Lins' perfect London property
Everyone dreams of one day owning their perfect home, whether it’s a country cottage or a modern townhouse which features and amenities including front and back gardens, a garage, an en-suite and at least three bedrooms.
Keen to know more about the ‘Forever Homes’ of the nation, we asked four home and lifestyle influencers to open their doors to us and share their stories about how they have achieved their dream homes. Lifestyle blogger Lins, from Boo & Maddie, talks us through how she tackled the daunting task of house hunting for the perfect property.
“A couple of weeks ago I was chatting away on Instagram asking people whether they’d found their forever home. It’s a concept I never imagined possible because I moved so much when I was growing up that the longest we stayed anywhere was four years. Now I’m all 'grown up' (well, let’s pretend, hey?) I still pinch myself, almost every day, that we have found our forever home. Or at least a home that I’ll be in until we tire of London. Like that’s ever going to happen!
“I’m sure a few eyebrows were raised when we got married very quickly but then stayed renting whilst all my much more sensible friends were squirreling away to get their foot on the ladder. We didn’t feel in any rush, knowing that when the time was right we’d find where we were meant to be and that’s exactly what happened. Those same friends are now on to at least move number two, and/or have had to move out of London for affordability. We decided to bide our time to find a place that we’ll never outgrow and can adapt to perfectly suit our needs.
“If you’re house-hunting, what’s on your wish list? I love watching programmes like Location, Location, Location to see if people really know what they truly want. How many times do you see them say it’s ALL about location, only to buy in area they’d never thought of? Or obsessing over that must-have renovation period property to end up in a new build? If you’re still unsure, The Nottingham has designed a fun Forever Home quiz, created to pair you up with your perfect property.
“When we were on the property search, it felt like our requirement list was fairly small and maybe that helped us to be open-minded and find something we really loved. We knew we probably wouldn’t be able to stay exactly in the area we were renting in (Forest Hill in south east London, about 10 minutes away from where we live now) because it just didn’t seem good value for money. Aside from that, our only requirements were to be within a half hour journey from central London, to have a minimum of three bedrooms and to be in no younger than a 1930s property. I would have loved a Victorian or Edwardian house, but they really are so expensive and when we viewed our 1930s semi with all its light and space I fell in love.
“In the end, we only saw around six houses which compared to some people I hear from is next to nothing. Certain things for me are deal-breakers, such as living on a main road or not being within walking distance from a train station. It wouldn’t matter how beautiful the house is, I know me and how important I find peace but also being able to dash into the city without having to plan a major transport operation. You can control the inside of your home to make it exactly what you want, but you can’t do anything about a non-stop stream of traffic whizzing by the front door.
“It’s now just over five years since we moved into our long-term renovation project which will probably take our whole lives to transform. At some point, we’ll most likely need to remortgage to release equity for bigger renovation works we want to undertake, like reconfiguring our ground floor flow to make it work better for us. Whatever stage you’re at in the home-ownership phase, The Nottingham has a range of products and expertise available to help you take the next step on the property ladder, from remortgaging, helping first-time buyers find the right mortgage or finding that dream home that ticks all the boxes.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds for us here. It definitely feels as though we’ve struck it lucky, just a twenty-minute train ride into the city for theatres, adventures and meals out. On the flip-side a lovely big garden for our springer spaniel Maddie and a ten-minute drive to the Kent countryside to give her lots of running, or off to Greenwich for walks along the river. It may drive me slightly mad sometimes but I’ve no doubt we’ve found our forever home”.
Everyone dreams of owning their perfect home, whether it’s a country cottage or a modern townhouse. Take our quiz to find out your Forever Home style.
Read the other blogs in our Forever Home series:
- Instagram sensation Our Little Church Cottage discusses the search for her dream home, and how it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.
- Interior design guru Victoria, who runs Apartment Number 4 gives her top tips on how to create your dream home.
- Interior Instagrammer Jade Lisa Home discusses finding the perfect home that suited her family’s needs:
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