Things have been quiet around here lately because I have been focussed on other things. My beloved and I had decided to become property magnates by buying ourselves a holiday cottage. Since we both already own our own homes which are 'his' and 'mine' we wanted somewhere that would be 'ours'.
We began by looking at various locations, but decided that in the end it should be within three to four hours driving distance of one or other of our current homes. We almost immediately ruled out his end because property prices were (and still are)nonsensical. People there still seem to think they can get the prices they were getting two years ago. Well maybe they can, but not from us. At my end things are a bit more realistic.
We have been looking for about three months now, but because of where my beloved lives, it's not that easy for us to actually view property. We had a look at some houses in Argyll, just before Christmas with mixed results. We never even got to see the first place on the list because the estate agent was such an arse. They obviously didn't think I was serious when I told them that I could only view on one date. We did manage to look at a couple of flats; one of which was quite nice. It was a large top flat with huge rooms and magnificent views over the nearby loch, but it had some issues with heating, and it didn't really scream 'buy me' to either of us. The other one was a joke. It had tenants in it and they had been told to make themselves scarce for 11:00. We duly arrived at 11.00 to find them cooking their breakfast -deep fried something or other. The smell of burnt fat didn't really add to the ambiance of the place and we left pretty sharpish. In any case it was poky with low ceilings and a horrible stair. In the afternoon we drove out of town to look at another couple of flats, this time in a converted Scots Baronial mansion house. The building was certainly something else, pity the flats weren't. Since conversion, the building didn't seem to have been maintained and there was a horrible smell of damp throughout. Add to that no mains water and a septic tank and we were out of there.
We arranged to look at some more property last weekend, this time up north in the Highlands. The main reason for going, was a very nice little house, a teensy bit outside our price range, but which was in a wonderful location. Sadly it was not to be - the estate agent phoned me up last week to say the owners had winter vomiting virus and were in quarantine. No visitors until further notice. We went and had a look at the outside anyway, and it was nice. We had a few other places lined up, two were in a small village on a loch amidst stunning scenery. The first place, what I would call a lower villa flat, was as dire as its rock bottom price might have suggested, but even done up, we didn't think it would be up to much. We really liked the other place though, a semi-detached house on the edge of the village, nicely if neutrally decorated, not requiring much done, with owners open to negotiation on price. That was definitely one to come back to. We also looked at a few flats in the local town, and while one of them was immaculately presented we didn't really like the location of any of them.
The next day we went back to the house in the village. looked round the garden and peeked through the windows. Then we sat in the car and talked for about half an hour. We came to the conclusion that we didn't really want to buy a holiday home. I think it was the prospect of having to make it real, that forced us to confront what we actually wanted. Financial penury for the next ten years or so (with taxes and pension contributions, never mind prices liable to go through the roof) to pay for it did not seem that attractive compared to the use we would get out of it.
So in the end we decided to put it down to experience. Hey ho.