On the 19th June 2012 we exchanged contracts, I remember wanting to do glory laps around the office. With a very small chain and no major issues, the experience of buying our first house had been relatively stress free, but there was still a sense of relief that we were on the home straight.
We had decided to skip a step on the property ladder and go straight for our long term house. This meant compromises, so location and decorative order had to be sacrificed. Instead of the established part of London we were currently renting in we looked at a more ‘up and coming’ neighbouring area and decided that we were happy to take on a ‘project’.
With very little money left in the bank after buying the house we knew that we’d be doing most, if not all, of the work ourselves and it would have to be spread out over a number of years. But it would be our home and we would love it.
There were a few things that we didn’t want to compromise on. Space – we wanted a house big enough that we could grow into, have friends and family to stay and not feel squashed. It also had to be Victorian. The Victorians knew how to make great houses and lend themselves well to modern family living. I love everything about Victorian houses – their high ceilings, decorative cornices, even their wonky walls and uneven floors. For me it had to be Victorian.
House number 59 was certainly going to be a project! The photographs above are what the house was like when we viewed it. It took a few viewings to muster the vision, but eventually we saw its potential and decided that we could restore it to its former glory.