Do you have a favourite room in your home?
Ours is our living room. We love to spend time there curling up in front of the fireplace, relaxing and entertaining friends. The room has such a cool and calm feel, but it wasn’t always the way.
When we first moved into our house every room needed some kind of home improvement work doing. We quickly realized that living in a building site would be tough and that if we wanted to keep sane, we would have to get at least one room finished.
Having a room where we could close the door and pretend that we live in a gorgeous finished home, a room where we could pretend that we had nothing to do other than relax in front of the TV and a room that wasn’t covered in dust and dirt. We had almost no furniture when we moved in. Our kind friends donated two armchairs and our side tables were stacked cardboard boxes!
Not only was our house a bit of a mess, it was also cold and when I say cold I mean seriously cold. The fact that we ripped up all of the carpets (they were soaked in dog pee) probably didn’t help keep us warm either! I actually got chilblains on my toes the first year!
As well as having the heating on full blast (our radiators we’re completely undersized and insufficient) we used to have about 30 candles lit just because we realized that they gave us an extra degree of warmth.
Looking back it seems totally mad, but it was our first experience of home-ownership and we had these weird notions of it being romantic and an adventure. It’s taken us almost 5 years to be able to tell the story and actually laugh about it, but when you’re in the situation, it’s anything but funny.
Things have obviously changed a lot since then. We’ve improved our heating and had a fireplace installed, we’ve also had new windows fitted and have insulated under the floor – notice a “keep warm” trend here?
Of course we’ve done a lot of other updates, too. Our electrics have been renewed, everywhere has been plastered and painted, the floors were sanded and we’ve reinstated period features like picture rails and architraves.
For us, looking back at where we started is part of the reason that this is our favourite room. It was the first room that we finished and the first room where we felt like all of the hard work that we were putting into renovating our home was actually worth it.
But it’s really even more than that. Our house is the first home that we ever purchased and whilst it of course it is special to us now, I’m sure that I’ll be precious to us for ever. Looking for your first home is exciting and finally finding a house that is right for you is such a great feeling.
Although we’re super happy with our home, we definitely had an overly optimistic view of things. Looking back, we should have been a bit more realistic. We knew that our house needed a lot of work but figured we could do it over time and completely maxed out on our budget. We should have allowed more room in our budget to get at least some home improvement jobs done straight away.
Our biggest tips for buying a house – especially if it’s your first – are try to be realistic and do your research. There’s so much to consider! You’ll probably need new furniture, decorating or building work and less fun things like home insurance and a mortgage. There’s a lot to learn and finding the right information for you can be a bit overwhelming. You can find great information on mortgages here. I guess that doing the necessary research is something that gives you a more relaxed feel as you have a better idea of what you’re getting yourself into.
We really don’t mean to make homeownership sound negative – it’s truly the best thing that we’ve ever done – but doing your homework and making an informed decision has got to be one of the most important parts of any large purchase you make and none of them get much larger than the purchase of your first home.
Now it’s your turn!
We’d love to hear your story! Did buying your first home run smoothly? Did you come across any surprises in your home? Do you have any fun stories that you’d like to share? Or do you have some amazing before and after pictures that you’d like to show off?
You could be in with a change of winning £100 of John Lewis vouchers! Principality Building Society are giving away the vouchers to the person who shares the best before and after pictures of their home renovations and why they are proud of it on social media! Just reply to one of our shares of this post on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram to share your story. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #bloggerkeyhole! The Competition runs from Thursday 1st October until 11:59 PM Friday 30th October 2015.
The winner will be chosen by Principality Building Society and then announced on our social media.
*The competition is now closed. Thank you to everyone for sharing their amazing homes! The winner is Louis B. You can see the winning entry here.*
Terms and Conditions
1. ELIGIBILITY; ‘Through The Blogger Keyhole’ Competition (the ‘Competition’) is open to customers and non-customers aged 18 or over who are UK residents. The Competition is not open to employees of Principality Building Society (the ‘Promoter’), NetBooster UK (the ‘Administrator’), Christine (Little House on the Corner) (the ‘Competition host’) or their families or anyone associated with the Competition. Photographs do not constitute payment.
2. AGREEMENT TO OFFICIAL RULES; Participation in the Competition constitutes your full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of the Official Rules and the decision of the Promoter, which are final and binding. Winning a Prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.
3. PRIZE; The winner of the Competition will receive £100 John Lewis vouchers. No cash alternatives will be substituted for the prize. The Promoter reserves the right to offer alternative items/activities of a greater or equivalent value should unforeseen circumstances require it. Only one winner will be selected (see How to Enter for further details). The winner will be announced via Christine’s (Little House on the Corner) (Competition host) Twitter and/or Facebook and/or Instagram account no later than Friday 30th October. Christine (Little House on the Corner) (Competition host) will notify the winner by Twitter and/or Facebook and/or Instagram direct message, or email, within 3 [three] days of the announcement.If the prize remains unclaimed after reasonable efforts have been made to contact the winner, after 7 [seven] days the Promoter will be entitled to dispose of the prize as it sees fit without any liability to the winner for having done so.
4. ENTRY PERIOD; The Competition runs from Thursday 1st October until 11:59 PM Friday 30th October (the ‘Entry Period’). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible.
5. CONDITIONS OF ENTRY; Any entries attempted through the use of agencies or robotic, repetitive, programmed, or similar methods will be void. The Promoter does not accept responsibility for network, computer, hardware or software failures of any kind, which may restrict or delay the sending or receipt of your entry. Entries must not be sent through agents or third parties.
6. HOW TO ENTER; To enter, entrants must, using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or all 3 platforms, post in reply to the host bloggers initial post, the following:
Good quality before and after photographs of their own home renovations, with a few details about the renovation and why they are proud of it.
To enter, posts need to be followed by the Competition hashtag #bloggerkeyhole. Any entries not including the Competition hashtag #bloggerkeyhole will not be taken into account. Photographs not communicated to the Promoter via the entry method will not be considered as Competition entries. No payment is required to enter the Competition. Entrant’s Photographs and likeness as well as personal data do not constitute a payment. At the end of the entry period, a panel within the Marketing department and employees of the Promoter will consider all eligible entries and select a winner based on criteria including creativity. The Promoter’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
7. WINNER PUBLICITY; Entrants accept that, if they win the prize in this Competition the Promoter will have the right, without additional payment or permission, to use the entrant’s name, Twitter entry and Twitter ID for related promotional purposes.
8. CANCELLATION OR POSTPONEMENT; The Promoter reserves the right to cancel or postpone the Competition.
9. THE PROMOTER; Principality Building Society, Principality Buildings, Queen Street, Cardiff CF10 1UA. Principal Building Society is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, reference number 155998.
*Disclaimer: This post is in association with Principality Building Society. All opinions and thoughts are of course our own! Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for us to keep creating and sharing content here at Little House On The Corner