Where it all began. The house with two front doors.

In order to save money, having sold our beautiful, fully renovated semi-detached house we downsized to this. A confusing building with two front doors and a strange ratio of bricks-to-windows.

At first I didn’t even consider looking at the property. From the estate agent’s photo I thought it was two flats, but it was my husband who saw what a bargain it was. It’s an ex local authority house so has generous rooms, is very solidly built & has a good sized garden front & back. It has a light filled landing with an outlook over open fields & as soon as we walked into the house we had a nice feeling about it. (I didn’t realise that was a real thing before-just assumed it was invented by estate agents on a hard sell, but now I know ‘that feeling’ does exist!)

I also loved the fact that the house sits near the end of a no-through-road, so is very quiet & I don’t need to worry about my children running in front of a speeding car.

However, the layout wasn’t right for us, the back garden was a mess & it had been a rental property for some time so really needed some tlc. It was also ugly. So, so ugly! This is where my own shoestring story began. In a few years I’d like to think we’ll trade up, but for now this is our home…& we’ve got our work cut out.

Time to grow up…and scale down

In 2015 my husband & I decided to take a departure from our ‘you only live once’ spendthrift ways & be sensible with our money. With two small children and an online business which sometimes struggled to earn us a comfortable living, we sold our first home near the town in order to buy a more affordable one in a nearby village.

“Of course it’s the right decision” I told myself, as I handed over the keys to our beautifully finished 3 bed semi, with its oak skirting boards, bay windows and granite worktops. We were putting so much less financial pressure on ourselves by moving & we wanted our children to grow up near fields and trees, not cars and shops. So many times though it didn’t feel like the right move, and the main reason for that was our choice of new house. You’ll soon see why…