12 December 2012

Diary of a house seller - Part VII, Winter 2012/13

10 December: Was pottering around today when the phone rung and the estate asked if he could bring round some viewers - in 15 minutes' time!  

Having not had a viewer for four months (quiet time of year) we were rather surprised and very glad that, the new bathroom's now finished and the place wasn't looking too bad.  Quickly tidied up and found keys to get into flat below.  The viewers seemed to like what they saw but we don't hold out great hopes, with being in competition with so many other houses.  

Afterwards, I had a quick look on the internet to see what the competition is like in this area.  Our house (http://www.williamshedge.co.uk/more_details.php?profileID=100394000510)is a particular size and layout which wouldn't suit everybody but will appeal to the person for whom it is exactly suitable - and there will be very few in competition with us in that category.

11 December: Had a call from the agent to say that the viewers would like to come tomorrow for a second look, bringing another member of the family.

12 December: We've been busy cleaning and tidying and it's amazing how dirty everything is, when subject to close scrutiny.  From a distance it looks fine, but get nearer and it's an entirely different story.
I've been busy, implementing the suggestions which were in a previous post (), using bicarb, vinegar and so on, instead of smelly chemical cleaners.  
Then realised that this computer monitor's filthy!  Looked up on the internet and the first site I visited had nothing constructive to say except that the screen was very delicate (dur!) but no help it how to clean it.  However, another site had the following, much more helpful, advice: 

The TFT or LCD screen is one of the most expensive component of your notebook or desktop computer and they're very sensitive to dust, fingerprints or even when you cough or sneeze without covering the mouth and nose.

Unlike the standard CRT monitors with Glass screens, you are not advised to clean an LCD Monitor by wiping it with a piece of dry lint-free cloth since the sensitive display is likely to get scratches from dust particles. 

So how do you clean an LCD monitor screen without buying any of those expensive LCD Monitor Cleaner solutions or Monitor Wipes available in the market ? We look at some proper methods and precautions before you clean the monitor [should apply to HDTVs, projection TVs and Plasma TVs as well]

Think of LCD Displays just like the soft and delicate skin of your newborn baby - Be very gentle and never put even the slightest pressure on the computer screen with your hand. 

Second, you need to find a piece of soft cloth - old cotton handkerchiefs lying in your mom's wardrobe should be fine but don't try tissue papers, toilet rolls or even shower towels as the fabric will scratch your screen permanently [like sandpaper or utensil scrubbers]

Either turn the monitor off or set the background to black and hide all the desktop icons and minimize the open windows. This will easily help you identify the dirty areas of the monitor.

To prepare the solution for cleaning LCD monitors, you will need deionized or distilled water and vinegar or iso-propyl alcohol - Don't use tap water or mineral water as they could leave white marks on the screen because of the dissolved salts.

Dilute the vinegar or IPA with distilled water [1:1] and spray this liquid on the cloth. Never ever spray liquid directly onto the LCD screen. Moisten the cloth with this home made LCD cleaner and gently move the wet cloth in just one direction - from top to bottom.

Word of Caution: Be sure that the LCD screen is dry before closing it or using the computer. Do not use any solutions that contain Acetone, ethyl alcohol, toluene, ethyl acid, ammonia, or methyl chloride. Never touch the LCD screen with your fingers as this can cause the pixels to burn out.

(from: http://labnol.blogspot.co.uk/2006/11/wipe-clean-lcd-screen-laptop-monitor.html)

18 December:  Had a phone call freom the agent to say that the vendors were not proceeding as they would prefer a more rural location. Not a lot we can do about that, but at least they have lots more choice of new abode.  Meanwhile, we'll sit tight for the winter and see what happens come the spring.  Signing off for 2012 ...

January - a new year, perhaps new beginnings ...

25 January:  Had an offer this week from the people who viewed in December.  Unfortunately it was far too low, so leaving this one on the back burner.  Who knows, they may come back to us again soon.

28 January: Just had a call from the Agent to book a viewing this Friday, 1 February.

30 January: The people who made an offer last week are not keen to raise their offer, citing the area as the reason for not upping the price they're prepared to pay.  

Perhaps there are quite a few people on the look-out for property at the moment who are only keen for a bargain and not actually bothered whether the property suits them of even the facilities on offer at the house.  Or am I being cynical?

1 February:  Had some people viewing this morning.  They like the house and are now putting theirs on the market, perhaps not especially to buy ours.  But they may be confident that they'll find something they like in their price range.

2 February:  Just in case, I'm travelling up to the Midlands tomorrow to view some houses.  The prices may well be cheaper and that could balance the low offer we've just received.

Looking towards Torquay and Hope's Nose with Thatcher Rock and Shag Rock
It's exciting as they are lots of suitable properties around, fortunately none of them are perfect as we'd be very disappointed not to get it.

Here's a couple of photos from our living room window, taken this afternoon.  It's still light now, at nearly 5pm, so the nights must be drawing out.  Roll on spring!  It would be nice to have one of these view blown up and mounted on canvas to put on the wall at our new house to remind us of these fabulous views.
Looking towards Brixham Harbour and Berry Head

8 February: Have just heard from the agent that the proposed purchaser is prepared to up their price a tiny amount.  After a long discussion we have accepted on the basis that this buyer does not seem very committed so it's not all that likely that the deal will come off.  

The Agent will take the house off the market for ten days to give the pp chance to organise a survey.  If this hasn't happened then marketing the property will continue.
We are away on holiday so expect that by the time we return in two weeks that things will be well in hand.  If so we'll got and seriously look at properties.
It's such an unusual market that it's difficult to make a decision and be sure that it's the right one.
Have come to the conclusion that I was not being cynical (see 2 Feb) as pp has said he's not particularly bothered if he doesn't get this house!!

22 February:  We've had our holiday - it was lovely to enjoy some sunshine and be pampered - but hard to come home chilly (well really cold!) weather.  After one day at home to tie up loose ends and to have the surveyor book to come to prepare a report on our house, we have travelled up to the Midlands to house-hunt ... again.

24 February: We have looked at several houses today and what has struck us is the property garden descriptions.  What to some people would be a good-sized garden would to others be minute.  
Why don't estate agents measure the gardens (roughly), like they do unimportant items such as downstairs cloakrooms?  A reasonable-sized garden is very important for us and there are several houses where the photos made the garden look lovely.  Then we viewed the houses and saw that in fact they were totally unsuitable.
After all, agents making a garden look big when a purchaser wants a small garden are just as misleading as photos making gardens look huge when the purchaser only wants a pocket handkerchief back yard to enjoy sunbathing with a glass of vino.

25 February: It's exciting looking at potential houses, apart from the disappointing, misleading details.  Unfortunately, I like every house we look at, so find it very difficult to be objective.

26 Feb:  We have made an offer on a very suitable house - not a perfect one, as the perfect house doesn't exist - and said offer has been rejected.  So we are now reconsidering ... and I idly looked on the internet and saw a very suitable house which has just come on the market ...  So have booked to view it.  
every girl should have at least one pair of red shoes!
One thought which does now occur is that it's rather like buying shoes - or finding a husband! - in that, once a suitable one is found then stop looking!

27 February: Have viewed the second house and it's perfect! ... except needs new kitchen, bathrooms, heating and possibly even new wiring.  So have been trying to work out whether it's economic - for us - to buy said house. It's spacious, have three rooms upstairs and three downstairs, plus kitchen - and a bathroom on both floors.  The living room has a beautiful picture window and the garden looks out onto fields, yet the house is easy walking distance to shops, buses etc.  
On reflection it's been decided that there's too much work to do, so have made an increased offer on first (nearly perfect) house, which has been accepted.  As a gardener I'm not totally satisfied as garden is small, faces north and neighbour's trees are likely to block out some of the light.  Perhaps we'll be able to have a word with the neighbour about the trees, having first checked that they're not actually ours, and see what can be done.
Looked at the epc of the property as it's a healthy 85 (with potential to rise to 88) - even better than ours at 82! (http://www.wmepc.co.uk/PDF/EPC%20Explained%20Final%2018%20July%2011.pdf)

28 February: surveyor came and looked at the house we're selling. He didn't stay long - which could be a good sign. Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow is 1 March which an optimist would say is the start of spring, so I'll start a new page on here.

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