Friday, 7 November 2008


So, from previous posts I realise I was supposed to be keeping a food diary. We're drawing a veil over the past few weeks, but now Fisher and I have another bet on. Loser must forgo - well, in my case, ALL FOOTBALL! For, I believe, a month. That gives me until Christmas day to lose a stone, while she must lose 10lbs. Seeing as things are not looking peachy, I've decided to go back to the food diary idea. So far, 2 bits toast with Clover and honey. Must go to the gym, or for a run today - but not til this afternoon.

The plumber is supposed to be turning up today, but he was due at 10 and no sign so far. Unless he's sneaked in while I've been in here typing, and has got to work already. This is not inconceivable, as the walls are so thick you can barely hear anything. Still, he's fucked us around for 3 months, so I doubt very much he's had the initiative to just get on with plumbing the washing machine. Better check though.

Ok, he's not here. But Fisher has returned from a trip to buy paint ... and everything's kicked off! Firstly, she's been assured the plumber is coming, despite the fact the joiners yesterday told him we had no sink for the downstairs bathroom (not true) so, and I quote, there was "no point" in him coming. This, regardless of the fact there's a washing machine and tumble drier to plumb - and an entire cloakroom to put in upstairs! I have a sneaking suspicion that we're going to have to find a different plumber, as this guy's a joke. Then again, they're all jokes, so it might be a case of better the devil you know.

Anyway - that's a minor point. The major point is this:

We have an offer on Holly Frot! In fact, we had one yesterday, but it was 10 grand below the asking price so we rejected. Now, I know that was a risk in the current climate, but let me explain.

First off, the first estate agents we went with stated a figure, and told us that the days of 'offers over' were a thing of the past, and we should look to sell for £10,000 less than the asking price. We were a little disappointed with their estimate, so had another agent in to look. They wanted to put it on the market for £65,000 more than the first lot! This was over optimistic, in our book - plus, Fisher realised that, at that price, a lot of advertising would be lost on websites, as people who might be serious buyers wouldn't even get to see it, as it was outside the price bracket of their searches. So we reduced the price by £15,000, and waited.

It didn't look good. In 2 weeks we had only 2 couples look round. One was obviously interested, the others not at all. Then it all went quiet. Nothing. I began to worry that we had a turkey on our hands - but then:

Yesterday we had an offer! Hurrah!

Ten grand below the asking price. Hurroo.

I was disappointed, but the estate agent told us this was a good price, and urged us to accept. I dithered. We knew the buyers were serious, had been renting for a year, and needed land for sheep. We also knew that we had never gone into a negotiation from the offset with our maximum offer. Thirdly, we recognised a pattern: the first agents had suggested we might sell for 10 grand less than the asking price; now, here we were getting an offer 10 grand less than the asking price. Seemed to me, this was advice being given by solicitors, agents, and Sarah Beeney Of The Lovely Breasts. And lastly, thanks to an indiscreet 6 year old son, we knew that the woman's mother was seriously loaded.

I rejected the offer.

Then I realised that, had we gone with the first agents, we'd be looking at an offer that was almost 15% over the asking price. It's a recession: houses have been on the market for 6 months with no movement. Some people don't negotiate - they put in their best offer in the hopes they'll blow competition out of the water. So I pooed myself a little. We heard nothing for the rest of the day, which made me poo even more. It was quite possible they had made their best offer, and that was that.

Now Fisher has returned, and they have made another offer.

It's the asking price.

I did a little happy skipping dance, and immediately gave verbal acceptance. All going well, I think we've done very well for ourselves. It's the figure I hoped, in my secret dreams, to sell for - until, in truth, my head was turned by the original amount stated by the agents we went with. I thought we might get it for that - but, in truth, they were probably expecting to see for 10 grand less, which means only 5 grand more than we actually went with in the end. But then I think about the first agents - who are a bigger, more successful firm and who deal with most properties in Fife - and I realise how shafted we could have been if we'd gone with them. Basically, they were expecting to sell it for £60,000 less than we've agreed!

The thing is - in truth, we could hang on the HC and rent it out until the market turns. But there's no guarantee we'd sell it for much more, and then there's the hassle and faff of finding tenants, dealing with their demands, worrying about general wear and tear - and the depressing thought that this recession could last for God knows how long. In this case, a bird in the hand is definitely worth two in the bush, and I'm very happy. Now, fingers crossed that it all actually goes through ...

I've forgotten what I was originally blogging about, but whatever it was, it's dull in comparison to the thought of recouping some of the ENORMOUS quantities of money I've been blue-ing on our new house. Now, if only I can think of ways in which to wisely invest ...

Woohooooo. Happyhappyhappy. We're not home and dry yet, but fingers, toes and legs crossed and we'll be ok.

On a side note, the reupholstered furniture we inherited from the old owners of our house is arriving today. We thought we'd be thrifty and reuse it, but thrifty my arse! 3 grand later ... but the upholsterer was quite excited by it, and told us we'd never buy anything like it anywhere. It's all around 80 years old, solidly made, and a really interesting shape. It really suits the house, and I think 3 grand is ok for a sofa and 2 armchairs.

Sort of.

God, is it any wonder I'm so relieved to have sold HC?


Lubentina said...

Yay! Tentative congrats! :)

MF said...

Will keep all fingers crossed for you on the sale of HC. Sounds good though! Yay! Although sad to think of it belonging to someone else, the new house does make up for it! ;o) Lots of new memories to be made, both for HC and for us in the new one!