Did I tell you we’re moving? Yeah, not content on changing careers and sorting out my mum’s estate, we’ve decide to haul arse and vacate the big smoke. We’re moving to be near Mr Milk’s family and the ocean.
So it’s househunting time. Why is the prospect of househunting so exciting and the actuality a bloody pain in the arse? You start off with the dream of that perfect house with the perfect aga and the perfect magnolia tree only to discover you’re having to wade through crap again to find a semi-polished stone. And why are you always 50k short of what you want? Always.
When asking about the backround to one particular property recently the young (holy christ these agents are young these days, they look like they’ve dressed up in daddy’s suit) estate agent told me the vendors were getting divorced and were really keen to sell. My stomach dropped.
Me and Mr Milk have been here before. We lived in Manchester for 11 years and bought property there. Once we were shown around a fairly typical, fairly faceless 1930s semi on a corner plot. (more concrete out front than the average terraced). It was being sold on due to a very acrimonious divorce by partners who were still being forced to inhabit the same house (and god forbid, probably the same bed).
We were met at the door by the estate agent (stereotypical) and the vendor (clearly having had a very bad time of it lately). The vendor proceeded to walk us around the property (which was truly awful) picking out the worst of its features to describe in length. A bit like the test they give salespeople at interview – how to sell a pencil - except he sucked on the rotten egg of sales patter. The mobile bar (think hostess trolley for booze), the beige bathroom suite, the multi-speed 1980s ceiling fan (all speeds were carefully demonstrated). So this whole viewing thing took time, a lot of time, and it was really really painful.
At the end Mr Milk and myself were cornered in the sitting room by both the vendor (ashen grey and sweating) and the estate agent (smug, clearly having made promises involving cats and bags) who proceeded to ask us then and there (as a choking fog of desparation billowed around us) whether we were going to put in an offer.
That experience has stayed with us. Haunted us in fact. So when I found out we were going to view another “divorce house” I knew I couldn’t go through with it.
So I asked the agent to update our criteria:- ”No recent divorcees, or otherwise acriminuous couples trapped in in a house of misery and shit, and absolutely no motorised fan enthusiasts.”
I’m probably discounting a lot of properties this way, but I find it’s always better to be up front about these things.
Clearly aforementioned vendor’s twin. Scary.