The last time I blogged we had some last minute viewings booked in; the last one of the day we loved. A ground floor maisonette, private well kept garden and newly reburbished throughout with two huge bedrooms. W had an offer accepted, only for the initial happiness to last around a week when we found out through a friend of a friend the property had a £10,000 bill coming our way from the leaseholders which could be due in around three years time due to them re-doing the fire escapes (our property didn't even have a fire escape). At the top end of our budget there was no way we would be able to afford it. We put this to the estate agent who claimed ignorance, and the price was dropped and agreed at £5,000 lower than the original asking price.
We put our searches and survey on hold whilst waiting for more information, and the Friday before new years eve I had about ten calls from the estate agent who was trying to get us to book the survey to show some commitment to the seller. They had apparently mentioned re marketing the property if we didn't get things moving. After doing some digging for myself and speaking directly to the leaseholder I found out the work was due to start in the summer just a few months after we would be moving in and the money due by the time they had finished the work. I also discovered 47 awful reviews of the leasehold company online, describing them as a money grabbing nightmare!
We pulled out the first working day of the new year, however at the end of that same day the vendor dropped the price by a further £5000 to get us to buy. We spoke to the mortgage broker who advised us we could take a home improvement loan and use the equity in the house to pay it off. We thought things were settled when we received confirmation of the new asking/purchase price in writing and email. Then surfing the property sites to compare what we were getting for our money I found the property had come on with another estate agents and there was even an open day planned for that weekend with our estate agent. From that weekend I knew the property wouldn't be ours so as not to be too disappointed.
On the Monday I found out they had had a higher offer from someone who supposedly knew about all the work and additional costs. I just wish we had been told upfront as another buyer had pulled out before us, but we were told 'for financial reasons' so we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into. After we lost it, I felt a kind of relief, like it was meant to be for a little while.
However, after seeing lots more properties nothing seems to compare and I'm worried the prices are going to go up before we've scrabbled onto the property ladder. So that seems to be taking up most of my time at the moment.
However our mortgage is almost through, just the survey needs doing now and our family bought us lots of nice home wear and vouchers for Christmas so we only need to pay for the big appliances once we finally find somewhere.
I also had a nice surprise last week; I found out we had hit our target at work and was in fact £55,000 over target! Because we did so well my colleague and myself are going to be given £505.000 worth of high street vouchers as part of a commission scheme. When I was first told about it I thought I would get about £50 so that will definitely make things easier! I decided to get £250 love to shop vouchers which covers lots of shops including Robert Dyas & Homebase, £100, £50 B&Q and £100 Arcadia vouchers (I'm treating myself to some new clothes after all this saving malarky!) I was also told we were getting a £750 annual payrise; I thought it would be performance related and thought it was kind of mean but its automatic which I think is pretty nice as it covers increases in peoples train fare/heating bills/food etc.
This year I bought my annual season ticket and opted for the overground option only- this was £600 cheaper and means it forces me to exercise every day too. I'm now walking around two miles per day at least. I'm going to get my car back on the road and use the money I saved to pay for my car; a much nicer luxury than a bus pass!
Finally, I sorted out my health care plan at work. I decided to take advantage and booked myself an eye test as I haven't had one for around three years and had self medicated my contact lens strength which I buy over the internet. It turns out I wear my lenses too much, starving my eyes of oxygen and causing blood vessels to grow into my corneas which if not sorted out can damage my eyesight! eek!!
I can claim £60 per year for optical costs, so I ordered a four month supply of contacts £50 and away the receipt for my eye test £22 and decided to buy some nice designer glasses. I bought a D&G smart half rim pair for work and a lighter plastic Karen Millen pair for home + insurance. Though this was pretty pricy I think my eyesight is one thing worth investing in.
Phew! Think its all out now, hope you're all staying toasty and warm- until next time!