unashamed brag post & property porn (to me, anyway!)

(100 Posts)
kronenborg Thu 01-May-14 08:26:25

i know, its such terribly bad form to do this, but i'm so delighted with our house, i just can't help myself, and i don't get much opportunity to express this in the real world, so i'm doing it on here...

also, this might just give some hope to people who've had a bad time in their property search, that sometimes it really does all turn out of the best.

we had been looking for a house to purchase for over a year. we are a large family (4 kids), and needed somewhere that would suit them not only now, when they are young, but also as they get older. we also needed somewhere with enough space for a live-in aupair, preferably enabling her to have her own space, and for us not to be on top of each other. preferably decent outside space too, plus also preferably in a village, with a shop and a pub. period properties were also a big plus.

we were looking in buckinghamshire, for schooling reasons, and i need to be able to commute both to marlow, and london. as a result, all of the decent housing stock seemed to be not only absurdly priced, but also fought over tooth and nail, with much being sold even before hitting the open market. we were in rented accommodation, and ready to move at the drop of a hat, which i naively thought would provide us with a decent advantage, but as it turns out, was a similar situation to a seemingly endless number of other potential purchasers, most of whom seemed to be cash purchasers! (we definitely needed a mortgage)

we offered on a few properties over that year - and i must say that NONE of these properties were places that we loved - we were offering out of desperation, and compromised on nearly all our criteria. suffice is to say that on each occasion, either we were outbid, or our highest offer was not acceptable to the vendor.

we kept telling ourselves as we lost out on each property that we didnt love the place anyway, and that it was all happening for a reason, and every time we said these things, we were convincing ourselves less and less.

anyway, we decided to expand our search area outwards - and came across a listing on the internet which looked too good to be true.

this place: www.zoopla.co.uk/property-history/shakespeare-house/main-street/grendon-underwood/aylesbury/hp18-0st/18508456

we decided to go and have a look, and from the moment we even turned up outside the place, we were 100% hooked. things got better and better as we continued our viewing, and we could not really believe the place could end up being ours.

we went back for a 2nd viewing the very next day, at which point it turns out that the property was a repossession. having had no experience of repossessions, we didnt really know what we were letting ourselves in for, but naively decided to go for it anyway, figuring that if we didnt try, we definitely wouldnt get the place. we offered significantly less than the price mentioned on that link (around 50% less, as it happens!), and to our amazement, our offer was accepted. then came the terrifying rush from acceptance to exchange of contracts, which we managed to pull off in 20 days, including all conveyancing, full structural survey etc.

we moved in just before christmas...and yes, there have been some issues - the house had been vacant for over a year, having previously been run as a 5 star bed and breakfast - there was water damage from a leak which had brought down a ceiling, and, as anticipated, when the mains water was reconnected, there were burst pipes everywhere from the water not having been drained down property prior to bank ownership.

but we have been working hard to sort all the issues out - pipes repaired & replaced, water damage corrected, timbers treated, some rewiring, replastering, redecorating, and the house is slowly but surely getting back into the sort of shape it deserves. trying to reclaim the garden into some sort of decent order has been quite a challenge too!

it is a completely remarkable, and i would say, unique home - it is 16th century, so just under 500 years old, and is full of period eccentricities - there is a mural above one of the doors, estimated to have been painted when the house was originally constructed - there are incredible timbers in the walls and ceilings - there is a priest hole (something i had never heard of) - everything is irregular.

it is also supposedly haunted - although we have seen no evidence of this yet. shakespeare himself is documented to have regularly stayed there on his travels between stratford and london, and puportedly wrote a midsummer night's dream there. all extra bits of history that add to it's charm.

but the most important thing is that we all LOVE it! having moved 8 times in the last 8 years, we have finally found our resting place - and i really mean that...the only way we want to leave this house is in a box.

i post this not only as a brag, but because, 4 months on from moving in, i am still in total disbelief about how this has come to pass - from being totally despondent with house hunting, and resigned to buying a place that we didnt love, to ending up in absolutely the house of our dreams, at a price LOWER than that of the other properties we were offering - it really just doesnt seem possible - and yet it was, and is - and i have to pinch myself every day to remind myself how lucky we are, and that this is real!

so, depressed house hunters - keep the faith - perhaps there may be more to that saying that "everything happens for a reason" that we know, and that given a bit of luck and a following wind, you will also find your forever home at a price that is within your budget - that place of your dreams!

ApplesinmyPocket Thu 01-May-14 08:46:08

Awww it's beautiful. It looks like a really happy house. How nice for you and your family, I'm glad you had that little bit of luck and wish you all the best for the years to come there.

middleagedspread Thu 01-May-14 08:47:50

That is real property porn. Congratulations!

SageYourResoluteOracle Thu 01-May-14 08:54:55

I am literally drooling! Congratulations and you have every right to be pleased as punch.

<my mum was born in a house that had a priest hole...fascinating history there>

ClaudiaWinklepants Thu 01-May-14 08:59:24

What a gorgeous house. It was out there waiting for you all along. Inspired me to keep on looking - thank you!

Rhubarbgarden Thu 01-May-14 09:20:10

Beautiful. Congratulations!

burnishedsilver Thu 01-May-14 09:40:35

It's stunning :-)

DillydollyRIP Thu 01-May-14 09:47:36

Wow. Lovely place smile

Karbea Thu 01-May-14 10:06:33

Wow what a gorgeous place, we are in gerrards cross, I'd love to look a little further afield so we could live somewhere like that. Beautiful, congratulations!

ditsygal Thu 01-May-14 10:19:06

Beautiful house! Lovely to hear your story, and as someone looking at moving very soon property porn is always appreciated!

VivaLeBeaver Thu 01-May-14 10:22:41

House is lovely. Did you get all the furniture as well?

How lovely, well done. Time changes everything doesn't it.

EyelinerQueen Thu 01-May-14 10:40:58

Brag away OP - that is one gorgeous house!

Congratulations thanks

bauhausfan Thu 01-May-14 10:44:50

Wow that house is INCREDIBLE! You are so lucky smile

Endymion Thu 01-May-14 10:52:11

Reminds me mqssively of my dgm's house - same period, same size and vibe.

God I miss her and that house - was full of wonderfully happy memories.

JackShit Thu 01-May-14 10:53:34

Blimey

BitOutOfPractice Thu 01-May-14 10:59:07

Wow that is gorgeous.

Congratulations. I wish you all every happiness in your beautiful home

Gorgeous!!!!

LizzieMint Thu 01-May-14 11:02:54

That's fantastic! We're looking in a similar area and with a similar budget - what are the chances of there being two of them... <hopeful>?

kronenborg Thu 01-May-14 11:14:57

thank you all - we honestly feel like the cat that got the cream!

@ viva - no, very little furniture was left, and the bits that were, we wanted to get rid of...we have plenty of our own anyway, so not an issue, although we have now started the process of replacing our furniture with stuff that actually suits the style of the house - its going to be a long process! (maybe a decade?!). there are a few other bits and bobs still in cupboards and nooks and crannies of the house that, even after 4 months, i havent managed to sort through - still hopeful we might come across something of value...i recently found something that looks like an antique cash register in the cellar, and a very old looking picture in one of the loft spaces smile

@ lizzie - not a repossession, and much more expensive, but there is another absolutely gorgeous house on the market on the same road: www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-28624143.html

Blackeyez09 Thu 01-May-14 11:21:29

Wow
That's one nice house! Congratulations
How do people afford such places please tell me
what I should be doing

Fairylea Thu 01-May-14 11:28:12

So beautiful.

Am jealous smile

Impatientismymiddlename Thu 01-May-14 11:30:23

50% off is an absolute steal.
I don't like the pink wall though.

kronenborg Thu 01-May-14 11:32:59

@blackeyez - if you are referring to the house we bought, remember, we bought at 50% of the price in that brochure - no way we could have afforded it at its original listing price. even then, hard work, saving, lots of borrowing, and a generous sprinkling of luck all played a part.

LizzieMint Thu 01-May-14 11:35:12

Thanks kronenborg, but that's way out of our price range! Good to know that miracles do happen though, fingers crossed!

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