And 48 hours later, our lives are turned around…
We’d been thinking for a little while about buying our first home together. This felt like logical step in our relationship but it’s still a big step for two 50-something year olds.
I am a lists person. I like lists, I like the clarity that they bring, so we started by making a list of our ‘must have’ attributes that our ideal home together would have. We were delighted to discover that not only were we in agreement about the essential elements, but there was almost total agreement about the desirable things too.
Having made the decision to pool our resources and go for it, we have ended most days for the last couple of months, curled up in bed, phones in hand, scrolling through the day’s new listings on Rightmove.
One Saturday evening, after the estate agent offices had closed for the remainder of the weekend, I noticed a little semi-detached house that had just come onto the market. Sunday dragged on but also gave me the opportunity to do a bit of research about area surrounding the house, the village and the history of the building – Google can be a wonderful thing!
By 8.40am on Monday I had spoken to the estate agent and booked a viewing for midday. Because we are the type of folks who would rather be early and have to wait than be late and keep others waiting, we found ourselves driving around area surrounding the house we were about to view, killing time – for almost half an hour.
We spent quite a while looking around the house and tried very hard not to grin too much. It ticked every single box, met every essential criteria and lots of our desirable ones too. On the way home, I was ready to pick up the phone and put in an offer, my heart absolutely ruling my head and I wasn’t alone in my feelings. But we are sensible bunnies, life has made us a touch more cynical than we were when we were young and our heads told us that we should have another look before making a decision about the biggest purchase of our lives.
So once at home, we did the sensible thing and made tea. Following a late lunch and much discussion, I phoned the estate agent and booked a second viewing for first thing the following morning. So the next day, we went back to the little white semi-detached for a second viewing.
Now in the past, second viewings have invariably led us to see the faults, flaws and the way a house just wouldn’t work for how we live our lives, so I was fully prepared to be underwhelmed and disappointed.
What I wasn’t prepared for was to be enveloped in its charm or to feel so certain that I wanted this house to be our next home and that Mr J felt exactly the same way.
Over a cup of tea, we were open and honest with the vendors, we explained our financial situation, discussed potential timescales and that we were on our way to the estate agent to put in an offer. We left the property and headed straight to the nearest town to search out the estate agent’s office to do just that.
Then we drove home to wait for their response, we waited and waited. The next 5 hours felt like the longest for years (probably since the day my daughter made me a Grandma – but that’s another story).
When the telephone finally rang, showing the estate agent’s number, I felt sick. We had decided not to mess around with cheeky offers, we had simply made the best offer that we could. Mr J and I had agreed and if our offer wasn’t enough, we were going to have to practice the ‘it’s just not meant to be’ and ‘there’s something better out there waiting for us’ strategy of coping with the disappointment.
So I answered the phone and held my breath, thank goodness the agent spoke fairly quickly or I could have passed out from a lack of oxygen. A few moments later, I informed Mr J that we had indeed just agreed to purchase a little white semi-detached house complete with a Dutch barn, stables, chicken house and tumble-down piggeries.
This blog will be a gentle look at what we learn about our new greener environment and how our lives change as we move from a South Gloucestershire village to a smallholding in South Wales.