Starting the house hunt!

We recently got mortgage approved (YAY) so now we are at the exciting stage of actually looking with a view to buy - not just window shopping! It's got us talking about all the options and how much we'd be willing to compromise on different aspects of our home and land. I think it's really important to know all your boundaries before viewing so your not pulled out of your comfort zone by the excitement of 'BUT THIS COULD BE OURS!!!!!' like we might if we viewed something like this!

Photo credit

These are the main points we want to keep in mind while house hunting;

  1. Money - the most important thing is that our new home does not force us into a set lifestyle for the next 10 years (i.e both have to work full time to cover bills), we must have the financial flexibility to live the lifestyle we choose. THAT MEANS BUY CHEAP!
  2. Space - enough space to have everything for our dream
  3. Location - close to where we live now (County Antrim, Ireland) not too close to main roads or roads likely to be developed in the future

There is also another option we have been considering the last few weeks and its starting to make more sense. That is, if the houses we are looking at don't fit our first point then we will consider an in between house, a house we can call home for the next 5 years where we can live the lifestyle we crave but maybe not have enough land for pigs, orchard, fire wood growing and goats etc Like this one we saw down the road (price too high and not quite rural enough though...)

Front garden is right on a road - not too busy though...

Really big back garden, could have hens poly tunnels and grow
everything we want, maybe even keep a dairy goat?

There is always options around if you don't have the land yourself but want these things. For example we could rent agricultural land - thats very cheap and could be really handy if it was your neighbour!

An added bonus of buying smaller/cheaper is that as the market starts to pick up again over the next few years and you do lots of work to your little cheap home you'll find it's worth going up and up! Leaving you with a house worth a lot more than what you paid come time to sell up and move on. Of course you might well fall in love with your house and never want to leave! Then you've saved yourself a huge amount of money, got your mortgage payed off quicker and everyones happy! 

What do you think? Would any of you recommend and 'in between' house? The idea is really growing on us and it would mean we could buy sooner... 

27 comments:

  1. Have you worked out estate agent fees, solicitors fees, cost of moving your possessions etc? this would have to be paid twice. Mind you, I know of others who have had an inbetween house and it has worked well for them. Have a look at Sue's blog at :
    http://ournewlifeinthecountry.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good points Jo, will look into agents fees but solicitors only cost around £1000 and we'd do the moving ourselves so just the hassle of it really. Yes i do read sues blog, must go and have another look around though :)

      Delete
  2. We bought our little place a couple of years ago for $2500.00. It is about 3/4 of an acre. Not big, but we have a large garden, a few fruit trees and some chickens. The down side was that we had to renovate the house. But we have done that before, so it was not a big deal. Carol was a house painter, interior decorator, and I spent a lot of my working years as an electrician and then spent a few years working with a carpet layer. We did all the work ourselves. Plumbing and all. If you look back a couple of years on my blog, you can see what we started with and ended up with. It is small, but enough for us and our two dogs. I think the in between house is good. Don't overwhelm yourselves with too much at this point in your life. Become as self-sufficient as possible. It doesn't take a lot of room to do that. You can always upgrade easier than down-grading. Make sure that you check out the building codes as to what you can do with your property. Be very very careful and diligent in what you do. I am exciting for you guys. It is a big step. You will do fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John your place is amazing (just read practically your whole blog lol)- if we could find the irish equivalent we'd be over the moon! its exactly what we want, a little run down house we can work on and lots of land and dont even get me started on the price lol
      Thanks for all the advice I really appreciate it - we're so excited too! :)

      Delete
  3. I am so excited for you & can only imagine what it must be like to go & choose your house. We have lived in 2 houses now, both on the farm - so no choice for me - but one day I hope to be in your shoes, probably when we retire lol, & go house hunting.
    Lots of people here work they way up the property ladder by buying smaller/cheaper, renovating if necessary, selling & upgrading. Jo & John above have some very valid points. The only down side i can see if property prices rise again is that while you may make a profit on your current property, the price for the next one up the ladder will also have risen accordingly. Good luck with your search, I look forward to following your journey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandra for your input, you make a really valid point about our final home being more expensive too but the in between house will only be an option for us if we cant afford the space we'd like (at the monthly repayments and term we'd like) now, so it is really a second choice for us, one that'll enable us to live the dream quicker instead of just saving for another year or two...

      Delete
  4. So exciting!!! I can't wait to see what you find!

    We decided on an "in-between" house for now. We purchased almost 5 years knowing we'd be here for at least 5 years...now we're thinking we'll probably be here another 5 :-) It's not our 'forever" home, but it works nicely for now.

    Again, I'm excited to see what you choose! Thanks for sharing your journey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait either!!!

      I think the house we buy would have to be one we wouldn't mind living in forever if thats how it turned out, your little plot looks amazing and shows that you can do so much even if you dont have a lot of space.

      Thanks for following my journey its so lovely to have so much moral support :)

      Delete
  5. This is so exciting! May I ask for lots of photos of what you view, I'm so excited by your next step to your dream.

    I think an inbetween house works for a certain kind of person.

    I am a dreamer and when we bought a bungalow, as an inbetween house, it had lots of what we wanted. But it wasn't my dream and I was not happy there.

    So we moved again and in that respect we wasted money on the 'inbetween' move.

    But we weren't ever into moving up a property ladder, we just knew we wanted a cottage with a little land.

    We've always lived comfortably within our pay, hence why we can accelerate our mortgage payments and finish it early. So you are absolutely right there.

    Sft x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of pictures! No problem there lol

      You have given me something to think about there, I think we'd only buy an in between house if we'd be really happy to live there, I think we'll know when we see a place if it could be home (like for the next 10 years, maybe forever home, not just 3 years home) Then we'd consider it, not anywhere that'd be too much of a compromise.

      Thanks for your advise, I so respect what you've accomplished I hope we'll be near you shoes in 10 years! x

      Delete
  6. Hi Astra, thanks for stopping by my blog. I had promised myself not to follow any more blogs, as all the reading eats so much into my day! But when I found yours, I made an exception - your DIY watering can swung it. Plus the fact you have a sense of humor :) Good luck with your property hunt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks mark - i do feel special :) My blogs half pictures so hopefully i'll not take up too much of your time :P Im interested to compare spud/potato harvests with you as we just throw in any ones that are sprouting from the supermarket lol

      Delete
  7. my husband and I are in our "in between" home right now. (I am 35 and he's 42- we got set back from our crazy "we want it now-and the best" spending habits) So, when I lost my job that paid very very well, and the economy went down the drain ... so did we! We weren't prepared. So, now we are saving for that dream home (while we're in our in between home)! Assuming this will be another 5 or maybe 10 years, depending on how well we do. It's been so tough for both of us, me especially. I'm grateful for my husbands " more frugal " side! I've pitched a fit many times in the past, but am finally starting to get it. In order to have the things we want in the future, we must plan TODAY. I've always known this, but after living, set back after set back (due to my frivolous spending) I'm getting the WONDER WOMEN NO SPENDING PLAN!! going on here! And blogs like yours is whats helping me stay inspired. So with all that being said about myself-and my family ... my opinion for you and yours is to purchase an in between home .... and that'll give you a larger goal, to GROW! Then you can have that first house (on your blog) that you so deserve... you guys may be 50 by that time, but you'll be a happy, comfortable 50! ;) Thanks for your post. Keep inspiring and keep saving. xxx from the USA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole, thanks so much for your comment. Well done on embracing a totally different lifestyle i know its a real challenge, not as easy of a change as some might think! We call it the 'live more spend less' lifestyle!

      Thanks for your advise on the house hunt too, its important for us to not wait around too long, we want to be living our dream soon... Ill keep you posted :)

      Delete
  8. oh, and I love my new DIY watering cans, and so does my husband :) Thanks for the sharing the love!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Astra, I think what you are doing is great! Planning is definitely the key. We live in the states so I don't know what the laws are in Ireland. But if you have the ability to Lease Option, that might be something to consider. What it is really is you take over the lease (mortgage)of someone who doesn't want to be in their home anymore, and continue to pay on it. You'd get what you want with a bit of compromising. If that isn't an option where you live, then I'd say you can do quite a bit with a little bit of land. If you were to get the inbetween home, then you could afford it better and not be a slave to the house. Whatever you decide, post pictures! I'd love to see what is there!
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandi, you hit the nail on the head with 'dont be a slave to your house' I think thats what we're afraid of if we go for our dream house now, where as if we compromise a little we'll have so much more freedom...
      The lease option i dont think we do here, they'd have to sell it and you buy it in full. You id get us thinking about lease's though for the far future :) I promise pictures!

      Delete
  10. How exciting Astra! I am excited for you. I loved house hunting - perhaps I am just nosey and like seeing in other peoples houses!

    I look forward to hearing more of your house hunting. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Becky, I think everyones a bit nosey aren't we lol x

      Delete
  11. So exciting!! I used to do conveyancing and I know that estate agent fees, stamp duty land tax, solicitors fees, mortgage valuation fees & local authority searches can all add up, so I would say to take that into consideration. I'm sure you'll find a place that's just perfect for your dream. Good luck :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. eeek that does sound like a lot... Hopefully we'll miss out on stamp duty as our place should be cheap enough and our bank does pay for their evaluation which is nice too. Must find out about land tax and local authority searches though, thanks for the heads up!
      Thanks charlotte :)

      Delete
  12. I am so excited for you - must be amazing to be in a position to start looking for somewhere. I wish you the best of luck with your house hunting! I would personally would want to go straight into my 'forever' home, but that is just because I am impatient! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Philippa it really does feel amazing, makes all that working and hard saving so worth it already! I think after everythings considered the in between house would have to really be just a different version of our dream but still a dream house if you know what i mean, one we might never leave... we'll see what we find :) :) :) x

      Delete
  13. House hunting is exciting, but it can turn into a stressful event when things didn’t go your way. It’s a great idea to have a list of your goals when searching for a house. This will narrow down your options from the least wanted to highly needed. Besides, focusing on your needs is always the key to easily find your dream house. My advise: enjoy the hunt!

    Calvin Mordarski

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks calvin thats really good advice. At the moment we are just keeping an eye out, not actively looking but we will make a specific list when we get into the real hunt!

      Delete
  14. I agree. Money, space, and location are the important things to consider in looking for your dream house. This is to ensure that the property you’ll buy will cater all your needs at the present time, as well as in the long run. And speaking of which, the way you describe your dream house and base on your inspiration picture, it looks like you're looking into either a farm or a ranch. Are you still looking for one, or did you decide to go for the in-between for now?

    Darren Lanphere @ Mirr Ranch Group

    ReplyDelete
  15. Having your mortgage approved was a great start! This will definitely save you a lot of time from searching, because you already know your price range. And most importantly, factoring in #2 and #3 will help further narrow down your choices. Anyway, what did you end up going for, a new house or an in-between?

    Chad Nelson @ Iron Point Mortgage

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment - it's really appreciated and I always reply :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...