A damp start

Some mornings, I wake up full of enthusiasm and “pep”. I like getting out of bed, having tea, checking email for anything interesting/funny/snarky and then having my requisite 10 minute nonsense chat with the cat. I am aware she doesn’t understand a word I’m saying, neither can she talk back but that is another matter. I’m about 2 decades off of being a crazy cat lady. This morning was one of those mornings. Mainly as the alarm went off as it does every other morning but I didn’t have to be up, so naturally I woke up and then couldn’t get back to sleep. When this happens, the only thing worth doing is trying (and failing) to get a wi-fi signal through very thick stone walls, giving up and getting up to feed a wailing cat and making some tea.


The other reason to be up for “office hours” was to phone the estate agent. We have decided, given that we are grown ups, with good jobs and fairly stable finances, that we would like to join the millions of home owners in the UK and try to buy a house. Not a big house, not a grand house. Not even an “expensive” house (although to me, all houses are expensive…anything over £100 is expensive in my book) but a house we can call ours and not shell out rent each month paying off someone else’s mortgage while they refuse to fix things that should be fixed.

There was an almost house last summer. It was cute, it was cool, it had outside space and a cellar. But it wasn’t to be. The second viewing made me take off my very rose-tinted specs and see it for what it was and saw the faults that if we had bought it, would have driven me up the wall. There was no where for a table to eat at. The stairs were so steep it would be a scary task taking a basket of washing down and more importantly, there was a possible issue with the cellar and some chimney blocks. They also refused our offer…which sort of negated any of the issues with the house but made it a relief when we decided it wasn’t to be.

It was almost a house

We have been keeping an eye on property in the area since then and after almost a year, we stumbled on something that looked like it was worth a look and within our budget and had an actual garden. It backed onto fields (the cat would love it), it was near the canal (we could run), it was near friends, the nearest motorway junction, it was recently refurbished….and it had DAMP. I called the agent this morning to make an appointment and she dropped that last bombshell on me. What sort of damp, I asked, hoping it was a tiny little thing that could be addressed with a bit of negotiation on price. Rising and penetrative damp, she replied, pouring all the damp onto my hopes of a house.

So, we are back to the drawing board and back to checking the websites. I don’t have a massive wish list, honest. It goes a bit like this:

  • 2 bed (minimum)
  • good size kitchen with space to eat in
  • living room
  • bathroom with shower (or space for one)
  • a little bit of outside space
  • maybe parking…but I’ll take street parking

The area is flexible too – I’m not asking for a swimming pool, room for a pony and maybe a granny annexe. I’m not even asking for gorgeous design features and immaculate decor. I can wield a paint roller and shimmy a ladder with the best of them and I’m not afraid of getting dirty to make it mine ours. But I’d prefer structurally sound, no damp (penetrating or otherwise) and not right on top of anything toxic/stinky. Too much to ask?

Hopeful face



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