Searching for the housing holy grail

The one that got away

The one that got away

As someone who has watched pretty much every episode of Location, Location, Location ever, I’m sure it would take Kirstie Allsopp precisely three seconds to lose patience with us. We have a long, specific wish list, we’re picky about location and we don’t have much money—so yes, we are a property finder’s nightmare.

What do we want: a period house in Sussex with a large garden that is not overlooked, three bedrooms and a large eat-in kitchen. Must have working fireplace. Preferably a renovation project. Am prepared to knock down plenty of walls.

What we don’t want: anything close to a busy road, anything modern, anything that is too ‘done’ – especially if it is not to my our taste.

The main problem is that we found all this and more, our offer was accepted, the valuation completed, and I spent hours picking paint colours and researching central heating systems—but the mortgage company wasn’t as keen on the renovation project as we were. The day before we were due to exchange and complete, it slapped a retention onto our mortgage offer pending completion of works—thereby rendering it impossible to proceed with the purchase. Humph.

So on to plan 4,623 part B. If we can’t buy the house we want without selling our flat, we would buy a tiny foothold in London first, then sell our flat and escape to the country. The first property is a non-starter. We are outbid almost instantly by an investor. Disappointing. The second property, bingo. Offer accepted, mortgage application in and approved in principle, survey done, solicitor prepped…. and the vendor pulls out. Humph.

On to plan 4,624. We’re now readying our flat for sale, and scanning Rightmove for any of the above. Oh and I’m occasionally getting sidetracked by how far our money would go in France. Watch this space.

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