This blog post should probably begin with a disclosure: I think I am one of those people who don’t compromise on Location Location Location. I hate those people because they’re ultimately deluded because they have nowhere near the budget to live in the kind of house they think they can live in. I’ve realised after a rather long (let’s say 9 months in pretending to boyfriend time and 15 months in real, searching-rightmove-everyday time) period of looking at houses, that I have a bit of a tricky brief. So here are my uncompromisable points:
1. Must be period. No that does not mean twenties, you annoying estate agent. It means Victorian or before.
2. Must have a minimum of 2 bedrooms but ideally 3.
3. Must have some sort of garden
4. Must be in a place I want to live. Somewhere that if I’m ever able to have a dog, I could walk it on a patch of grass the size of a field. So yes, near a field.
5. Must not be within earshot of church bells that go off every 15 minutes, bell ringing practice on a Friday night for 2 hours and 8.30am Sunday full-on bells. If you want this, I recommend School House cottage in Thorner - the place we used to rent, fell in love with, and started us on this perilous journey of period property madness.
Oh last bit, I have to be able to afford it.
I didn’t think this was a tough brief, we have a pretty good budget and we are (play a fanfare) FIRST TIME BUYERS. When I speak to estate agents (using my posh voice, obv), I have a little spiel that goes a little bit like this:
“My partner and I both work in digital marketing, we have finances agreed and we’re FIRST TIME BUYERS…..(pause for effect)….so we’re not in a chain, as FIRST TIME BUYERS we’re keen to complete quickly”.
Standard responses to my desperate attempts to get them to think we’re amazing buying prospects range from “ok. What’s your email address?” to “yeah, you and every other person actually buying a house right now”. Experience of the latter has proven true, having sized up the competition looking at all the same houses as us.
So over the last 12 months, we have done the following:
Had an offer accepted on a barn, scrap that, actual pigsty. After somehow securing a loan and mortgage to create a house that backed onto open fields (sob), our wonderful builder friend and a local, ridiculously honest, builder told us not to touch it with a barge pole. Either that or spend 250k renovating it. Loose change that was not.
Been outbid on 3 properties. One of which we had moved into virtually, as Paul used Google Sketchup to create the internal rooms and created 3D models of us in our wet room. Fully clothed, I hasten to add. Kirstie and Phil say don’t get attached. We have, several times over.
Looked at over 7,000 properties, within 15 miles of Leeds on Rightmove, Zoopla, Globrix and Findaproperty. Most of which we’ve looked at 10 times at least.
Checked Rightmove EVERY SINGLE DAY. Most days, 3 times a day.
Spent nearly every weekend complimenting people on their avocado bathrooms and thinking the first thing I would do after buying it is go on a smashing spree
Heard stories of having quadruple bypass surgery in South Africa and owing £28,000 for the pleasure, the tale of 3 brides and the challenges of having a Thai bride who can’t live in the UK and how much an old lady really just wants a 1 bedroom flat in Bridlington (nearly bought the house just because I wanted her to realise her dream)
Definitely can’t hack another year of this shit.