So a few months ago I wrote about how I was buying my first house… and that was the plan until, near the end of the process, we found out that the house had suffered from subsidence and was going to cost an absolute fortune to fix! This led to us having a rethink about what we wanted and where we wanted to live. The house we almost bought was in an area not too far from us, but the downside was that there wasn’t a tram… something that, as city dwellers, we find very useful. Instead, there was a train, which was more expensive and in hindsight, not the most practical way of us getting to work, due to the proximity of the train stations to where our offices are.
After Christmas, we spent a good month thinking about different areas. One of the main areas we focused on was Prestwich, an upcoming village area just outside of Manchester city centre. We looked around a couple of houses and even put in an offer on a house, but nothing came of it. We got outbid, and houses were flying off the market before we could even view them.
Things were getting a bit frustrating and we were both becoming conscious of the fact that the house we wanted, in the area we wanted, we couldn’t afford. That’s when we talked about the idea of buying a flat.
Admittedly, I was a bit sceptical about it. Not because I didn’t like living in a flat, but because one of the main reasons we wanted a house, was because we didn’t have any outside space and really missed having a garden. On sunny days, being cooped up with no one to go and relax in the sun, wasn’t ideal.
Nonetheless, we decided to open up our search to flats. It had got to the point where I was looking at any area within South Manchester (we currently live in Sale and have been really happy here). One weekend, after just making a viewing on a terrace house I wasn’t convinced about and neither was Rich, we made a viewing on a flat in Altrincham.
We hadn’t looked at much in Altrincham before, as we thought it would be way out of our price range. I’d been searching by price mainly, and had discounted everything that was above our budget…. which unfortunately seemed to be most things. However, as luck would have it, I found a lovely looking flat with a view over one of the nicest parks in Altrincham. It was just about in our price range, AND, it had a balcony. The only downside was that it needed a bit of modernising.
As we pulled up to the property, I wasn’t sure what to think and was keeping an open mind. When we actually went inside the property, I wasn’t so sure. The living room was huge and open plan and the view outside was stunning, especially as it was a sunny day. The kitchen was twice the size of the one in our rented flat, too, which had been one of my requirements, as we’re constantly tripping over each over in our tiny kitchen. The only problem was that I wasn’t too sure about the bedrooms – in my opinion, they were a little bit too small. That’s why, when we came out of the viewing, I turned to Rich and told him no. I said I liked the flat but I wasn’t 100% sure. Rich was a bit surprised as he loved the flat, and thought I had too.
We went back home and I asked Rich to measure the rooms in our current flat, as the bedrooms feel like a nice size and there’s plenty of wardrobe space for all of my clothes. Once he’d measured them, it turned out that, actually, the rooms were a similar size to the ones in the flat we’d viewed. That’s when we decided to make an offer, as if the size of our flat now works for us, why wouldn’t this one? And it was rare to find something within our price range, which had outside space, and in a nice area.
We decided to put in a lower offer, as a bit of a starting point, and because we didn’t want to stretch ourselves too much. We’d learned by now that bidding wars were commonplace around Manchester and that properties often went for way over the asking price! So we put an offer in and left it at that. I went off to Chester for the night as I was meeting up with some of my friends for a girly weekend.
The next day, me and Rich were booked into a cocktail masterclass at Cloud 23 in Manchester (totally amazing, will be posting a review soon on this!). As we were sipping on delicious cocktails, looking out over the Manchester skyline (because the views at Cloud 23 are absolutely stunning), we got a phone call from the estate agent. The seller had rejected our offer because it was too low, BUT, had agreed to meet us between our offer and the asking price. We couldn’t believe our luck, as we’d never expected to have got such a beautiful flat.
Two months down the line and we’re still not in the flat, but we’re hoping, fingers crossed, that we’ll be moving in in the next few weeks. Personally, I can’t wait, and I’m so glad that I didn’t let the clutter of the bedrooms ruin what will be a perfect first home for us!
For now, I’m having fun picking out colour schemes, ordering furniture and dreaming of decorating… More to come on our flat adventure soon!