'I love it!' I announced, grinning ear to ear, before we had even reached the end of the drive. I glanced at my partner, expecting a similar reaction, but he just looked puzzled. 'Did we just look round the same house?'
It seems in this case, beauty was indeed in the eye of the beholder.
He had a point. There were kitchen cupboards hanging off the walls beside brown patterned tiles, dust-filled dangly lightshades, green patterned carpet throughout and a worrying whiff of gas in the air.
The house was firmly stuck in the 1970s, with plenty of furniture to match in varying shades of brown. However, despite its dated decor, it was clear it had been loved and looked after by the family who bought it off-plan all those years ago.
I knew as soon as I saw it online – probably about 30 seconds after the agent had posted it – that it was 'the one' and the warm feeling it gave me when we looked round confirmed it.
Yes, it needed more work than we wanted or had time to do. It was also over budget. But I had fallen head over heels with the space it offered – so much more than any of the other houses we had looked at. With its beautiful views across the wildflower meadow and the downs behind, the location was perfect. It even had a garage for my partner’s motorbike, a fact which was sure to win him round (just don't tell him that one day it will be part of the kitchen).
It was during the second visit that my partner began to see the light and instead of being disgusted by the interior, started talking about how we could make it ours. We were greeted by the daughter of the previous owners, who pointed out all of the negatives but also shared stories of her happy childhood there.
Thanks to a bit of persuasion on my part, we put in an offer. After an agonising wait over a weekend spent with limited mobile phone signal at a music festival, it was accepted.
We moved in just over a year ago and set about making the house liveable – giving everything a lick of paint, changing the curtains and removing the patterned shag pile, which revealed a beautiful parquet floor underneath.
We’ve quickly learnt that renovation is a labour of love: everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you think it will, even the ‘quick fix’ jobs. But it’s all worth it – in our eyes it’s only going to get better as we take on the big jobs of replacing the kitchen and bathroom and installing a log burner.
Although it will be a few more years before our house is exactly how we want it, we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Just like the previous owners, who left us a card card saying: ‘I hope your family enjoys living here as much as we did’.
'Our perfect home is a relic from the 1970s' 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.