I have only ever loved one house – my childhood home. I spent the first 17 years of my life there and it features prominently in many of my most cherished memories, as well as some I’d rather forget, such as the birthday party that left several fixtures and fittings in need of repair.
But, as with all good things, it came to an end. When I was 17, my parents split up and my mum and I downsized to an apartment around the corner. Then a few months later I left for university.
Now, seven years and seven rented houses later, I have finally bought my first flat. It’s something I have dreamt about and aimed for since joining the working world. But the thing is, it just doesn’t feel like home. Yet.
Perhaps it’s because the flat wasn’t love at first sight. I wasn’t even 100 per cent sure about buying it. I did it for very practical reasons. It’s in a good area, for example, and it offered the Help to Buy scheme which meant that I could save half of my deposit for furniture and fees. More importantly I knew it was the sensible thing to do – it was a good size, brand new, close to the station and, crucially, affordable. So I bought it and hoped the feelings would follow.
Though I don’t love the flat itself, I definitely love being a homeowner. Knowing that when I get home everything will be exactly as I left it makes such a welcome change. I can decide what colour I want to paint the walls or where I want to hang a picture without having to consult another tenant or a landlord.
And while I haven’t fallen hook, line and sinker for the flat, I know we’ll get there. With every bit of spare time I get, I add another personal touch, a shelf here, a couple of new cushions there. And with all these minor changes, I fall a little bit more in love.
This love story may be a slow burner, but when it’s competing with a love that lasted 17 years, it was always going to be a tough gig.
'My house is not a home – yet' is part of our new series, A Savills Love Story, prompted by Savills new advertising campaign.
We invite you to submit your own Savills Love Story. What made you fall for your home? Was it love at first sight or more of a slow burn? Do you have a 'type' or is your approach to house-buying more pragmatic? Or tell us about your fantasy home – the magical place you've always wanted to live, perhaps inspired by a novel or a fleeting glimpse in a magazine? We will donate £50 to YoungMinds for every story we publish on Savills UK Blog. We'll also make a donation for every story submitted for consideration.