Tuesday, 29 December 2009

House Hunting: The day we won and our troubles truly started...

"Where’re my socks, I’ve go no socks – why don’t you put anything away in the same place?!"
Oh, the joys of waking up to your loved one’s dulcet or not so dulcet tones as he stomps about in the dark trying to avoid the furniture, the piles of clothes and soft furnishings piled up on the landing; meanwhile Bog Boy starts to natter away to himself and you know it’s only a matter of time before you have to get up. It’s dark, it’s cold outside, it’s still only 5.30 am and the inevitable beckons.
I wait until HE gets out of the house and off to work; a confrontation about his laundry and my lack of organisation prior to 6am in the morning is not the top of my agenda. As soon as I get into the kitchen after carefully reconnoitring the Armageddon-like arena laughingly known as the upstairs landing, I am immediately pounced upon by a pair of wailing banshees; writhing and slithering around my ankles – someone has forgotten to feed them and is halfway to Stowmarket station to catch the six o’clock, glancing at the erratic timepiece still attached to the wall by a rather attractive thick grey cable I notice its seventeen minutes past nine, adjusting my vision by 90 degrees, I realise my Husband has missed his train and will therefore chunter all the way to Liverpool Street – do I leave a message in the office and warn them? Nope I feed the cats, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, pop the kettle on for tea and make my way up the stairs to take stock of my children, Bog Boy in particular.

I have a few too brief moments before The Boy awakes demanding breakfast, wanting to know if he’s going to school yet and - Can I take Roley? Where’s Pipin? Where’re my pants? Mummy? Where’re my socks….
Terrible case of deja vu!
Ever since we moved life has been chaotic, I try so hard to be organised! My carefully laid plans went awry when P asked that fateful question: “Do you want the house?”
His strategy worked in that the agents decided not to go to sealed bids but then there was the bidding war and the interminable wait between offers. Sometimes it would be a couple of days, then a few hours, once it caught us on the hop and it was just a few minutes but that was at the end.
Prior to putting any bids in we were sensible and we visited the house again and again with a variety of experts in a hopeless effort to work out just how far we could go. Like many in love we turned a blind eye to all but what we wanted to hear so we nodded sagely when we were told the roof would only cost us £20,000. We hawed and hummed when we were told that the render could be tricky to replace, we totally missed or conveniently forgot to listen when the quantity surveyor said in an undertone we’d have little change out of £200,000.
Warning lights should have been flashing. For heaven sakes even Mum and Dad were muttering. Luckily though P took over, correctly guessing that our enthusiasm would far outstrip our common sense.
P: “Well there’s eight of you but from what I can gather there are only four serious; as a plan of action I would suggest that we play it cool - we don’t want to land up paying too much. We’ll go up in increments of what? £2,000? We won’t rush back every time the price is raised but we’ll consider it. OK?”
We nod awed: “OK”
A plan of action? Good God! A strategy? All we were doing was buying a house. However, it’s at times like these that it’s very useful NOT to be doing it yourself. We were able to put a bit of distance in it….like heck! Sticking to P’s plan we’d squeezed everyone one out except one other, also up from London. A battle of nerves prevailed – incrementally.
P: “Right we blast them!”
Me: “Why?”
P: “The idiots are off on holiday, we raise significantly and then say take it or leave it NOW and we win!”
Oh so simple, why did I feel that to P this was just a game?
For us it was everything. Our home. Our Future. Our Life.

However, we did as he said.
The bid went in.
We waited.
They answered.
We said no way we are NOT waiting.
We waited and waited.
And we won. The house was ours – we had a home. Oh my GOD…

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