The house that got away

An update on the house saga. We have had three show days, 50 people through the house, one offer (which we rejected) and now have two estate agents marketing our house. The reason that we are selling has partly fallen away since the house that we wanted got snapped up by someone else. But since we were in selling mode we decided to keep on trying. The question remains though: is it better to sell first and then try and buy somewhere else or to stay for another year in our current house?

The estate agents tell us to sell while our architect (not really ‘ours’ but the ex-boyfriend of a colleague) tells us to renovate. Actually he was very considered with his advice and was not pushing us to renovate. His ex-girlfriend on the other hand (who is still in love with him) would like us to renovate. I suspect there could be an ulterior motive there but she is also speaking from her own experience of happy renovation.

In the meantime, I have reluctantly been trying to fix some things at home. On Tuesday I painted a wall and yesterday Mrs Couchtrip and I went shopping for lights. In the shop we had an argument about the right size of the globe-shaped light-fitting that we wanted to buy.

“It’s definitely this size,” says Mrs Couchtrip. “I’m 99% certain.”

“Well I’m the one who has actually changed the lightbulbs and I think it’s the smaller size.”

Since she was 99% certain and I was only 80% certain we went for the bigger size. And who was right? I was.

Back home we decided to give the bigger one a try in the dining room and put the smaller one in the kitchen. We unpacked the box, looked at all the different components and the complicated instructions. And then we put them back in the box and thought about hiring a handyman instead. Today I feel a bit more confident. I mean, how difficult can it be to change a light-fitting? Apart from the arm ache involved with standing on top of our biggest ladder and stretching up to the ceiling, I can’t imagine that it’s terribly complicated.

In the meantime, we still drive past the house that got away. We’ve largely stopped the “if only” comments but this house is now the standard for any others that we see.

And we’re also trying to keep up our spirits by making fun of gently teasing the estate agents behind their backs. Our first agent, who locked us into a sole mandate before going off for three weeks’ medical leave, has become Hilda the Horrible. Mrs Couchtrip has heard rumours that Hilda is not entirely ethical. We don’t have any major gripe with her other than that she sent her inexperienced assistant to try and sell our house while she was off getting a knee replacement. In retrospect she was also wildly optimistic about the time it would take to sell our house and the offers that we would receive. She even boasted that it might not make the first show day. Hah!

Sunday sees Show Day number four (and the first with our new estate agents). These two look like Laurel and Hardy. They are also optimistic that we will see “the One” on Sunday. Mrs Couchtrip and I are not holding our breaths.


5 Responses to The house that got away

  1. smithereens says:

    Good luck for the sales. Btw, I have nominated you for a Liebster blog award! Have fun with the meme

    • Pete says:

      Smithereens – Thanks for the meme. It’s a fun way to connect with other bloggers so I’ll definitely find the time to post something. As for the house, at the moment we’re rather hoping no one buys it so we can stay on for another year!

  2. Real estate can break your heart as much as any person ever can.
    Sam and I once almost divorced over a set of Adirondack chairs for the house.
    Stay strong -your house WILL sell and you WILL find the perfect new home!

    • Pete says:

      Courtney – Thanks for the encouragement re the house. I’m sure another lovely house will come along. We’re giving it another month and then will reassess. I would like to stay here for another year but if we can sell at a good price then it will put us in a good position to buy again. Either way, it should work out fine.

  3. doctordi says:

    Sorry the house you wanted slipped through your fingers…but good to know the property market is alive and well in your neck of the woods! You know, before we bought this place, I read an article by a real estate agent that really stayed with me. He said that the single biggest mistake he sees buyers make is seeing a property with absolutely everything on their wish list and then going away to think about it. His question was, what exactly are they waiting for if this place ticks every box they have? I never forgot it, and when we saw this place we exchanged contracts 24 hours later – only narrowly beating another buyer to the dotted line. She was on the golf course and couldn’t be reached – our very good luck that day. But we didn’t have an unsold property to contend with and I would avoid bridging finance absolutely – from what I understand, you really don’t want to be paying a mortgage on your new place while still trying to sell yours. That sounds like pure stress on all levels.

    I’m excited for you – I wish I was there to help, I have found properties for my friends and just LOVE looking!

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