As you will know if you follow me on any form of social media, I have recently moved into my first little house. When I first announced that I was moving away from home into a property of my own I got a hell of a lot of messages – How did you afford it? How long did you have to save for?
Many people assumed I had bought my own home. Now, whilst that would have been lovely, I am not Rockefeller and so buying a property was never an option. I did think, however, that sharing my experience so far of ‘flying the nest’ might still come in handy so I thought I would share with you a bit about the process and how I am finding it so far.
First things first, as soon as I find out I had secured the job, I had some housing decisions to make (well, first things first was to crack open a bottle of wine and celebrate but you get the point). Apart from student accommodation, I had never had to look for a property before and I had always been lucky enough at University to get enough of a grant to not have to worry too much about the price. Now, however, my search was very different. I had to consider what I was going to be able to afford based on my wage, where I was going to live (made all the more challenging by the fact I don’t drive and so commuting options also had to be considered) and what I actually wanted from my new home. With the help of my lovely family, I decided on my budget and a rough location that was near to bus stops and train lines.
I was actually pleasantly surprised at what my budget could get me. Having mentally planned that I was going to be moving to London, Solihull property was far more affordable and certainly gave me more for my money. I narrowed my options down to a few different properties that I had found of various sites (the one I eventually went for I found on sparerooms.com). Some were flats for one and some were house shares. After 3 years at University I was pretty relaxed about what the living situation was going to be – as long as it was clean, affordable and in a good location and I was a happy bunny. Deep down though, I wasn’t sure about living completely alone – having people around me seemed a lot more up my street.
We arranged a few viewings and headed down to Solihull. Even before I got there I had set my heart on a shared house that myself and 5 others now call home. It was newly renovated and decorated to the highest standard I had seen (I went from not caring about decor to the next Kelly Hoppen in the space of about a week!). It was fully furnished and all my bills would be included in the cost. Although the house is stunning and in the ideal location, it was the landlord and lady that really sold the property to me.
They were (and of course, still are) the loveliest people – it was them who showed me round the house, skyped me prior to the viewing and helped me through the whole process. Straight away I felt at ease and safe! A top renting tip I picked up was if you get the chance to meet and chat with the landlord then definitely do it – a lot of the time you will go through an estate agent and probably never meet who you are actually renting from. The chance to build a rapport and ask questions was invaluable and really put my mind at ease.
A colour scheme even Kelly would approve of.
Now for the question everyone has been asking…
What About Finances?
Now, I’m anything but loaded. I struggled a little at University but secured a grant that helped me through and my Mum helped me out whenever she could. I was earning very little from my PT work and so the 3 years had pretty much bled my savings dry. I knew I was going to be earning a decent wage but until I got that I was pretty much brassic – not ideal when you have a deposit and a months worth of rent to pay before your first pay cheque. Perhaps naively, until it came to looking for a property this was something I had literally never considered. It seemed to me that once I had a job money was going to be no issue, but the reality is a lot different.
I bought flowers. Am I an adult now?
I wish I could tell you that I paid for these myself but, the truth is, this was not going to happen – I simply did not have the money and given the fact I went straight from University and into a job, I had no time to replenish the funds that had paid for my degree. Thankfully, my Mum was able to help. It has been tough and I know this has not left us in the most ideal financial situation, but I know that in time I will be able to repay her.
Going straight from University into work was an absolutely stroke of luck and I adore my job but relocating without any funds is not only hard, it’s impossible. I am incredibly grateful that my Mum has been able to help me pay the deposit for this house and although things are okay, let’s just say I am eagerly awaiting my first pay cheque.
The bedroom I chose on viewing day.
After we had worked out how everything was going to work financially and after I had been through a lot of paper work and screening processes that I was (again naively) completely unaware of, it was time for the move.
My little room on moving day…
The move itself was fairly stress free. I have been lucky enough to secure myself a house that is totally furnished and so I basically just had to bring myself, clothes and a few personal bits and bobs just to make it more homely. Checking in took about an hour and a half and then that was that! My top tip would be to make sure you have read all of the documentation prior to check in as this saves a load of time and you can address any issues prior to packing your suitcases.
My First Week.
The first week has been weird. I’m loving my new home but it is definitely taking some getting used to. Being away at University and living with people for the past three years has prepared me to some extent, but this is very different. Everyone is so lovely and I am really starting to get the hang of adult life but I would be lying if I said it hasn’t been a little difficult from time to time. Of course I am missing home but for the most part my job is keeping me busy enough to not have too long to over think.
Of course I found a coffee shop in less than 24 hours.
I am loving living in my little house and going to work and actually ‘adulting’ but it has not been without its challenges. I am very VERY poor at the moment and I am still waiting for my first pay cheque so we are working on a very tight budget. It also does get a little lonely sometimes but I am learning to appreciate time alone as well as time with others (a skill I have learnt is very important in adulthood). The past few months have posed many challenges but I am loving embarking on my new adventure and learning more and more about myself, life and Birmingham.