Monday, 28 May 2018

House for Sale!

I think I should title this post "How to lose 5lb in one easy step"... like some self proclaimed life style blog. I recently read somewhere that the way to get followers and monetise ones blog is to give information such as  "The ten best..." or " How to do..." (fill in the blanks as you please). However I don't think I'd have the cheek to pretend I'm an expert on anything. However if you want to lose weight whilst still eating pizza with beer, having ice cream every day, eating cake and chocolate (yes, I did all those last week)... then put your house on the market! To be fair I only lost half of that 5 lb but Stewart lost the other half. I have lived here so long I had forgotten how stressful moving can be.


It was pure chance that we happened to see a cottage we liked last week but it did prompt us to finally get our house valued, which in turn prompted several days of tidying up and gardening. We opted for three valuations before we made any firm decision. The first chap, from a local agency, was full of enthusiasm and loved our house the minute he walked through the door. He recognised it as a well used, much loved, lived in family home but could also see it's potential. As a result we felt upbeat and excited about selling a home that has been special to us for many years.

 

Fast forward  to the next valuation and I don't think I've ever met anyone so indifferent to what we had to offer. Yes, he wanted us on his books but acted like we had a very mediocre home. And this was  followed by an agent from a Cambridge estate agency who positively looked down her nose at us. We both know that when viewed  up close the house could do with a lick of paint and some minor repairs but she basically seemed to be telling us that it was very dated and not in a very good state of repair (my kitchen is two years old for heavens sake.. although the apparently comatose dog may not have helped the image!) She actually said that when you sell a house it is about selling a lifestyle these days... our lifestyle obviously didn't appeal! That evening I went to bed feeling quite miserable and despondent about the whole business.


We also though we ought to view some more properties rather than immediately going for the first thing we'd seen, so spent most of Friday looking at virtually everything available in our local villages as well as going back to see the original cottage again. We didn't actually see anything else we liked or that was suitable but then started to have second thoughts about the one we did like... it doesn't really have enough studio space for me so it will mean some serious compromise.


However we have put the house on the market and are keeping our options open. We have spent the bank holiday weekend gardening, filling flower pots and hanging baskets, tidying and cleaning and today I've shifted furniture and painted one of the spare bedrooms... but I might tell you about that another time, let's just say for now that cabin beds are not designed for sixty year olds.

Tonight we are sitting here like a pair of old crocks, complaining about our aching limbs and tired bones, trying not to think about the list of jobs lined up for tomorrow... selling a lifestyle is not easy you know!

So much has happened this week it seems much longer than a week since Jacob moved out. It has not been without its anxieties and stresses for him but so far so good. He came to visit yesterday and seemed in remarkably good spirits and not the least bit phased that we might be moving so my fingers are remaining crossed that this has been a good move for him. I hope your bank holiday weekend has been a good one... and not as exhausting as ours!

45 comments:

  1. Hang in there! I still follow property ads for our suburb - and in three years haven't seen I Wish We Had Waited For THAT One.

    We had a sweet neighbour at our previous house - he said about his own home (in Afrikaans) 'this house knows us!'

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    1. I love that saying. It's true when you find the right place.

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  2. Good luck Gina, I can imagine it’s a very stressful time. Glad your son has settled in his new place. Hopefully you will have a buyer soon and find the perfect place. B x

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  3. Best of luck with everything Gina. I know how exhausting selling a house can be and was so lucky with the agent I chose. I was worried about my tired bathroom but she insisted I didn't update it saying that the chances are the new owners would rip out anything they didn't like and do their own thing anyway - new bathroom or not. It's a good time of year for selling houses and I hope you have buyers queueing up soon, and find your own new home. I think your house looks spacious and very appealing.

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  4. I love your house! It's a stunning family home, loads of character and space, brilliant gardens, masses of driveway, amazing location... I could go on! I expect you to have lots of interest. X

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  5. Best of luck with your move. Your house should sell in no time. Hugs Anesha

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  6. You have a really gorgeous home from what I can see. Estate agents 2 and 3 sound hopeless, they need to remember that you're the client and that they're selling a service and themselves I think! Well done on all the sorting, and I hope you find the right buyer and the right new home for you very soon. CJ xx

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    1. Next time I'll tell you my estate agent joke if you like. CJ xx

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    2. Thanks CJ... do tell! 😁

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  7. How stressful! I would buy your house in a jiffy, just for the parquet floors. Love them. Estate agents are like car dealers, unhelpful and largely interested in a quick deal. Most buyers have a bit more common sense than agent 2 and 3 might suggest. I always think it is best to buy a house in need of a lick of paint, it gives new owners the opportunity to put their own stamp on the house without too much effort. They might not like your choice of colour, no matter how fresh the paint. Your kitchen is stunning, comatose dog or not :-) xx

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    1. Thanks Christina. I totally agree that most people will want to put their own character on a house once they move and none of us share the same taste.

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  8. I love your house and your lifestyle is great, but they do say moving house is one the most stressful things in life don't they? Now is the time to do it while you ae young!

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    1. I don't feel so young after all the hard work we've been doing Mags!

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  9. Your house looks lovely Gina. I think the worst bit about house selling these days are all these awful property programmes... The "the wow factor", 16 en suites, deceptively spacious, potential to make a quick buck etc... smarmy property agents in badly fitting suits. agggghhh! Peoples expectations are influenced by cruddy day time muck!! I think most sensible mortals can see beyond decoration you don't like. For heavens sake we bought a house with a mink coloured bathroom suite with kitchen taps for bath and basin. It also had a mural with badly painted nude'y Greek figures that had been given toga's to get a house sale! The sellers wouldn't budge from the asking price but we knew the disgusting firework bathroom carpet could be thrown out of the window and we'd be able make a lovely home. There will be many who will step over your doorstep and love what they see and more importantly feel. Please don't get disheartened by agents who want to sell tasteful, bland grey show houses. It is challenging but there is a lovely buyer for your house and equally you'll be turning the handle on something perfect for you. It's stressful but it's exciting too. Well done. Liz x

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words. We love the house so are sure there will be someone else who loves it too. And mostly I feel excited by the idea of change and a fresh start... mostly!

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  10. You are so brave - I could not even contemplate a move. Good luck with it though.

    So pleased that Jacob is coping with things. xx

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  11. I'm sure everything will fall into place for you Gina but I do feel your pain, it must be stressful.
    Really glad that things are working out Jacob.
    V x

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  12. We're getting new neighbours - and dreading it. They're already tryinh to have changes made to our deeds because of a flying freehold which had never caused a problem. The temptation to dig our heels so the purchade falls through is huge, but our lovely friends currently next door have found the housr of their dreams and may lose it f the sale doesn't go through...We may have to move but the thought doesn't appeal and this would be difficult to sell. Hope yours sells quickly, fingrrs crossed.

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    1. It can be so tricky. There is a restrictive covenant on the garden of the house we like that would make it difficult to put a studio in the garden. We really like the house but don't want to be restricted by something like that. Important to get along with neighbours though!

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    2. Just reread this and realised the un- corrected spelling version went! Sorry!

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  13. The stuff of nightmares! Explains why we have been in the same house for decades. A nearby neighbour has just sold his recently refurbished house. Guess what? New owners busy making changes. So good luck with the sale and hope you find the perfect new home quickly.

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    1. That's why we are not to bothered about the decor... people always put their own stamp on a house.

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  14. good luck with the house selling, Irene in Northern Ireland

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  15. good luck with selling your house ( I plan NEVER to move again after the last time!) it looks like a lovely house I am sure it will sell quickly xxx

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  16. Fingers crossed for you Gina. I hope you sell quickly - your house looks lovely- and find one to fall in love with. Exciting times - but stressful too.

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  17. Can I suggest you don't worry too much about the studio size? Think about what you need from a house now at age 60, but also, age 70, 80 and 90. My parents eventually moved from a rundown, large, house 50 miles away, to an equally large, unmaintainable house half a mile from me and my brother. Finding a property for them, took ages as they wanted me to find it, without them saying what they wanted. What they wanted, was actually what they already had, but nearer to us. They refused to consider properties with low maintenance requirements, step-free access, a toilet big enough for a zimmerframe, a patio garden, or easy access to GP/other services. This made our lives really difficult. I think house hunting starts with identifying how long you want to stay there, and what you think your health/activity levels will be.

    If I was buying, your parquet floor would sell the house to me!

    And an estate agent's job is to match the buyer with the seller. If they can only sell to people buying to the 'bland, grey, lifestyle' then they are restricting their range of buyers. My husband and I bought our bungalow from the estate of Kitty, a deceased publican aged 93 - think of your worst stereotype of an east end pub's decor ... but 30 years out-of-date ! We bought it as it was in the right location for our needs and we could renovate it over the next 2 years. And the first thing we removed was the red flock wallpaper (stuck on with superglue!)

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    1. We know that we want to downsize in terms of living accommodation but I do need a good size studio while I am still working... and as I don't get a pension for another six years I'm not retiring anytime soon!

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  18. Your house looks lovely but I did have a chuckle at the estate agents comments. All I would say is don't worry. When we moved we had comments like - "it doesn't have the "wow" factor!" It still sold! It certainly is hard work selling though. I hated people traipsing through my home - needs must and it's so good to be able to move on into the next phase of your life too. Best of luck. xx Jo

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    1. Everyone who knows the house loves it so I'm not paying too much attention to estate agents!

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  19. Your house looks fabulous to me and I cannot understand how anyone could dislike your kitchen. I really think some agents have a overinflared idea of their own importance. I hope it sells quickly for the price you are asking.
    I am so glad that Jacob is settling in well,that is one less thing for you to stress about. Good luck. XXX

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  20. I'd buy it - if only for that lovely hall!

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  21. I laughed at the bit about not having enough cheek to post a How To Do ... post -- it always cracks me up when I see those sorts of posts that are just full of common sense. I guess you just never know who might be reading that has no common sense and really needs that post LOL.
    Good Luck with your house sale -- that's a lot of work!

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