Our First Flip – My Experience as a First Time Buyer

We bought our first flat back in 2016. One afternoon, on a whim I decided to meet with a mortgage advisor at my bank to see if buying a flat was a possibility. The appointment was really easy and took around 15 minutes. I was pre-approved for a mortgage and after talking with Stuart, we decided that an investment property was the best decision at the time.

We looked at a few different places and thought that Dennistoun was the best area for our first property. Prices were steadily rising and there were lots of tenement flats with some great original features in need of some love.

Having never viewed a property before, I didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping for a Location, Location, Location experience where a Kirstie and Phil type duo would show us around and explain the opportunities. In reality, when we got to the flat there was already a small crowd gathered outside. The estate agent strolled up around 10 minutes late and without an introduction, opened the doors. All the viewers marched up the stairs with their notepads and measuring tapes. They started chapping on walls and talking about the problems with the place. I felt a little out of my depth but decided to embrace the experience and we chapped on a few walls of our own. The flat was cold, creaky, had no gas, no central heating and a tiny kitchen and bathroom but I fell in love with the potential and we decided to make an offer.

The next day I called the estate agent and it went to a closing date. A closing date happens when more than one person is interested in a property. A date is set and all parties place their maximum bid, you have no idea what anyone else is bidding. On the closing date the highest bidder wins. To be honest, I’m not sure why this is the system, it seems odd to me that you could miss out on a house by a couple of hundred £’s and not have the opportunity to increase your offer. We decided on a number and I sneekly added an extra £500 just to be safe, I still have no idea if this was needed since you don’t find out the other offers.

Seven weeks after that meeting at the bank we got the keys to our first flat together and we moved in.

Looking back I’m not sure if there is anything I would do differently. Maybe I would take some more pictures or some accurate measurements so that we could have started planning before we got the keys. But on the whole I believe when you are choosing a property to go with your gut, if the place has good bones that’s all that matters. Everything else can (and probably will) change.


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