Recently I’ve seen a great meme floating around about surviving lockdown without various purchases or life changes happening to you.
You can imagine how smug I was, I had survived the lockdown without ANY of those things. Granted, I shut up shop after my last baby, I already owned an air fryer and it’s my husband who wants the dog not me.
I still felt a little smug. For once I hadn’t jumped on the bandwagon.
We jumped on a different bandwagon.
We bought a house.
While we were stuck in Qatar with the borders closed.
But the house wasn’t in Qatar. Oh no. It was in England.
We bought a house over Zoom
A Grade II listed cottage, nestled in a village in the Peak District, that we kind of knew, kind of didn’t, that all of sudden became ours.
A house that needed specialist insurance, council tax paying, chimneys sweeping and all the rest.
The reality of buying a house over Zoom viewings, from 3000 miles away, while we were hankering for home started to hit. With lockdown in full swing in Qatar, with borders closed for the majority of 2020, we had a house that we were didn’t know when we would be able to even see it!
Luckily my mum lives 20 minutes away and DID view it for us. Then kept an eye on the house while we sorted out everything from afar.
But I have to say it wasn’t easy.
As house prices started booming, particularly in places like the Peak District where our new house was based. We bit our lip and wondered if it was the right thing to do. Whether the house was the right thing to buy.
Four months after offer
The house was ours.
Though reality was yet to sink in as we were still stuck in Qatar, not wanting to risk splitting the family up if the boys and I chanced coming to the UK, waiting for the borders to re-open.
So we waited.
And we waited.
Then a job offer, a whirlwind of a leaving flurry, and we were off home to see the house a whole year after we put the offer in.
A year later and we were about to step through the doors.
And I didn’t like it
I walked through an empty, dusty house. One that did not feel at all like home. With dead spiders in the bath tub and dust bunnies everywhere.
With random boxes and bits of polystyrene from our new beds everywhere and a smell of must in the air.
My husband rang that night, eager to know how much I loved the forever home we’d purchased. Took one look at my face and said “You don’t like it.”
And he was right.
Heading back up on my own the next day, armed with my mums dyson and the beds all being made with freshly laundered linen, the house slowly began to creep into my heart.
A rug here.
Photo frames over there.
Plants. ALL of the plants.
The house moved from being a house, to a home.
We moved in days later, with the boys starting school in the village, and settled into village life.
Then our impulsive purchase didn’t seem quite so impulsive. The character traits of the house were incredible, and I adored our higgedly piggedly cottage.
But would I do it again?
No. With a background in finances and a love of calculating mortgage affordability methodically this was completely out of character for both of us. While I do love a bit of house shopping around on Rightmove, to actually follow through and buy a house without viewing it?
I wouldn’t recommend.
The crazy thing is, that now we love our house, yet if we had seen it ourselves when viewing we would never have put an offer in. There are certain non-negotiable aspects that we set when buying a house that this house has, but didn’t come to light on a zoom viewing.
So in a way, it’s all worked out perfectly in the end!