After years of saving up, I finally did it. I scraped up all my little coins and notes (not literally…) that I had worked so hard to save, and handed it all over to go into that very exciting thing called a deposit. Once the deposit was all taken away from me, it all became official, I now had my first mortgage. I was officially a home-owner, I owned my own bricks and mortar, my own adobe, my own little palace. I stress the words ‘my own’ as it actually is all mine – no more house sharing or living with flatmates – it’s literally just me myself and I in my own bought house. That feeling of getting your first mortgage approved, seeing your deposit hand over, and moving your life into your own home … well it’s just incredible. For some reason, I never felt scared. I never felt the whole ‘your tied into a property’ fear. Just sheer happiness. I own my own mini palace and I couldn’t be happier!
So, after a few months of house renovating, setting up the bills, furniture shopping, painting and decorating, my stamp was now made and it was time for the next step: celebrating of course! I mean, no home becomes a real home until you have met the neighbours, invited them in for a cuppa, collected up all the bottles of house-warming wines and gifts, sent the invites out and hosted a big house-warming party – right? Right. So after all the hard work over the past few months, it was time to show off my new home and celebrate being a first time buyer and a mortgage owner by saying congratulations to myself!
Moving into my new pad not only gave me the biggest sense of pride, but it also gave me the hugest array of happy house-warming and ‘Good Luck In Your New Home’ cards. So, with help from first direct who were involved with my house-warming party, I invited my nearest and dearest to come on board and help me celebrate. It involved lots of snacking food (a good old beige buffet), fizzy drinks, props, cake, pizza, girly chats, house dancing and selfie sticks of course!
On the day, I asked a bunch of friends and family to pop round from 4pm, so I frantically cleaned the house top to bottom before they gathered in the house. It’s quite a small house may I add – just a two up two down – therefore there was a lot of squashing up and spreading out into different rooms. I kept the older guests out of the photographs as they don’t always like to appear on the blog, so the photo’s I’ve showcased highlight the ultimate girly food I had in the house, raising a glass or two with the girls!
As much as I like to think I’m not too shabby at putting on and planning a good old house-warming, I have to admit that I got my main source of inspiration from first direct, who also helped and inspired me with my own party. Specialists in offering award winning mortgages, I spotted this super cool video featuring a couple who bought their first home together, and celebrated via a huge street party! first direct threw the party for them, and the entertaining video captures the bringing together of the whole neighbouring community- the couple really do have a blast at toasting to a new home and life together. Just watching this fun little edit made me realise it was time to celebrate in style too. Sadly, I couldn’t hire any crazy talented dancers or fire eaters (sorry to all my guests!) but I put on some rather funky green fizzy green drinks, little mini moustaches and lips to play around with, a funky playlist, food to feed the five thousand, and a warming, welcoming home atmosphere. Take a look at the video here, and then cue the photo gallery of my own soiree!
To round up a brilliant house warming party with first direct, and the nicest of first few months being a first time buyer with my own home, I’ve concluded with some pointers I found useful when travelling down this journey to the big ‘grown up’ world of moving…
1. Be realistic with timescales and take your time
I first bought my house and had my mortgage approved back in March, however I carefully spent from April- August renovating the house and making sure everything was done properly before the big move in date. It’s easy to get too carried away with excitement and opt to skip jobs and important renovation works just to be in the house quicker, but in the long run, taking time and being realistic really pays off. I didn’t realise I would need a new boiler and four new radiators until half way through, plus lots of other problems that arise along the way. Just be careful not to rush anything – it’s your first home and it should be perfect.
2. Make you chose a mortgage provider you can trust
Mortgage companies aim to provide all the help, support and guidance you need along the way, and it can be a stressful time. Research all the benefits and make sure you feel comfortable with everything, and make sure you ask for help from the experts throughout the journey.
3. Get to know your neighbours and respect them
If you plan on being in your house for a long time, your neighbours are part of your home life, so try to ‘make friends’ as early as possible and compromise on as much as possible if you can. Living in an area where neighbours all respect each other and have a pleasant relationship makes your ‘home life’ a much happier place.
4. Enjoy it!
Moving house is stressful at the best of times, but buying a house, being in a chain, going through all the mortgage, deposit and solicitor routes and the general responsibility of becoming a home owner can sometimes be enough to turn someone grey. Step back, take each step slowly, and enjoy the ride! Take photos along the way of the renovation, ask for help from friends and family when needed (especially when you need an extra van or car load!) and stand back and admire your handy work from time to time. Be proud – it’s your own bricks and mortar.
5. Take advice
There’s plenty of advice and help out there, and you can find it on social media too. I find my mortgage providers social media pages are good places to start for tips, advice and inspiration as well as all the ‘lengthy’ sensible stuff.
So there we have it – a toast to the new palace and the loveliest of house-warmings! I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to a very happy future in my own little home…