses are being built there soon which means our garden will be overlooked.
My partner grew up in a house that looked onto a valley – I mean look at this view:
He feels quite enclosed at times. Having a lovely view around us and lots of space is something we want in our next home for sure!
A bigger utility space.
We have a utility room which was a dream – no wasting cupboard space in the kitchen for the washing machine! There’s also a cupboard for cleaning products. The only thing is that it’s small. I don’t need a massive utility room, I would just like one big enough to be able to store an airer! We can’t in ours as the side door we use for the entrance opens onto it, then the door to the kitchen meaning all the space is used for the door openings. This also means the airer is in our bed. I HATE IT.
A room for a grand piano.
This is one of my ultimate goals – I’d love to have a room downstairs big enough to have a grand piano. My current piano is a Yamaha Clavinova and is about as close as you can get to an acoustic piano, but we don’t have any space for one in our current house. I would settle for a standard upright acoustic though if I needed to! My partner is also a keen guitarist, so it would be great to have a music room. We do have one now but it’s also the office and spare bedroom. There’s a lot crammed into one room!
Schools for Leo
If we are going to move out of the area, I’d like it to be before Leo starts school so we don’t have to change his school. It would be sad if he had to leave his little friends. This works out quite well because we currently have a 5-year fixed rate which ends a few months before he is due to start school.
So the house needs to be near to where we are now (which we wouldn’t mind – but it’s expensive here) or somewhere else where there are good schools.
Biggers, but further away.
Like I’ve said a few times, being so close to York is expensive. We would ideally like to buy a house that is a similar value to what we have now, but bigger. We should be able to do this if we move outside of York. It’s insane the size of properties you can get when you’re not close to a big city!
We wanted to be within walking distance of York so we could spend Sundays going to some pubs and eating out, but now we have Leo our lifestyle has changed. If we were to do that now, one of us would not drink so we would just drive! Being close to York is no longer a priority for us.
I spent my whole pregnancy working from home as I was ‘at risk’ due to being pregnant. My partner also spent a good deal of time working from home. He put a computer in the music room/spare room and used that as an office. I worked from the sofa.
It wasn’t an ideal working space. I’ve always wanted my own dedicated area to blog though! I did manage to get this when I lived on my own for a year in a two bedroomed flat, but that was a long time ago now. I’m currently blogging from the kitchen table while my partner is watching the baby. But I’m usually in the living room.
I would love an office for the next house. It doesn’t have to be massive, just a small room with a desk, a filing cabinet to put all our important documents in and a bookshelf. We currently have books piled up on the landing as we used to have them in the office, but now we’ve had to turn one of the spare rooms into Leo’s nursery, there’s no space for them.
A place to do up.
Our next house has to be our forever home. This house was a newbuild so we didn’t need to do anything within, but with the next house, we are willing to sacrifice that for somewhere bigger to do up. According to the BBC, housing prices saw the highest growth in 6 years in 2020 – so we would be happy to get somewhere a bit cheaper if it needed a lot of work doing to it.
What are your must-have features?