Divorce house

3 Nov

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.


12 Responses to “Divorce house”

  1. vegemitevixmitevix November 3, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    Strange how the vendor is there at all, I wonder if that’s an English thing? When I sold the house in Auckland I left the real estate to it and turned up at the auction. My ex didn’t even bother to turn up. One of the low points of my life selling the house for $200k less than it’s value on my own. I tried to keep my head held high, but there were tears in my eyes and sobs in my heart.

  2. liveotherwise November 3, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Dp in his younger days was an estate agent. Don’t worry, he’s been going straight for well over a decade now 😉 He has many sad stories about divorce related sales 😦

  3. jfb57 November 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    How exciting to be off on another adventure! where are you headed? Have you sold yours yet?

  4. Sarah, Maison Cupcake November 3, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    Oh dear, I remember a ceiling fan being enough to put me off a house never mind the divorce aspect.

    Not sure it tops the house that I viewed with a SHOWER in front of unfrosted French windows….

  5. Simone Graham November 4, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Oh my gosh; your title is so AMBIGUOUS! You had me worried there.
    Phew… it was just literally a Divorce House.

    Its awful knowing that your house was once a happy home and is now being sold because of broken hearts and dreams 😦

    Actually our house was a divorce house.
    The people were still living in it together.
    They seemed civil to each other. Their children were now teenagers, they had moved in when they were little, like ours were at the times.
    It gave me the shivers, but in the end I’m glad we got this house to be our house.
    Maybe we can give this sad (but lovely) house a happier time of things?
    Good luck with the house hunting – and you are SO RIGHT about the 50K!!!

  6. Michelloui November 4, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Ugh! What an awful experience you had on the earlier one! I use to love the idea of being an estate agent–or at least a ‘house dr’ like the american woman who used to have a tv show here. I thought presenting the house at it’s best would be a great challenge and lots of fun. I have no idea why people sell their houses short so often–or worse, why estate agents let it happen.

    Good luck with the house hunting and the eventual move!

  7. Julie November 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Many moons ago, before we bought our first house, we went to see a, place that needed a bit of work. There was an older woman there with a young child. After showing us round the house, we got chatting. “So, why are you moving”, we asked. “Well,” came the reply, “this young lady’s father is due out on parole soon for killing her mother. WE don’t want to be here in case he comes looking for her…”. Needless to say, we didn’t go for a second viewing…

    • marketingtomilk November 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      i take it they’re probably still living there then

  8. Jessica November 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    The next time we move, I’ll definitely have to add the “no divorcee” clause to our list! It’s like moving into bad juju.

  9. Muddling Along November 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    We bought our London flat from a divorcing couple, as you say, never again

    She locked herself in the bathroom so we never saw it, they ripped just about everything out of it, they fought over every detail of the contract and when we moved in we think that one or other of them had kept keys and had popped over a few times – needless to say we changed the locks pretty fast!

  10. Mrs TeePot November 13, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Oh dear! I can see why you’ve ruled out “divorce houses!” Good luck with finding somewhere suitable though!


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