The Reality Of Owning An Old House

I remember seeing our house for the first time. Well, when I saw it advertised anyway. We had just stated to look for houses and for some reason I was drawn to this one. It went under offer quickly though and I didn’t think about it again. I remember having a conversation with someone at work and saying if it ever came back on the market it was the one I wanted. Not much later this actually happened and I couldn’t believe it.

We viewed the house and put in an offer quickly and things went forward quite fast from there. Unfortunately, being first time buyers, we didn’t really see the big importance with having the best survey done so we went for the cheapest option. That was a mistake straight away. I’m not sure we would have bought this house had we looked into some of it more and realised just what it actually needed doing to it.

We have lived here now for nearly 6 years and sometimes it’s a bit of a nightmare.

When we first moved in our electrics were so outdated I think it was actually illegal. We had lights flicker all the time and other things randomly turn off so the fuse box etc. had to be replaced immediately. There’s still a switch or two in the house that we don’t actually use because we don’t know what they’re for. We also have random plug sockets in the middle of the walls because it seems the previous owners were a bit mad. It’s important to find someone to fix things like this because otherwise they are a health and safety hazard. Be sure to find someone local with the right skills and experience, such as electrical services in London, if this is where you live, to carry out all of the work.

A few years ago our spare room had some water damage thanks to a really bad storm. The pointing over that window wasn’t great and so it leaked with the force of the wind and how much rain there was. We had this fixed quite easily and quickly and luckily our insurance covered the carpet damage. It didn’t cover building damage though as pointing is something you need to keep in good condition. Our insurance stated it didn’t cover anything like that if it hadn’t been kept well.

Home office

Speaking of the pointing, over the past few months we have noticed that this is a real issue now. Realistically, the whole house needs repointing but I know this is going to cost a lot of money. Looking up at the house I can see lots of bits that need doing so because scaffolding would be needed it wouldn’t really be worth getting someone to just patch bits up. We won’t be able to have this done for at least a couple of years because of the cost so we just have to hope nothing gets too damaged in the meantime.

Our house is also really cold. Upstairs you can feel the breeze from the loft as we need a new door I think. We also have horrible old electric storage heaters which cost a fortune to run, Our living room/ dining room is open plan and it’s so hard to heat in the winter. There is a mix of wooden and stone floor in the back half and the wooden floor has gaps everywhere, letting air come through. On the plus side though, this room is lovely in the summer when it’s too hot to be outside.

We do have an open fire place which should help to keep us warmer in the colder months but that needs some work doing to it as well. This year we haven’t bought any firewood partially because Jinx is insane and I don’t want her being able to go near it and also because there is a crack in the brickwork. I imagine this needs filling by a specialist and I wouldn’t want to expose it to even more heat in the meantime. At the minute it’s a small thing but I know that with more damage it could turn into a huge, expensive job.

Living room and fire place

At the minute it seems like one thing needs doing after another. The previous owners hadn’t looked after the house very well and now, nearly 6 years after we’ve moved in, we need to really start getting some things done. The problem is money though and we just don’t have much spare at the moment. For now, we’re going to slowly start saving to have the repointing done as there’s not much point in getting inside done first.

Don’t get me wrong, I love living in a Victorian house and the character it has but sometimes I think life would be a bit less stressful had we purchased a newer home with less issues!


The Reality Of Owning An Old House

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