Midweek Musings: Househunting hell

househunting-hell Hello hello. I didn't blog last week because I was in the midst of the most painful househunting search of all time. In fact, I'm still in the midst of it, but thought I ought to write something down on here so that hopefully one day I can look back and laugh at what we went through. Hmm. Since we lost the dream house, we have put offers in on two other houses (bear in mind that this is a time period of just a week and a half) of which one was accepted for AN HOUR before being 'unaccepted' when someone put in a higher bid (we were told we weren't able to increase our offer either, which smacks of developers giving the agents backhanders if you ask me); and the other which was tentatively accepted but with the caveat 'were we aware that the house had been underpinned?' The guarantee for the underpinning had now expired and it was impossible to get insurance. Sigh. We pulled out.

Every waking hour at the moment is spent on Rightmove and On the Market, just trying to find something - anything - that would 'do'. We've long since given up on finding another dream house and it's actually crazy that considering what a huge decision this is, we're now prepared to just settle for any old house that roughly meets our criteria. Unfortunately one of the main issues (self-created admittedly) is our criteria does change a lot - sometimes we think sod it, let's stick two fingers up at London, its pollution and its ridiculous house prices and escape to the country, other times we think there's no way we could cope with not being within spitting distance of a tube.

This time of year is supposed to be the busiest for the housing market but I can honestly say that there's hardly anything coming onto the market - we check every morning what's come on in the last 24 hours in our 400 search areas and there's usually only one or two new properties at the most. And they all go under offer so quickly! It's crazy - you even have to fight to get a viewing (with estate agents laughing at you when you request to see 'extremely popular' properties and then telling you they're far too busy to fit you in).

So yes. It's crap. In order to wrestle back some feeling of control however, this week we did manage to buy a new car. Saturday was a fun day - ordering a new car + rushing to get to viewings of two houses - as the estate agent pointed out 'you don't do things by halves do you?'. Anyway we're picking up the car on Friday, and I'm both excited and terrified about this. It's a super practical, super boring Volkswagen Tiguan and we've got it on some ridiculous finance deal which took eighteen hours to organise and means we don't actually own it but is bizarrely the cheapest way for us to be able to drive something that won't fall apart on the A3.

On top of all this madness, I have client work coming out of my eyeballs (not really) and Oli is trying to organise everything for his show at the Edinburgh Festival in August. We are communicating in grunts of 'Have you seen this house?' and 'What time do you want to eat dinner?' and the rest of our time is spent either entertaining Daphne, driving to see houses or with our heads in front of a screen. Oh what fun it is in our house at the moment!

On the upside, Daphne is a TOTAL JOY and has started blowing raspberries at us whenever we look at her. Which just about puts everything into perspective really.

Midweek Musings: Property hunting and the Great Interior Design Challenge

daphne-lifebylotte Hello! This post is very late. This week seems to be evaporating before my eyes. For one thing, little Daphne is six months' old today - I can't believe she's been here for half a year already! Sadly she was in a complete grump all day - I'm not entirely sure what the matter with her was, whether it was teething or separation anxiety beginning or just baby PMT, but she didn't really enjoy her half-birthday. Sniff. Anyway I'll do my six-month baby update post once she's cheered up and fancies posing for some (better) pictures.

Anyway the exciting (and preoccupying) news is - we've found a house! And it's in Wimbledon! And they've accepted our offer on it! HOWEVER - we need to get a mortgage on it so at the moment we're still a bit in limbo as nothing has been approved yet. I'm keeping everything crossed, but as we're both self-employed, getting a mortgage is an absolute bloody nightmare so nothing is guaranteed. I don't want to share too much info about the house in case we lose it, but it's a midcentury marvel in need of work. I'll keep you posted... please keep your fingers crossed!

I find it so infuriating that it's so hard to get credit when you're self-employed - surely someone who is employed and can be made redundant at any time with nothing to fall back on is a far higher risk than someone who's managed to create their own work for years?!  Yet if I got a 'permanent' (no such thing!) job tomorrow, I'd be able to get a mortgage with no bother at all. Makes me really cross actually.

In the meantime, in order not to get our hopes up too much in case we lose the place, we're still spending hours on Rightmove trying to find alternatives we like just as much. Tonight I came across a terrace in need of modernisation, and feel the need to share this bathroom with you - YIKES! That's some creative shower curtaining.


I'm not going to lie - househunting is excellent fun. My mates over at Myfriendshouse actually did a post about Rightmove addiction, which may resonate with you...


Finally, I hope you've all been watching the Great Interior Design Challenge! It's on BBC2 at 7pm (stupid time BBC schedulers!!), Monday-Wednesday and is basically like Bake Off with wallpaper. Well worth a watch, and if you're on Twitter you can also join the discussion when the show is on using the hashtag #GIDC. Me and my work cronies have been enjoying pulling the poor designers' schemes to shreds - they really do have a hard time of it with tiny budgets and only a few days to transform rooms, but that doesn't make our armchair criticism any less harsh... mwahahaha.