My ‘Love It or List It?’ Moment
We’ve put our house up for sale. There I’ve said it. There’s a sign outside and everything. If we were on ‘Love It or List It’ Phil could down that pint of ale and go ‘Ahh!’ in Kirstie’s face, he has won. (For my non British readers Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer are property show Royalty. In ‘Love It or List It’ the practical Phil tries to convince a homeowner to put their house on the market by finding them a better one to buy while crafty Kirstie cajoles them into knocking down walls, building some more and staying put.)
Glad that’s cleared up or you really wouldn’t understand the ending of this blog…
My daughter cried for half an hour when we first mentioned the very idea of selling. The crying went down by 5 minutes each time and now she has the semblance of a stiff upper lip even if it is accompanied by great big, sad, puppy dog eyes.
You see, we’ve actually found a house that suits our current needs within budget – I knew those lonely evenings scrolling through ‘house porn’ on rightmove was not a complete waste of time. The house we’ve set our sights on couldn’t be more different from our pretty 1920s period home. It’s got square rooms, an integral garage, swirly carpets and an avocado bathroom – it is a typical 1950s house and doesn’t have the chocolate box charm of our current home. What it does have is good bones, a study for Big Hubby, a garage for all his kit, a second bathroom for our soon to be smelly children, a utility plus a sunroom that could be amazing ‘with work’. But, most appealing to me is the chance to do a new renovation with all the lessons I’ve learnt and explore a totally different style. I am already decorating it in my head and, of course I’ve started a board for it on Pinterest, just one as I don’t want to tempt fate! Oh, and I’ve asked my mum if we can swap some of our shabby chic furniture for my Nanna’s original G-plan and Austin Suite pieces, but, you know, not getting over excited or anything. I’ve told my daughter she can have what she wants in her room which has put a little bit of sparkle back in those eyes.
Getting our home ready for sale means I have done all those jobs that have needed doing for ages and because Big Hubby is very much in agreement with the move he’s mucking in with gusto.
- The front door has been sanded and painted.
- The wardrobe latches have been fixed.
- Every room has been and continues to be decluttered.
- The hedges are trimmed.
- The grass is cut more frequently (but still not as frequently as the neighbours)
- The children know the difference between ‘normal tidy’ and ‘viewing tidy’.
- The render and paintwork that was damaged when the new windows were fitted has been repaired and repainted.
OK, so I bought the wrong colour paint for the render to start with and then dropped it all over the patio in surprise but all’s well that end’s well and the result is that the house looks better than ever! When I saw the estate agent’s photos I said, “Gosh what a lovely house, I’d like to live there”.
Now we are having regular viewings we need to keep everything much tidier than usual and sparkling clean. As a by product I’ve realised that, despite being an indie chick at heart, I just can’t clean to The Stone Roses. For some reason twerking around the house to the beats of Low, Yeah and Timber makes mopping infinitely more fun, who knew!
The feedback so far has been that it is in the perfect ‘Location, Location, Location‘ (stop it Kirstie!) everyone loves the period features but it could do with an extension. All true! Within our town it is the perfect location – it’s five minutes from the station and high street, we have been utterly spoiled and wherever we move will inevitably be less convenient. I’ve also had to explain how brilliant the plans for the extension are to a stream of young families and how they would transform the house into a home for modern living…Oh dear.
As I sit in my unusually tidy living room, a vase of fresh flowers from the garden on the bookshelves and the cherry tree bearing its first year of fruit outside I have a weird sensation. It’s like I have a flirty yet forthright posh girl in a 1950’s dress sitting on my shoulder whispering, “Knock through… kitchen diner…heart of the home…” Stop it Kirstie! While Phil is on the other, arms extended, palms upwards in exasperation, imploring “Detached with a garage”.
Oh dear, I’m really trying not to fall back in love with my house.