Independent Living Octant – Phase 1

Phase 1 of an octant must be about trying new things and should last for a couple of hours. These are the adventures I had to achieve Phase 1 of the Independent Living Octant…

Phase 1: Budget for buying a house

The very first aspect to work on when we considered buying a house was setting a budget. Setting up the figures on a spreadsheet I set a budget based on our net incomes, and researched the likely costs for utility bills, council tax and insurances.  I also considered how the costs would differ in two different towns, looking at travel, house insurance and council tax. Also on my budget was the cost of running two cars, a food budget, TV licence, healthcare, mobile contracts, clothing, gifts, and a reasonable amount of savings.

I then researched how much we would need for the cost of moving. This included the deposit, stamp duty, possible conveyancing costs and homebuyer survey.

Once we knew how much we could pay monthly for mortgage repayments I started to research how much local banks and building societies could lend to us.

Phase 1: Research solicitors and conveyancing

Having never needed a solicitor before, researching one was completely new to me. I started by finding names of solicitors that family and friends have used. I then called around these companies to get quotes for conveyancing. I found other local ones and could receive online quotes to compare the prices. We wanted to have all the possible searches so I ensured the quotes we were given included these.

The first house we put an offer in on fell through, and this gave us the opportunity to review the service we had received from our chosen solicitor and decided to research again to find someone more approachable. This time we chose a solicitor who was not recommended to us by family but someone I found myself. This solicitor kept in regular contact with us, answered all our questions and helped us through to buying our house.

Phase 1: Decorate and furnish new home

On moving into our home we needed furniture. As affordable options, I bought a range of flat pack items from Ikea and spent the first week building them. This included a TV stand, a dining table, six dining chairs, a sofa bed, a coffee table, two chest of drawers, two sets of bedside tables, a shoe rack and three bookcases.

While the room was empty we also decided to paint a wall of one bedroom. We chose the colour, bought rollers, masking tape and a step ladder, and prepped the room with plastic sheets and newspaper. The wall took one day to paint two coats.

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