“When people look round your house,” says LittleSis, “they are actually considering whether they want to buy your life-style.” She’s a regular Kirsty-and-Phil, is my sister.
So, the people who haven’t made an offer on our house are actually rejecting our life-style: rejecting us, in fact. This bemuses me. Granted, the house does have the look of a library about it but then who wouldn’t want to live in a library?
Don’t answer – I’m feeling a bit raw about all this.
So far, you’ll have gathered, the house-sale is not going well. In the seven weeks that our thirties four-bedroomed house, in a quiet cul-de-sac, just down the road from an outstanding primary school, with a hundred foot garden and veggie patch and fruit trees, not to mention outstanding kerb appeal, has been on the market; in that seven weeks, we have had the following prospective purchasers:
– one very elderly couple who couldn’t manage the stairs to the first floor, let alone the loft
– one equally elderly nice Indian couple who were looking to buy a house for their bachelor sons, still living at home in their late thirties
– one couple with five children who were happily settled into school on the far side of the borough to which they would have to bus as mum didn’t drive
– one younger childless couple with no interest in gardening
– and another younger childless couple – the ones who came last weekend – who turned their nose up at every squeaky floorboard, tapped the walls, discussed making it open-plan and eventually said they weren’t sure they had the heart for all the work our house needed.
All the work! Good grief, they should have seen it the day we moved in.
We bought the house twenty-six years ago, after GrandadBorders had died and it was obvious that GrannieBorders was going to need more than just her own washing to keep her out of mischief. The house was an arranged marriage rather than a love match: the right size, in the right location with a downstairs bathroom which would take a wheelchair. It was being sold by an elderly couple, the Trollopes, who were moving somewhere smaller.
Shortly after our offer was accepted, Mr Trollope got in touch.
“You’ll have noticed our carpets,” he said. We had. We’d hated them on sight. They were highly patterned numbers, all swirls and tradition. Nothing like the cool, eighties look to which we aspired.
“They are very good quality and were very expensive,” he said. “How much do you want to pay for them?” He started to list the carpets and how many hundreds of pounds he wanted for each one. When he stopped to catch breath, we explained that the house move alone would mop up all our funds. When we could afford carpets then we would buy ones more to our taste. Kind offer and all that.
On the day of the move, we opened the front door to find floors strewn with carpet tacks and nails. Obviously, no problem at all to GrannieBorders in her wheelchair or the toddling YoungLochinvar. All carpets had been ripped up. Some were gone but the stair-carpet had been dumped just outside the backdoor amid the shattered remains of the shed. They had taken not just the light bulbs but also most of the light fittings. They had even taken the handles off the cupboards. All the surfaces were treacly deep in dirt and nicotine.
It took years to turn this into a home suitable for a family and resident Grannie and years more to unadapt it when Grannie moved out. And now some young whippersnapper has the gall to say that he hasn’t got the heart to take it on. Well, nuts to him. Our house is a very fine house. We’ve even got self-check-out if you want to borrow a book. What more could you ask for?