Buying a flat update: Everything falls apart

DISCLAIMER: People who complain about how expensive owning a house is, are the worst. Like finding out your cake you’ve been looking forward all day has mold on it, bad.

If I had a penny every time I thought: “Shut up idiot, there are so many people who would kill to be in your shoes”, when a homeowner complained about money – I’d have 1/500000000 of the cost to fix a boiler by now.

BUT... I’m am now that person. Sorry! And if I can’t complain to you lot, literally no-one else is going to listen to me.

SO here we go… owning a house is CRAZY expensive. Settle in with your popcorn, because I’m going to moan and give you the gossip on the last few months.


And so the saga begins…

So we bought out dream flat! Well, I say dream flat – it’s all our money can buy us in London, so it’s more the size of my nieces play-house in Swansea than something from Grand Designs, but can’t complain (i’ll try though).

We were shown around a lot of properties that honestly – were horrendous. Like, peeling paper, yellow ceilings, 15 beds in the living room, piles of actual rubbish, angry people staring at you because their landlords were clearly kicking them out to sell the place. House hunting is NOT like it is on the TV with Phil and Kirsty.

Did you watch Rillington Place recently? About that serial killer? Well, this is what house hunting in London is like when you don't have a million pounds. They are dark, grotty and have odd people staring at you when they are trying to watch Corrie.

Did you watch Rillington Place, about that serial killer John Christie recently? Well, this is what house hunting in London is like when you don’t have a million pounds. They are dark, grotty and have odd people staring at you when they are trying to watch Corrie.

Then out of the blue, we were shown this one and it was just so beautiful in comparison. Large, clean and bright – I knew it was the one.

OK… I know what you’re thinking. If it’s too good to be true? Well, where were you when we were looking around eh? Would have been helpful if you spoke up before we gave them every penny we have (and don’t have)!

leaking roof

This is an actual picture of our ceiling in the hallway right now. Nice right? Can’t even change that bloody wallpaper until it is sorted.

Moving in day and the hole in the roof

The big day finally arrived and we packed up all our stuff to move to the new flat. As my boyfriend and my sister’s parter started carrying stuff into the flat, he noticed a weird bulge on the ceiling – gave it a tap, and then found himself covered in water.


So water was leaking into the attic through the roof and onto our landing. For a while, we just stuck a bucket under the leaking spot, but after a few particularly rainy weeks, we found the bucket kept overflowing and leaking onto the carpet so had to do the grown up thing and get it sorted.

So I contact our buildings insurance people who pretty much tell us to sod off – as this isn’t an accident – it’s probably something that has built up over time, so it’s not their problem. Which I thought was particularly impressive how they knew what the problem was without seeing it.

I asked online for roofer recommendations in the neighbourhood, and got a guy around. He stuck his head out of the window and told us that a whole section of the roof needed to be replaced – costing a whopping £1,400.

Which was gutting.

We then got another roofer around just incase, and he actually brought a ladder to take a look. He said three tiles were cracked, and it would cost £80 to fix. So obviously, choose him and it was sorted.

Blog over right? Oh no no no… that was the least of our problems.


The rotten wall and leaking bath

So a few days later, we pop down to introduce ourselves to the owner of the flat downstairs he awkwardly told us that something from upstairs had been leaking through to his flat.

Rotten wall

We assumed that it was from the roof leakage, but no, it was in a different place – the shower had been leaking for months, rotting the wall which my boyfriend had to knock down and re-build and tile (thanks Harry and YouTube instructional videos!).

My boyfriend is good lad (don’t tell him I said that), but works full time – so was only really able to tackle it on weekends, so took ages to get done – meaning no shower for weeks. I had to go to my local leisure centre to wash, which would make you think I took advantage of the gym right? No. Actually, went to the pool a few times but got a grotty, leaking ear infection and a rash on my face. As you can imagine, I was a delight during these weeks.

The boiler nightmare

So this is the biggie. We move in, and quickly realise that we have no hot water or heating. On top of that, my boyfriend touched (like honestly, just touched) the radiator in the living room and it fell off the wall.

Hands up - not my radiator, but thought I'd throw in a visual representation I nicked off the internet. haha!

Hands up – not my radiator, but thought I’d throw in a visual representation I nicked off the internet. haha!

Bless him, he spent weeks trying to fix it and we spent a miserable few weeks in the cold, dealing with exploding radiators.

We got to the point we realised we had to pay for a plumber, which we were really hoping to avoid because we didn’t have much money. So asked the neighbours via a networking site for recommendations and was directed to a local guy, who was so busy – wasn’t taken on new people for MONTHS.

I then looked up Pimlico Plumbers and found they charged £300 an hour. Naively, we thought it would take a couple of hours to fix – £600, which is painful – but you know, it’s sorted.

So the guy came over to fix the boiler, give it a service and attach a radiator. I kid you not, he was here for six hours (including time he had to go off and buy parts) and charged extra for the boiler service – which came to over £1,200.

Again – we felt sick – but the house was warm, there was hot water and it was done.

The NEXT MORNING, went to have a shower before work and there was no hot water again. I rang up to say he needed to come back as he hadn’t actually fixed it – and I got A LOAD of attitude.

They said, that HE DID fix it, but something else must have gone wrong. Which I said makes NO SENSE, because he clearly DIDN’T fix it – because it’s not working. And like, it doesn’t look good does it, something someone was supposed to service and fix, breaking a few hours later.

Got some sass off the woman on customer services and frankly… lost it in a way I haven’t lost it in years. To the point they started ringing my boyfriend not me to discuss it. HA! WIMPS!

So they agreed to send the guy back, but it was going to cost us £300 an hour again. LIKE COME ON. So kicked up a right fuss on Twitter and got the CEO involved (who was very nice and helpful).

After days of arguing about the problem (in the bloody cold), the guy came around and said that the boiler needs changing.

Me on the phone to the plumbers. I don't lose my temper often, but when I do... Offff... it's something to be seen

Me on the phone to the plumbers. I don’t lose my temper often, but when I do… Offff… it’s something to be seen

So here we are. As a good will gesture, they’ll knock the inintal £1,200 off the price – but it will cost us £3000 extra to do.

So yeah, we’ll probably end up paying it as you just need hot water and heating.

It feels a bit like before you do something, there are five things that need to be done first which take a load of time and money to do first.


Again, realise first world problems and that – but its a lesson. If you’re buying – just because the house looks nice, doesn’t mean all is fine.

The previous owner

Also – good job surveyors who didn’t notice ANY leaks or rotten walls – glad we paid for you!

Anyway… getting there. Once all the initial hard work, and money has been done/spent, I can start decorating it, which will make me happy when my bits and bobs are around me.

Tell me your nightmare home ownership stories in the comments to make me feel better!


  1. Tina Mansfield December 21, 2016
  2. Lynn December 21, 2016
  3. Alice Saville December 22, 2016
  4. Claire December 22, 2016

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