House buying and selling here in the UK is not for the fainthearted. About two years ago, we put our house up for sale and after only a few viewings, received our first serious offer. They were a young couple, about to be married. She was a teacher in a secondary school in the area and he also had a regular job (don’t remember what it was). They were really keen to buy our house, but sadly, they weren’t very truthful about their financial situation and the mortgage company wouldn’t lend them enough money to buy our house. To be fair to them, they did all they can and applied to different mortgage companies to no avail. If only they had their finances ready first before making the offer. That would’ve saved us money and disappointment.
Disappointed, but Not Heart Broken
The house we were about to buy was a practical house. It had the extra bedroom we needed to make into an office. It had a huge garage, which wasn’t even on our list of must-haves when looking for a house. It had a bigger garden, but it didn’t tug in our heartstrings. We went for that house, because we thought at that time, that it was the right house for us. It was a practical house that ticked off our list and more.
After doing something thinking, we decided to stay put and have a major renovation instead. We hired an architect to design our attic conversion. After sketches and meetings and quotes, we decided to put the house back in the market again. The amount of money we were going to spend seemed too much and our architect warned us that if we decide to sell in the future, we wouldn’t be getting our money back.
Second time around, we didn’t have much scheduled viewings. The months went by and we thought, maybe we should just put an office shed in the garden? We started planning again and got in touch with Howdens to do our kitchen for us. We said we’d go on holiday first and then when we came back, we’d take our house off the market again, and start with the renovations. A dream-kitchen, new flooring and an office shed.
But while away, we received a serious offer. It was from a woman who has always loved this part of Cornwall and dreamed of having a second home here. We met them. She seemed lovely, the husband seemed okay and they had a lovely three-year-old daughter.
While away, we spotted a house online that looked promising. When we came back, we visited the house and as soon as I walked in, my heart sank.
Love at First Sight
The house was a typical English cottage, full of character and is roughly about a hundred years old. There was an open fire in the lounge, a wood burning stove in the dining room. And another wood burning stove in one of the rooms upstairs. The kitchen though was small, but had a belfast sink which I love. There was a front garden, and a very private back garden, and a bit of a side-garden. And a huge porch.
My heart sank because I knew that if we lost this house my heart would be broken.
We made an offer as soon as we came home. It was a cheeky offer, so I wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t accepted. But when we learned that someone else was interested, I told my husband to offer the full asking price. I didn’t want to go on a bidding war, I’m not made for that. To our relief, the owners accepted.
I remember the day the house sale fell through the second time, as if it just happened yesterday. I’ve just put little T to bed and my husband was on our bed with his laptop on. He looked at me and I instantly knew something was wrong. He received an email from our solicitor saying our buyer’s husband has instructed his solicitor to pull out from the sale.
I burst into tears, even my husband was teary-eyed. He looked dejected. We both felt defeated.
The next day we found out that the woman’s husband walked out on her and their three-year-old daughter. While we were devastated, we couldn’t begin to imagine what she was feeling, what she was going through at that time.
Our estate agent tried to hold the chain together and quickly lined up another buyer who seemed interested. She came on a Friday, offered on a Saturday and then back out on a Monday.
A few weeks before the Christmas break, we had another viewing. She turned out to be a mum who we used to know from T’s school. Her kids have moved on to secondary school. She was viewing for her friend. We didn’t think anything could happen, especially since it was almost the Christmas break, but on the last day of T’s school, we got an offer from the mum’s friend. And I’m happy to share that we are moving house on the 22nd of this month!
Yes, the house we fell in love with is now ours.
Have you ever been disappointed in a house sale/move?