For five years my mum had hunted for the perfect house that would take us out of London to start our new life. She must have viewed over 100 houses but nothing quite fitted the bill.
Then one day we went to see a property in the picturesque village of Puttenham, just outside Guildford. As we drove up to the property, we fell hook, line and sinker for the glorious view. The house was in the middle of just over seven acres of land in the heart of the Surrey Hills and all we could see was farmland, fields and woods. There were even stables and a tennis court, although they were somewhat run-down. With butterflies floating around the buddleia and birds singing in the trees, this was exactly the rural dream we had been searching for.
We stayed in the car, just staring at the view, until finally there was a knock on window: it was the estate agent wondering if we still wanted to see around the house.
Unfortunately, the house didn’t live up to its setting. It was originally built in the 1930s, but had been extended a few too many times and was in need of a fair amount of work. None of this was a concern to my mum. Nor was the fact that a family of rats was living under the floorboards. She wanted that view; the house was very much an afterthought.
And so the project began. We moved nearby into a two-bedroom flat above a friend’s garage, and over the course of nine months the house was stripped back to a shell and completely renovated.
Now some 14 years later, I have since moved into my own house but I still frequently visit. The tranquil environment and glorious view really do keep drawing me back, while inside the house is now a warm and inviting place where family and friends always gather. Finally the house complements the view.
'Great view, shame about the house' 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.