After a not-so-busy weekend (the first in a long time!), today has been a great start to the week.
So far as finding a future house and project #2, we’ve got 2 more viewings lined up this week, both in very different places. When booking to view one of the properties today, the agent asked me “so is it just Winchester you’re looking in then?” Considering we currently live 40 miles north of Winchester, it might seem a bit strange to be looking so far, but we’re quite lucky in that we have a relatively large search area; pretty much anywhere between where we are currently (just North of Reading) and Winchester on that corridor (west of the main motorways). Anywhere that’s no more than a 10 minute drive to a train station that’s commutable to London. Pretty vague…
We have, over the past couple of years and in recent weeks, narrowed down particular areas that we like and actually those that we don’t as well. I’ll always remember the first time we went house hunting and how we thought we’d never find an area we liked. At the time, we both lived on opposite sides of the South of England and our jobs meant that moving to either town wasn’t an option. Our requirements were again, quite vague – a minimum 2 bed property (house preferable), with garden, ideally parking and somewhere that was commutable to London and the South coast for Tom’s work at the time. That might seem more like a wish list rather than a must have list, but we did find what we were looking for and yes, we did compromise (ours was on space – less for our money), but actually it all worked out and was a great first house.
But our first search wasn’t without doubt and hope that’d we’d ever find somewhere. We’d taken a Saturday to do block viewings in one area. Let’s just say that the first 4 we viewed were in different areas of the same town that we’d narrowed down as the ‘best place to live’ on paper, but all prospects were equally as bad as the other. Some might call it fussy, others might also agree that buying a house that backs onto a school that was recently shut down by Ofsted and is now being used as a youth club isn’t #1 on the list, nor one that’s been dressed head to toe in vinyl wood flooring (literally, every room. I know it’s only cosmetic but at the time we weren’t looking for a project / didn’t have the capital to re-floor a whole house). The other two backed onto a motorway (I can’t sleep unless it’s quiet – probably explains why we’ve ended up in a village location now!) and one didn’t have central heating or double glazed windows. Anyway, of these properties, the areas just weren’t right for us; we didn’t get ‘that feeling’. So as we were slowly getting more and more fed up, we headed to our last property of the day in a neighbouring town; slightly more ‘villagey’! We’d practically discounted the property before we arrived as we didn’t think it would be big enough but instantly fell in love. I’m pretty sure we actually made an offer on the spot – crazy, looking back!
The point I was getting to was that I know that finding an area is hard, let alone finding a property that’s likable. And so the joys of house hunting continue for us… I’ll keep you posted!
Anyway (I really need to stop saying that!), our house has another viewing booked for tomorrow and we’ve had one offer come in already (hooray!), albeit it was a low ball. We kind of expected that and lets be honest, if you’ve ever bought a house, you’ve probably done that… it’s a starting point. So we’ll see how tomorrow goes, if any more viewings come in and if we hear back pending our first offer rejection.
I can already tell it’s going to be an interesting (and maybe stressful) week.