'How we bought a 1960s house for £185,000 and turned it into our dream home'

You don’t have to buy a new-build house to make your dwellings feel both new and entirely your own.

Emily Morgan, 26, and her boyfriend, Shea Smith, from Kettering, Northamptonshire, bought an outdated 60s style house for their first home.

In the space of just a year, they’ve managed to turn the rundown house into their perfect living space.

The first-time buyers bought the three-bedroom house in July 2019 for £185,000.

Over the last year, they spent a further £30,000 on renovations, completely gutting the interiors so they could make the space feel more modern.

The transformation took a lot of work – the house was so stuck in the past that Emily found newspapers from the 1930s and 40s in the rooms.

Emily said: ‘I definitely don’t think that anything had been done to the house since the 60s at least, the furniture, tiles and how it had been decorated was just straight from that era.

‘We completely ripped everything out and started again.’

After 14 months of hard work, blood, sweat and tears, they were eventually able to move into their dream home in September.

Emily said: ‘We were saving for our first home, and when we saw this house come on the market we just thought we would have a look as we knew we didn’t want a new build.

‘We hadn’t planned on buying a house that needed so much doing to it, but after seeing it we saw so much potential and made an offer.

‘We never dreamed the offer would get accepted, but it did, and then the hard work began.’

The couple did most of the renovation work themselves to keep costs down and continue working on the space in lockdown.

‘Shea is a plumber and he is really handy with things like this so we could avoid having a lot of tradespeople in,’ said Emily.

‘At first when we started all the work we were both working full time, so we would come to the house as soon as we finished and would stay as long as we could.

‘Then, of course, lockdown happened earlier this year which freed up a lot of our time as we were off work for a few months. So we would wake up and come straight to the house every day and do as much as we could each day.’

The makeover involved everything from knocking down walls to bricking up doorways, with the window sills the only thing kept.

Emily said: ‘We pretty much got rid of everything without knocking it down and starting again.

‘It was in a pretty bad way when we got it, even the heating didn’t work.

‘Although it has been extremely hard work and there have been moments when it would have been easier to buy a new build, we have really enjoyed the process.

‘We have absolutely loved being able to make the house exactly as we want it. We have gone with quite a classic style with some modern touches.

‘We have done panelling throughout the house, which looks great.

‘Downstairs we have kept to a light grey colour scheme which runs through the whole bottom floor as it is quite an open space.

‘We were so excited about this house, but I don’t think either of us imagined just how much we would love the end result. It is perfect for us.

‘Working day and night to get the work and get the house we wanted it has been so worth it. It is amazing being able to have a free reign over everything.

‘My favourite thing about the process has been the sense of achievement now that it’s finished, it’s amazing to look around and see what we have accomplished.’

To check out the entire renovation journey, take a look at the couple’s Instagram page.

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