So we bought a house. A little redbrick house by the sea (well estuary) in Leigh-on-sea, Essex. This house isn't our first. We purchased a wreck of a 3 bed maisonette in Westcliff-on-sea, Essex in late 2016. It was our first time buyer home that I secured in an hour and a half without a second viewing, or my husband even seeing it, after what I thought was going to be our forever home fell through early that morning.
I didn't do anything you should do when viewing a home. I tested no taps, didn't flick a single switch, touched no walls and opened no other door apart from the front. Not that I could have done any of these things anyway as the place was in such a state I would have been likely to have caught some ghastly bacterial infection or electrocuted myself. I didn't even attempt a viewing of the garden. Not that I would have taken the risk of injury to myself and the small human I had strapped to my person, by going into that garden anyway. It was like the wombles had taken up residence there and were hoarding every single piece of rubbish they had ever collected and trying to fashion it into the worlds tallest sculpture of literal crap...
I blame the impulsivity of the purchase on post pregnancy hormones; our youngest daughter was 3 months old at the time and I was hankering to get out of our crappy damp rental that had the landlord from hell, so I put on a smile gave the rather confused estate agent my offer of 20% below asking price made our position of being able to move in within a month clear and low and behold it was ours the same day.
Then the relentless total refurbishment of the maisonette whilst husband, I and three children where in situ began, but hey, this is a whole other story that I'll come back to another time if you're ever interested in hearing it?
Whilst tacking the maisonette from hell with only help from my builder father who squeezed us in between paying jobs to do the things we needed a specialist to do (electrics, plastering, major plumbing work) husband and I continued to scout around for our forever home. We knew we wanted to be in Leigh-on-sea and not its neighbour Westcliff where we were. There are a multitude of reasons for this but our main one was school catchments (isn't it always?) for the children who are all at different educational points in their lives, and living in Leigh vs Westcliff offered them all access to schooling appropriate to their needs.
I stumbled upon our little redbrick home 6 months after we moved into what is now affectionately known as WW1 (Westcliff wreck 1) I again placed my offer without husband seeing it (I really should ask him to write a guest post on how he feels about buying and living in houses he doesn't see) and then set about then frantic completion and sale of the maisonette, as we had no buyer for our place when I put in our offer and needed to sell to buy; I was so ahead of myself, our place didn't have a fully functioning kitchen still, no floor in the master bedroom, hallways or living room, and more importantly wasn't even on the market. But as soon as I stepped foot into the redbrick house, it just just felt like home and I knew I had to do everything I could do to secure it.
And secure it I did. There was a lot of luck and a LOT of sleepless nights (222 to be precise) re-building walls and celings, painting, plastering, re-wiring and wallpapering later, the wreck was sold and our boring beige redbrick house was secured. Now as you can see below, this place needs zero work, we could have moved in and lived happily in our beige box with its questionable flower wallpaper for years, adding a dot of colour here and there through our accessories, maybe going a little bolder and painting a feature wall or two, but that isn't for us (and by us I mean me. My husband would happily languish in the beige forever, never adding or re-decortating everything and the kids could care not a jot)
However after renovating WW1, the rush and pride I felt on creating not just something out of nothing, but a high-spec, stylish home with my own fear hands, creativity and drive had me itching to start on our forever space as soon as possible.
This house means more to us than just bricks and mortar. Its not something that we are going to sell on for profit or rent out, its a home that houses a rabble of children in a blended family, who are trying their best day by day to get the necessities completed and also create their forever fantasy family home. This little corner of the internet is to chronicle its transformation. I do hope that you will continue to join us on our little adventure.