Becky Edwards, businesswoman and Instagram influencer, lives in North City, Norwich.

Where and when did you buy your first home? 

Norwich in 2019. In a nutshell, it was the only place we could afford to buy that ticked all the boxes for our family; myself, my partner Jack and our daughters, aged six and three. . It's not too far from where we'd been renting, which meant not much further for the school run, close to great parks and with easy access to Norwich centre and north Norfolk's beautiful beaches.

Over the few months we've lived here so far, it's been amazing so quiet!

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Becky • Mother Like No Other® (@mother_like_no_other) on

Can you describe your first home for us?

It's a 1970s end-of-terrace three-bed house. The thing that instantly grabbed us was how much light filled the rooms, the doors that led out to the garden and that the garden is fully enclosed.

Most terraced housing in Norwich has a bisected garden, which can make it difficult to give kids free rein.

How many potential homes did you view before putting in an offer? 

A lot, about 15 to 20. It was so hard to find any that ticked our boxes, even though we didn’t have any unusual or particularly difficult requirements.

Having a lower budget limited us and a lot of the houses we viewed required considerable work. We didn’t have any spare cash to allow for that.

Did you have to make any compromises from your on-paper wish list? 

The main thing for us was location. But it would have been nice to be a little closer to the girls' school and helpful if it was a smidge bigger upstairs.

But overall we feel very lucky we found our place and we're so grateful it’s ours.

How much did you pay for your first home?

It cost £190,000, which was the top of our budget. I bought with my partner of almost 10 years, Jack.

Did the buying process go smoothly?

Our offer was accepted in June 2019 and we exchanged at the end of October.

The process was pretty smooth. There were a lot of queries around preservation orders and some solicitor delays, but I've since heard that’s quite normal.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Becky • Mother Like No Other® (@mother_like_no_other) on

Can you describe how you felt being a homeowner for the first time?

Over the moon, relieved and very lucky to have some security for our family. It's beyond amazing knowing that we are now free to make long-term plans, free from the worry that we might have to find a new rental at any time. 

What was the first item of furniture you bought? 

We had to buy a bed for us and our eldest daughter. The rooms in this house are smaller than our last and the beds we had before wouldn’t fit.

We'd love a new sofa as the one we have is literally on its last legs – it's currently being held in place with a bit of cardboard but we will save and replace it eventually.

How would you describe your home style?

A mish-mash of mid-century and contemporary design with lots of colour and plants in between.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Becky • Mother Like No Other® (@mother_like_no_other) on

How have you made your mark on your home?

Before we moved in we knew we wanted to whitewash the entire place to give it a good freshen up and make our mark.

There was also a lot of questionable wallpaper, which we immediately stripped.

We'd also not fully realised the state of the kitchen at our viewings. So, we had a week to rip it out and replace it all before we moved in, which we did ourselves with absolutely no DIY experience.

The old one just wasn't workable and so dated that we had no choice but to put a new one in. It was a tiring challenge with such a tight turnaround, but so worth it. We're very pleased with how it’s turned out. 

We still need to put a floor in, but the kitchen is our favourite area. We love it not only for how it looks and works for us as a family, but because we did it ourselves. It's very reassuring to know that it's perfectly possible to learn some DIY as you go along.

What advice would you give to first-time buyers?

Do your research and know that as a first-time buyer you are in a great position. With no chain you're able to negotiate, especially if the buyer wants to move quickly.

Chase the solicitor (no one tells you this!). You have to be on the phone a lot to make sure they are pushing things forward.

Expect the process to take a minimum of four months. Again, that timeline is something else that's not talked about. Manage your expectations then if it turns out to be faster, it’ll be a lovely surprise.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Becky • Mother Like No Other® (@mother_like_no_other) on

And finally, what is your home worth to you? 

Living in our old rental was so stressful, from our neighbours to limitations with decor and repairs. It's brilliant to be free from all that.

This new home has been quite literally life-changing, improving our quality of life as a family.

All about...Norwich in Norfolk

Forget the Alan Partridge clichés, Norwich is a bustling, attractive city with pubs, churches and cafés aplenty. There’s an old saying that Norwich had a church for the year - and a pub for every day.

The medieval cathedral is a beauty while Norwich open-air market is a foodie mecca. Norwich is home to the University of East Anglia, so expect throngs of hipster students alongside holidaymakers.

The Norfolk Broads and the stunning coastline are just a short train or mercifully flat bike ride away. 

There are direct trains from London’s Liverpool Street (one and a half hours) and Cambridge (around an hour and a half). 

Would you like to be featured in our First-Step Stories? Please email editor@zoopla.co.uk with a few details about yourself and your first home.

You may also be interested in...

 

* DISQUS *
comments powered by Disqus