Buying a house is an emotive act, fuelled by all kinds of desire - protecting a family, starting a new life, following a dream. Three Muddy readers open the door to their homes to share their personal stories.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Is there anything more fun than looking around other people’s houses? Er, NO! Every home tells a tale of histories, personal tastes and eccentricities, and we’ve been given the keys to three stunning houses owned by Muddy readers across Hants & IoW. Read on for home and life inspiration, and while you’re at it, go win yourself £500 off your mortgage in our exclusive Reader Treat, whoever you bank with!
1/ THE COUNTRY ESCAPE
“The first thing I was drawn to was just how pretty it is – it’s a cottage straight from a fairy tale!” says Vics Roper Curzon
Vics Roper Curzon, 35, East End, Hampshire
VICS’ LOCAL TIPS …
Favourite restaurant: We love popping over to Yarmouth (via the nearby Lymington ferry) and getting fish and chips from Salty’s Restaurant. It’s brilliant that it’s so easy to head over to the Island for the day.
Best pub: The East End Arms is only 5 minutes from the cottage and it’s very family-friendly. The kids can run about the garden and play, while we sit down and enjoy a drink and some grown up time. There are board games like Scrabble and we can spend hours there as a family.
Go-to shop: I love having a look through Jubbly’s in Lymington. This is the place to find special bits of furniture or quirky lampshades to go in the house. There are always new things to look at and shopping there is always a brilliant experience.
2/ THE FOREVER HOME
“I knew instantly that this is where we were going to live.” says Gemma Braithwaite
Gemma Braithwaite, Southsea
Go-To Shop: It has to be Design House – the team here helped me with my vision for doing up our place. I’d go in with all these vague ideas and vibes of what I wanted to do and they would just ‘get’ it and be able to show me everything I’d been looking for.
3/ THE DOER UPPER
Emma Vaughton, 49, Keyhaven, West Hampshire
“One of the biggest things for me is I no longer get post-holiday blues.” says Emma Vaughton
When we bought our house just under six years ago, I had been located up near Winchester. Although my place was convenient for getting into London, we didn’t need to be near London. So, because of my job in the yacht industry and our shared love of sea sports, we decided that we should move closer to the coast and find a Swallows & Amazons location to raise our daughter Lottie, who was a toddler at the time.
We had originally looked in nearby Lymington, but the prices there were a bit crazy and so instead we began to look in neighbouring Milford. The village had a bit of a reputation for being a bit of a ‘retirement’ spot but in the years we have lived near there, it’s become very up and coming with new restaurants and fab interior shops opening up. Eventually, we spotted the ideal place in Keyhaven which is a mile or so out of the village.
When we originally saw this place we thought ‘There is no way we could afford this house!” with its walled garden and historic background, it ticked all our boxes – particularly as I’ve always dreamed of having my own veg patch. However, the lady who was selling it was keen for it to become a family home rather than a holiday cottage and when we put in our offer, to our surprise, it was accepted.
The building itself has been a massive project but its location is unbeatable. It’s right by the sea meaning we can even launch our boats right out of the house. On the weekend I’ll park my car and not need to touch it again till Monday. We spend our weekends cycling along the nearby seawall or taking a walk over to Hurst Castle.
The house had many tweaks and changes since it was built in the late 1700s, but when we moved in we decided to wait before we made any changes ourselves and I’m really glad we did. We’ve been able to think about the layout and design, allowing us to modernise it but retain a lot of its wonderful character. I now have my own office and the walk-in larder of my dreams but it’s still got a lot of its quirks. We’re always finding little nooks and long lost fireplaces hidden behind boards. All it needed was a family to help bring it back to life.
It was initially a bit of a culture shock moving out of a city like Winchester, but it didn’t take us very long to acclimatise to the peace and quiet. Lottie gets to ride her bike and is learning to sail, I’ve also realised I don’t need to pop to the shops every five minutes. After school on a sunny day, Lottie and I will head down to the beach and go crabbing before we have dinner.
One of the biggest things for me is I no longer get post-holiday blues. I can go away for a couple of weeks, get home and I’ll look out across the sea thinking ‘Hmmm, what shall I paint next?!”
EMMA’S LOCAL TIPS …
Favourite local eatery? The Salt Water Cafe, they do a brilliant smashed avo and poached eggs. It’s such a great little brunch and lunch spot, and you don’t feel guilty as they do some really healthy-ish things.
Favourite pub? I really like The Cave Wine Bar in Milford. It’s got a nice buzz to it and reminds me of something you’d find in Winchester rather than out in the Hampshire countryside.
Favourite Go-To shop? Village Veg is brilliant. As well as not needing to trek out to the supermarket to get fantastic fruit and veg, they also sell my favourite Wild Island spiced fig balsamic vinegar dressing from the Island.
MOVING TO HANTS/IoW?
Habito have crunched the numbers…
- Average house price £380,712 (London £474,601)
- Increase over last 5 years +21% (London +17%)
- Cost of a cappuccino £2.68 (London £2.81)
WIN £500 OFF YOUR MORTGAGE with
We’ve partnered with brilliant, modern, no-fuss mortgage brokers Habito to give a Muddy Hants & IoW reader £500 off his or her existing mortgage – no matter which bank or building site the mortgage is with! ENTER HERE seconds, and if you’re thinking of re-mortgaging or buying afresh, say hello to Habito here.