20 In Expat Life/ Life

We bought a flat! | Expat Diaries

we bought a flat - we've moved

Happy Halloween! We bought a flat and we moved last weekend!

What? I know! Exciting! That’s why I’ve been a bit silent on the blog recently.

Long story short, we went through the whole ordeal of selling our flat and buying a new one (and getting a mortgage, which was a mess of its own because bureaucracy as an immigrant is never easy), but it all fell through back in July. We were absolutely gutted.

And would you believe that it happened again this month? We’ve fallen on quite a few bad buyers and our property sale fell through again. But thanks to the Brit’s parents, we’ve been able to just purchase our new property and push ahead with the move, while in the background trying to sell our first property again.

What did we look for?

We lived in the city centre of Stirling for two and a half years, and it is unfortunately overrun by inconsiderate people. For a couple of professionals who like their quiet nights in, while it’s convenient to live in the city centre, it was just an awful place to live. But beggars can’t be choosers. Despite its shortcomings, this flat did help us for those two years of uncertain jobs and visa prospects. Since I’ve come back on my spouse visa though, and have managed to snatch a permanent full-time job, we’ve been motivated to buy a new place and move.

Obviously a house would have been nice, but in the nice neighbourhood of Stirling houses go for at least half a million pounds. Instead, we looked at large flats. I had quite a lot of expectations. I wanted a nice sized living room and a big kitchen with a gas hob, perhaps a top floor, perhaps a garden. But when it comes down to it, we needed to be realistic, our real main goals included a quiet neighbourhood and upgrading to a 2-bedroom flat.

We started looking in Edinburgh. But honestly Edinburgh is awfully expensive for what it is. A 2-bedroom flat in terrible condition will cost nearly 300k in a nice neighbourhood. Except for the price, the main problem we found is that while I work in Edinburgh, the Brit was still finishing his PhD and was only starting to look for a job. We thought if one of us ends up working in Glasgow, living in Edinburgh would be a pain. (Since, the Brit has snatched a very good job as an academic in Stirling, so it’s not a big problem anymore.)

We thought that Stirling would be the perfect middle-ground. Not only is it more affordable, we also have a good circle of friends here, and it would be perfect for whatever jobs we take in the future. It’s also the perfect spot for a quick getaway to the Highlands. 

We visited a few properties, new and old, and nothing tickled our fancy. We tried to purchase a nice property back in July but that fell through unfortunately. In August however, the Brit came upon an unassuming flat that was up for sale. It wasn’t advertised online so I think we had missed it the first time around.

That is where we’ve moved to! It’s a wonderful top floor two-bedroom flat in a converted Victorian house. It is also in a much nicer area, pretty much the best area of town. It’s near a park and only 10mins walk from the train station. It needs quite a lot of work done, but that’s exciting. We can really make it ours!

So you’re staying in Stirling now?

Well, not forever. We both know it in our hearts that Stirling will never be a long-term home for us. I can’t talk for the Brit, but I just don’t love it that much. It lacks in culture, in range of shops and restaurants, and in general taste. It’s improving slowly, but I think Stirling may always leave a bad taste in my mouth.

We shall see what living in this new environment leads to, but we know this isn’t our forever home. We don’t know if we may move to Edinburgh in a few years? Or perhaps abroad? And longer terms we may want to move to Canada. So there is loads to think about. For now, this is a nice place and I hope it’ll be good to us.

Are you interested in hearing about the home-buying process? Or reading about home decor and renovations?xx

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