I didn’t realise how much a building could affect you. Just a pile of bricks, a few rooms, somewhere to lay your head at the end of a long day. I’ve never felt that sense of pride in a house before because I’ve never had one to call my own. We moved that many times when I was little that my mum always joked that we had gypsy blood.
I didn’t exactly stay put when I was older either. The longest I’ve ever lived somewhere was when I moved to Birmingham and turned 30. We lived in a run down little dump that was like walking into your nan’s house in the 1970’s. There was still pull cords on all the light switches, brown carpet and the ugliest wallpaper I’ve ever seen in my life. The windows were so decrepit that the curtains used to sway if it was windy outside.
We lived there for seven years. Mainly because it was cheap. We would never have been able to afford to scrape a deposit together for another rented property, let alone our own place. Unfortunately it took John’s dad passing away for us to be able to get out of there. As awful as it was for John to lose his dad, he has made sure that his inheritance has been put to good use. And his dad would have been so proud.
It may not look much to some people, but to us this little terraced house is a mansion. It’s our first proper home. I was too embarrased to invite friends over to the last place, but the first weekend we moved in I threw Molly a little tea party for her birthday and I was just bursting with pride the whole day. That’s all I ever wanted.
Everything was just white – a blank canvas, ready for us to put our own mark on it. But we’ve kept it white, and just bought vibrant furniture. We wanted it to reflect our personalities so ordered prints that were a bit different (thanks Instagram):
As much as I have loved choosing all the new stuff for the house, it means so much more than that. It has breathed new life into our relationship, and into us. Everything just seems lighter. We’ve been through some seriously dark times over the last couple of years, and this is our reward. It came at just the right time. It’s amazing how everything just fits into place eventually isn’t it? Funnily enough, the only reason we even found this house is because I was looking after my sister’s dogs last year when she was going through a bad time, and I happened to walk past it when it had a ‘For Sale’ sign outside. I would never have known about it otherwise. Karma in action eh?
It’s a functional house. Just the right size for us. The garden is enclosed so Molly is safe (and John has a man-cave which he loves). I have an actual desk to work from, and there is hard flooring throughout which I have honestly dreamed about (I bought myself a brand new steam mop in celebration). The oven was brand spanking new too – it took me a while to actually cook something in there, I didn’t want to ruin it.
This really feels like the beginning of something special, the fresh start that we both desperately needed. I didn’t realise how much the old place was affecting us until we moved out of there. Looking back it was definitely a big part of the reason for John’s depression. I can’t believe we stuck it out for so long. But as bad as it was, it was the place we brought Molly home for the first time, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. Onto bigger and better things now though.
So we’ve settled in completely now. Our address has been changed with everyone, and the stresses of moving have been forgotten about. We’re in. We are officially homeowners. I am completely terrified and elated all at once. We’ve managed to turn a tragic situation into a good one, and we will also be able to hand John’s dads’ legacy down to Molly and her sister Aimee.
I always used to think that the shackles of a huge mortgage would cause me nothing but anxiety, but strangely it’s had the opposite effect. It’s given me drive, determination, and a sense of belonging. I’m making plans for the future and we’re both working hard to ensure that we pay the debt off quickly. I never thought seeing my name on an official land registry document would give me such a buzz – but I guess I’m a real grown-up now?!