Kasia lives in Warrington (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Welcome back to What I Own – our weekly series speaking to homeowners about their buying experience.
Last week we were over in Seattle chatting to Marita about her rainbow house (and ghost) – but now we are moving a little closer to home.
We are talking to Kasia, who lives in Warrington with her partner. She’s now bought her second house after renovating and selling her first.
This is what she had to say about her buying experience…
Kasia, tell us a bit about yourself…
I am 32 years old, born and bred in Warrington, Cheshire. I have worked in fashion ecommerce for the last 10 years and am currently head of ecommerce working for a multi-brand retailer across both fashion and homeware (my two passions).
My partner, Sam, owns his own digital business so we’re both passionate about all things ecommerce.
Where is your home?
Our property is in Great Sankey, Warrington, which is where Sam grew up. Warrington is super handy as it’s slap bang between Manchester and Liverpool so we are sandwiched between two great cities.
Kasia moved in at the end of last year (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
When did you move in?
We bought the property in early 2019 and moved in at the end of 2020. The property was derelict, so we spent over 20 months carefully planning and renovating it into a home.
How much does your property cost?
It was £240,000. We ended up in sealed bids and had lost out on two houses prior to sealed bids so were familiar with the process and knew we really wanted this one so we stretched to our absolute maximum, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best – and it was third time lucky.
How much was your deposit?
We put in a 20% deposit.
What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?
Around £2,000 including all utilities.
Kasia and her partner renovated the house (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
How did you save up for your deposit?
It was a mixture of savings and we had made extra profit from our last renovation – which we have put all into this property and the renovation.
What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging?
We knew a good independent financial business that helped us through the process and, as this was our second home, we knew what we were getting into.
Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?
We bought our first house when we were both 24 which was another renovation on a much smaller scale but learned a lot along the way which definitely helped us with this project.
What made you want to buy rather than renting?
Before buying we lived separately with our parents and saved so it was a gamble when we moved in together but after 11 years together it paid off. We also knew we really wanted to put our stamp on something and we’re prepared to get hands dirty on a property that needed work.
The couple love Danish design (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
How did you find this property? What made you choose it?
After renovating our first house we had the itch to do it again. We lost out on two houses in the process and it was a case of just searching every day see what was new to the market.
I drove past this house every day to work and it always intrigued me as it was empty and dilapidated but could see its inner beauty, when it came up we knew it was the house for us and that we could bring it back to life.
How have you made the property feel like home?
We have designed everything ourselves, Sam is the brains behind the structural and functional areas then I carefully sourced and selected the details – so it was a real team effort and we both have a real passion for interiors.
What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?
We are both really creative and will spend time searching for inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest but have also travelled together so a lot of our inspiration has come from some of our favourite places – the big one being Copenhagen. You can’t beat Danish design.
What’s your favourite room and why?
That’s a tough one. I think for me it has to be our bedroom. I love colour, the combination of pink and green I find so calming and when I go in that room I just instantly feel relaxed which I think is important as we both have demanding jobs and, at times, long working days so I love having a space where we can switch off.
I also love the garden, honestly it was a horror show when we moved in but Sam designed it based on the Mediterranean, he calls it his ‘Ibiza’ garden and it really does feel like a little get away. I can’t wait to finish it off and really enjoy it this summer.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Yes, for now. We have moved from a two-bed terrace to a three-bed detached so it’s been nice to have more living space, but I think we still have another project in us.
Kasia’s favourite room is her bedroom (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Do you have plans to change the property?
No we love it as it is, we have done all the structural changes it is just the finishing touches that need doing but this will come overtime.
Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?
Not currently. We had a few surprises when we started the extension – like the foundations were too soft so we had to get piling which we hadn’t budgeted but I think you can’t plan everything. So that was one thing we learned along the way.
What do you want people to know about buying a home.
Sometimes it can take a while to find the right property, we searched for three years but it had to be right for us. Also don’t be afraid of a project, when you are in it, it feels like hell at times but that’s quickly forgotten when you have finished and created something you are really proud of.
What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? Do you plan to stay here long term?
We definitely want to enjoy our hard work for a while but would love one day to do a self-build.
Shall we take a look around?
An open plan living space and kitchen (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
The pair had an extension (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
The dining area around the corner (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
An inviting table (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Cosy (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Contemporary but classic (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Downstairs bathroom (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
The calming bedroom (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Rattan details (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Monochrome bathroom (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
Close up (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
The garden area (Picture: Kasia Kenyon)
How to get involved in What I Own:
What I Own is a Metro.co.uk series that takes you inside people’s properties, to take an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in the UK. If you own your home and would be up for sharing your story, please email [email protected].
You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’ve paid to live there and how you afforded the deposit, as that’s pretty important.
If you’re renting, you can take part too! What I Own runs alongside What I Rent, which is the same series but all about renting. Again, if you’d like to get involved just email [email protected].