What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I believe in fate, so get settled for story time with Emma whilst I tell you why we moved into a chapel and are saving £400 per month.
If I were to list my hobbies, visiting Rightmove would be up there. I love looking at available properties all the time! Rewind a few years back, just as I quit my job, we saw a converted chapel for sale. We had the discussion – do we stay in our jobs to secure a mortgage on the chapel, or do we leave our jobs and pursue freedom from the 9-5. You know which one we did!
Our housing situation is a little up in the air right now, and I get a lot of questions about it. Let me take a moment to explain it.
We lived in a rented house and I own a house 200 miles away. Living in the house I own isn't an option (I can't be away from my dad) so we rent it out and make a little bit of money after taxes and costs. A little bit. We can't get a mortgage until our limited company is two years old, which is May this year. If you're keeping track that means we will find out in June/July how much of a mortgage we will qualify for, and start looking for houses.
We had the option to buy our rented home, but houses just 16 minutes up the road were a massive £100,000 cheaper. With our landlord wanting to know if we would be buying the house come June/July, us not knowing what sort of mortgage we would be eligible for and then our landlord increasing our rent into 4 figures per month, we had a brief discussion about moving to try to save some money and allowing our landlord to sell her house. Plus let me tell you, the anxiety of hoping to buy that house but potentially not being able to get that size mortgage was making me more stressed than I realised.
On one of my visits to Rightmove I discovered that the chapel was up for rent. I read the advert: no pets, 12 month minimum term.
Of course not being able to have pets wouldn't work for us, and the 12 month minimum term wasn't great – we wanted to start looking at houses this summer.
However I was drawn to the listing and I took a chance and emailed the landlord.
He was possibly one of the nicest people I had ever spoken to. He went away to think about it, and it just worked out. He had some things going on in his life meaning he needed to get the property rented out ASAP, and I don't know, maybe the stars aligned or something because despite there being a lot of interest in the chapel, we got it!
Saving £400 a month
The rent for the chapel is a massive £400 cheaper per month than our old place. We have two fewer bedrooms, however we have a massive 36ft loft.
I still can't believe that we get to live in a chapel AND save £400 per month. Over the 6 month minimum tenancy, once we have paid for a man in a van we will save £1,875.
It is tempting to get carried away with this and spend the money on new furniture or a holiday, but every penny is going into our house fund.
Buying the chapel?
What excites us most is that the landlord at the chapel will be in a position to sell it on later this year. If we love the chapel (so far we do) and feel that it could be ours, we might be able to purchase it. We have lots of plans for renovations if we do purchase it, including turning the upstairs 36ft loft into bedrooms. It has so much potential.
Right now we are in the throes of moving and I'm at the ‘why did I do this?' stage. We have so much more to do, but I have been enjoying the challenge.
Our plans are to keep saving towards our house buying goals, spending very little money on the chapel. I've allowed myself three purchases: a new freezer (ours was £20 second hand about 5 years ago), new bathmats (£24 at Wilkos bought with Love2Shop vouchers I had earned) and I'm still debating a console table for the gorgeous hallway. I found one at B&M for £110, then found one at Wayfair for £48 and then found the same Wayfair one on eBay for £38. We don't need it, but I know I would love it.
We also have the added cost of filling the oil tank. I guess it isn't an added cost really, we would just be paying for that instead of paying for gas, however we need to pay for it all at once.
So there you have it, that is why we have made the decision to move into this gorgeous chapel for a few months and save ourselves a ton of money.