Tag: house sale

Three Types of House Viewers

Are you interested in buying?

God no!  I just want to have a look. I go to all the open-houses …

Dialogue from the movie “Ruth and Alex” starring Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman”

As mentioned in my previous post, we’ve finally sold our house and in the two years that we’ve put our house up on sale, we had more viewings than I could even remember.  My husband and I have come across three types of people who have viewed our house.

1.  The Curious Ones

As most of you know, we live in a beautiful part of England.  Just like any other tourist spot here in Cornwall, a lot of the houses are bought as second homes for those who can afford it (Yes, I know.  It’s a big issue here, those second-home owners).  The house we’ve sold was also in fact my parents-in-law’s second home.  They then passed it on to my husband and his sister, until my husband bought his sister out many years ago.

You’ll see the curious ones walk up the hill in our little village, with their necks craning in to look at any window or door left open.  You can almost hear their thoughts in their heads as they walk up the hill “I wonder who lives there?  I wonder what it’s like to live in this pretty Cornish village?”

Some of them will do more than just wonder, they’ll phone up the local estate agent, choose a house and request for a viewing.  But you’ll know as soon as they walk in, that they are really just looking and not seriously buying.  They’ll say “We live in ____ (fill in the blanks, it could be London, somewhere in the Home Counties or say the Midlands “And we’ve always wanted to move down here.  Maybe when we retire … “

I must admit when on holiday, I also turn into the curious one.  Those were exactly my thoughts as we meandered around a quaint village in the French countryside.  “I wonder what its like to live here?”  But I’ve never phoned up the local estate agent to ask for an appointment.  Instead I go online and have a little look of what’s out there and if we could afford it.  Perhaps if my French was better…

2. The Dreamers

To be fair, most of the dreamers we’ve come across with were really serious about wanting to buy our house.  In fact they’ve made all the right noises and asked all the right questions and you just know that they really want to move down here.

But when the reality sets in, and they realise that they can’t have a second mortgage, or can’t even apply for a mortgage big enough to buy our home, or the water bill is way more expensive down here in Cornwall compared to wherever they are from.  Reality slaps them on the face.  Goodness know we’ve all experienced this ourselves, haven’t we, our bubbles bursting?  Life isn’t fair, a lesson, I keep repeating my daughter at her young age, again and again.

I feel for the dreamers, at one point in our lives, we were also dreamers too and probably are still dreamers, dreaming of owning that dream property, second home somewhere isolated, or moving to another country.

3. The Serious Buyers

And lastly, we all want the serious buyers, don’t we?  Within this category though, we’ve found that there are also three types of people:

  • The “Big Person”:  “Your house has been up for sale so long and you must be desperate to sell, so be thankful I’m making an offer more than 50 grand off your asking price.  Take it or leave it!”  And of course, they are surprised when you say “No thank you”.
  • The Impossible Ones:  Like the “Big Person”, they think that since they are making a “serious offer” you should be thankful!  And then they have a list of demands as long as your arm, oh and top top it off, you have to move out ASAP.  Finding a house to live isn’t obviously their problem.
  • The Just About Right Kind of Buyer:  Who are realistic, accommodating and polite, and will wait till you’ve got everything sorted out, they are the dream buyers.  In the end we got one.

Have you met or know any of the people mentioned above?

Do share.

Home is Where the Heart Is: Our House Sale Saga/Drama

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?

Do share.