If ever there was an excuse needed to open a bottle of Tattinger, then Saturday night was one.
Last week was another major up and down one. After the fall through of our house sale the previous weekend, we were also set to lose the one we’ve been proceeding on; the one with the outdoor loo, numerous ‘problems’ and the one I’ve been referring to as ‘the new one’, as I was sure we were close enough to closing the deal. Little did I know a few weeks ago, that everything would fall apart spectacularly.
The very forgiving seller gave us a week. 5 days to start with (to sell ours again…), so Tom caught up with the agent last Friday, but it was agreed to review again on Monday as we had 2 viewings booked in on Saturday. In our eyes, this was good progress, but given the house took 3 weeks to sell last time, we’d already set ourselves up for them to re-market the property and to lose it and be sad about it (I won’t go on), but that’s life. We kept saying that it was about time we had a house sale/purchase fall through. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to who has bought a house, or over the years, has had one fall through and like most things, until it happens to you, you just go along not appreciating how frustrating and disappointing it is (not forgetting the potential financial damages on lost survey and search pack costs). We’ve been through two so far and this is our third so, third time lucky?
Monday to Friday came and went, along with a few tears and a lot of stress (not aided by the you-know-what-time-of-the… ‘mood swings’), but not much we could do apart from hold out for the two viewings which were booked for Saturday late afternoon.
Taking our mind off of the house sale and with what would have been the perfect start to a new project to re-motivate and inspire us, we headed out on Saturday morning to The National Self-Build and Renovation Centre in Swindon. Their January trade show was taking place and despite not being able to jump straight back into DIY off the back of visiting, I’d had it in the diary since November and still really fancied going. According to Tom, it’s my kind of place!
If you also are interested in ever building your own house or taking on a project, big or small, it’s definitely the place to go. Whilst we didn’t make use of the free financial or architect advice on hand, we did wonder round and learnt a lot about basement waterproofing, site safety, foundations, timber frames, water filtration systems and some amazing home lighting systems.
The highlight for me, aside from finding a chair to rest my foot for 5 minutes, was taking a tour of the renovation house. They’ve got a ‘real life’, to scale house set up that takes you through all of the problems and major renovation bits you might need to consider when taking on such a project. It was reassuring to see that we’d already considered most of what was shown and to learn about what we haven’t yet encountered such as dry rot floor joists and how to replace them (that’s my idea of interesting, but probably not yours…). So, all in all it was a great morning out and if I’d been able to stomach crowds on crutches for longer, we’d have stayed for some of the talks, but Tom also wanted to go shopping at the nearby designer outlet before we had to head back for the house viewings; which involved me sitting in the car for half an hour whilst he ran off to Nike and New Balance… On the up side I made him stop at the John Lewis at Home on our way back so I got my shopping fix.
When we got home it was a mad dash around (for Tom), to tidy the house in preparation for viewings. We handed over the keys, feeling pretty apprehensive and headed out to town. The idea was to stop at Decathlon and buy a weighted vest so we could do more fitness workouts at home, but I ended up having a massive nose bleed on route; Tom had to stop at McDonalds and raid their napkin stash and we then just sat in the car for 20 minutes hoping it would stop. When it eventually did, we popped into Decathlon, grabbed the vest and headed for the tills, but it being a Saturday afternoon was like every man and his dog and 5 kids (x100) had raided the energy supplements aisle before being told they had 30 seconds to perform a supermarket sweep, grabbing every unnecessary sporting item they would never use and then queuing like meerkats on steroids. As we approached the 30 strong line queue, we both gave each other that look, put the vest back on a shelf and headed back to the car.
We then got the usual call to let us know how the viewings had gone. Not enough work for one (fair enough), but the other had viewed it back in October and really liked it (me being the cynic thought it was just our agent being overly positive). He said she’d call that evening or Sunday. Did this mean she’d definitely be putting an offer in? I didn’t believe it.
Later that evening we actually did get a call. An offer. £1k below our minimum. We said no. He countered. She came back with £1k over. Still under asking but above what we originally sold for. We accepted subject to all being OK with the ‘new place’. We’re now off the market again. All in 7 days.
So in short, and in a VERY cringeworthy adapted Craig David style (sorry, I couldn’t resist);
Had no viewings booked on Tuesday
We were stressing out by Wednesday
And on Thursday and Friday and Saturday
We’d sold by Sunday
I genuinely never thought we’d be in this position and so quickly again; it’s typical isn’t it that when you’re not expecting something, it happens or turns up (a bit like when you order pizza – when you’re sat there twiddling your thumbs the blooming’ delivery driver never turns up with your food, but as soon as you pop to the loo or turn your back, there’s a knock at the door!).
We still haven’t heard today whether the seller of the ‘new place’ is still happy to proceed, so we’re not yet completely ecstatic or across the finish line as it were, but we have our fingers and toes crossed and if it’s meant to be, then so be it. I did sleep for 16 hours yesterday though (admittedly I was ill but…), so every cloud.
January, you’ve been a ridiculous start to 2018; sesamoid fracture diagnosis, air-boot, almost exchanged, sale fell through, re-sold… ugh. February, thank god you’re only just around the corner! x
P.s. The National Self Build and Renovation Centre is open all year round and free to visit. They also hold regular courses and workshops which I’m sure I’ll be signing up to in the future. Add it to the ‘go see’ list!!