July 7, 2017

WE’RE ON THE MOVE AGAIN!

update

Whilst my blog posts have been sporadic things have been happening fast in the UK.  I am interrupting my St Emilion series to bring an update.  We are on the move again !!

IMG_11222_4_large

When we downsized to this house in 2014 we were thrilled with it.  We thought it would be perfect for spending the odd week or two back in the UK, that we could use it almost as a gite for holidays and short stays.  It’s a 1930’s house with a brand new interior, having been renovated shortly before we bought it.  It was a beautiful “move straight in”.

IMG_11222_10_large

For one reason or another we have never really settled and as we have ended up spending much more time here than we planned we have decided to move on.

IMG_11222_16_large

Apart from its cuteness and newness, the thing that sold this house to us was the view across the fields at the back.

Only six months after we moved in, we found out that the farmer that owns the fields had applied for planning permission to sell the land for building.  There was a planning application for five hundred houses along the length of the road, meaning that our lovely view could easily disappear.

IMG_11222_3_large

P1090342

Then there’s the plight of poor little Daisy.  Because she spends most of her time in our barn in France and is not used to traffic (other than the occasional passing tractor) I am convinced that if we let her out of the house she would either get run over on the road, or get frightened and run away.  Either way we might never see her again. 

So she stays indoors when we bring her back to the UK, or we let her out on a long lead.  She spends her time snoozing in a shady spot or watching the birds in next door’s garden longingly as they tease her mercilessly, hopping within a few yards of her, having learned that she can’t catch them.

IMG_11222_15_large

So, we set to and spruced the place up ready for the estate agent to call.  Once the pictures were taken my resolve weakened and I had some doubts – with the house looking so good, how could we bear to leave?  But we had made our decision so we put it up for sale.

IMG_11222_7_large

IMG_11222_11_large

It was sold after just four days on the market.  (It took just two days longer than the last time we sold a house.)  The new owners come from not far away and already knew about the planning application for building in the fields.

They also have a thumping great big camper van which they intend to park in the drive.

860___1_6568781499259161_6xFi7isEHkaYIvWuyD7PSQ

This is the house we’re hoping to buy instead.  It’s nowhere near as sexy, an old folks’ bungalow.  As my dad says when any bungalow comes up for sale – “there’s another one fallen off its perch”. And indeed it’s very much that kind of house.

It’s not far from where we used to live.  We were very comfortable there, so going back there feels like putting on an old pair of comfy slippers.  All the rooms are bigger than we have now and we will gain an extra room downstairs, a garage and privacy, as it’s detached with a good amount of space on either side.  It’s in a small, L-shaped cul-de-sac where the road is very quiet.

860___1_6568911499259161_KPEUQvrMnU23c4cO01uMjg

There are woods at the back so our view is of the trees rather than open fields, but at least it’s unlikely that there will ever be a planning application to build on there.  And of course it’s a much safer place to let Daisy have her freedom.

860___1_6568831499259161_zIigPuDmNkmr3eFWCgMtWQ

It is however, a house to do up.  It’s perfectly habitable but it’s decorated in the style of an old person who last did anything to it at least twenty years ago and has done no decorating or maintenance since.

860___1_6568801499259161_Za6NafoQOkauO8RCeZ0GBQ

Except for the kitchen, which, believe me, is not as good as it looks!  The estate agent did a great job of making it look great.

So there we are.  I never thought I would be thrilled to be buying an old folks’ bungalow but it’s amazing how one’s ideas can change!

Those experienced in buying and selling a house in the UK will know that there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before we get the keys to our new house.  There is a short chain of only four houses with the empty house at the top and a first time buyer at the bottom so it’s about as promising as it can be, but you never know, it could still all go wrong.  We live on tenterhooks for now!

Bon weekend !!

9 comments:

  1. Well good luck, but purchasing real estate in England...gah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly!
      Another word for it would be "aaarghhhhh"!

      Delete
  2. It's funny how attitudes about certain things differ depending on where you live. In the 1960-70's there was a huge house building boom here and the majority of the houses built were bungalows as the lots were quite wide. Today it is mostly 2 story houses being built on very narrow lots. The neighbourhoods that were built in the 60's and 70's are now very desirable because of the size of the lots, the mature trees and gardens. Also, during that building boom many schools were built so every neighbourhood has it's own schools. Every house here is also built with a basement which doubles your living space. Here, the 'old folks' usually move into condos or villas or retirement complexes. I think your bungalow looks lovely and as you get older you'll appreciate the no stairs!!!lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janice, actually there are stairs leading to two peculiar small rooms and a grotty bathroom upstairs. In other words, it's a dormer bungalow, the extension being at the back, probably built twenty five years ago (or when burgundy bathroom suites were all the rage!).
      So we have the best of both worlds, upstairs rooms for extra space and downstairs bedrooms and a bathroom for when we no longer fancy climbing the stairs to go to bed! Perfect!

      Delete
  3. The photos make this look like a small house with very big rooms. But even the "small" house you've now sold looks very spacious in the photos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ken, I think the agents use a lens which makes rooms look much bigger than they are! And of course if you remove all the clutter it looks bigger still.
      The new house is about 50% bigger, it's not on a busy road and there is space between us and our neighbours, so it ticks all our boxes.
      Nick thinks we will enjoy doing it up. Only time will tell!

      Delete
    2. Sounds like you are going to spend the rest of your lives just fixing things up!

      Delete
  4. splendid news! good luck and keep us posted !

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks very comfortable, lets hope it is an easy move

    ReplyDelete