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Fresh start with new EA

(83 Posts)
mosaicwarts Tue 11-Jun-19 12:03:29

Hello everyone, thank you for all your support with my house sale.

I saw the new EA this morning, am going to have it marketed for 'offers over £400K', and have a summary of my survey available in my house for any very interested viewers. Two men do the viewings, they are coming to do a 'tour' with me to familarise themselves with its quirks before I go onto the market.

Feeling very optimistic, it was a lovely, positive meeting.


Greta8 Tue 11-Jun-19 12:48:05

Hi Mosaic, so glad that it went well this morning. The new estate agents sound very professional and I hope you get lots of viewings and a result before too long. Just one thing, I absolutely don't want to be negative here, but are you sure you want to go down the 'offers over' route than than saying a guide price? In this market it pays to be flexible. Obviously if £400k is a very competitive price for your property, then ignore this advice! Very good idea to have a summary of the survey available, it will save time for prospective buyers.

Missfoodlove Tue 11-Jun-19 13:31:00

When selling we have negotiated the agents fees on a sliding scale. For example 1.5% of the sale price if the property is sold within 6 weeks 1.25 for 6 to 12 weeks etc. The agents have always seemed happy to do this and it does mean they work a bit harder for their buck.
Good luck.

crazyH Tue 11-Jun-19 13:40:14

Good luck !

Nonnie Tue 11-Jun-19 13:48:25

I think Greta is probably right. You only know what it is worth when you get offers and if you have to drop the price later it looks bad. Unless you cannot move on if it sells at less than £400k I think you would be wise to just go with a guide price.

I like that idea missfood wish I had thought of that each time we sold.

mosaic do you feel able to do the viewings yourself? Research shows that people prefer talking to the owner rather than an agent. They think we are more trustworthy. Some years ago we had no offers until I started doing the viewings. I showed two people round and they both made offers. When house hunting I have never felt the person showing me round really knew anything about the house. In the case of one agent they simply had someone who opened the door and let us wander around on our own.

Floradora9 Tue 11-Jun-19 15:01:14

Last EA we used refused to let us even stay in the house while she let people see it . Much to my disgust if she phoned about anything she would only speak to my DH . How I wish I had stood up to her. She sold our house in a flash but for less than we had hoped for but it did go .

Nonnie Tue 11-Jun-19 15:18:48

Flora a hard lesson learned. I always got three agents round to quote and they knew they were in competition. If they didn't agree to my terms I didn't engage with them. It was a lesson I learned over time, not easy if you haven't done it before.

craftyone Tue 11-Jun-19 15:27:40

I avoided offers over and offers in the region of, I asked for my house to be sold at a definite price. Everyone makes offers below. The one in my old village at offers over is still for sale, it is offputting to viewers

I disliked it when the owner showed me around, was much better being objective with only the EA

mosaicwarts Wed 12-Jun-19 08:15:05

Thank you for all your comments, it's so nice of you to write.

I've woken up feeling deflated, full of cold, and the weather is absolutely dreadful. Rain plonks down the chimney in my bedroom so I'm up a lot earlier than I wanted to be!

We went to see the 'big screen' Romeo and Juliet ballet in the bailey of Alnwick Castle last night and left at the interval, it was so cold even with hats/scarves/blankets.

I'm going to ring the EA and discuss the pros and cons of the 'offers above' and 'guide price this morning.

She said that the house will be worth £600K fully renovated. It is such an usual house, and needs so much renovation, it is difficult to price.

I've still got the link with a few photos here - the new EA has already sent the contract.

I do feel so confused about it all, this cold doesn't seem to be shifting, I'm exhausted.

Franbern Wed 12-Jun-19 08:53:57

My house was first put on the market with OIE of £450,000. Not a single offer came in above that, but had several below it.
When it went back on the market (after purchaser lost her purchaser), it was just at that price. All the offers were below that - virtually the same as previously.
Think most would-be buyers just see the figure it is being advertised for (totally ignore any other wording - In Excess of, In the region of) and just make lower offers than that figure.
So, if the property shows £400,000 - then the offers will probably come in between £375,000 to £390,000.
You must decide the very lowest price you would consider, let the EA's know and stick to it.

Franbern Wed 12-Jun-19 09:01:11

WOW! That looks to be a great property. It looks wonderful in those photos. Such large rooms. I have no idea of property prices up in Northumberland, but for someone that must be a really good buy.
Do hope it goes well this time, and you can move back down South.
I preferred my EA's to do my viewings, which they did, whether I as at home or not. I was happy to do second viewings, when I did let people just wander around on their own and was there to answer questions.
Must say that when I am viewing a property, I much prefer being taken there by EA's. Always feel slightly uncomfortable if owner is there.

mosaicwarts Wed 12-Jun-19 09:06:36

Thank you Franbern, that is also my daughter's view, the £400K could attract lower offers even though it is the 'lowest' price I want to consider. If I market at this price I won't be able to increase it.

I've just emailed the EA and asked if I can discuss the two options of offers over/guide price again before I commit.

The builder who offered £60K below the £450K asking price is the only offer I've received. I discovered he is selling his house for £750K, lucky man!

I'm putting off taking my very patient sheltie to the beach, it's so grotty out there!

Niobe Wed 12-Jun-19 09:18:16

Mosaicwarts, that is a beautiful house! If I was looking for a house in your area I would be offering! I am sure the right buyer is out there.

mosaicwarts Wed 12-Jun-19 09:23:42

Thanks Franbern. Touch wood it's really safe here, to my knowledge no-one in the few houses near me have ever been burgled. I do lock my gates to stop any passing chancers stealing my dog, but never leave him in the garden unnattended. He's my little mate and I'd be lost without him.

The trains don't run all the time, and it's really private and quiet here with lots of wildlife. I'm not overlooked by anyone. I was really pleased to find a hedgehog on the platform the other night smile My neighbours in the attached porter's cottage are really quiet as they are both professionals, one of them is my solicitor. They bought at the same time as us, twenty years ago. The beach is only a ten minute drive away, as is the train station. The village with its castle and lovely river walks is a five minute drive. I'd not like to live in the village, so popular with visitors and day trippers from Newcastle/Gateshead, locals can't park.

I tended to mention my late husband too often when I did the viewings, and would prefer the EA to do them. One of the people doing the viewings is an acquaintance from the past and I know he is a very tidy man, I'll have to make an extra effort when he's doing the viewings! His wife joked once that she left some veg scattered on the worktop when she went to work, knowing that 'the mess' would irritate him .... when she returned he'd made a lovely stew!

Must get dressed and take my dog out, it's not getting any less rainy or light out there!

craftyone Wed 12-Jun-19 09:29:44

From what you said then 425 sounds about right, not 400 because as you said, increasing the price mid-stream would not be good. 425 with a potential drop to 400 through an offer would mean a happy buyer but even 405 would help you and buyer would still be happy. Psychology at play

craftyone Wed 12-Jun-19 09:30:47

offers over is like displaying all your cards at once, not good

loopyloo Wed 12-Jun-19 10:01:13

Beautiful house. Be funny if you sell it through Gransnet. Looks like a wonderful place for £425K. Must buy lottery tickets for tonight.

Nonnie Wed 12-Jun-19 11:22:48

It looks like a lot of beautiful house for the price but I don't know the area. Am I right in thinking the trains run right past the house? That will have a significant impact on not only the price but the number of people will to consider it. It doesn't look as if it needs a lot of work though.

Ask the agent who your target market is? You mentioned a builder, do you know what he intended to do with it?
Goof luck

mumofmadboys Wed 12-Jun-19 11:35:58

A lovely house mosaicwarts. Lots of character!

Loislovesstewie Wed 12-Jun-19 13:53:51

Your house is absolutely gorgeous! It's just as well we don't have that sort of money because my husband would be viewing and making an offer in about 2 minutes! Hope all goes well for you.

Loislovesstewie Wed 12-Jun-19 13:54:47

PS he would love the trains too.

Greta8 Wed 12-Jun-19 18:38:02

Mosaic, your house is absolutely stunning. My husband loves it, too. Northumberland is so beautiful, and a great holiday destination. I would have thought it would make a great business option, with your self contained annexe. I don't know the property prices in your area, but I still stand by my suggestion of using a guide price - maybe guide price £425k to give yourself leeway, if you need £400k. Sorry you're struggling Mosaic, but that's a seriously high quality property you've got there - be very proud of it. It's beautiful.

Greta8 Wed 12-Jun-19 18:47:19

Sorry Mosaic, just another thought. You are absolutely right about getting the estate agents to do the viewings. This will depersonalise the whole thing, I would also insist that the estate agents do not divulge that you are a lady on your own. This will reduce the possibility of any chancers thinking they can manipulate a much lower price than the market value. I think once your beautiful property goes on Rightmove you will get your buyer as it will be viewed by people from all over the country. We are in a rural area and sold to people from the Home Counties - that's often how it works. Chin up, Mosaic, you can do this - and do it well!!!!

petra Wed 12-Jun-19 18:58:15

It's got me written all over it. Only one problem 😢 Location.
Be no good for this southern softy.
Worth every penny your asking. Stick to your guns.

quizqueen Wed 12-Jun-19 19:20:21

£400,000!! If that house was near me (New Forest), it would be well over a million, nearer 2 probably. It's amazing, I love it.

nanaK54 Wed 12-Jun-19 19:37:37

Beautiful house - hope all goes well for you

mosaicwarts Wed 12-Jun-19 20:11:46

Thank you all for your lovely comments about the house, I am sorry I can't invite you all for tea!

I really appreciate all of your help during this difficult time.

It's really raining here and the cast iron gutter I paid £250 to have fixed is leaking sad Listed buildings!!

After much thought, I have chosen the 'offers over' marketing strategy and signed up with the new EA today. Horrible big list of questions to accompany the contract, I did circle 'Don't know' a few times. Hopefully I haven't got Japanese Knotweed!

The EA has assured me that the sales team will be instructed to say that I will not take offers below this price.
I am desperate to leave here before the winter, and the advantage of listing it at this price is that I will come up in more searches.

I still need to see my previous EA with flowers and a card, I'm going on Friday. I feel sorry they worked so hard without a good ending, and it is so nice of her not to charge me a withdrawal fee either. The new EA said if their buyer comes back, they will send him to her and she will deal with the sale. smile

Off to eat a lovely curry cooked by my super jet lagged daughter! xx

craftyone Wed 12-Jun-19 20:34:35

ahh yes of course. Makes sense, the offers over 400 as 400 would be a limit for some and they would not look at say 425 on RM. Enjoy the meal, you sound a tad more relaxed tonight

loopyloo Wed 12-Jun-19 20:41:16

How fast do the trains go by? Are they very noisy? Enjoy your curry.

mosaicwarts Wed 12-Jun-19 23:52:13

Hi Craftyone, thanks, I do feel more relaxed. They have stated in the description that the house needs renovation so I feel much better. I'm going to offer a precis of the survey to anyone really interested, just take extract relevant paragraphs and have it available in the house.

I'm not going near the annexe with this rain, we had a cowboy fix the roof in 2010 and I know it'll be leaking onto the conveniently placed towel tonight. I did invite someone for a quote and just for the single storey roof he said £25K. Found out afterwards this person has also done shoddy work for many local people and they've had to have the work redone. I have another highly recommended roofer coming to quote for both in the next few weeks, so I can give prospective buyers an accurate idea.

Hi loopyloo, we are on the live East Coast Main Line, fast trains run between London and Edinburgh via Peterborough, Doncaster, York, Darlington, Durham and Newcastle. Trains going south outside my kitchen window haven't reached full speed when they pass us as they've just left Alnmouth station, probably 100 mph. Coming from the north on the opposite track, the max speed is 125 mph. Both directions are noisy for about 20 seconds, and whistle as a warning for the level crossing. The chartered steam trains like the Flying Scotsman/Tornado are slower and very steamy! Only time they go past slowly is snow or leaves/overhead cable failure. It took about a week to get used to them, now I miss them when they stop due to problems. I used to have a friend in Richmond, Surrey, who lived near Richmond Station - that was extremely noisy! I think electrification has reduced the noise a lot.
We used to live near Heathrow on the flight path and had to stop talking when Concorde went over, I prefer the odd train! My son's first word was 'airprain'!

Curry was great, my daughter and I don't eat meat or fish and often have 'veg' curry. She has introduced me to an Indian cheese called 'paneer' - when we went to India we didn't have a chance to try it. Have been a bit worried about my 'fibre' intake after getting my 'bowel testing kit' as a surprise birthday gift on my 60ieth (! what a horrible experience for the lab technicians) I do recommend the brown rice with quinoa, seems far less chewy and dense when it's mixed.

So quiet day tomorrow, lucky I've got two coats, trying to dry today's and it's still very wet. Taking my daughter to the doc for her pill, beach with the dog, then taking her for her counselling session. Glad my son is also going now, it's difficult with Father's Day looming on Sunday.

Putting my ear plugs in for bed, can't bear that blocked gurgling gutter and plinky plonky chimney! Please stop raining!

Night night xx

mosaicwarts Thu 13-Jun-19 12:54:46

I knew everything was going too well!

I've just had a letter from Network Rail - from 21 July to 18 October they are renewing the track most weekends from 2200 to 0600. Luckily not viewing times but my dog goes crackers when the men (sorry, I've never seen a lady although I'm sure there are some!) , I'll have to lock him in my bedroom and wear earplugs!

EA think I can go live tomorrow - I'm taking flowers and a card into my old EA and collecting the keys to hand on immediately.

Wish my daughter was here for a bit longer.

mosaicwarts Fri 14-Jun-19 17:18:09

Hello all, hope you are having a good Friday.

I've just been to say goodbye to my EA, I took them a box of chox each and a florist bouquet in a box, with a card. I did take my cheque book and said I would like to reimburse her expenses, but she refused. We had a lovely chat and she hugged me when I left.

I walked across the road (I know, I went a roundabout way to do it!) and took the keys to the new EA. The house went live on RightMove yesterday, and the first viewing request came through this morning for 27 June.

My daughter leaves for London at 9 am tomorrow, and I'm going to spend the weekend cleaning!

Grammaretto Fri 14-Jun-19 19:00:41

I really hope it sells this time. Here in Scotland the custom is still for "Offers over" although plenty of people prefer fixed price. We bought this house which was offers over for a lower offer once we worked out how much we'd need to spend on it. 40yrs later we are still spending on it! I think ours was the only offer.
Previously we had lost several houses by being outbid when offers closed.

mosaicwarts Fri 14-Jun-19 22:55:19

Thank you for the good wishes Grammaretto, I have high hopes and am keeping everything crossed the lower price will attract a buyer quickly and I can be out by winter.

I've only just had the Aga put back on and now it's been a few months without the central heating on, I can see it's using 200 litres a month so around £100. When the heating is back on in the winter I'll be using about 600 litres a month ie £300. I have to buy wood on top of that at £75 per dumpy bag, and normally get through 4 bags plus Homebase fire logs. I'm trying to put some money away this month but my pension just isn't stretching. I need to have a big budget rethink, sorted some clothes out to sell on ebay today smile

GrandmaKT Sat 15-Jun-19 00:00:33

Just wanted to say good luck with the new EA. I've just looked at the listing on Rightmove and it looks wonderful. Hope you get lots of interest.

mosaicwarts Sat 15-Jun-19 11:33:21

Thank you GrandmaKT, I am pleased so many people think it looks good.

Someone has already asked for a viewing on Monday 27 June - but that's a Thursday, and they are not responding now so the EA thinks it might be this Monday 17 June.

I've just seen my daughter off for three weeks and feel so tired, but must start cleaning this morning, weeding later. I think I might have sleep apnea - the kids say I snore like a train so perhaps I wake in the night a lot. Wake up feeling as tired as when I went to bed.

Right Henry, where are you!


mosaicwarts Mon 17-Jun-19 14:17:11

First viewing with the new EA today.

I spent all weekend cleaning and made a huge effort to do a 'sparkle' clean (I'm pinching Craftyone's description here!) ready for my 11 am viewing this morning. I put a lot of elbow grease into polishing the granite worktops, was quite puffed out, I must do more exercise!

I got back from walking my dog at 9.30 am to my neighbour in my drive - to tell me he was expecting a tree surgeon any minute sad and he'd have to park in my drive. I felt quite annoyed, he does have my phone number and could have let me know over the weekend.

The viewing agent came at 10.30 am for a tour with me and I left him at 11.01 am - no sign of viewer.

The viewing agent rang at 11.18 am - the viewer had emailed to say she'd driven past this morning, and might submit an offer. She wasn't coming to the viewing.

Honestly, who does that! Feeling fed up I missed the Alnmouth Arts Festival because I stayed in to clean.

Greta8 Mon 17-Jun-19 15:46:25

Hi Mosaic, sorry to hear of your experiences this morning. As you say, who does that? I really hope that you get some more viewings soon so you can move on with your life. You're absolutely doing all you can here - it only needs one person, that's all - who will fall in love with your beautiful and unique house.

mosaicwarts Mon 17-Jun-19 16:51:32

To top it off, the gardener didn't turn up. I sent him a text and he wrote back to say he did come, but thought I'd got someone else as he saw a lad with a leaf blower in my drive! It was the neighbour's tree surgeon clearing the mess from the tree branches they'd cut. As though I'd do that without giving him notice, why would he think I could behave so badly? I've been very nice!

A mad day, I need to write it off.

GrandmaKT Mon 17-Jun-19 18:15:32

Oh, what a frustrating day for you! Very strange that the viewer didn't turn up. Who does things like that???

craftyone Mon 17-Jun-19 18:32:31

Horrible pointless day for you.

lynx Wed 19-Jun-19 22:16:24

Just to say, smiley, that we have bought without a viewing! The EA pictures show the inside, we were more concerned about the land attached.

mosaicwarts Thu 20-Jun-19 00:02:41

Congratulations lynx, I hope you and very happy in your new home! Several of my friends have bought without a viewing too, who knows, I might join you!

I am going to take a huge step back and try to stop being so anxious, I am finding it hard doing this on my own. smile

craftyone Thu 20-Jun-19 07:25:48

come on here mosaics every time you start to feel anxious or start churning stuff in your head. A problem shared etc. We all feel your pain

mosaicwarts Thu 20-Jun-19 09:53:10

How nice of you craftyone. I do feel very muddled and panicky at the moment, still trying to detach myself from my emotions attached to the house as I do love it. Couldn't sleep last night, and to add to my misery I've got an ingrowing toenail again! When I was five someone at school ran over my big toe with the big 'toy train' - I've suffered intermittently my whole life. I do have a very nice chiropodist who visits but haven't got £40 until next pension.

I was a bit upset, and know I shouldn't have been, because the EA didn't phone with more explanation until Tuesday when she'd phoned the drive by for feedback. I think I wrote on here somewhere else that the person told the EA that her offer, if she did decide to put one forward, would be £350K. How people can knock £50K off an asking price so casually without even seeing the house is beyond me. I have to learn to take it in my stride, and ride the storm.

I do so appreciate everyone's support on here.

I am off to post my son's birthday card, I can't believe he's 26 on Saturday. I did enjoy doing things with my children when they were babies, I am looking forward to being a grandmother one day.

Have a good day, I'm off to the beach with my very patient sheltie.

Franbern Thu 20-Jun-19 10:12:52

Mosaicwarts, I totally understand how you have so many different feelings regarding moving. With me, I really love the house I am in, and love being in London. My move will be a jump into the dark, in some ways, as I have never lived outside of London.
So, I have many conflicting emotions, when it appears as if all is going well with sale and purchase, then I have near panic attacks at the thought of moving far away and into a flat, however - when things go wrong, buyers drip out etc. I just cannot wait to make that move.
Feel that whatever happens, I am going to feel great regrets for what did NOT happen. So daft really...
Would love to have both options at least for a year, but that is obviously not at all possible.

craftyone Thu 20-Jun-19 10:23:32

my buyer turned out to have no empathy with the house, she is not living there full time and is not going by trial and error re the complex eco workings. That leaves my dear sweet neighbours there in limbo, we leant heavily on each other ever since the day we moved in but I had to stop myself feeling any sort of regret, have to get used to calling my new house home, the more I do that the easier it will be

I sit in my recliner and often `see` a moving whisp out of the left corner of my eye, by a window. At first I thought it was just a passing bird but I believe it is more than that, someone who knew me very well, who gave me a lifetime of support and who passed on. I think I will do what I did in my other house, use a spray called palo santo, it is used for cleansing/spiritual/healing I used it in the other house, had to ask the house to let me go, to release me. I will use it today, to ask this new house to accept me, to become my nest

mosaicwarts Thu 20-Jun-19 13:17:41

Franbern, I wish you every happiness in your new flat, and it's marvellous that you have a knowledge of the area, as well as having a lovely daughter there! Is it a ground floor flat?

I moved up here at the age of 42, twenty years ago from Twickenham and do miss it still. Northumberland is a fantastic place- sandy beaches, no air pollution, clear roads, crime rate is negligible, people are absolutely lovely. Not sure why I don't like it as I know I should, but I have an overwhelming feeling of boredom and want more than it can offer. My daughter went to Leeds Uni and said a lot of her 'town' friends have never seen a live barn owl - we have one that lives in our coal bunker. She feels it's a privilege to have lived here and if she won the lottery, she'd buy our house and keep it in the family. Steve just died too soon sad

How lovely craftyone, I'll get some of the spray next week, I've lost touch with my spiritual side.

I do however, believe Steve is a chaffinch at the golf club. It doesn't matter where I park, this little bird comes right down to my feet as soon as I step out of the car.

Off to the garden now, have a gigantic pile of huge sycamore tree branches to break up and dispose of. Pond is also choked and the water lilies are trying to get through, so off I go!

Franbern Thu 20-Jun-19 18:03:20

Mosaicwarts, do not want to put a dappener on things, but my house was marketed originally as Offer in Excess of£450,000. Several offers - none of them in excess of that amount, not even at that amount. Then when it returned to the market, just had as straight £450,000 - again all offers were between 425,000 and 435,000. People these days just take the figure listed as the top amount and always start lower than that.
I did when putting offer in on the flat I hope to buy.
Be prepared to go down a little, as I have said, work out exactly what you will need to buy yourself your next home and work backwards from that.

mosaicwarts Thu 20-Jun-19 18:20:56

I've just received the RightMove viewing figures - 2,420 people have looked at the ad over the past seven days. Compared to 6000 in nine months on Zoopla, I am pleased.

Second nice thing that happened is my lost 'acquaintance' popped in - and apparently has popped in several times and my car has been there but I've not answered the door?

Bad thing that has happened is that Network Rail vegetation workers have been throwing the branches they've cut from my fir trees any old how into my garden. They were line side branches, so they've deliberately chucked them over. The man I knew who used to do it now works in a signal box. I haven't been up to that area for three years, it was so bad. I was determined to clear it, and have made great progress. More prickly fun tomorrow, why do bramble prickles hurt so much!

mosaicwarts Thu 20-Jun-19 18:28:00

Thanks for sharing that Franbern, I am going to be far more business like about it this time! This EA is also advertising me in a local newspaper so hopefully 'the one' will buy it!

Grammaretto Thu 20-Jun-19 20:09:33

At least one of the viewings on rightmove was me! It's an amazing house which I would definitely consider if I was upsizing.
What a pest about the careless railway workers.
I'm sure the house will sell soon. smile

mosaicwarts Thu 20-Jun-19 21:17:11

Thanks Grammaretto, I do wish I had the money for the renovations, I have become a bit depressed looking at the room sizes of new builds. I never will, sadly, so I'm definitely going new build as I want a bomb proof roof that can withstand a hooley as my Irish friend would say!

Franbern, just a tip about your new country style living - racing pigeons. Traditional hobby up here and it saddens me to see so many squashed on the road. I've just picked one up at the golf club tonight, he's in my cat basket, in the car. I was very upset just after my husband died - a racing pigeon was wandering around the cars in the village. I caught him in a box and asked the two people I knew that had had pigeons in the past what to do with him and they didn't want to know. I tried to think of a safe place without cars and decided on the cemetery, and left him with seed and water. Sadly the next day all that was left of him was his legs and a lot of feathers, Mr Fox.

So if you find a racing pigeon the kindest thing to do is catch it, keep it safe in a box or cat basket, fed and watered until it is rested enough to fly off. There is a stray pigeon society to type in the ring numbers and report it - although I have heard many stories of the owner just strangling them, sadly. They are just too tame to wander about outside and I will always regret leaving that one to his horrible fate.

Day6 Thu 20-Jun-19 21:23:29

What an unusual house mosaic.

I love it and it looks like it's in 'move-in' condition too. Not much 'renovation' required, unless it's structural?

Someone will buy a gem of a house, imo. Good luck with the viewings. I hope it sells soon.

craftyone Fri 21-Jun-19 07:26:24

yes the roof mosaics, one of the things I am most thankful for. My other roof was in good condition but the house was timber frame with a flat roof with pv panels on it laying on weighed down frames, no loft. I was always worried in a storm, could hear the rain bouncing hard and on a hot day with cool night, the timber cracked as it contracted back after expanding. That house was safe but the night time noise including the wind noise, I think that led to me having poor sleep. A couple of times I slept on the sofa because of the scary loud wind.

Now I have a normal roof, a very insulated silent house, a loft only ever containing a tv aeriel. Yes the rooms are much smaller, yes storage is poor but storage can be added. All I have to do now is wait patiently for my wardrobes to be fitted next week. Certainly my sleep has improved, it has taken 6 weeks to get into a good sleep pattern, maybe it is the worry and stress leaving that has helped

Stay strong and be ruthless mosaics, I learnt the hard way, it has not been worth being generous and kind when selling

mosaicwarts Fri 21-Jun-19 08:19:56

Just back from the pigeon loft, 'Steve' has taken him in. So glad I caught him, he's been attacked by a hawk and all his tail feathers have gone. Apparently they take three weeks to grow back. A lorry of racers is going to Hartlepool today, so he's going to be 'driven' home!

mosaicwarts Fri 21-Jun-19 08:33:47

Morning craftyone I missed that you'd written as I was so pleased with my mercy mission! I sleep on the downstairs sofa in storms sad , sometimes with ear plugs too. I've been in every bedroom except my daughter's since Steve died as the ceilings are lath and plaster and I can hear them cracking in the night - luckily the structural survey said it's normal. I am so glad your sleep has improved, for the last few nights I've been having a terrible time switching off. Do you spray your pillow with lavender? I must try it. Don't think the cat will like it though, she sleeps at my head!

I'll take your advice on being strong and ruthless. I have agreed to leave the bronze lions as part of the house sale, it took four men to lift them and it would be so difficult to remove them from their elevated position. They'd also look silly anywhere else, they do 'fit' the house. My daughter doesn't agree with my decision as the new owners could sell them ... they can put the money towards the renovation!

I feel far more relaxed today, still have garden branches to tidy up but broke the back of it yesterday. Looking forward to watching my Stan and Ollie DVD tonight with a bag of popcorn. Can't eat chocolate in front of my dog, can only eat it in the car on my own, it's torture for him!

Franbern Fri 21-Jun-19 09:30:33

The flat I am hoping to move to is 3rd floor, facing the sea. Not exactly 'country living' as it is virtually in the town centre of Weston super Mare.
Must say, I do not like pigeons. At my present house they have perfected the technique of flapping against the bird feeder containing the sunflower seeds, causing them to fall down on the ground beneath for them to eat. I do point this out to my elderly cat - who looks at them at then goes back to having a sleep on her cushion!!
At the coast I am far more concerned about seagulls, which can be so large, that they actually frighten me. Must see, there are far fewer of them in WsM than in Brighton, where another of my children lives.
Obviously, I am downsizing. Going from a 3-bed house, which also has a loft extension to a 2-bed flat. Suppose, if I could, I would totally refurnish, but part of my viewings of flats was with a tape measure to ensure that I had places to put my modular (very expensive) living room units.
Also needed to ensure that 2nd bedroom was big enough to take a double bed (not all of them were), so, that I will be able to put up friends etc.
Did find most flats had small kitchens and have been trying to sort out all the 'stuff' in my kitchen units. Glad to say the flat I hope to purchase has a good size kitchen.
One of the reasons that I went for this flat is that I can just move in and sort things out and then slowly see what changes I need to make.
As at present, in my house, all my bedroom furniture (except my bed) is totally built-in, I really did not fancy living out of suitcases for several weeks waiting for someone to come and put in wardrobes, dressing table etc. This flat also has built in furniture in both bedrooms.
My way of dealing with all the uncertainty is to continue living in my house as if I am not leaving it. So, continue to have any necessary repairs done, ensure everything is kept clean and neat and even book days out for the autumn. (Okay, if by chance I have successfully moved by then I will forfeit any cancellation charges for these). Even had some new plants put in the garden. (Must say I will not miss having a garden when I move - although will miss being able to hang out washing in the summer months).
This way, I am managing to remain reasonably calm and unstressed at this time.
I am 78 years old and do find that things that i would have coped with easily ten or twenty years ago, do get me extremely stressed out now. The daughter who lives close by is loving, but gently laughs at me when I worry about what she calls 'hashtag, first world problems'. But, then she is 49 years old, and i would have coped with these things easily then. Cannot talk to her too much about the move, as - although she is trying to be supportive - I know she is very unhappy about me moving so far away,
The daughter who lives in WsM is very busy, with work, her family of four children and a disabled hubbie. Also, they cannot help with matters relating to where I am now living - although I know they will be delighted when I move that they can assist with many of these 'silly' little problems.
But, largely, I am doing it all by myself.
Good Luck to all of us who are in this horrible process of selling and buying.

Franbern Fri 21-Jun-19 10:06:04

Modaicwarts, with regards to your lovely bronze lions, what I would do is to start finding out how much you could sell them for independently. Then, having got that figure, round it down slightly and tell any would-be purchasers that they are 'extras' not included in the price, but they could purchase them for the reduced price. (let them know the full valuation for them). If they do this, then great - if not then sell them AFTER you have a firm offer going through for the purchase.
Your daughter, is very young, and just does not like to see thing she remembers from growing up not still being with you. But these would probably not be suitable for any more modern type property, and this is the time to get rid of many things from the past.

craftyone Fri 21-Jun-19 13:16:04

leave the bronze lions mosaics, surely they give character to the house. I left several huge and expensive stone planters containing lilac and crabapple trees, worth quite a few £00. The reason I left them was because I really did not want the extra hassle of selling them or even giving them away. They quietly went on the list of things I was leaving, including all blinds and curtains, some outdoor furniture, a very heavy base and an almost new large sun umbrella. I always found that karma came my way after giving things away and I think I have had very good karma since then. The extras I did not know about in my new house, the fact that I just had a price for the very large extra patio and it is less than half what I was expecting. There are only 3 properties at my end and we all get on amazingly well,more karma. Give to the universe and the universe gives back in multiples

I sold nothing, all the stuff I downsized, I gave away and mostly to a hospice shop. It was a relief to me and again last week I had a cheque for several £000 from the tax office

craftyone Fri 21-Jun-19 13:18:14

franbern, I admire your forward thing, about your flat and about family

craftyone Fri 21-Jun-19 17:22:21

re the unexpected 000s amount from hmrc. I had claimed the excess stamp duty back and made an incorrect calculation, they corrected it and I had a surprise extra £3000, out of the blue

Lazigirl Fri 21-Jun-19 17:46:39

I feel so sorry for those of you suffering the stress of selling and moving, especially doing it alone. We downsized to a new build 10 years ago, and although there are drawbacks I wouldn't want to do it again - especially alone. It sounds like your beautiful house needs a lot of money spending on it, which must be so stressful if you haven't got it, and the garden sounds a full time job mosaicwarts. Unfortunately what suits and makes us happy at one stage in our life, isn't right for the next, so reluctantly we have to move on. You will still retain the wonderful memories of your family growing up in the house and your DH. I do hope it goes well for you and someone comes along who loves it as much as you do.

Lazigirl Fri 21-Jun-19 17:49:09

Nice unexpected windfall craftyone Am sure you can find something to spend it on in your new house smile.

mosaicwarts Fri 21-Jun-19 18:18:13

Franbern, you are inspirational! As I have my dog I haven't considered a third floor flat, but may move to one when he passes - so much less noise, and much nicer views! I've made a mental note of all your tips - especially the second bedroom not always housing a double bed.

Craftyone, that's a very, very nice surprise! Stupidly I used my barclaycard before probate came through, and taking Martin Lewis's advice, moved it to a 0% interest card which I don't touch. I think I started with about £3K. I've been paying off £60 per month for what seems forever, I think it finally ends in February 2020. It made me realise that I'd borrowed for four years into the future for quite piddly purchases which I can't even remember now, and won't ever do it again.

Off to the beach now, then pizza and popcorn with Stan and Ollie DVD. Have a great weekend smile

mosaicwarts Fri 21-Jun-19 18:22:27

Lazigirl, thank you for your warm wishes.

I've been looking at new builds today, there is such a variety to choose from isn't there! I will be renting initially whilst I look, I couldn't cope with the sale/purchase at the same time.

Have a lovely weekend, my suncatcher mobile is spinning rainbows around my kitchen smile

craftyone Fri 21-Jun-19 19:14:26

mosaics, there are some builders to avoid, persimmon for one.

This article is a bit negative but there are good builders out there, mine is. Even though it is negative, it pays to be fully armed with information. I love my new build and ran a mile when looking at some other new builds full of bling so you can`t think and beware of the high pressure sales talk. Loads of important info here

Lazigirl Fri 21-Jun-19 20:59:18

That's an interesting article craftyone and illustrates the fact that many large building companies are intent on making as much profit as possible, by cramming as many small cheaply built dwellings as they can manage on to sites. The new house we bought was built by a small builder and structural is ok but some of the plumbing and electrics leave a bit to be desired, as after 10 years some plastic fittings are starting to fail. However I think it is a fact that fittings are manufactured out of cheaper components nowadays. On the whole we are happy with our house because it is well insulated, warm, economical to run, and no major structural repairs or worries to deal with and are glad we moved as it will be easy to manage as we get older and more decrepit smile

Patsy70 Fri 21-Jun-19 21:14:34

What a beautiful house! If it was in my area, Pratts Bottom, a village on the borders of Kent/London, it would be in excess of 2 million, easily! Good luck, Mosaic.

mosaicwarts Fri 21-Jun-19 23:12:23

Just a quick recommendation for the Stan & Ollie film - I've shed a few tears tonight! Beautifully acted.

craftyone Fri 28-Jun-19 11:22:01

News today: if Boris gets in, stampyduty will be slashed. I think it will happen first budget, upside is that the house market will explode into activity, downside is that, until then, buyers will hold back buying. Having said that buyers will be looking and ready to react to a property they might want. Once we get the timeline of what if, Boris taking charge, budget potential date. My guesses, Boris takes charge end july, puts his cabinet in place during august and budget mid to end september. Just in time to stimulate the housing market with a bang

Franbern Fri 28-Jun-19 16:42:23

I would not so optimistic of a housing bonanza when Johnson becomes PM as craftyone appears to be.
The housing market has been in depression ever since the whole Brexit farce started, and has got worse. More likely to worsen again with talk of no-deal Brexit.
So many people so unsure of their work and financial futures. Many people who thought they were settled in this country now seriously looking into going back to their original countries of residence - and many of these needing to sell their properties here.
Stamp Duty is such a small part of what determines a happy housing market and peoples ability and desire to obtain long term mortgages are more important.
For those of us who wish or need to sell/buy we just have to go along with however the market is at that time. So, the house I am selling should have been worth more if it had been a good market - but then so would the flat I am purchasing - swings and roundabouts!!i

mosaicwarts Sat 29-Jun-19 09:59:04

I often wonder what my husband would have thought about Brexit. Thanks for the info about stamp duty craftyone, I'd looked up the costs when Franbern said to work out what I needed to move and have allocated £5K, I hope to buy a £300K property.

I was pleased to receive my 'viewing figures' yesterday. With my previous EA on Zoopla, the viewing figures for the nine months were 6,400. In fourteen days on RightMove, the viewing figures are 3,400. Quite a difference! Lots of people will be looking out of curiosity, I know. One of the Station master's had seven children, it must have been very hard work for his wife keeping all the fires lit. I do miss my old EA's personal touch though - I've just received an email for my first viewing on 5th July. I used to get a phone call with a follow up email. Saying that, I'd better acknowledge I've received the email.

Had bad news yesterday about the roof. The builder came yesterday to clear the gutter ... but sadly it's not that affecting my bedroom ceiling, there are two tiles slipped in a very difficult place to access without extensive scaffolding. No sign of the roofer who was going to give me a quote.

I still haven't tackled my clutter boxes but must today - I've ordered a christmas present and all my hidey holes are full! Must, must do it! If anyone else is thinking of christmas/birthdays I've got my son's girlfriend an alpaca walk - I'll be tucking the voucher into a pair of alpaca socks. Unfortunately missed a half price Wowcher voucher, but I'll keep an eye on them, looks as though they get some great offers on there.

Off to the beach with my ever patient sheltie, should look forward to it but sometimes find it a chore!

Have a good day smile

Franbern Sat 29-Jun-19 10:06:07

mosaicwarts - What does the 5k cover? Just the actual removal costs? Have you also worked out Solicitors fees (both for selling and purchasing), also the EA's fees? 5k is not nearly enough to cover all of these. Solicitors will give you the figure when you arrange with them to act for you. The EA fees you can work out for yourself as you will have been told the percentage they will take of the sale.
I would have thought that a figure of 12-15k would be more realistic to set aside from your sale, and then what is left then is what you can use for purchase. Also remember, that any new property you move into, you are almost definitely going to want to carry out some changes, maybe some new furniture. Should also allow for these.

GrandmaMoira Sat 29-Jun-19 11:02:35

Rightmove has a moving cost calculator which is useful.

loopyloo Sat 29-Jun-19 11:13:41

Mosaicwarts. It's such a lovely house. Must buy more lottery tickets tonight. May I just say that clearing a bit of the garden and creating a patio area might add to its appeal. Nothing fancy or expensive. I have to say, I have sometimes chosen a house because of the garden. Have a good weekend.

mosaicwarts Sat 29-Jun-19 12:43:35

Thanks loopyloo, the garden is a constant worry to me because I start one end and by the time I get to the other it's all overgrown again! I might buy a few sunloungers and a table today, just off to Aldi for their delicious Cornish ice cream with salted caramel. Too hot to walk my sheltie so I'm going to have a huge portion with the 'Billy Liar' film I found in the charity shop. And probably a snooze - I used to hate it when my Mum dropped off on the sofa, I do it now!

Have a lovely day!

Boosgran Sat 29-Jun-19 12:54:50

Oh wow your house is beautiful and well worth asking price - it’s stunning! I love Northumberland and holiday there at least once a year. Best of luck selling it.

mosaicwarts Sat 29-Jun-19 13:09:02

Hello Franbern, stamp duty will be £5K, I noted all the other things you mentioned and I've earmarked £15k in total.

My friend has just bought an 1860 house for £360K and is awaiting her builder's estimates .. from what she's told me I think she'll be looking at a very large bill. She sold to a cash buyer for £450K, and doesn't plan to work so I hope she's gone some left over to see her through to her pension at 66. I'll be happy in a shoebox and won't be making any changes, I just want warm and dry with a garden for my dog's night time tiddle.

My savings are looking extremely small and I'm pulling my horns in now! In the early days I wasted money through the madness of grief, but have travelled quite a bit with my daughter. When Steve died I suddenly felt old, and also felt I could die at any minute too sad

Unfortunately as it was such early days some of it is a bit of a blur. I went to Canada to see my daughter at Uni there, volunteered with elephants in Thailand, New York for my daughter's 21st, Venice for my birthday, and volunteered with monkeys in South Africa. I feel so lucky my daughter enjoys my company, although as I said somewhere else, she has asked me not to share my sadness with her as it makes her feel helpless sad

Anyway ... having worked out moving costs for the sale gave me the strength to be assertive with the builder when I asked how much to do the gutter and he said £250! I asked him what he charged per day, and how long he thought it would take, he was taken aback at the 'new' me! Ended up being £50 and the scary news the tiles have slipped.

Off to get my ice cream, hope there's some left!

Enjoy your day.

craftyone Sun 30-Jun-19 08:33:31

grief madness is very real and it does happen, it is as though frugality and money caution go out the window, `what is the point?` You walk around in a daze for quite some time and should not be making important decisions, I think it takes at least a year for it to subside.

I gave away a good percentage of savings to the 3 AC, I don`t regret it because they were all sensible with the money but I will not be doing that again. I mean I spent £5000 on a 10 day saga cruise, I would never have done that in my right mind. I bought a couple of expensive impulse items and on it goes, until I did the sums after that year, realising that I would have to rely on savings for the rest of my life, to top up my pension. That was a very real lightbulb moment

Then in year 2 of widowhood, after spending much time and money on house maintenance, I realised that all the wood in the garden, including a lot of important and big retaining wooden walls, showed early signs of deterioration, the first stages of rotting wood. I fixed what I could and spent loads on preservative but the signs got worse and I started to have sleepless nights and it took only some more months more for me to realise that I wanted out and the easiest way going forward, was to get a new build with all the guarantees, with a normal roof and no wooden retaining anywhere

I started off with a realistic 450k, then I said I wanted to go down to 425 because any offers had been subject to selling their own homes and of course the nosies came because the house was very different. Nothing much happened and all this gloom in the country, I was mentally prepared for 375 and tbh I would almost have given it away, the wood outside was 3m tall in parts, retaining with a field behind and I didn`t stop worrying

In the end fate took a hand, that one proceedable buyer turned up, offered me 395k and I was insulted at first but next day rang the EA back and said I would take it, nice EA said they would try and get a bit more. They got another 5k and that covered their fees

I got myself a beautiful cosy modern built house, cosy like a cottage for 375k and I thing it was a very good price, none of the 3 here offered any lower than the asking price. I know my builds to some extent and the quality of build and builder shone. I secured it the day I looked, wanted it when I saw just the outside

You know the rest of the story, 4 years and 4 months have passed since I became a widow and I think the time factor was right, I was ready to move and fate agreed with me

craftyone Sun 30-Jun-19 08:45:07

Btw, it was a single woodpecker who alerted me to the early signs of rot, I saw him banging on a corner, so I climbed the steps and investigated behind that corner. The soil was immdiately against this wood, no barrier and then I saw more and more rot behind, all the way along, metres and metres, everywhere. So it was a bird who told me. The signs are everywhere, of what we should do, we just need to be aware of signs, not be closed. I never saw that woodpecker again, once I started to take action

I do believe that souls are energy, that energy slips out of a body but is still around because it is not confined in a space. I can only imagine how a loved one would try to communicate when it comes to an important decision. Birds, small fluffy feathers, that feeling on the back of the neck which happens soon after a passing. Haven`t we all seen that one bird that sits and looks at us, trying to communicate

mosaicwarts Sun 30-Jun-19 09:24:38

Oh craftyone, I don't think you'd told us about the worry of the wood before. I would love to see your old house one day, when a decent period has passed.

I'm glad you had a beautiful woodpecker alerting you to the deterioration. I had a much less attractive wood wasp showing me my rotten windowsills! The sudden and obvious deterioration of my house is terrifying me. All of the putty has gone from the platform windows at the back, it's all just fallen off over the past few weeks. I must stop being so fearful as the advert does state renovation now, people must expect it. I am just seeing all the faults now. The estate agent viewing ladies loved the house.

Unfortunately I look at my deteriorating bedroom ceiling every night, I'm going to have to move out of there I think, now I know two tiles have gone the rest could just slip off. I'm going to phone the roofer tomorrow as I now have two serious problems with water ingress sad I remember watching a programme about a castle in the highlands where ceilings were coming in and the Chief was so upset about it as he couldn't afford the repairs. I think he died before he managed to restore it. I so wish the EA hadn't pushed the buyer to the point of withdrawing - but he hadn't been honest, perhaps he would have withdrawn later on in the process.

My son is coming today so we'll be going for fish and chips in the small cafe at the harbour in Amble. Lots of lovely eider ducks there swimming around, cormorants, shags and my very favourite, the lapwings. My 'dizzy spells' have subsided so I think it was exhaustion and the cold/cough virus. I saw my doctor in Lidl last night - such a lovely man, he must be about 45, but he's very 'boyish'. I haven't seen him for over a year, he's always on holiday when I try to make an appointment, I think he's got his work/life balance right! He asked me if I'd had any luck selling the house - everyone seems to know!

Did attack a box of photos last night by the way - too sad, will just have to take them all and sort when I've moved.

Sunny and windy here today, off to the beach with my dog in a minute. Old couple who own a garden at the beach entrance were 'treating' a wasps nest last night, I do feel sorry for them, such artistry in making their home sad but it's on the front of their chalet type shed. Both in their eighties and scared of being stung.

Have a good day!

mosaicwarts Mon 01-Jul-19 12:20:07

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!

I'm bracing myself for a bumpy ride with this selling lark. Just had a call cancelling Friday's viewing - the viewer drove past and didn't like the location sad At least I didn't buy flowers yesterday, wanted to wait until Thursday to get the best value. The Sweet Williams lasted weeks, and were worth the effort of much leaf stripping!

I've phoned the roofer again this morning and hope he can come to give me a quote. I checked my diary and I originally phoned him on 6 June. Work people here make promises but always need chasing up.

I have had a happy phone call from my daughter in London, the play is going really well and she's enjoying it all. Full on rehearsals and three days painting the stage set, first performance at Tristan Bates theatre tomorrow night. She's also really pleased for her lovely Uni friend who went on to train as a chef at Prue Leith's cookery school - she's just got a job working with a previous Bake Off finalist.

My son visited yesterday, he's a lot happier too, the new taxi firms have 'hospital runs' where he collects drugs from one, and delivers to another. He earnt the most he's earnt since he started doing it in his first week.

So the only person to 'make happy' now is me! I just don't know what to do with myself.

Have a good day!