Well let's see, I'm 31, married, living in Limerick Ireland with my husband and two kids. Emilia is two and a half and Max is....a half! We bought our first house last September after MANY years of renting in Limerick city. It was pretty stressful.....aaaaand that's the understatement of the year.
We started the process just after I went back to work after having Emilia, found a house we wanted to buy quickly, made an offer, signed the contracts, paid our deposit....and 3 months later we were no further along. It turned out the seller had neglected to tell us that he was being forced to sell by his bank, and that the price he had agreed with us had to be approved by them. Sounds like something he should have told us at the start right?! Turns out it was a blessing in disguise though, cos after months of waiting literally the day before everything was due to be sorted out there was a huge storm and the house flooded! Needless to say we pulled out of the purchase, just in the nick of time, phew!
So this was January. We set up more viewings and quickly settled on a house we liked but were outbid (it was a bigger, more expensive version of the one we're in now and the mortgage probably would have meant that I would have definitely have to go back to work when I finish my maternity leave this time so I'm really glad we didn't get that one now!).
Then we decided to go for a real fixer-upper that had a lot of space but needed a lot of work. Again, we had an offer accepted, signed the contracts and paid our deposit.......only to find out two months later that there was a problem with the title deeds that just couldn't be sorted out to our solicitors satisfaction so that was that.
|This is Em's current "photo face", there is nothing I can do about this, point a camera at her and the tongue comes out. So here you go, a lovely photo of Max and I....and Emilia's tongue.|
Now, at this point I was four months pregnant with Max, and if the bank found out that i was going to be taking maternity leave again so soon they would revoke their decision to give us a mortgage (even though we would still be well able to afford it, Irish banks are understandably very twitchy about giving mortgages at the moment!) so we were under serious pressure to get something sorted before I finished work. We didn't want to wait another year and have to re-apply. We were living in an apartment that was totally unsuitable for children, house prices were just starting to rise again so this was the best value we were ever likely to get, and on top of that we wanted me to have the option to either work part-time or stay home altogether once my leave for Max was over, and that wouldn't be an option if we had to re-apply for a mortgage.
So yeah, pressure!!!!
We (very) quickly found another house that would do. At this point all the fun was gone out of the process, we were really just looking for something that ticked some boxes for us, namely space, location and price, everything else we were willing to work with! So we settled on a house that again needed a lot of work, but just decorative this time, we could still move straight in....
So we went through the by now very familiar process....offer, contracts, deposit...and once again, six weeks later it all went to crap. The seller lost his job and pulled out of the sale.
|Behold, a small human I have grown! I have placed him in a bucket for display purposes!|
So, two months away from starting my maternity leave, more tired than I had ever been in my life, we started the process all over again. Hoping that by some miracle we could find a house and complete a purchase in the exact amount of time we had left before my pay dried up and the bank smelled a rat. An unemployed rat!
In Ireland a house purchase typically takes three months from offer to completion....two if you are extremely lucky, so we needed to be unbelievably lucky given the amount of bad luck we had had already!
So we literally went ruthlessly through all the houses available, picked the few that still fulfilled our requirements, set up viewings, and determined to buy one of them, ANY one of them!
And buy one we did.
We had one fifteen minute viewing and a structural survey, had to get pretty tough with them over settling on a price in a timely fashion, and didn't believe it for a minute until we picked up the keys......the day after I started my maternity leave!
We had no furniture after renting for so long so we paid a mammoth trip to Ikea when I was thirty five weeks pregnant (I legitimately thought I was going into labor near the end, but I didn't say anything because I was determined to pay for all our stuff first! Thankfully it was a false alarm), and then moved in when I was thirty six weeks pregnant, painted the bedroom two weeks before my due date.......I don't advise it. But it was what we had to do and we were sooooo glad to get to do it!
So now we have a great house in a lovely area where there are lots of kids for ours to play with. We have lots of space, a garden, it was in the best decorative condition of any of the houses we tried to buy, and it was the cheapest! Plus it's near the school we wanted the kids to go to, bonus!
It's not in an area we originally would have chosen, but it's turned out to be by far the best fit for us, so all's well that ends well........
I may never move again though!
So here we are, running after kids, trying to make this house our own, with practically NO extra cash.....but we wouldn't have it any other way :)
|If Max doesn't have an extreme fear of estate agents after what he went through in-utero I will be very surprised!|