Kirstie Allsopp, Phil Spencer

Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, or trading up to a larger one, there are many costs – on top of the purchase price – that you must figure into your calculation of affordability. You can make whatever changes you like to your house or to your apartment (subject to the building regulations of the commune, canton or the condominium). Clashes of temperament are frequent in a Number Four house and there is a strong tendency for unconventional activities.

It’s not as easy as get a mortgage, grab the keys and, bish bash bosh, you’re in. Buying a home’s almost guaranteed to cost more than you think. The idea of having to pay a mortgage for years is scary: endorsing such responsibilities you want to make sure that the house you’re buying is worth every penny you’ll have to pay.

Our house was a HUD home in the …