Searching for our perfect home

Lisa Gordon Scott -blogger & interior designer- takes us through her ‘process’ to finding the perfect property.

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It all began 10 years ago

10 years ago, the wish list for my Edinburgh property hunt was significantly different to now. I wanted a ‘cool’ flat in a ‘cool’ area, which would suit me and a friend, whilst we finished our degrees at art school and became professional designers. A two bedroom flat in ‘move in’ condition, in the heart of Stockbridge was perfect.

Ten years later, I’m married, with a big dog and a little boy, and we’re fast outgrowing our much loved pad.

We are desperate for outdoor space and a ‘project’. My husband and I are both pretty creative and not afraid to (pay someone to) put in some hard graft and magic our ideas, sketches and pinned images into our perfect family home.

The main criteria for our search are as follows…

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Location

We love living in Stockbridge. The area’s community feel and lifestyle options suit a huge range of people. Sadly, however, three bedroom family homes, with outdoor space, in Stockbridge, ‘clash’ with our budget.

Access to the city and schools are obviously important but ‘room to grow’ and outdoor space are a priority. East Lothian is high up on our list. Not too far out though...as much as my husband has fantasised about living in a forest in the middle of nowhere, we’re city souls really!

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A project

I know it’s not for everyone but as an interior designer I’m ready to have my own project. My husband and I don’t always agree on design ideas but we’re ready to create a home that suits our lifestyle.

Budget wise, we’re searching for a property in a lower price bracket. The cheaper it is the more money we’ll have to play with. Mortgage advice in this case would be desirable.

This could mean we’ll have to settle for a wreck but at the moment, from the comfort of our cosy flat, we don’t find that daunting. We think we’re ready for a challenge.

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Let it grow!

A property with the potential to grow as we do is a must! With an expanding family and no set plan as to a head count of children in the future, the ability to expand is important to us.

Whether it’s extending outwards or upwards it’s good to have the option, even if it may be a few years down the line.

I’m not a fan of tacking an additional living space onto the back of a house. As lovely as a conservatory can be, I’d prefer to extend an open plan living area out a couple of metres to make the most of the existing space. Another living room could just make the existing one redundant.

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My advice to you

If you like a property, view it as many times as you can. Take different people who have an opinion that you respect with you on your viewings. They will ask the right questions that you may think of straight away.

If you’re looking for a project, take a builder and talk him through your ideas. The quote may be vague but at least you’ll get a rough idea of costs.

A good one won’t need a proposed floor plan, although a sketch may make things easier. If he laughs at your scribbles he obviously doesn’t need the work.

If the property needs to be adapted to your lifestyle, hire a good interior designer to make the most of the space. Cleverly rearranging a floor plan could make more sense and is a lot less expensive than extending outwards.

Start collecting design ideas now. Don’t worry if they’re not cohesive, you can edit later.

Edinburgh is full to the brim with period properties so it’d be useful to get an idea of any planning consent, you may need.

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About the author

Lisa Gordon Scott is a designer, mum and stylish blogger for her website yeahokbye.blogspot.com For an appointment with Lisa to get some valuable style advice, call this up and coming interiors designer on 079 68976539 or email her at lisagordonscott@gmail.com

Lisa has blogged for us before and you can read her post from earlier on in the year 2013: New Year, New Interior trends right here on our ESPC blog.

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