It is almost 2 years since we first viewed our first home. We hadn’t viewed any other houses and didn’t even have a mortgage lined up, but I was a regular on Rightmove, spending hours in a comatose state wondering if we were ever going to make it onto the property ladder.
This house, a traditional Victorian 2 bed terrace, had been on the market for about 3 months and I’d been eyeing it up online on a weekly basis, but the amount of work that needed doing, along with its relatively high asking price considering the condition, put it firmly in the ‘No’ camp for Husband.
The owner must have cottoned on, and early in 2015, he reduced the price by £10,000! It was all the encouragement I needed. We didn’t have anything planned for the weekend, so I booked the viewing on my lunch break and texted an apology to Husband with a promise of a Pizza Express lunch if it was a waste of time!
The house was in a bad way. It didn’t smell too bad but it wasn’t easy on the eye. It had been rented out for about 20 years and had not been shown any love for a long time. The potentially cute retro kitchen, was actually badly painted 80’s veneer and there was an actual hole in the bathroom wall you could feel a breeze through. The original Victorian fireplace in the living room had been replaced by some bizarre brick monstrosity and the master bedroom had a headache inducing purple patterned feature wall. But, it had one original feature which, of course, I fell in love with (a small arch detail in the hall) and on top of that, it had potential. In a move Kirsty Allsop herself would have been proud of, I could hear us talking about how “just knocking that wall down will make it a really useable space” and how “all old houses are damp, it’s not necessarily that bad.” Oh dear.
As I said before, this was the first house we’d ever viewed. We weren’t even hugely serious about buying a house, it just seemed the logical next step after getting married and having spent so much on rent over the years. But, good manners cost nothing, so after the viewing I called the estate agent to say thank you and made the mistake of admitting that we really did quite like it.
20 minutes later, we had made an offer, had it countered, met the counter offer, and bought the house. Turns out good manners do come at a cost.
So, has anyone else bought a house out of politeness?! First time buyer mistakes? Please tell me we’re not the only ones!…