A lot of people asked me during my house hunting journey how I found so many houses to view. It was quite simple really, I exclusively used the Rightmove app. I set my budget, my area, and just searched, every day! Some days felt exhausting because nothing new was coming up, and other days would be flooded with new houses.
However, I was very picky… I needed to be within a 20-minute radius of my family, the house needed to be suitable for a dog, it needed to be near good dog walks, it needed to be old and have period features, I needed a garden for Baxter. The house I was looking for was my forever home, despite not really knowing what my forever looked like, I just knew I wanted somewhere I could settle for years to come.
There are lots of beautiful houses I viewed that I didn’t go for, some didn’t have a garden, some had no parking, and some were simply far beyond what I could afford, I did enjoy the snoop though!
My house sale still hasn’t gone through (we started the process in October!!) so whilst I am 95% sure this time it will be successful, there is a 5% chance it could all collapse and for that reason, I am still saving potential homes…
Old Rectory Cottage, Bedfordshire
I absolutely loved this cottage! Located in the small stone village of Felmersham in Bedfordshire, there couldn’t have been a better choice of dog walks. Sadly, it was not meant to be. I must have requested to view this place 5+ times but no one ever got back to me. This was in July, it’s still on the market, so I don’t know what’s going on there, perhaps you will have better luck!
I loved the cosy feel to this house, many period cottages can look cold, but this looked warm and inviting. It was the type of place I could imagine being there with Baxter and a baby, maybe having some chickens in the back garden! The downside was the lack of toilet downstairs but you win some, you lose some, I have driven around this village a few times and swooned at the house from the outside.
If I have more bad luck and my current house sale falls through, I think I will go back over to this house and knock on the door! Covid depending of course. The location of this house was great, although 5 minutes further from my family than the 20 minutes I originally allowed. It gives you the option of living in a charming village whilst being just 15 minutes from Bedford Station which offers fast train services into London.
Park Farm Cottage, Titchmarsh
Another house I totally adore! This one actually appeared on my Instagram stories a few months ago as I was so invested in it. I actually ended up putting an offer in on this one and then retracted it after a little more thought. Whilst I loved the house, it was a fair bit over my budget and the sellers were not inclined to negotiate, it also lacked much of a garden and I decided Baxter needed something a little bigger to run around in (the garden that is, not the house!).
This Grade II listed 18th century cottage is situated in one of my highest rated villages, Titchmarsh, Northamptonshire. It offered 4 double bedrooms, one more than I was actually looking for, and at just over 300 years old it was oozing in historic charm! The downsides were the tiny kitchen and lack of downstairs bathroom, and the garden as mentioned. It was also opposite a preschool which I didn’t realise until I visited it a second time.
There was no standalone shower in this one although it did feature a bathroom with a lovely rolltop bath. The upstairs bedroom were built into the eaves which was stunning, but then I realised this meant it largely lacked storage area, and I come with a lot of stuff!
This was a cottage I saved knowing I would never buy, it just wasn’t in the right location (around 1.5 hours from family) but I adored the interior and never had the heart to unsave it. This sweet two bedroom cottage was the exact decor I have always wanted and offered the country cottage vibe whilst being situated in a fair sized town with many amenities.
The no chain cottage offers two delightful bedrooms , lovely garden, woodburner and even a small dining area. I will always one who will end up here, I think they will be very lucky indeed.
Something drew me into this house immediately, most probably because I’m a sucker for a thatched roof! The cottage is a blank canvas, one in which I desperately wanted to get my teeth into. Unfortunately for me, it was just too expensive considering the amount of work that needs doing to it, but I imagine one day someone will turn it into something fabulous.
Godmanchester is a small town located on the outskirts of Huntingdon. I like the area as it isn’t too far from my favourite city, Cambridge, and is just 15 minutes from my sister. Huntgindon isn’t the most beautiful place in the world but offers a good train service into London and offers an abundance of shops and restaurants.
The Grade II listed cottage boasts beautiful views over the river, probably why it commands ar ehealthy asking price despite its current state, it also offers a sitting room, dining room, kitchen, cloakroom, two double bedrooms, a box room and bathroom. The garden is of good size and there is enough room on the driveway to park a few cars too!
Perhaps if I win the lottery in the next few weeks I will buy this place and pour all the love into it that I have!
Old White Lion, Bedfordshire
A cottage that wouldn’t be amiss on my own Instagram feed, the Old White Lion is located in the small village of Ravensden between Bedford and St Neots. Another one just 5 minutes outside of my location range that I couldn’t write off.
There were lots of things I loved about this chocolate box cottage, firstly the outside of it was everything I dreamed of, and some! Secondly, there is a walk in dressing room upstairs which is (almost, ok not quite) every single girls dream! Unfortunately the lack of upstairs bathroom just put me off, I am ultra clumsy and considering I will be living alone (not quite alone, Baxter will be with me), it would probably take a day or two for someone to find me crushed and crumpled at the bottom of the stairs after trying to get to the loo in the dark.
The third bedroom I would definitely have kept as a snug, a little reading room for Baxter and I! It is thought the house was built in the early 1800s so once again offers the perfect amount of old age charm, including a lovely log burner!
Great Staughton, Cambridgeshire
Here is one I saved just for fun. Coming in at £1.3 million this house was WAY over my budget and totally out of my league but it doesn’t stop a gal from dreaming and having a bit of motivation to work harder.
This detached, 5 bedroom home is overlooked by an impressive church and is tucked away in a very quiet corner of the countryside. The original part of the home dates back to the 16th century, it was later extended in the 17th century. This house has it all, 4 reception rooms, a pantry and a cloakroom.
The master bedroom has an ensuite which is rarely found in a property of this age, the guest room also boasts an attached bathroom, the other three bedrooms are located in the oldest part of the house and are served by their own separate bathroom. This house might not be mine any time soon but I am sure it would make one lucky family incredibly happy!
Okay it’s only now I’m going down the list I realise my bad habit of saving houses I can’t afford. This pretty cottage is located on the outskirts of Kimbolton, one of the nicest villages in the area and the perfect positioning for me to be close to family. I saved this house shortly after being gifted 30 scratchcards for my 30th, I guess I was manifesting and hoping I would win the jackpot so I could buy it. I didn’t win the jackpot but I did win £35!
I’m not sue who currently owns this cottage but I am envisioning a sweet elderly couple who have lived here for 50 years and raised a family here, so I definitely like to think it is full of happy family memories! Two of the sitting rooms boast a cosy fireplace, the three bedrooms are all dripping in historic features and there is even a beautiful oak framed summer house in the garden.
East Street, Kimbolton
Another house you may have recognised from my stories as I went to view this one. My thoughts? Well, I guess it’s still saved in my list for a reason, but I did get a bit of a ghostly vibe in the house and that was before I saw the framed magazine article calling it the most haunted house in Cambridgeshire. My nieces went silent as we viewed the house and it put me off, if they felt uncomfortable there too, it just wasn’t for me.
This house has been on the market a while, it is absolutely beautiful and is around 500 years old, but it needs a fair bit of work on it and the garden wasn’t really a garden, more a small courtyard so I don’t think it would have suited Baxter either.
My mind does flit back to this one though, I do wonder if I put my own touch on it I could make it less creepy (gosh I feel awful saying that, the house is stunning!). The property is maxing out my budget though so I wouldn’t have an awful lot left for renovations, they are open to offers though! This house is the oldest in Kimbolton and is almost overlooked by the castle, it could make an absolutely cracking home and it’s an interesting one to go and view because it is like visiting a museum!
Upper Benefield, Northamptonshire
I desperately wanted to visit this one but knew I couldn’t afford it so I didn’t want to waste their time. My heart sank when I saw the house was under offer, this would be an absolute dream home for me, it’s divine!! Although 25 minutes from family (less from my sister!), the villages of Upper and Lower Benefield are definitely on my radar, just 10 minutes from the pretty market town of Oundle, these villages provide the ultimate ‘country living’ experience.
The house is deceiving, it looks pretty large on the outside but it is no more than 3 bedrooms, although it does have an annex that claims to be a 4th bedroom but I have no grannies needing to live with me just yet (ask me again once I have a baby…). This stone barn conversion spreads across three floors and has recently been renovated to a high standard. It boasts a plethora of oak joinery, including ledged and braced doors, folding window shutters and exposed beams.
The south facing garden would be perfect for summertime al fresco dining and of course a nice little play area for Baxter!
Millers Cottage, Sudborough
Last but not least, Millers Cottage! This sweet thatched cottage really played on my mind for a while, I walked away from it as it had no garden, but the house itself was almost perfect for me. Located in a picturesque village just 15 minutes from home, the characterful house is ideally situated opposite the church and surrounded by countryside walks.
The cottage is two bedroom but there is space downstairs in the office to add a third if you wanted to. The lounge is situated under a beamed ceiling and is dominated by a large fireplace and log burner. The kitchen is beautiful and features a quarry tiled flooring.
Outside the home is a raised patio area which can be repurposed as an off road parking area.