We’re deep into house hunting mode and I can’t see the wood for the trees. Street names, floorplans and school catchment areas are flying around my head as I type this.
We’ve viewed three houses so far this week, which given we only found out we had to move on Saturday night is not bad going. Alas none of the three have been perfect. You see, in fact there is no such thing as the perfect house. Unless you have a limitless budget, in which case the (real estate) world is your lobster (to quote one of my nursing tutors there, I love it when phrases go awry). Sadly our budget is indeed strictly limited, so our quest to find the right size house in the right area that ticks all our boxes continues.
They say you can’t have it all, and when it comes to houses you definitely can’t. Ideally we’d like to stay in this area, but we also need a decent amount of living space and because I feel shitty that the boys are having to move again (this will be Toby’s 3rd move and he isn’t even 4 yet) I would really like them to gain something from it, compensation if you will, in the form of a garden with real grass, or a bigger bedroom, or a playroom to replace the one they have here. But to get all that we’d need about twice as much money as we actually have OR we have to look at other areas. See it really is impossible to have it all.
Especially, it turns out, if you also have pets. Just the word itself is enough to cause a visible shudder in an otherwise perfectly composed letting agent. Today I was told by once such agent that “Pets and renting don’t mix I’m afraid!”
As though that nugget of wisdom from her was going to revolutionise my world view to the extent I’d be prepared to book my dog in for the next available euthanasia appointment.
I have been a tenant for the past 12 years and for the last 8 of those I’ve had a cat and the last 7 I’ve had a dog. In those 12 years I have lived in 2 flats and 4 houses and never once has either myself or either of my furry little companions (or indeed Chris or the kids) caused any irrepairable damage. And on only one occasion have we ever received less than our full deposit back, and that one occasion was last year when we voluntarily gave up about £80 of it to pay for a cleaner and gardener to tidy up after us because we didn’t have the time.
Still, the chances of us finding our perfect house on our limited budget are slim. Add pets (shock, horror!) into the mix, and it just aint gonna happen!
Right now my brain is a battleground- which is more important- the right house or the right location? And what constitutes the right house, the square footage? The feel of the place? How long we’ll be able to stay there before being turfed? And what constitutes the right location? Our current area because we’re settled, or make a break and try somewhere new? And don’t even get me started on the schools issue. Having just been through the schools saga, having viewed 3 of our 5 local schools and finally decided on a favourite and applied for a place, I now find we’re in a position where we may not even live in the catchment area for it anymore in a few weeks time.
These are all questions I could have well done without pondering at the same time as dealing with my illness and disability but now find myself worrying over all hours of day and night.
If anyone has any of the answers please let me know.