I've been a bit scarce around here of late. Not because of illness this time, but because...well...we have sold our house. I say sold, actually we have accepted an offer as of today and the clock is counting down until we leave.
A week after my last post a number of things came together in one go which strongly pointed toward us selling the house as a solution to the problems.
- My mother-in-law cannot cope in her big house alone any more and wants to live with one of her children if possible.
- Martin is slated to go forward for voluntary redundancy over the next 12 months and we always planned to move before this, as the cash lump sum would enable him to retire.
- My boss agreed to allow me to to work from home, which means my home location won't matter anymore.
- Martin admitted his car hobby has expanded to such a degree we have actually run out of outside space for him to work from. The workshop and garage are too tight to squeeze around now - we need a much bigger space with dry and warm undercover storage for a minimum of six cars.
It all pointed towards another property.
So, for three solid weeks Martin and I toiled over the house every evening after work until midnight and every weekend from morning until night. I took a week off work and decluttered and painted like a woman possessed. We laid carpet, painted sofit boards, boxed in pipes, clad walls, and packed boxes. I jet-washed until I was soaked and my hair and eyebrows were full of grit and dirt.
We interviewed four estate agents, chose one and then seven days ago we put the house on the market and waited...52 minutes to be precise before the first person booked to come and view. From then on it was a bun fight. We had no idea that three-bed semi-detached houses were so popular in our area, but people swarmed in. We had people coming off the street and knocking on the door at night. There were pleading notes pushed through our letterbox asking for consideration. Two close neighbours pitched up wanting to buy the house as they had outgrown their own space. We were gob-smacked. In the end we were so overwhelmed by it we basically cleared out during every day and evening and let the agents deal with everything. The offers came thick and fast. One man became so insistent and aggressive with his desire to have the house I was looking over my shoulder when letting myself in just in case he accosted me.
In the end sense prevailed or rather we imposed it. The house is the most expensive in the street because of the land that comes with it, the outbuildings, the converted storage barn/annexe and conservatory. A lot of people wanted it, but not many could afford it when the time came to show they had a mortgage decision in principle, and even fewer were in a good position to buy it. We wanted people who knew what they could borrow, and had either sold or received an offer for their property. The offers turned to bidding once we got past the asking price and only two people remained, both in the same position. One was in rented accommodation and had to give a month's notice, the other had exchanged contracts on their house and were completing within a month. Only one emerged from the dust as it settled.
So, in around eight weeks time SteelTowers will have new owners. A married couple with their toddler daughter will move in and a new story will begin in this house.
What about us? Where are we going to? Err...Martin's mum's house. We have not found anywhere suitable to buy yet, but we keep looking. Perhaps that dream of a smallholding won't be such a dream after all?