Posted by: Paul | January 11, 2011

The Chain and Other Stupid Things

Moving house in the UK is a pain. It’s a stupid, stupid process encouraging the very worst in people’s behaviour with no legal recourse to prevent any of it from happening. And if this is how I feel on day, well, not even day one really as our house isn’t up for sale yet, imagine what it’s like by the end of the process!

Fundamentally, we need to move house, and it’s pretty much time to recognise that fact. We want to give our son a little brother or sister to play with, and we just don’t have the room. Very much wanting to stay in the town we live in, this gives us a bit of a problem as (a) properties of the size we want are in short supply, and (b) as such they are often overpriced as people look at what sold at the peak of the market, and think they can still achieve that. This keeps prices artificially inflated and results in stagnation as people refuse to pay over the odds, and vendors refuse to take less than what their neighbours sold for. Stalemate.

Anyway, this has been kickstarted again (we tried a couple of years ago) by a house piquing our interest. We went to see it last night, and left feeling it was greatly overpriced. The vendors had moved in 25 years ago and clearly not lifted a finger since then. With their children moving out of home, I felt like they’d looked around and said to themselves: “Shall we do it up? Nah, it’s too far gone. Should have done it years ago. Let’s get a new build, leave it to some other mug.” Literally everything you can think of needed work – new windows, new front door, new internal doors throughout, new kitchen, new boiler, new bathroom, new carpets, and every surface needs painting. As we were shown round, they kept saying things like “This is the original kitchen, but that’s reflected in the price. This is the original bathroom, but that’s reflected in the price.” I thought “Really, do you think so?” We’d seen other houses at the same price but in far better order. Until they’re prepared to be more realistic, it’s not for us and will hang around. Maybe in a couple of months they’ll call us up having dropped the price!

Anyway, we need to make an appointment with the bank manager, to see what he has to say about my self-employed status. It’s likely that they won’t lend based on my own income, but will restrict it to my wife’s. I’m not looking forward to this meeting as last time he really put the hard sell on us about taking the useless, not-worth-the-paper-it’s-printed-on payment protection insurance. I can’t imagine the grilling he’s going to give me on my profit-making abilities!


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