Things the way they are at the moment - recession-wise - OH and I had resigned ourselves to the fact that we are not likely to sell our house any time soon and in all probability may be here for another year. We initially put it up for sale at the beginning of March 2008. In the past we have never had any problems selling, have had few viewers, usually finding a buyer within a week or two. This time is very different because the housing market in the UK has taken a rapid downturn and is almost stagnant. We have had only six viewings, the last in early September.
Now, for us, this isn't really a problem. We like living here, it is a lovely house and we have a lovely garden. Last year we came to the decision that we would like to downsize, to have a smaller, more economical home and a lot smaller garden, or, if we bought a flat (which was what we had in mind a year ago) no garden at all. It's just that we are keen to get on with the next stage in our lives. We are both in our 60's, have a son in Australia and a daughter in New Zealand and would like to spend the next few years travelling, not just on extended visits to our family members and have the opportunity to explore their adopted countries, but to see other parts of the world too. We have a list!
So, we will just have to sit it out. In the meantime, we decided we would change some of the rooms around (re-zone - if you like). I suggested it to OH and he agreed and we began moving the smaller items of furniture. We requested step-son's help to move larger pieces and he agreed to come round on Friday or Saturday evening. Glasses and best china had to be taken out of the cabinets, books and family photos off the shelves, pictures off walls, etc etc. (we don't go in for minimilism)! In the middle of all of this the telephone rang. "Hello - it's the estate agent - can we send Mr S round on Saturday to view the house"!! A spot of quick thinking here. SS would probably prefer to come on Friday evening anyway - so "yes that will be OK". The appointment was made for noon on Saturday. SS duly arrived on Friday evening at about 8 pm and we just got on with it!.
Saturday morning, we eventually had the house straight and were ready for our prospective purchasers. It was strange though, much as I had been looking forward to selling and being able to get on with the next stage, new home then extended holidays without the worry of an overgrown garden and/or leaving our home secure for long periods, I had now settled into staying here for one more year. The fact that we now had some-one interested in the house didn't bother me or throw me into a tizzy. In fact I almost felt like ringing the agent back and telling them not to bother. I want to stay here for another year. I'm looking forward to gardening in the spring and sitting out in the summer and another Christmas here would be lovely!!
They duly arrived, a pleasant couple, took their time looking around, asked lots of questions, said the house "ticked a lot of their boxes" (we've heard that before) and left. We immediately found the local paper and began looking at the properties advertised for sale in this area. We will do nothing yet, determined not to begin traipsing around other peoples' houses until we have a firm offer on ours. No point in raising anyone's hopes unnecessarily. And although, as I said, I am quite happy to remain here for another year or however long it takes, I can't help feeling just a little bit excited at the prospect of moving on. Contrary - who me?
6 days ago