Tuesday May 16 2006
Well, we’ve found a house. Graham turned himself into a little house-hunting demon in Bridgwater, with me following on best I could, and we sat down in the brand-new and rather classy Costa Coffee to pore through the stack of house details we’d collected on a rapid, breath-taking of the agents in the town.
“Right,” he said. “I want to view these two.”
I gulped my bite of coffee-soaked croissant down a bit too fast and spluttered in consequence. “What, now?” I asked when I’d recovered.
“Oh, you can finish your coffee first. I’ll nip back to make appointments to view.”
And off he shot, whirlwind-style.
Ten minutes later we were shaking the hand of the first vendor and walking through her front door into a rather classy four bedroomed town house. Graham loved it. I hated it.
“No problem,” he said. “There are plenty more where that came from. Come on now, or we’ll be late for the next one.”
We weren’t, though, and while we were waiting for the agent to show up and escort us round the house we had time to explore the outside, judge the position, and get our first impressions sorted. It sports a magnificent display of French lavender in full bloom in the small bed that serves as an unfenced front garden.
“I like this,” I said. “Very Provençal. I’ve always wanted a lavender hedge.”
The agent arrived, let us in, and the falling in love started then and there. It’s not a large house, detached, three bedrooms, two and a half baths, two reception rooms and a comfortable kitchen. There’s an attached garage and a completely enclosed back garden, small, but with all the initial landscaping work already done. If it were two hundred years old instead of slightly less than two, you’d probably describe it as a traditional brick-built Somerset cottage. There’s a wisteria growing up one side of the door, and a place to the other side that’s just perfect for a climbing rose and clematis combination so that, given a couple more years, the cottage feel will be even more pronounced.
The kitchen, dining room and garden combination are perfect for Dolly and me, and it’ll take no more than an afternoon’s work to turn the already well-fenced garden into a completely cat-safe catio. A further weekend’s work and it’ll be paved, with a lilypond for me, a drinking fountain for Dolly, and lots more plants for us all to enjoy.
“What do you think?” Graham asked.
“I love it.”
“I think it’ll do us very nicely and we’ll be perfectly happy living in it.”
So I shall contact the agent tomorrow, put in an offer, and see if we can’t get the deal going. There is no forward chain, and I suspect I shall be able to clinch a price within my original budget. If they hold out for their full asking price and we decide to go with it even so, we shall need the extra £5k we dug up the other day. It’s a good property investment either way.
“Right,” I said. “It’s in the lap of the gods of course but we could be moving in about six weeks.”
“You’re counting chickens,” Graham warned.
“Yeah. I know. Speaking of chickens, how would you fancy one of my special omelettes for dinner?”