How to rent a house (we moved in together!)

If you follow me on Instagram you may already know this, but in early March, myself and my boyfriend moved in together! Before finding, viewing and applying for our dream house, there was a lengthy planning process with a lot of ups and downs. So, I wanted to get onto the blog, officially announce the milestone and share some experiences and advice for anyone else looking to do the same thing. I took to Instagram stories to gather some frequent questions and answer them here. Let’s jump into it.

How did you know when it was time to move in together?

It’s kind of a weird one. We’d been seeing each other for six months when we decided we wanted to move in together. To some, that seems like a very short amount of time but it felt right. And as my boyfriend was moving away, we were about to enter a long distance relationship. When you’re doing it long distance style, in a way you need to be serious a little earlier on than you normally would, because you need to implement plans to shorten that distance. We knew we’d want to move in together eventually, so why not now? We loved each other and knew we were a good team, and we were both starting to properly get our shit together and start behaving like ‘real grown-ups’. It was just time.

How long did the process take?

I had financial obstacles initially. I working part-time at a WHSmith and had some debt (sorry EE) to repay when we first decided to live together. That meant there was nothing we could really do to get the ball rolling immediately. When I got my current job as a copywriter, I had good working hours and a generous salary, so we could start properly planning.

Once debts were repaid, I started saving around £300 a month, aiming to have a few grand by June (when we were originally going to move). It was just over a grand for a deposit and just under a grand for the rent, and I wanted to go completely unfurnished and get all our own stuff – that’s what the extra savings were for.

By late February, we’d saved enough as a team (I’ve left my boyfriend’s side of the saving plan out for privacy reasons) to start looking for properties. I think we were both really surprised by how quick this process was. Pretty much as soon as we asked for a viewing, we got one. And then as soon as we applied for the house, the application was progressed and we’d paid the fee (as of the 1st June, these fees have been eradicated). We were living in the house and deciding on book shelf arrangements less than two weeks after the initial viewing, so it was much quicker than expected.

How did you save?

It’s probably not great saving advice (I am planning a more comprehensive post on how I got out of debt – watch out for that) but I basically just didn’t do anything fun for a while! It sounds miserable, but I hated the house I was living in before so much and wanted to move in with my partner so badly that I just sacrificed a lot in order to save. In the end, I didn’t even miss most of it. I stopped buying takeaways and alcohol and downloaded an app (Plum) to round up spare pennies and save it. Eventually, I managed to save a lot. Quitting smoking and cutting back on the number of new clothes I bought also helped hugely. I wrote a finance plan towards the end of 2018 and worked out I was spending roughly £600 a month on clothes, smoking and drinking. So, you can see how cutting all of those activities out for a while helped me save an entire house deposit fund. I also politely asked relatives not to give me any Christmas or birthday presents, and to instead give me the money they would have spent on those things so I could contribute that to the savings pot.

All in all, it was a much quicker and easier process than I had vastly over-prepared myself for (I was a stressed, anxious nightmare) and I’m overwhelmed by how happy I’ve been since living here.

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Beth Ashley
Beth Ashley

Writer/wronger. Provides words about mental health and feminism and runs this very blog. Copywriter for Godaddy and editor of Paperfox Literary Magazine.

Find me on: Web | Instagram

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