We were able to keep all our appointments yesterday well within our set timeframe.
Hubby’s couple of hours on Sunday plotting and printing out the routes, then programming the GPS with the relevant postcodes were well spent.
You know, technology is wonderful. I would be in TOTAL awe of it if but for two things:
I wish there was an app to show all lay bys and pull-ins on major A roads (motorways don’t count as they already do that)
Warnings of little nuisances, like A ROAD COLLAPSE!
Saying that though, reverting to plan B and the manual, or should one say the womanual, (that being me with a road map and a pencil) we still reached our first appointment with half an hour to spare.
The bungalow was very well presented and I loved the layout. The kitchen was completely fitted, so that would have saved us a couple of grand.
The garden was lovely with a little patio outside the french doors from the master bedroom.
nowhere to put a wardrobe in said master bedroom and nothing built in;
evidence of subsidence on opposite corners outside which carried into the interior;
but the third and most crucial was the lady had nowhere to go, wasn’t looking until she had a buyer, and boy, did she have a lot of stuff to shift!
Moving on to property two, and our favoured choice of the three.
On the outside, it looked very tidy, though the garden was overgrown and a fence post or six rotten and leaning.
Just down the road was a wood, so Maggie was in her element and had some fun sniffing around. We didn’t even mind the three detached houses going up opposite.
Having arrived 2 hours early, we went into the village to introduce ourselves to the agents.
There was another property in our price range, not our cup of tea really being a
mid-terraced house, but we thought we’d ask for a viewing. We were told it wasn’t possible and to be honest, the agent was not as obliging as some we’ve met on our travels as she didn’t look anything up at all.
We had our little picnic in the car park, got a cup of tea, and then made our way back to the property and gave Maggie a second walk in the woods. Wonderful!
The agent arrived, and let us in.
Pop, bang and boom went any plans of a simple makeover job.
The house had been left exactly as when the old boy had been taken ill, even down to the dirty crockery in the sink (as per the picture in the brochure).
He had since died so it was an Executor’s Sale (probate has been done we were told, deja vu anyone??), and the place had been empty for some three months for the duration, though we’d think nearer six.
It was a total mess.
Dirty, smelly, neglected, no sense of order, like someone had ransacked the place, which in hindsight probably had, searching for treasures before valuation and taxation. If the executors were family, they didn’t care very much about presentation (not the old boy’s fault).
But we saw beyond that.
It was structurally sound, apart from a couple of loose roof tiles and some damp patches, but they were nothing to worry about really.
It would need gutting. Literally.
Nothing was salvageable, not that I would want to, so the brain went into gear and I started calculating.
Central heating, new kitchen, new bathroom, new flooring, complete redecoration, but I could see us living there. We wouldn’t be able to move in and do the work though, which would take around £15K and 3-5 months of our hard graft.
We made an offer, which was referred back to the office and refused (no contact to the vendor we noted). With all the work that needed to be done and how much the place was deteriorating daily, they’d be lucky to get more, but it wouldn’t be from us as we weren’t prepared to go higher.
We followed it up with an email to the office manager when we got back, emphasising we are cash buyers and that if the vendor changed his mind, please could they contact us.
On to property 3 then.
Tucked into a cul-de-sac corner, it was not flanked on both sides neither was it directly opposite a junction as google’s ‘street view’ had depicted, so a bit of a surprise.
At the top end of our budget, the elderly gentleman was showing us round himself. He is going into a wardened retirement property and looking for a quick sale.
His gardens, which surrounded the property, were on three or four levels, with masses of bees and butterflies flitting between his wonderful flower beds.
There was a school directly behind it, and also a church bell tower, complete with Westminster Chimes, the latter of which announced their presence on arrival.
The property itself had all the basic requirements, though dated and needing a bit of TLC.
The electrical fuse box looked OK, but the inspection certificate had been signed by no other than the vendor himself, who told me he was a retired structural engineer.
Also, there was an overpowering smell of gas inside the property which was making me feel quite heady.
Back outside Hubby could see evidence of movement round the liquid gas tank and back paving slabs, plus a few telltale cracks in the walls.
Things here were starting to shift too, so another one not for us.
We actually got home in just over two and a half hours, and when we checked the mileage, had only clocked up 271 miles this trip instead of the 400 we’d anticipated.
We’ll keep looking, selecting a different area next time, and see what’s new since we last checked. We’ll find one.