Our very first home!

The Search For Our First Home

Back in November 2015, we decided that we wanted to own our own home. We’ve been together over 7 years and this was our next step. One thing we knew is that we didn’t want to rent.

Our Perfect House

So we started looking at houses around Walsall, and here was our starting criteria:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • Semi-detatched
  • Rear garden
  • Off road parking
  • £100,000 maximum
Semi-detatched house

Something like this is what we imagined

We looked at lots of possible homes, all within our price range, and decided to view one of them. It ticked all the boxes so we arranged a viewing with the estate agent.

Our First Viewing

When we got there, we started talking about offers and the like – I know, probably moving way too fast but we were excited! After a few days, we had a proper chat about it and discussed some of the cons.

It was a lovely house, bigger than expected. However, we realised that we wanted something we could move into and live in comfortably straight away whilst being able to hack away at it and make it our own gradually.

If we’d have gone with this house, we wouldn’t have been able to. Don’t get me wrong, you could have moved in straight away if you had the furniture ready. For us, though, it was far too old fashioned.

Everything about the interior was dated and it all looked worn down. The carpets were burgundy and patterned, the living room wall was covered in dark brown wood and the kitchen was all turquoise green and cream (tell me about it).

Essentially, we’d have needed to rip everything out and start a fresh. We didn’t want this for our first home – a future project, maybe.

The Second (And Final!) Viewing

So the searched resumed and it didn’t take us long to jump at another home. This time, the criteria wasn’t adhered to (probably at all!) but we fell in love with it.

Here’s what the criteria looks like for the house that we just couldn’t keep away from (and it was only the second we viewed!):

  • 2 bedrooms (1 less than originally desired)
  • Terraced (really didn’t want this when we first thought about a home)
  • Rear garden (at least we have this one!)
  • Parking in street outside the house (not ideal but it’s a quietish street)
  • £84,950 (bargain! Much less than our budget)
Our very first home!

Here’s our very first home (blue door)

As you can see, it’s almost entirely not what we were originally looking for. But hey, we’re allowed to change our minds! And this house just had our name written all over it. We discussed everything from the interior, how close it was for Hayley to work, how we can move into it as soon as the seller had moved out, etc. It was perfect.

With that in mind, we arranged a viewing. The seller used Purplebricks to advertise the house so we didn’t have an estate agent showing us round. Instead, we had the owners show us round!

When we got there, all our ideas came to life. We could see ourselves living there and didn’t want any other home. It was all decorated and furnished in a vintage style which has given us inspiration when buying new stuff. We plan on keeping virtually all the colour schemes the same – the seller has done a really good job to be honest! It just needs touching up in high traffic areas, as expected.

We Decided To Put In An Offer…

You can probably tell by now that this was bound to happen – we couldn’t wait to have our first home and this one seemed perfect.

We spoke about it and how we’d be able to afford it and ended up deciding we’d offer just a bit short – you don’t get if you don’t ask as the old saying goes. We went in with an offer of £82,000. The seller came back stating that they had received an offer for the asking price but the buyer needed to sell their house before she started the buying legwork.

We knew we were at an advantage as we didn’t need to sell up, being first time buyers. So we decided to offer the full asking price.

And The House Is Ours!

Less than 24 hours later, the seller responded by accepting our offer! We were over the moon at this point.

Ever since, we’ve been buying little things here and there and have most of the big appliances already sorted.

A Short Lived Quest

So the journey wasn’t long – some might say rushed. But, we’ve found a house we want to live in and make it our own.

Hopefully, we’ll be moving in at the start of September this year. That’s when you can expect the renovation and decoration posts to come flooding in. We plan on doing a lot – some big tasks, some small – and we want you to take the journey with us. We’ll show you everything we do and might even be able to chuck in some DIY stuff too as I know Hayley wants to make a vintage style cake stand…

Before the renovation starts, we’ll be heading to Porthmadog in Wales for our yearly camping trip so you can expect a few posts from our time there!

Oh So Pokemon Go

I know you’ve heard of it. Some of you might love it (like myself). Some of you might hate it. But Pokemon Go has literally taken the world by storm.

It’s Ridiculously Addictive

I’m not even kidding, I haven’t been able to put my phone down. The game just grabs a hold and doesn’t let go.

I’ve been a fan of the Candy Crush games since they came out and I still play them now. However, Pokemon Go is a different kind of addiction.

A Wild Squirtle Appeared!

A Wild Squirtle Appeared!

The Quest To Catch ‘Em All

You start the game by creating your character – very limited customisation – and then catching one of the starter Pokemon. If you didn’t already know (where have you been?!), these consist of Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur.

I chose the trusty Charmander hoping one day to evolve him into my beloved Charizard. I have heard a rumour about being able to get Pikachu as your first Pokemon, but I’m not sure how true this is – and I still would have chosen Charmander anyway.

Catching Your First Few Is Easy

Once you’ve chosen your starter Pokemon, you begin your adventure into the real / virtual world. The map is made up of the streets around you so it should feel familiar right away.

I didn’t go very far on my first journey because it was late by the time I’d installed the app. I also didn’t walk – at all. I decided to drive around with Hayley as my wingmangirl and pull over everything we heard a Pokemon or came across a Pokestop.

In the area that we drove in, we came across a lot of Pidgeys. I must have ended up with around 7 at one point. My favourite find of this little trip was Squirtle (I now have a Wartortle too!).

Forever Catching Pidgey

Forever Catching This Little Fellow

When catching my first lot of Pokemon, it was easy. I’d probably say it was too easy. The Pokemon appears (in your world if you turn on AR) and you flick a Pokeball at it. The Pokeball bounces off the poor little guy, opens up and (hopefully) catches it. As I just mentioned, it’s pretty easy at this stage and captures are almost guaranteed. This is without doubt down to the low level of the Pokemon as you start out.

Trust Me, It Gets Harder

As of writing this, I’m a high level 8. This isn’t impressive – I’ve seen loads of people already close to the 20’s.

As your level increases, the level of the Pokemon you find increases too. You might come across a Pidgey yourself, but if it’s a high level Pidgey it’ll fight to stay out of the Pokeball.

The hardest catch I’ve had to date was my Hypno. He must have wasted at least 8 of my Pokeballs by breaking free and a few of them by dodging too – yes, they’re smart little Pokemon. But I just had to have him. I’ve been past a lot of gyms with physic type Pokemon at the top. They’re strong against a lot of other Pokemon so do well to protect gyms.

Pokestops And Gyms

If you live in a bustling city centre, the chances are that Pokestops will be littered all around you. If you’re in a small, quiet village, it’s probably the opposite.

Pokestops are normally points of interest – I find that most of them are Churches and Libraries in my area. When you come across one, you simply get close enough until it changes appearance. Click on it and spin the circle to grab some items. I’m normally overwhelmed with Pokeballs and currently have over 100! I’ve recently started getting raspberries too since I’ve leveled up.

Pokestops And Gyms

Pokestops Are The Blue Icons, Gyms Are The Taller Ones

Again, the same applies with Gyms in terms of the amount around you. Busy city centres = more Gyms, small villages = less Gyms, typically speaking.

I haven’t really had a chance to take on any Gyms so far. A lot of people by me have leveled up super quick and stuck a really high level Pokemon in their Gym which I just cannot go up against. But give it time – I’m sure I’ll be telling you about me taking over a rival gym soon.

If you manage to take a Gym and hold onto it, you’ll gain a lot of XP. I believe you also have the option to cash out because people will be trying to claim your throne.

Download Pokemon Go At Your Own Risk


If you love Pokemon, this game is the closest thing to becoming a real Pokemon trainer.

Also, I really recommend you get yourself a portable charging pack or charging phone case because this game is a battery killer. It relies on GPS and mobile data to run.

I’m not going to say anymore, it speaks for itself. Here’s my recommendation for taking the chance on probably the best mobile app / game that will ever be released.