We have found a house we both absolutely agree is just simply wonderful! But I am getting ahead of myself.
In my last post, I said our ex-neighbour wanted to have a look at our house. Well, he did and he actually made us a pretty generous offer. In cash! There was a hitch in that he was waiting for his dad to die - it sounds callous, but what he meant was that he was looking after his dad who was terminally ill and won't be ready to move on the offer till he had passed. So there is that, but we can at least say that we have a buyer. And we haven't even started advertising yet!
Since then, we'd seen a house FBB liked but I didn't, and then seen this one which we both adore. It's in town, not in the most salubrious part of it, but it's close to a good friend's, has lovely views and, oh my goodness, it has been exceedingly improved. We would not have to do a thing1!
The kitchen is just simply superb! It has an induction hob, a designer radiator, a breakfast bar, dishwasher, integrated fridge/freezer, and sleek cabinets. The floors are solid wood with none of the creaky, crunchy feel you normally get and the garden is landscaped to within an inch of its life. The shed has electricity (!) and the whole house is heated with an efficient combi boiler (something that was put in by the present owner). The bathroom is elegant with new fittings, with no trace of damp anywhere. The main bedroom has plush carpets and the little second bedroom looks out onto fields. Everything is half the size of what we are used to, but by golly, they are all twice as nice.
It's a shared equity scheme house (apparently subtly different from a shared ownership scheme house) and 25% of it belongs to the local council. So we would need to be approved by them before we can buy it. The good news is, we satisfy their qualifying conditions and just need to pass their interview. If we are accepted, there is more good news. Participating mortgage lenders require that we only provide 5% of the purchase price as a deposit!
I am not publishing a link to it because that would just be silly.
FBB fell in love straight away. I don't think he's quite stopped saying, "Wow!" and is utterly determined that we get it. So we marched into SEA's2 office and told him that we *must* have this house. We have now been referred to Alex who appears to be a Super Mortgage Advisor / Price Negotiator and we have an interview with the local council on Tuesday.
As for that, the bathroom is nearly, nearly done - the bath panel has turned out to be a nightmare - so we have booked the photographer to come on Monday. Tomorrow, we pick up a Rug Doctor3 and cross our fingers we get as much chucked out of the way as possible by then.
Sadly, no mention has been made of the Dead Car Dilemma. I suspect there will be much grinding of gears and dragging of wheels come Monday.
Also, tomorrow, I will be seeing an old friend from the old country4 who will be bringing me some local delights - I can hardly wait!
Also, also, I have picked up all my World Book Night books and they are patiently waiting in their box for me to find them new homes. That will be Sunday's little pleasure for me.
And finally, no more Inspector Montalbano Saturday nights. Will The Bridge be just as riveting? Watch this space!
1 Well, FBB would like to strip off the flowery wallpaper in the bedroom. But I think it may end up staying!
2 Super Estate Agent! Steve from Willie H Brown. Incidentally, it was Alex who told us all about the shared equity stuff. We like them a lot!
3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtEi6ljeikQ&feature=related We can only *hope* we get the results. Our carpets are strangers to deep cleaning.
4 Hmmm. It gained independence in 1965. Was "discovered" in 1819. And up until then was pretty much a collection of idyllic fishing villages. Hardly old I suppose.