What I Own: Fiona, who put down a £70,000 deposit on her Nottinghamshire house

Welcome back to What I Own.

Last time, we spoke to interior stylist Vicky, who owns a £270,000 Victorian cottage on the outskirts of Brighton.

This week we are heading to the midlands, to chat to Fiona. 

She moved into her house five years ago – this is what she has to say about her buying experience. 

Tell us about yourself Fiona…

I’m 37 and live with my husband, also 37, and our two boys – Jacob aged eight and Luca aged five. We also have a one-year-old beagle called Bo.

My husband is a self-employed quantity surveyor and I’m a category buyer for a university. We are based in Hucknall, North Nottinghamshire

Where is your property? 

Hucknall is a large town with reasonably-priced housing and great transport links, making it a popular location.

It has its good and bad areas but has a huge range of amenities, everything you really need, plus some lovely countryside and surrounding villages.

When did you move in?

We moved into this property in April 2016.

How much does your property cost?

We bought our property for £280,000.

How much was your deposit?

Our deposit was £70,000.

What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?

Monthly cost of living is £900 (mortgage) and £900 (bills).

How did you save up for your deposit?

Our deposit was made up from a mixture of savings, redundancy money and some shares I received through work.

What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging?

Our mortgage process was very challenging due to the fact that my husband had recently started his own limited company and didn’t have two years of returns when we first applied for a mortgage. We therefore had to go through a specialist mortgage lender.

Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?

We owned a three-bed town house, also in Hucknall, before we bought this property.

What made you want to buy rather than renting?

Long-term investment and something to pass down to our children.

How did you find this property? What made you choose it?

We must have looked at 30 different properties around Hucknall. I initially wanted a new build, as I wasn’t keen on the idea of renovating a property with a two-year-old and newborn in tow, but my husband wanted an older property.

When we viewed this property, we saw how much potential it had and fell in love with the garden.

How have you made the property feel like home?

We have worked hard renovating the property throughout and making it our own. It’s been hard work but we’ve learned a lot and feel very proud at what we achieved.

What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?

I take inspiration mainly from Instagram, but also from Pinterest and home magazines. My style is modern/rustic and I love upcycling furniture.

What’s your favourite room and why?

My favourite room is our kitchen which we have recently renovated. It’s light and spacious and great for entertaining.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Yes, I do. We have a great sized garden which is perfect for the kids and the dog, and are lucky to have a playroom that houses all the kid’s toys and a space they can call their own.

Do you have plans to change the property?

We have renovated the property throughout but still have a couple of garden projects on the go and plans to redecorate the living/dining room later this year.

Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?

With it being a 1930s property, the plumbing and wiring were very temperamental but these have been replaced as we moved around renovating each room. We also replaced the windows and insulation as it would get very cold in the winter. 

What do you want people to know about buying a home?

Make sure you have a budget, view lots of properties, get an in-depth survey if you are buying an older property and make sure you have realistic timelines and money to invest if you plan to renovate a property.

What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? 

We are very happy here and have no plans to move. We have put a lot of hard work into making this property our own that we don’t want to move.

Shall we take a look around?














Do you want to feature in What I Own?

What I Own is a Metro.co.uk series that takes you inside people’s properties, to take an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in the UK. If you own your home and would be up for sharing your story, please email [email protected] 

You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’ve paid to live there and how you afforded the deposit, as that’s pretty important. 

If you’re renting, you can take part too! What I Own runs alongside What I Rent, which is the same series but all about renting. Again, if you’d like to get involved just email [email protected]

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