I know that to some people the story of our house purchase is dull as dish water but I also know that others are interested in the story so it is with apologies to some people that I continue. (I promise there will in time be nice pictures and design tips). I am also telling the story so that if you are thinking of moving, that you might take heart from the fact that things don’t always go smoothly and that there are always risks involved, but if one thing falls through there is always another house possible. Over the years we have bid on some crazy projects. I keep brochures of everything and sometimes when I come across old ones I look at them and think “oh my God we were soo lucky nothing ever came of that”. There are others that I pass by and look wistfully at.
So there we were, with both properties under offer and all our fingers and toes crossed. Booking deposits had been paid on both houses, our purchasers to us, us to our vendor. Family and friends were informed. They have stopped being surprised at us moving house. Closing dates were set and the movers booked. (we are repeat customers so know who to go to)
Could it be that good?
Apparently not. Soon we got a phone call to say that the vendor was looking for more money. Not only that but that there was another party interested in the property who was willing to pay more. We couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t understand it. We were sale agreed. We had made an offer. It had been accepted. We had paid a booking deposit and the date for the closing of the sale had been set. Could this really be done? We sought some advice and were told that yes this could of course happen.
We went through our (limited) options.
Could we possibly go back to our buyers and ask for more money in the same way as we had been asked for more? We had met our purchasers. They are a lovely couple who fell in love with our home and our garden and made a quick offer on it. I loved them for that. It was because of them that we were in a position to be sale agreed on the pigeon house in the first place. We agreed that we couldn’t possibly go back to them and ask for more money.
Could we offer more money? We had already worked out our brief and sketched up the plans. We knew we could make the project work in terms of the layout of the house. In my mind I no longer saw a dilapidated wreak but a bright spacious family home. Our home.
We had carried out a risk analysis on the financial feasibility of the project. We had looked at the planning risks and the construction costs. Perhaps the most uncertain risk of all was bank lending, with the IMF troika rolling into town every few months and little funding being granted. We knew just how tight things were and how difficult they were likely to be. There was no more money to be put towards the initial outlay. However we really wanted this house. Were we willing to make sacrifices on how much finishing would be done just to get it?
In short we decided the answer was yes. So we very reluctantly increased our offer, knowing that it would mean less and less work being done on the house. There was also the fear of not knowing that this would actually be the end of it. How could we know that they would not keep coming back for more? And so we went sale agreed, again. This time we regretted having said anything to the kids. The uncertainty until the contracts were signed was unsettling to say the least…
By the way, despite the image I have used in the header, this is no game, but our deadly serious life!