Buying houses – playing poker

Why is buying a house such an almighty headache? The game of stoney-faced poker one has to play whilst either buying or selling is so exceptionally stressful. To take part you must be a bloody good liar. Lying about your income, your deposit, your state of play, how much you don’t like something, when secretly you do. It is a nightmare and I for one am totally crap at it. You look around the house with the estate agent, generally a spotty teenager, who aimlessly wanders about ‘showing’ you the bathroom or bedroom – I mean how hard can it be?

However, when you do get out there and nose around other peoples houses you realise just what incredibly bad taste people have. One house we visited, their child owned some kind of animal in a cage. The stench in the room was unbearable; a sort of sweet, warm, acrid urinal scent mixed in with rotten hay – we could barely breathe and could not wait to get out of that house – we mumbled something sufficiently polite to the estate agent and legged it.

In the shed of another house the owner had a, not so, secret obsession with trains – the shed housed hundreds of model engines. Even those with pots of money to splash out on a decent bathroom or kitchen still show no signs of having any kind of simple taste with vast swathes of chintz curling creepily and suffocatingly all over the walls, sofas, windows and beds.

When we found the house of our dreams, which we did tucked away on a beautiful hill overlooking the Box valley – the owner took it off the market unable to part with her home. And for us, although we could barely get the cash together to buy it anyway, we were still absolutely gutted to lose the one house we fell in love with…

However, coming down a peg or two in your financial reality is no bad thing – and something we must all embrace if we want to stay buoyant – so when we stumbled across a crumbling Victorian town house in deserate need of some serious love, cash and work spent on her – we realised this could be made into the dream…given plenty of time and deniro….So we lied about it and pretended to show interest elsewhere all the while, weighing up the pros and cons of living in another old house in need of constant attention and furthermore being in town when we had wanted to be in the country. But the grass is always greener right?

No sooner had our hearts become immersed in this property, we, now foolishly I see, applied for local school places assuming that it was in the bag. Oh how wrong we were, just weeks later moments before the contracts exchanged our sellers bailed out – leaving us very much high and dry once more.
Despondent and dejected we have returned once more to the drawing board.

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