What I Own: Marcela and Altin, who pay £3,500 monthly for the mortgage and bills

Welcome back to What I Own.

We are in London this week – more specifically in Ealing, chatting to Marcela and Altin. They moved into their home last year, after selling their previous Hounslow property.

The couple bought their home for £850,000, but now it’s worth more than £1million – after giving it a makeover (more details of this can be seen on their Instagram account @edwardian_home_journal).

This is what they had to say about their property journey…

Tell us about yourselves, Marcela and Altin.

I’m Marcela, a freelance makeup artist and Altin works as a medical doctor in urgent care at various centres around the Middlesex area.

Where is your property? What do you think of the area?

Our home is based in a small suburb of Ealing, W5. We loved moving into this area, which is a great location. There’s lots of green space and everything is nearby. The area is very clean, feels safe and comfy, and is very close to good coffee shops, restaurants and parks. 

The main reason we moved to this area is to have close access to a good school for our daughter, as 97% of borough’s schools are now rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

After living here for even less than a year, we found out the neighbourhood is very friendly and quiet at the same time.

When did you move in?

We bought the house in June 2021.

How much is your property?

The cost of the property was £850,000 and is now worth more than £1million.

How much was the deposit?

The deposit was £250,000.

What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?

Monthly cost for both mortgage and bills is £3,500.

How did you save for your deposit?

We had equity from our previous home – where we lived for 15 years.

What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging? 

It was straightforward as we used a mortgage application and found a good mortgage advisor. 

Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?

We owned a house in Hounslow, West London, soon after we got married. Our daughter was born there. 

What made you want to buy rather than renting? 

We were renting a property in North London for five years previously and, as soon as we had finances sorted, we knew it was better to buy a property – as the cost to pay the mortgage was less than rent.

We soon realised it was the best decision as it had the benefit of increased value of the home, too.

How have you made the property feel like home?

We stripped the house bare and started a process of excessive renovation from top to bottom. We paid attention to detail in the planning stage, as we wanted to achieve a better flow in the home and to get the details right to our taste.

The Edwardian home was very well-kept, with a lot of period features (that we aimed to preserve), but was not energy efficient.

So we installed a solar panel system – along with a heat pump system and removed gas from property, improved the living space changing it to open plan living downstairs, added spacious loft conversion, and restored the original period features, like renovating the fireplaces etc.

What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?

As a makeup artist I’m good with colour schemes and did a lot of research on trends and period home features in interior magazines.

Instagram is a big influence too, and I follow big interior accounts.

What’s your favourite room and why?

Our favourite room is our kitchen/dining area as it is very spacious, practical and has lots of natural light. We added pyramid skylight windows, as well as big Crittal-style doors, to have lovely garden views.

 It is a mixture of a traditional kitchen with an industrial feel at the same time.

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Yes, there is ample space for three of us.

Do you have plans to change the property?

Not in the near future.

Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?

Changing the single glazed bay windows to double glazing, in-keeping with the period shape and look, is something we had to deal with.

What do you want people to know about buying a home?

We would say consider the budget, the outgoing costs to keep and maintain the property, and prepare in advance for interest charge increases.

What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? Do you plan to stay here long term?

Yes, we would like to stay here for a long time.

Shall we take a look around?

Do you want to feature 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]

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

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