I’m just mortgage free but my dream home has stolen my heart – and better judgment

Rear view of mature couple looking at a beautiful house
Rear view of mature couple looking at a beautiful house

Last year – on April Fool’s Day, no less – I paid off my mortgage.

It was an incredible feeling. I stood in my lounge and I said to myself: “This is how real freedom feels”. I mean, I know that’s all a bit fancy and big thinking and probably very materialistic but, in that moment, I felt kind of “untouchable”.

The bank no longer had a hold on my home. As long as I paid the utility bills, the place was mine forever and ever more.

It was a magical feeling and made me walk around with a big grin on my face. “I made it”, I’d think to myself – like I’d won some sort of video game contest.

Then life goes on. Bills come in, bills go out. Then you go for a walk. And just around the corner from the mortgage-free home you now own, you see a house you know will be your forever-ever home. I stopped and stared and had a little dream. I duly looked it up on Rightmove, gasped at the price and went back home.

Forget about it, I said to myself. It wasn’t that hard; the price tag was too high and it needed everything doing to it.

Fast-forward a few months and the dream house has a massive price cut. My eyes light up – if I stretch really hard, withdraw all my Premium Bonds, cash Isas, sell the current home and get a hefty mortgage, I could just about do it.

Admittedly, I wouldn’t have any funds left over for the renovation, and with the costs of materials still spiralling and labour being hard to find, it would be madness to take something like this on. Wouldn’t it?

Why would you risk it? Why not?

The questions kept coming to me, hourly. I couldn’t sleep for thinking of the “dream house”. I knew there would be a danger if I viewed it and fell in love, but there was also the FOMO [fear of missing out] of not viewing.

Then there were also the personal considerations of how I’m getting older (it’s better to do a project like this when I’m still young, fit and able), how I feel mentally able to take this on right now (who knows where my head will be years from now) – but that was all mixed with fears of an incoming Labour government (will I have enough money left to even pay for anything?), how will I actually fund the renovation (is there a money tree in the garden?).

And despite me knowing I really shouldn’t, but that I would anyway, I booked a viewing, fell in love, had my offer accepted, sold my house, took out a hefty mortgage and last week collected the keys.

My dream home hasn’t been touched for over 40 years, but I can tell it’s been filled with love. I know that, I met the 92-year-old seller.

I’ve been in property for 20 years. I’ve bought and sold multiple places but nothing has ever stolen my heart like this dream house. And it’s been really hard not to get carried away. I have the details in my handbag and show people like a proud mother. It is nothing short of embarrassing. Maybe in time the glow will wane, but in a way I hope it doesn’t.

The excitement and thrill of a new home is special. So often we talk about the stresses and the costs (of which there are many), but today I’d like to celebrate the gratefulness, joy and luck I feel.

I know my renovation journey will be long, arduous, expensive and anxiety-inducing, but it will also be a huge source of joy, satisfaction and fulfilment.

I hope I can add to the love in my new home, because really, isn’t that what we all really want?