Welcome back to What I Own, Metro.co.uk’s weekly property series.
Last week, we were in Brighton chatting to Stuart, who pays £1,040 a month towards the mortgage on his townhouse.
This time we are heading up north to Liverpool, to hear from Alicia – who bought her property with her husband back in 2018, with a 5% deposit.
Since then, she’s been busy putting her own stamp on the suburban home, sharing her efforts over on Instagram (@emeraldterrace).
This is what Alicia had to say about her buying experience…
Tell us about yourself.
I’m 28 and born and raised in Liverpool, where I still live. I work in marketing.
Where is your property?
I live in an area called West Derby. My husband and I love it because it’s close enough to both of our families, and not too far from the city centre. We’ve got an amazing park on our doorstep which is perfect for our dog, too.
When did you move in?
How much does your property cost?
We bought it for just under £130,000.
How much was your deposit?
What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?
How did you save up for your deposit?
We were just chipping away at our savings for a while and thought home ownership was a way off for us, until we spoke to a mortgage advisor (out of sheer curiosity) who told us we may be eligible for a mortgage where we’d only need to put down a 5% deposit – which we were.
When we found this property, we fell in love with it but unfortunately we were still a little short on the funds we needed (deposit plus legal fees), so our families helped us bridge the gap between the savings we had and the total amount by contributing to things like legal fees. We’re so grateful.
What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging?
As we had no chain on both sides, we were lucky that it was relatively straightforward. I personally found the long waiting around for emails from solicitors and the back and forth really challenging. And the fact that nothing is certain until it actually comes to completion made me worry quite a lot.
Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?
We were renting a city-centre flat together that we absolutely loved, but we were ready to make the move.
What made you want to buy rather than renting?
We had done as much as we could to make our rented flat homely by painting it, putting up shelves etc (all landlord approved) – but ultimately we really wanted a space we could put a proper stamp on and make it really our own.
How did you find this property?
We were looking at a few different areas around Liverpool and we found West Derby to be our best option in terms of what we wanted (bars and restaurants near by, park area and close to family) and our budget.
We just checked Rightmove and Purple Bricks every day until we found this one. When we viewed it, I just loved it. It’s small but perfectly formed.
How have you made the property feel like home?
We’ve totally changed the property from when we first moved in – we’ve decorated everything in our signature style, which I know definitely isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect for us.
What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?
We’ve been inspired by bars, restaurants and hotels we’ve visited around the world, which is where we found our love for dark colours and textures like velvet.
We wanted to create something that was quirky and a real reflection of the people who lived in the house – most of the posters and prints were picked up on trips together and there’s a story behind pretty much every ornament.
What’s your favourite room and why?
Our downstairs area is one big open plan space so I’ll cheat and say this one – even though it’s technically three rooms (kitchen/dining/living).
I love the open-plan element because we love hosting dinners for friends and family – so it’s always nice to be able to chat away while you’re in the kitchen and guests are on the sofa or sat at the table.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
No. But that’s mostly because I’m always finding new bits of furniture I’d like to add but don’t have anywhere to put them.
It’s a perfect sized property for us – it’s just me, my husband and our dog who live here (although he is the size of a small horse!).
Do you have plans to change the property?
Not really, we’re pretty much done now. We might do a few bits of redecorating but all the major work is finally finished after three years.
Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?
Not really – it’s an old house that was built in 1910 so we deal with the standard wonky walls, crumbling plaster behind them etc.
What do you want people to know about buying a home?
That there are actually more options than you think – we were surprised when we started looking about all of the different avenues to go down. It’s not always as strict as needing a 10% deposit, there are all sorts of schemes that can help you out.
What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? Do you plan to stay here long term?
We’ll definitely be here for a while, but I think in the future we’ll move to a bigger property with a big garden – that’s the dream.
Shall we take a look around?
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