Welcome back to What I Own.
If you’re new here, this weekly series chats to a different homeowner every week about everything to do with getting on the property ladder – the good, the bad and the ugly.
This time it’s the turn of Monika, who lives in Berkshire with her husband and two young children. The mum-of-two moved in earlier this year, after selling a previous property in London.
This is what she had to say about her home-buying experience.
Tell us about yourself.
I am 35 years old and my husband is 37 years old. We both run our own Bollywood Dance Academy in London called Sumeet’s Step2Step Bollywood.
Where is your property?
The property is based in Langley, Berkshire. The area is beautiful – there is Black Park and Langley Park just about a five-minute drive away. Also our home is close to the motorway as we travel to our classes every day.
When did you move in?
We moved in March 2021.
How much does your property cost?
We got the property for £440,000.
How much was your deposit?
We put down a 25% deposit.
What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?
The mortgage is £1,400 plus other bills on top is around £900.
How did you save up for your deposit?
We saved up the deposit and took out equity from our two-bedroom flat in Hounslow.
What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging?
Being self-employed we faced a lot of challenges, during Covid a lot of banks didn’t see self-employed or business owners as ideal candidates.
It took us nearly five months to receive the mortgage offer letter. It was a very stressful process – but it was all worth it in the end.
Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?
We owned a two-bed flat in Hounslow and were looking to upgrade to a family home, as we have two young kids.
What made you want to buy rather than renting?
We were looking for a home for our kids.
How did you find this property? What made you choose it?
We found this property through Zoopla. The property had a lot of potential, a big garden, and a massive living area to host guests. It ticked all the boxes.
How have you made the property feel like home?
A big dining area where kids can sit and create memories. The rooms for my kids are as per their choice and likings – as you can see.
What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?
My husband and I like light interiors but wanted to introduce a colour. Hence added a tinge of blue and gold.
What’s your favourite room and why?
I love the living area corner with the blue and gold tub chairs.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Yes, it’s quite good for us.
Do you have plans to change the property?
There is a lot of extension scope in the property, but possibly we would do that in the next three years. We need a room and bathroom downstairs for our parents when they want to visit us.
Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?
Just the height of the attic, so we can never convert the attic into a room. But the space is enough for us.
What do you want people to know about buying a home?
Just jump on the property ladder even if it means a small house / flat, that’s how we started. Being first generation here in this country with no family support it was quite difficult for us to start.
What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? Do you plan to stay here long term?
There are good secondary schools here and it’s quite close to the motorway. We definitely will be staying in this house long-term.
Shall we take a look around?
Would you like 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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