Thursday June 22, 2006
We didn’t think there was much of a rush, so we took our time getting ready to go off to Bridgwater this morning. I’d reckoned that if we got there at about lunch time we’d have time to get fed and coffee’d before Sally would ring to tell us we’d completed. It didn’t quite work out like that.
No sooner had we got out on the road at about eleven o’clock and clear of the mobile phone dead zone on the way from West Quantoxhead to East Quantoxhead and Kilve than my phone rang.
“You’d better take that,” I said, knowing in my heart of hearts who was calling.
“Hello, Sally,” Graham said, with some trepidation. And then: “Wow!”
Apparently we’d completed on our purchase about an hour earlier, smoothly and without problem.
Graham said his thank you, and passed on mine, and we pressed on in the direction of Bridgwater, stirred but not overly shaken. There’d been no reason to expect anything other than a smooth ride from this purchase.
The shaking, such as it was, came a little later when we’d parked the car in the Angel Shopping Centre carpark and walked over to the agent to pick up the keys. The staff there were as pleased as punch to have clinched the deal for us, and handed me a bottle of a pretty fine champagne along with a Welcome to your new home greetings card. We were shaken. We were shocked. It had been apparent from the very beginning that Gibbins & Richards were exceptional as agents go, looking after us and anticipating our concerns and needs at every turn, and making the go away before they became problems. But, champagne? Never had that kind of treatment from a British estate agent before. So, if you’re buying a property in the Bridgwater area and you get to have Gibbins & Richards as the selling agent, you’re in for a happy experience. Highly recommended.
I stuffed the keys in my bag, handed the champagne to Graham for safe carriage, and off we stalked.
“I know we’re anxious to get to grips with it, but the new house is going to have to wait until I’ve had coffee and something to eat,” I said.
“Fair enough. Costa Coffee?”
The house was there, all present and correct, and exactly as we’d expected. It will indeed need scrubbing from top to bottom—the previous owners belonged to the school of thought that believes cleanliness is something you spray from a can of air freshener—and the sunshine coming through uncovered windows revealed the colour schemes are, well, different than we’d dream in our worst nightmares.
It is a lovely house, though. Seeing it through experienced eyes and ignoring the grime and ghastly colours, we view it as being rich with potential and something we’ll be able to turn into something very special indeed. Strangely enough, the only part of the property that had been cleaned to acceptable standards is the back garden, with no visible traces of dog at all. It’ll need work, but it’s a lot better as a starting point than I’d had as my first impression.
We spent a couple of hours exploring and assessing, gaining enough information for Graham to compile our DIY shopping list for tomorrow, and then called it a day.
“Ok. Here we go again,” I said as I sat at the foot of the stairs while Graham took the camera on a tour of the entire house to provide a ‘before’ record.
“Yup. Here we go again. You are happy with it, though?”
“Oh, yes. Now it’s empty I can feel the way it will be when we’ve fixed it. I’m anxious to get at it now.”
We closed the house up again and went over to Sainsbury’s for coffee and the purchase of cleaning materials. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much on cleaning materials in one go in my entire life. We also bought an electric kettle, tea and coffee makings of the instant variety.
“We’re going to need a couple of cheap garden chairs for our coffee breaks,” I said. “I can’t manage without a sit down at regular intervals.”
“Right. It’s on the list.”
Ok, here we go again