This Valentine’s Day, AIB caught up with some local couples to find out more about how they created their homes together. As the New Year is a time when many couples begin this process, we wanted to get their top tips and advice on how they made their dream home a reality.

Peter and Damian pride themselves on their chic and eco-friendly Spanish inspired house, aptly named The White Home. The couple’s flair for interiors has garnered them an impressive following on social media, but was their search for their first home a match made in heaven?

Divide and conquer

The couple admit they took on different roles when it came to the house hunting process, with Damian arranging the viewings and Peter often attending solo due to their different schedules. “This approach worked for us,” explains Peter. “We took the time to agree on what we wanted from our home and so we trusted each other when it came to arranging viewings and seeing properties. House hunting can be time consuming, so our advice is to reflect on your schedules and go from there.”

Renovate to Innovate!

One area where their opinions differed was in the level of renovations they wanted to do. Damian, who works as an electrician and has a good knowledge of construction wanted a complete fixer upper, while Peter was impatient to get decorating his dream home and wanted a ‘halfer upper’. However, Peter ended up having to wait that bit longer to create his vision; “We ended up going with a full fixer upper and it was a long process. But we just knew that this home was right for us, it had so much potential! We compromised together which in the end helped us find our dream home.”

One piece of advice the couple have for first time buyers who are thinking about renovating an old property is to opt for a full inspection beforehand. Damian says; “There were several unforeseen issues with our house that we didn’t discover until around two years into the renovation process. It was quite a setback, especially when we had to excavate the entire driveway, so I would definitely recommend the full inspection, whilst it might be pricier, it could save you down the line.”

Make passion part of the process

In Peter’s view, all their hard work paid off, “We had a vision, that we wanted to bring the look and feel of being on holiday into our home and create a stress-free environment and I think we’ve definitely achieved that. My advice to other couples is to value each other’s passions and take that on board to your home-buying journey. Damian was able to bring his construction insights to the project and help me envision the property, while I was able to help make our house a home by taking this vision and bringing it to life through the décor… and a lot of white paint!”

The couple also take inspiration from the Spanish lifestyle in other parts of their life, planning to spend Valentine’s Day at their favourite local tapas restaurant!

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