Monday, 12 October 2020

How Covid-19 Has Changed What We're Looking For In A Home

It's fair to say that none of us were expecting 2020 to pan out the way it has.

If you'd warned me back on January 1st that within a few months, we'd be subject to an almost global Stay At Home order - I don't think I would have believed you. I certainly wouldn't have been able to comprehend how that would feel, or what it would make me realise about my life as it is.

For the most part, Covid-19 has made me realise how truly fortunate I am in my life. I've always felt a little kooky for the way our lives are in comparison to most peoples - the fact that we home educate our children, the fact that we both work from home and we're together as a family pretty much 24/7.

It's quite an unusual way to live and certainly one that tends to raise eyebrows. But during lockdown, we realised that our way of life has actually been of huge benefit to us throughout the course of the pandemic.

We underwent very little upheaval compared to most people. We didn't have to change much about our usual daily routines other than to skip the children's usual social groups and educational clubs. Aside from that, our lives remained the same - albeit without the usual holidays and days out!

The children's education continued unaffected as it always has, and I was incredibly fortunate in that my own work wasn't impacted by the virus in any way - I already worked from home and I found that my incoming work didn't decrease at all, my income has remained much the same as last year. I even decided to set up a second business during lockdown which get off to a fantastic start.

However, the one area that did flag up to me as not working in our lives was our current living environment.

We live in a rented home where we've been for the last 6 years. When we moved in, we were a couple with one young child and a baby on the way.

We loved the amount of storage space this house had, as we have an abundance of "stuff" that has always been an issue in rented homes. At the time, we thought the three bedrooms the house offered us would be ample for our needs and we weren't too concerned about the small back yard area as our children were too little to play outside for a long time anyway. 

But during lockdown, we realised quickly that we have seriously outgrown this house. 

There simply isn't enough space inside it for 5 people to live alongside each other comfortably, particularly when we're all home for the majority of the time. 

I have found it harder than usual to work from home, as without the childcare that usually came from children's social clubs and groups I found myself being interrupted while working an awful lot.

I also realised quickly that our lack of outdoor space was a problem. Although we felt fortunate to have at least some outside space, it is a very small area and it's not easily accessible - we really started to crave a real, accessible garden for the children to enjoy during those long summer days in lockdown.

We're now in a position where we're starting to consider how we will move forwards and get on to the property ladder. As self employed people, we will certainly need to undertake advice on mortgages and have been using websites like to help us as they offer free and impartial information which is so useful for first-time buyers like ourselves in helping us to figure out what we can afford.

With news that Covid-19 is having an impact on the property market, we're keeping an eye on how things progress over the coming few months before making any firm decisions. But when the time is right, we have a much clearer view of what we'll be looking for in a home and what we're not prepared to compromise on going forwards.

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