I am surprised I am not haunted by houses in my sleeping hours.
Whilst I am not as fast or ‘in-depth’ as Hubby in our searches for our Seventh Haven, if I had a pound for every one we have each discovered and researched on the internet (remember there are three of us looking), we would indeed be very rich.
We found some interesting ones today, some possibles which we have sent out enquiries for, and some definite no-nos.
Two searches ago (ie.2007) we were driving all over the place looking at properties not fully using the tools then available which could have saved us a lot of unnecessary mileage, time and money.
The classic phrase from family ‘There can’t be something wrong with ALL of them!’ rang in our ears like Big Ben, and I guess from where they were sitting in the comfort of their armchairs in front of the fire or telly, it was difficult for them to fathom why we rejected so many (not that any of them actually helped us look back then).
Even now, we have a criteria of a preferred bungalow (detached would be nice), 2 beds, oil central heating, chimney for a multi fuel stove, off road parking, and a garden for Maggie.
Area is open and totally reliant on price as we don’t have kids for school, but we would need good medical care facilities.
Added perks would be a kitchen diner or separate dining room, and double glazing.
Doesn’t sound too much to ask for does it?
Throw into the works a strict budget and those available are reduced by around 75%.
We are flexible in the oil heating, mains gas would be OK though LPG could be replaced by oil, a lounge diner would be perfectly acceptable provided it didn’t encroach on the living area, and interior decor as well as updating a kitchen or bathroom is cosmetic, so we look beyond that.
If we could not find a suitable bungalow, we could consider a house provided we could put in a stair lift and there was a downstairs cloakroom or means to install one.
So, how hard can it be?
There are cheap properties out there, some for cash buyers only (like us) as they are unmortgageable due to the materials used in construction. This could be prefabs, asbestos linings on the walls or roof, or concrete block formations.
Others, like those we viewed last week, require major structural work such as rewiring, reroofing or subsidence, though Hubby has found a brilliant site that gives a sensible guide to such jobs which all helps in selecting a new home that needs work.
We have ruled out anything in a flood plain and any that is leasehold, shared ownership, a flat, retirement property or park home because of hidden costs that I may not be able to cover in a year or so should our financial situation change (yes, we still have that hanging over us too).
We do not particularly like the idea of living next to a sewage works, though the agent said the smell wasn’t that bad, then in the next breath added there were cesspit content deliveries two or three times a week which increased the smell, for which we read stench.
Today’s findings have discovered megga grid pylons directly overhead, no parking at all or access to make some, no garden, shared drive (with four other properties), permanent sitting tenant, and my favourite, a dwelling that doesn’t exist.
I shall try to quantify that.
It is described as a detached property built about three years ago, with 2 bedrooms, fitted kitchen/diner, bathroom and lounge. There is parking and a small garden.
It has been sold STC twice since coming onto the market some two years ago, and reduced in price, also twice (as listed on the advertisement).
Hubby has investigated the address.
It’s not there.
There is however a note at the very end of the details which may account for it.
In short, it is stated that this should be referred to as a UNIT or UNITS.
There is no record of any planning permission, and any modifications less than four years old can be rescinded without recourse. Anything less than ten years old can also be challenged.
So if I understand that correctly, it means someone has converted an outbuilding without council approval, which if purchased could be stripped of the interior or demolished by said council, leaving the buyer up the lane without a property and no money.