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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I talk about how I am growing dreams for a dream home that has space for me to work and my children to play.

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I’m on a mission to move to a new house. As well as wanting space for my children to play and grow, I am evolving more and more business opportunities and would like space where I can focus and work in a professional setting.

While it’s out of reach just yet, I’m working really hard and I aspire to achieve financial security that would allow me to find and afford our dream home. To help me get my plans clear, I thought I’d work out exactly what it is I want, and what I need to accomplish it.


We moved into our house in 2015, and it has been great for me and my family. However, as my children have gotten older, we have started to outgrow the space. They love to play games and do sports outside, and make a mess and noise inside, and our house is just not big enough for all of us to spread out comfortably.

I want to find a house that has enough space for my family and our pets to have our own space, with a garden big enough for everybody to play in, and room for me to work inside.


Stafford, with its rich history and charm, had been our home for most of my life, and all of my children’s lives, so primarily I’ll be looking in this area to find my dream home.

Our quiet small town, has lots of green space, excellent schools and loads of playground for the children, and is on a super fast train route that can get you to Birmingham in 20 minutes, or London in an hour and a half, if you need something more bustling.

It is a historic town with a lot of character and a rich history dating back to the Roman era including loads of historic buildings, including Stafford Castle, The Ancient High House, St. Mary’s, and St Chad’s. This makes our town unique and special, and filled with a life lived that we’d be hard pressed to find somewhere else.

We’re also close to lots of family, and moving too far away would hinder those family bonds.

Remote Work

I work from home, and have done for many years. As a freelance writer, author, magazine editor, artist, and content creator, my work mainly revolves around my laptop. This is freeing in so many ways. When the kids are at school I can work in a coffee shop and feel life around me, and if I want to work at home in my pyjamas and shut out the world then there’s nobody to tell me I have to put on a suit and go and be a grown up. However, what I have gained in freedom, the lack of a designated workspace in my home has became a hindrance. I don’t want to force my children to be quiet during working hours, but I do need to be able to focus properly if I’m ever going to achieve my goals.

A dedicated home office space has emerged as an essential requirement for any dream home of the future, not just for maintaining productivity, but for achieving a semblance of work-life balance. The thought of having a quiet corner where creativity could flourish, undisturbed by the background noise of family life, feels like a dream I need to make sure I include on my list.

Dream Home Office

My dream home office would be a large, bright room with lots of natural light and plenty of space for my computer and other work materials. There would also be a comfortable chair that I could sink into and relax in when I needed a break.

As well as a desk and chair, my dream home office would have a few other pieces of furniture, such as a bookshelf filled with all the amazing books I’m sent as part of my work at The Table Read. I’d like a corner set up with lighting for when I make TikTok writing advice videos, and a coffee machine to keep me going when I’m getting tired.

The most important thing to me in my dream home office is that it is a quiet and peaceful space where I can close the door and shut out the noise of the rest of the house to focus on my work.

Affording The Dream


I am working hard to try and earn enough money to afford a bigger house for my family, and I am determined to make it happen. I know that with hard work and dedication, I will be able to achieve my goal, and start looking for a new house for real, instead of just in my dreams.

When I do get there, I’ll need to be clear about how much mortgage loan repayments I’ll be able to afford in advance of applying. My income will be the most important factor in determining how much of a mortgage I can afford, but lenders may also consider the debt-to-income ratio (DTI) which is calculated by dividing my monthly debt payments by my monthly income, so before I start looking I want to make sure I’m a debt free as possible.

The size of my down payment will also affect how much of a mortgage I can afford, because a larger down payment will lower the monthly mortgage payments, so I’d like to be in a position where I have a good amount of money to go in with. This means I need time to save money aside beforehand.

Ultimately, I know I’m a way off being able to afford it, but it’s good to have a goal and to have a clear understanding of what my finances will need to look like in advance.

Are houses available?

I listen to the radio a lot, and people complaining about the number of houses available to buy is a common topic. So even if I can afford a house, will I be able to find one?

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science, explained that the number of houses for sale is 12% lower now than at the same time in 2019, and agents reported that homes priced in line with local market conditions are attracting lots of interest from motivated buyers who are keen to move.

Steph Walker, Chief Operating Office at The Agency UK, explained that there is still a shortage of correctly priced homes, but the pool of buyers that remain are serious, even though there is not the level of demand that the was this time last year.

I’m hopeful that as the economy improves (hopefully), and my work becomes more financially lucrative (again… hopefully) the two will come together at the right time and homes will be available at prices I will be able to afford.


My dreams for a dream home with a dedicated home office space, and more room for my children to grow and play, pushes me forwards with my goals. When I do bid farewell to our current home and welcome the new, it will be with gratitude for the memories we’ve shared here, and excitement for the memories yet to be made.

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