Stepping on to the property ladder is a huge milestone for many but when buying your first house there are lots of things to consider.
Do you buy a new turnkey home? Is that too expensive? Do you buy a home already built several years ago?
One NI woman has created an Instagram page to share her experience of buying her first home with her boyfriend and has been charting the highs and lows of their experience and sharing her top interior tips and bargains.
Jade Hamilton and her partner Dale had been living in Glasgow for three years when they decided to buy their first home, but after checking out the property market, the pair decided they would get more for their money if they purchased a home in Jade’s native Derry.
She explained: “In 2017 we had been living in Glasgow for three years, as that’s where my partner is from and decided we wanted to buy our first home.
“Renting was costing us a lot and we made the decision to move back to NI as property was a lot more affordable and we could get a lot more for our money. We were also then able to move in with my family to save hard to get the home we wanted.”
Setting up her Instagram account (@ourweehouse_) Jade shares images of their house as it progress from picking their site to decorating each room.
She told Be how she and Dale went about purchasing their turnkey home and offers some helpful advice to other’s considering the same option.
Did you have all the input into how your home was finished?
Together Dale and I chose our extras on our turnkey package. Our builders where very good at letting us pick additional fittings that weren’t standard, like the Bluetooth speakers in the kitchen ceiling and the roll top bath. I tend to come up with the concept of how I would like the house to look and we both have similar taste so it works really well.
Where did you get your interior inspiration?
I actually took an interiors class when I was younger, I’ve always been interested in putting a room together. I never stick to a solid theme but I really like to pick out a good colour scheme as a base. Like with the living room we have navy and gold, but have other pops of colour like the baby pink sofa and kitschy Nikki McWilliams cushions so it doesn’t look ‘too set’ or themed.
Which is your favourite room in the house and why?
I think it’s a tie between the living room and the main bathroom. I adore the bath and the simplistic chrome, white and grey theme with all the plants. And in the living room our gold Swoon furniture has a special place in my heart, along with the cosy wood burning stove it makes me automatically relax when I walk in the door.
Did you stick to a budget with interiors and if so where did you find the best bargains?
I really try to stick to a budget and love an IKEA, TK Maxx or Homesense trip! Instagram also has some amazing artists like @abianndavis who is a ‘luxecycler’ and makes some amazing things. But I’m a big believer in saving for what you really want. When we saved to buy the house we paid up for a lot of things like our bed or kitchen table at the same time. It makes sense to buy really good quality items that will last for years and pay a bit more for them, rather than something cheaper that will need replacing in a year’s time.
What’s your key piece of advice for anyone with a new build turnkey home?
Tell them exactly what you want, don’t be afraid to ask for more! And be thorough with your snaglist, it is totally normal to have things that will need touching up – but speak up about it! My builders must have thought I was a complete crier but they were so good and fixed any snags we had over the last year.
One little annoying thing is ‘nail pops’ with the drying out causing the nails in the plaster to come through, but it’s really easily fixed with some polyfiller and paint. New builds can get a really bad reputation but honestly we can’t complain. My parents have done a self build in the past and I see what goes into building a home, its not easy and there will always be obstacles to overcome.
Were there any unexpected costs you’d advise people to plan for?
Blinds! I never realised how expensive they can be! We paid nearly £1200 for roman blinds, that didn’t even cover all windows, we still have some that need blinds added. If you haven’t organised them for the day you move in, I highly recommended a sleep mask for night and the IKEA SCHOTTIS blinds as a temporary solution for some privacy until your blinds are made.
You can see more of Jade and Dale’s interior inspiration on Instagram here.
If you’re from Northern Ireland and would like to be considered for a homes and interiors or other lifestyle feature – our Belfast Live Be team would love to hear from you. Simply email [email protected] to find out more.