Sunday, 2 September 2012

Options, Pink Ties and Laura Ashley Malarkey

I like making plans. Making plans makes me feel like I have some control over any given situation. I suppose this means I am a control freak, but anyway, there is nothing as satisfying as sitting down with a pen (special girlie or otherwise) and a clean sheet of paper and saying, 'Right, this is what we are going to do, this is THE PLAN,' and then trying to ignore the sound of God cackling in the distance.

Therefore, Andy and I have decided not to have A PLAN vis a vis the Much Malarkey Move. We have, instead, decided to adopt a series of 'options' which are being listed in our 'option' book because when one starts dealing in 'options' one becomes befuddled and confused, because 'options' have a habit of branching off into many directions, where A PLAN does not.

'Options' are the lemon balm of the herb world, where as PLANS are the bay tree. You pop a tiny plant of lemon balm in your back garden because it looks sweet and manageable and incapable of causing any sort of herbidacious havoc and one year later it has spread like a triffid and you are finding bits of it sprouting in parts of the garden you never knew you had. Whereas you plant a bay tree and it's still where you put it three years later, looking about an inch taller if you're lucky and threatening to shed ALL its leaves at the first hint of a frost.

(Herb Analogy of the Day - tick!)

So, on Day 2 of the Selling of the House Phase, here are the current options for your delight or derision:

1) we sell the house, we decide to stay in Kent in order to assuage feelings of guilt from leaving family and friends behind, we extend the mortgage because to buy a cottage in the middle of nowhere in Kent these days you need a fairly hefty budget. This is because the middles-of-nowhere that used to exist in Kent in proliferation are being built on like building is going out of fashion, and all the hamlets are becoming villages, which are becoming towns which are becoming extensions of London. I blame John Prescott (who, for those Much Malarkey Manor Guests who hail from across the seas, was Tony Blair's Deputy Prime Minister. Looks of a dishevelled bulldog, manners of a fart, brains of a kidney bean.)

2) we sell the house and go into rented accommodation for six months so we can take our time looking for THE RIGHT PLACE and continue in our jobs a while longer to get a little more money behind us for wherever/ whatever we end up doing. Obviously, we shan't want to pay out more rent than our current mortgage because that would be defeating the object. Plus, we need to find somewhere that will allow us to take the cats with us. And it would mean having to move twice in a relatively short space of time. Moving house is supposed to be the third most stressful experience in life after bereavement and divorce; back in 1997/98 I experienced all three of those things in the space of three months and I survived okayish. Went grey, but other than that it was a character building experience. Two house moves in a year? Doddle!

3) we sell the house and buy, outright, one of the four potential barn conversion projects we've found on the interwebbly. We then live in rented accommodation/ mobile home/ caravan/ tent (according to finances and strength of loin/ any work we can fall into) next to the barn and plunge ourselves into the world of renovation and self-build.  Oddly, this is the option we are preferring at the moment, because it would render us mortgage free. And possibly hot water/ toilet/non-leaky roof free. And open to the elements, rats and the lurgy. We think we'd have enough funds to get a renovation started, but we'd have to find work in order to fund the completion of a renovation either bit by bit or by going to see the bank for a short-term loan. "What can we afford to do this month, darling?" "We can fit a front door and a tap to the kitchen sink but only if we live off beans on toast and dandelion leaves."

4) we scour the ENTIRE country and buy a house outright with the proceeds from the sale. The houses are out there. It can be done. Whether we can get jobs in those areas is another matter. Some of them look like education and caring for your animals have yet to emerge from the depths of cave life. Paying the bills thereafter could be a problem.

I think that's it on the option front.

And how did we choose our agent? (Yes, we've decided against the selling-it-ourselves route because I suddenly remembered I'm back to work tomorrow and probably won't have the stamina for teaching AND managing a house sale at the same time. Not without ending up sitting in a corner and banging my head against a wall to relieve the pain by October half-term anyway.)

Well, we saw three agents and narrowed it down to two fairly quickly. Over a walk and lunch in town, we assessed the pros and cons of each remaining agent. Basically they offered the same thing for the same money. So it came down to personality. And the agent who won?

The guy in the lovely pink tie who stepped into the hall and said, 'Ooooh, it's very Laura Ashley, isn't it?'

And any man in his late twenties who knows about Laura Ashley wallpaper, must be able to sell a house.



LynneFtWorth said...

Y'all are so much braver than us. We talk alot but never can get the courage up to acutally do it.

Denise said...

I'm not sure that bravery has much to do with it, Deanna, but thank you for the projected faith!