I’ve always fancied writing one of those ‘lifestyle’ blogs.  You know the ones: beautiful home, perfect family, 20 things you can do with a doily and a sackful of glitter…..

But I’ve got a problem and it’s commonly referred to as “this bloody house”.

This isn’t how it was meant to be.

When we bought “this bloody house” it was March 2007 and we were full of blind hope.  We’d done that really ‘grown-up’ thing of moving up the ladder, selling our ‘detached but situated on a plot the size of a postage stamp’ house and buying this place: Lovely big plot, drive and five-bar-gate, stone house with and here’s the killer word POTENTIAL.

Now here’s the irony. You pay for potential and then you pay many times over to try and achieve that potential.  There should be a law against it.  Estate Agents should be forced to tell it like it is, because maybe, just maybe if they did then fools like us would let the veil of self-deceit drop from our misguided eyes for just long enough to walk on by.

I wish I was organised enough to be able to find the original details, but no matter because… they lied.  Here’s what they should have said:-

This 1970s attempt to construct an authentic stone build property ran out of money when the developer realised the true cost of Cotswold stone.  The wart-like growth on the side, masquerading as a double garage, utility room and sun room (oh, how we laughed) is the most authentic part of this property – marvel at the flat roof.

The present owners have not lifted one finger in their 12 years of occupation, indeed you could draw parallels with a wartime existence from their insistence on reusing anything vaguely recyclable and refusal to throw away a single piece of furniture.  If you make it through a viewing of the house without bloodying a shin on a random stool or bruising a head on another bookcase then you’ll qualify for round two- the second viewing.

The rustic kitchen benefits from the caustic heat provided by an oil-fired Rayburn.  You may question the intelligence of siting such a large object in such a small space.  Sadly the present owners didn’t.

Don’t concern yourself with the sight of the owner’s dog dragging herself around using her front paws- the carpets have long since been infected with all manner of fleas, mites and carpet monsters, as you will doubtless discover when you remove them, only to find another layer of carpet- how inventive!

You’ll enjoy the vague aroma of musk that ordains the ‘sun-room’, please don’t try to open the french doors- they fall off, and be sure to re-position the bucket to catch the drips from the leaky roof.

It’s best if you don’t enter the garage at all, there’s a definite health and safety risk from the combination of the leaking soil stack and the putrid black mould that clings to the ceiling.  We’d rather you bought the property before you discovered that one so we’ve hastily mopped up all evidence.

If you’re still reading then you’re obviously up for a challenge so we’ll venture upstairs, bypassing the horrendous view into the downstairs WC- weren’t the ’70s a great decade for tile choices?

The master bedroom is, well, small and awkward, and the window is about to fall out.  But on the positive side, it has secondary glazing- look at that sliding action.  The present owners have recently had this room redecorated in a floral wallpaper that works wonders at making a small room seem minute.

There’s not a lot to say about bedrooms 2, 3 and 4.  Why don’t we play some word association games instead.  Here’s a bunch of words for you… draughty, poky, hessian wallpaper, dodgy electrics, mustard carpets.  See how much fun that was?

And now, the bathroom- ta daaa!  Take your fingers from your eyes now….yes it’s turquoise! Please don’t use the toilet- remember the leaky soil stack? We’d hate for you to find out yet.  Oh and mind the door, it does tend to bang into the bath…

We’ll not even begin to discuss the electrics or plumbing – thanks goodness that this is pre-HIPs eh?

So, there we have it.  I’m guessing you’ve read enough now.  Shall we just call it a day and I’ll call in a demolition team?  What’s that?  You’d like to buy?  You’re serious? Oh, wow, that’s great….but you realise it’s going to cost you?  This place has real potential y’know…


Someone please call an Ombudsman…
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13 thoughts on “Someone please call an Ombudsman…

  • January 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    pml, sorry! I am glad now that we bought ‘new on a postage stamp plot’. Am very worried about the soil stack in the garage……………that will be a whole new post of its own? Jen.

  • January 30, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Ever seen the Cary Grant movie, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House? You could do the remake…

  • January 31, 2010 at 8:42 am

    LOL Jen, I’ll add it to my ‘gruesome things to write about’ list!


  • January 31, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Thanks for the tea and sympathy S…. we remain hopeful that things will get better! Just read your post on lists…. coincidentally I deleted all mine yesterday- maybe I should go back and try again!


  • January 31, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Never seen it, but just watched a trailer…. looks fab! Any movie producers in the house?


  • January 31, 2010 at 9:04 am

    They could write a book on ours! We bought the house as it had ‘potential’ and we were desperate for our own place. It is shocking what we have uncovered (and not just the dodgy graffiti!).
    If you hang on to the turquoise bathroom long enough it might come back into fashion?!

  • January 31, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Ha! Sadly(!) the bathroom was the first thing to go, esp. as it was the size of the average shower cubicle….really sad thing was that the bath was cast iron and lovely… just turquoise!

    You have my total sympathy….it’s so depressing looking at the ‘to-do’ list day after day. Still, maybe tonight we’ll win the lottery?!


  • January 31, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    We bought this house because of the amount of bedrooms and the “potential” it had. We never took into consideration the crappy parking (no drive, no garden) and the amount that we’d actually spend on getting it “right”. And it still isn’t right after 4 years.

    We have done every single room in the house and it’s still not how I want it gggrrrr. But then I look back at the pictures of the “before and after” that I have and we have made a massive improvement. And we’re staying here because we can’t afford to move and this house was a STEAL!!

  • January 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I feel so much better now Nic!


  • February 1, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    oh no! that ought to be illegal. Potential indeed! tut.

  • February 2, 2010 at 12:05 am

    We’re still tutting nearly 3 years on Heather…..although to be fair, it’s a lot better than it used to be- we’re pretty much stripped of gorgeous ’70s tiles now!


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