Recently I wrote about how my house is feeling too small and also about split second decisions which change the course of a life When I wrote those two posts I genuinely had no idea what would happen next.
We’ve had our eye on a house round the corner for a good two or three years now. We know the people who lived there are very elderly. There’s one thing you can guarantee about very elderly people – they won’t be living there forever. So we were waiting to see if the house would go up for sale. My husband had talked about possibly putting a letter through the door – just to let them know we were interested when they came to sell. I wasn’t at all sure. How do you word something like that?
We’d also talked about an extension. To be honest, I was quite excited about the extension. It would mean a fair amount of disruption, but it would mean a much bigger house, without ever leaving the house, garden and road we love. Even with an extension, the garden would be a good size. I wasn’t sure if the dream house round the corner would be THAT much bigger than our existing house, certainly no bigger than our house with this amazing extension we were thinking about.
But my husband was determined to find out about the house round the corner. So he wrote the letter. It was worded perfectly. I could never have written something like that. A few days passed. Nothing. Then a phone call. Would we like to go and see the house?
We went to see the house and it was perfect. We fell completely in love with it. It’s bigger than we expected, with not four, but FIVE bedrooms. The garden is far bigger than we thought too, almost as big as our own. It has two bathrooms, plus two extra toilets, a large kitchen AND a utility. All I want from life is enough bedrooms to go around, a large kitchen and a utility. But this had more – it had character.
I considered how long I would be prepared to wait for it. I couldn’t do four or five years. But at a push I could probably do two, if I knew that house was waiting for me at the end of it. It would be the light at the end of the tunnel.
My husband stayed to chat to the owner, then he came home and said ‘I’ve bought it’. He was joking of course, but not completely joking. Because in the last few days they’d found somewhere to move to, they’d had their house valued, but hadn’t yet put it on the market. Our letter had arrived at EXACTLY the right time – for us and them. So my husband agreed a price with them. If we can sell ours in a reasonable time, it’s ours.
So, assisted by my parents, we’ve embarked on a huge de-cluttering, cleaning and tidying mission. Stuff has been got rid of, walls have been painted. Our house looks… rather nice really. In the estate agent’s photos, it looks amazing. I would be tempted to buy it myself. If I wasn’t so desperate to get out of it.
We’ve had our first viewing and they really, really liked it. Enough to make an offer. A bit lower than we’d like and they’ve still got a house to sell, but it’s a really good sign. Maybe the next person will be prepared to pay a bit more – and maybe they won’t have a house to sell.
Who would have thought that letter I was nervous about writing would have such a dramatic and positive effect?