Everything I Wish I'd Known About Buying A House

Photographed by Matilda Hill-Jenkins
Some words that I didn’t think would ever spill out of my millennial mouth: I bought a house last year. But here I am, sat in a house that I bought.
After a move abroad fell through due to about 8,000 different things conspiring against us, my boyfriend and I decided that seeing as we’d banged on so much about how we’d miss our current city (Manchester), we may as well put the money we’d saved towards buying a house here instead. We were determined to do it entirely on our own without a single parental penny or a move back home. That unhelpfully stubborn mentality also meant that we navigated the entire process without any real guidance either. And let me tell you, it was the opposite of fun.
People love to say how stressful buying a house is. And I loved to ignore them. I was busy imagining swooning at hardwood floors and pretending to know stuff about boilers. I didn’t want to hear about 'processes' and 'reality'.
But not only should I have listened, I also should have asked them: "What specific things were particularly stressful and how exactly did you resolve them?" Because the house-buying process is seemingly designed with two purposes in mind: 1) To let as many people have a slice of the pie as possible, and 2) To make you feel stupid, angry and anxious.
Fortunately, I came out the other side with a house that I love and only a mild contempt for solicitors. Here’s what I learned along the way…

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