Do you remember me mentioning Mr Elliot the other day? Pondering on how he too had been stung in a love story gone wrong? Well he has put an offer in on our place which we’ve accepted, albeit not quite what we were hoping for but it’ll have to do as I can’t wait a minute longer.

Tomorrow, 9.30am, we’ll be viewing a property which we have already looked at time and time again on internet with the intention of buying it too!

Actually we already viewed it last October. It’s owned by a Chinese family who run a local take away and although they asked us to view at 10.30, the bedrooms still had sleeping teenagers in them which didn’t make for the best viewing – in fact we opted for another place back then which we lost shortly after to people in a position to move.

Now they have moved out which is marvellous as it allows us to see the place properly, opening cupboards, checking the windows and looking at the flat roof too. All things you can’t do while the owners are still there.

I am so excited I can’t concentrate today, on anything. I am already mentally decorating the place up, smashing down the odd unnecessary wall and ripping up old fashioned carpets to lay down wooden floors. Oh the fun!

As for the 100 foot garden, I have already constructed a small allotment  down the bottom close to the shed with loads of goodies. The patio needs a good scrub and I can ‘see’ the future flower beds gloriously lining the garden fences full of colour, texture and height.

So after a week of relax chez mum’s and all this excitement happening, I am bubbling over with energy and the will to get on and take on this first major challenge of the year, ticking off one of my ‘must’ do’s’ for 2010 as written on my lifeplan.

We’re into the fourth month of 2010, how are you getting on with accomplishing anything you set yourself on Jan 1st?

Yes, maybe this is the way forward in today’s slack property market.

Mum sent me an article from the Daily Telegraph on Sarah Beeny’s website Tepilo.com and as I normally do I shoved it on my To Do pile and promptly forgot about it but with nothing happening for the sale of our house (currently on the market with TWO agents) I decided to investigate Sarah’s option and after weighing up the ins and outs, I realised I had nothing to lose.

Tepilo.com is free to use, you upload your photos and descriptions make sure you have a valid HIP – we have – and voila’ all done. So I have now uploaded our details and will wait to see if anything comes of it.

You see I find it impossible to do nothing and wait for a buyer to turn up. I always feel that I have to try to do everything in my power to make it work. I have also got into the habit of consulting Mystic Meg to see if she foresees I’ll be moving in the near future! So far she hasn’t said so…but once those planets shift around a bit well then the ‘Time will be right’

Do you think it’s a case of ‘Che sara sara’ or would you also be proactive?

If we hadn’t sold a property only 2 years ago I wouldn’t have any comparison to make but with a sale in a month and a move completed in 3 months I was under the illusion that it would be a walk in the park again this time round. After all, I keep seeing on the BBC news and reading in the national papers that property markets are starting to take off again.

Well, they’re not.

The area we live in is a desirable one. It’s on the commuter link to London, the estate is a quiet, well looked after area with amenities such as shops, local library, doctors surgery and Neighbourhood watch. The houses are all well-kept and the neighbours are friendly. Property here is usually snapped up in a click of the fingers. Five weeks it took my in-laws to sell their property last summer. So I cannot understand the delay this time round.

Admittedly we put our house up for sale in mid October and by the end of November, we knew it would quiten down whilst everyone prepared for Christmas. But we were told by the estate agents that January is one of the best months of the year for selling. So we too got on with organising our Christmas.

And since the beginning of the year it has been so very, very slow. The viewings in dribs and drabs, the offer – only one so far, way to low to be considered.

When I question the agents, they are hasty to reply they’re very busy at the moment. So either my property is awful (and they have assured me plenty of times that it is not the case) or they’re quieter but don’t want to let on.

We also went to have a look at another house over the weekend just in case we lose out on our first choice.

Every single room needs working on and the only thing I did like was the big kitchen with diner attached but you can’t buy a house on that just alone. The 3rd bedroom was off the 2nd, the bathroom suite was avocado (shudder) and there were cheap built wardrobes made out of chipboard in every room, painted to match the walls. A nightmare.

Robinson Michael Jackson, one of our agents, called and on their suggestion our property is now being sold with a price guide, they hope it will attract more buyers and therefore more offers with hopefully a bidding war.

I see there’s a new moon this week and I hope that will change the current sorry state of affairs. I have more faith in the moon right now.

Our house went on the market back in Oct – the 16th to be precise, so after three months and only a handful of viewings it’s time to review the situation.

Andy, the manager at RMJ has advised lowering the price by £10.000. We said originally that we’d hold out till the end of Jan hoping that the market would pick up in our favour but now we see other properties on the market for a similar price in a better location and with larger gardens too so time to make that difficult decision.

Other Half wants to lower as of Monday to £2,500 but I think that’s not going to gain anything. In order to attract a new audience we need to lower by £5k to be in a lower search bracket. I can’t convince him otherwise so this is going to be our plan of action for a while.

As for the house we originally put an offer on we are ever more inclined to withdraw it and search for a house about £20k less, allowing us to not be so crippled by a steep mortgage for the next 15 years.

Will keep you posted, I just wish we could lower and get it sold, I’m tired now of hanging around and drained by the emotion and ‘fingers crossed’ that goes with every viewing only to be followed by such disappointment.

house

This has been our family home now for the past two years and having finally received the settlement for my divorce back in October we wanted to invest it and move to a bigger home.

We would like a house with its’ own garage and driveway and four bedrooms, a downstairs loo would be good but not compulsory and I would like a nice big kitchen so I can cook and follow homework at the same time when the time comes. A garden bigger than our present one would also be very welcome. (I quite like the idea of starting a small vegetable plot…)

But lucky old us, we’re in the middle of a recession – the worst since the second world war. And the property market is veeerrrryyy slooooooww.

We had the property valued in October ’09 by 4 different local estate agents and all but one came up with a figure between £180 – 185k. Another agent quoted £175k and I crossed him off the list there and then, well – if I can get more I’ll try…right?

Their fees ranged quite a bit the most expensive was £3000 and the lowest ended up at £2000 incl VAT. So it made sense for us to go with the lowest. A second agent came by and asked what would it take for us to go with them and on mentioning the fees, he said he’d match them. They were the better known agent and so I was tempted. The next day I phoned the 1st agents, to inform them of our decision to go with the second agency and the guy was very upset, I felt dreadful so I told him I’d stay with them and phoned the second agents to say I couldn’t do it to him. C’est la vie.

We were placed as Property of the Week in the local rag and listed as a premium property on rightmove.com so with all in place we sat back for the punters to come rolling in….and they didn’t!

In the first 5 weeks only one viewer came by and that was the owner of the property we had placed an offer on. She had two teenage boys and was downsizing after her marriage breakdown and our property was too small for her.

At the beginning of December, we were contacted by the second agents again as in order to process our offer on one of their properties we had to have a sale. With a bit of persuasion we managed to get out of our 10 week contract and move on to a joint contract where both agents would represent us. I had the feeling that there was a bit of animosity between them, covered up as ‘friendly competition’ in front of the client ie. me.

Both promised the New Year would bring many buyers and so far we have had two viewings booked with one, today’s, being cancelled due to the snow and train connections being affected (the lady is coming from London)

We had a visit a couple of weeks ago from the manager of the second agents himself! He looked around the house and advised lowering the price by £10,000. Why? I asked,’ You and 2 other agents gave us a quote of £180 – 185k’…

‘Yeah that may have been to get the business…’ He rambled on about getting more for your money on Riverview Park (an area close by) but I wasn’t getting it. We told him we weren’t ready to drop so soon and would revise the situation in February.

Last weekends’ viewing was unproductive as they found the house too dark and too small. For the small there’s not a lot I can do but for the dark I shall be turning all the lights on and leaving them on until they leave the house.

Now I have this project in mind I want to see it move along quickly and after a quick look on rightmove.com I have noticed another 3 properties go up in our area all priced around the same mark. So confidence rebuilt I hope to have news soon of many potential buyers.

Fingers crossed