After receiving a reassuring email from our mortgage broker, whilst making no promises, I decided to progress my viewing of properties in the newspaper to viewing them in the flesh. I had registered with all the online property markets; Zoopla, Right Move and Prime Location listing my criteria, but as ever, that was completely pointless because I ended up with everything being emailed including empty shops and plots of land.
I have accepted I’m not going to have my four-bed, two reception room detached house with garden and driveway and because property prices in west Dorset have been put beyond the reach of many people due to the number of second homes and holiday homes that are often empty for five months of the year (don’t get me started), I have had to compromise and following the government’s right to buy scheme, there are occasionally houses that come onto the market that are reasonably priced.
Two such properties did come up that were within our budget and had the right number of bedrooms. It was also within walking distance of work which was a huge bonus.
I managed to get an appointment to view one of them, the owners of the other house failed to respond to the agent’s request.
It was a warm sunny July day and it took me 12 minutes to walk to the semi detached with off-road parking for one and a half vehicles and a small back garden. The front door was at the side of the house; I’m not sure if it had once been at the front and moved at some stage in its refurbishment. It had an entrance hall with stairs leading up to the first floor. It looked good so far.
There was a reasonable sized lounge/diner that must have been two separate rooms at one time and the lounge led into a small conservatory. However the galley-kitchen was tiny and I have a hunch it used to be the downstairs bathroom (these houses were built in the 1930s and 40s when for some reason the bathrooms were put downstairs and a lot of people have sacrificed a bedroom and moved the bathroom upstairs). There was no downstairs loo either.
It wasn’t looking quite so good.
Upstairs there were still three bedrooms, one was just about a double and the other two were singles, part of one of them had obviously been carved off to create a shower room but not a bathroom.
I imagined what it would be like first thing in the morning with two teenage sons and a husband, there was not a hope of surviving in a house with just one small shower room and without a second loo – it wouldn’t be long before blood was drawn!
I tried to look at ways of increasing the floor space, but without some major rebuilding, it would be impossible.
So whilst it was within our budget, it was a long way from what we wanted.
But it was the first one I had looked at and when the agent mentioned another property they are about to take on that might be of interest, my ears pricked up…