Our big news…
We bought a new flat!
I kept saying that this year would be the year I took on another interiors project, although to be completely honest I’ve been looking at new places since around the middle of last year. I found a flat that I liked the look of but I wasn’t quite ready to make an offer, and before long it was snapped up.
At the start of the year I finally got myself more organised and started seriously looking, and on one of my searches I came across the flat I saw last year back on the market. The sale had fallen through, which seemed like fate to me, and so I booked an appointment to go and view it.
It’s been five years since I bought our current flat, I was 23 at the time and didn’t know what I was doing – but it worked out right?! I tried to keep that same mindset – everything can be changed. The sale went quick, I think the offer was accepted at the end of February, and the date of entry was five weeks later.
Like our current flat, I viewed the new flat once and didn’t see it again until we had the keys. I’m not sure if this is a Scottish law but you can’t view that flat until the missives have concluded and by that time, you may as well wait until you have the keys.
Originally I planned to just renovate the flat slowly and share the process on here, and then rent it out when it was finished – so I went to the viewing alone. Jordan said he might nip out but in the end the coffee shop was too busy! Luckily he trusts me…
I know what I want in a flat so it was a quick viewing – the windows were double glazed, the home report didn’t hint at any issues, central heating and a boiler were in place, it had the original features I love so much. I could see all of that from the brochure, so I just had a quick look around. I knew I was going to change it all inside anyway!
Once our offer had been accepted, I started to think about what I’d change and Jordan wanted to be involved – we usually do these things together but the coffee shop does take up a lot of his time, and I’m definitely the more proactive one!
He liked the idea that it had an extra bedroom, and he offered up the idea that maybe we could move in there and rent out our current flat instead. I warmed to the idea and since then we’ve been thinking that maybe we will live in it, although that could all change! I’m in two minds at the moment, I love our current flat so much more but that might change when we make a start on the renovations.
I thought I’d talk a bit about getting a mortgage while it’s fresh in my mind. I would usually shy away from talking about money (oh wow, I’m so British!) but I think it will be helpful, and I’m trying to be more honest and personal on these pages.
I’ve been self-employed for a while now; I was a business first and then I went back to being a sole trader for a few years and now I want to switch back to being a business, but I had to wait until we got a mortgage before I could make the switch. I have over three years of accounts as a sole trader, and my accountant gave me the details of a financial adviser that would help me invest in a property. It’s always been my plan to own another flat, so I’ve been working towards this and saving for a while.
It’s probably worth noting that Glasgow property prices are a lot cheaper than say Edinburgh and London, the average price of a flat in Glasgow is probably around £150,000. We’d saved up a deposit, but ended up needing double what I thought as our mortgage is a buy to let mortgage since we didn’t plan to live there, which requires a higher deposit. We also offered over the value (which is standard where we are, flats go like lightning) so need to pay the difference on top of the deposit.
AND THEN we have something called Additional Dwelling Tax in Scotland – it’s tax you pay on any additional properties. I think it worked out at around £7000, which is not ideal but I knew we’d have to pay it so it wasn’t a big shock and I think (hope!) it will be worth it in the long run.
So yes, it was expensive… and I haven’t even got to the renovation part yet! But it’s an investment – hopefully within a year it will be done, we will have some rent coming in and eventually we can sell it at profit and buy our forever home when we’re ready, keeping just the one flat to rent out – because I am not paying that additional dwelling tax again!
The buying process was relatively easy, it took around five weeks but I wasn’t stressed at all. I remember feeling so anxious when we bought our first flat, but second time round I was way more chilled. The flat was empty (the sellers never lived there, it’s always been rented out) and we don’t need to sell our flat so it was pretty easy breezy start to finish.
We had a really good mortgage adviser which made a big difference, we were kept in the loop the whole time and he really made it work for us self-employed folks. If you’re local to Glasgow, they’re called Bricks and Mortar Mortgages – not an ad, just a recommendation.
And now here we are, with the keys ready to start a new project! I plan to rip everything out – the kitchen, the bathroom, the floors. I want to have a shell! I want to put new flooring throughout (except for the kitchen and bathroom, which I’ll eventually tile), have the walls replastered and the wood repaired but leave it unpainted for now.
Then I’ll start to design the kitchen and bathroom.
Like I said, we’re still not sure which of the flats we’ll live in and which we’ll rent out, but I want to have some fun with the renovations and work on a project that isn’t so personal to me. I think I’ll be a bit more daring if I know I’m not going to live there!
I hope to share a lot of the makeover on here, as well as my KLVhome account – I think I’ll use stories and highlights to keep up to date with what’s happening, so be sure to follow along.
Are you excited about this next chapter?!