This time last week I was in the worst mood I’ve been in for a very long time. I felt incredibly down, despondent and as though life was hopeless. The non-existent house move that’s been ongoing for fifteen months, Dad constantly pressuring me to hurry up out of his house, the lack of a man in my life, lack of career, lack of money, worry about money when we do move and so on and so forth.
On Monday night I’d reached my breaking point and said out loud, “Enough is enough. I’m fucking sick of this. I want change but I also want the strength to go on with life as it is.” A short while later, I did my daily check on Rightmove, not expecting anything because it was a bank holiday, but saw a new house had come on the market and instantly my stomach flipped. This has never happened before for any house, not once in fifteen months. It was literally like my intuition speaking to me in a language I finally understood. I got straight on the phone to the agents but they’d already left the office and so I impatiently waited until Tuesday morning when I rang them, half expecting them to say they won’t take dogs but they said they would. But then I spotted that the EPC, energy rating for the house was only an F; that’s pretty bad and indicates high energy bills and poor insulation or a poor boiler so I decided to drive to the house and put a note through the letterbox asking the current tenant if they would ring me to discuss the energy efficiency and costs in the house but as luck would have it, the tenant, a man called Drew, was home. He said that the bills were pretty much what I pay in our current home and then he said I was welcome to go in and look if I wanted. This was, without a doubt, the best outcome I could hope for as Drew wasn’t due to move out until August and the agents had said there could be no viewings until the end of June at the earliest. I knew there would be a risk with that of loads of us seeing the property and it being snapped up so Drew letting me in was amazing.
The house was a tip. Drew’s stuff was everywhere but more importantly, there were holes in floors, ceilings, rotting decking in the garden, the garden was overgrown and unusable, there were filthy walls and carpets, the whole house was in need of decorating, a bathroom which needs ripping out and replacing and the undeniable stench of cat everywhere but I loved it! Despite its current appearance, I could see nothing but the potential. The house just felt right and I could easily see us all there. I could see our furniture, where we’d all be and for the first time in fifteen months I just knew I’d found the house for us.
Rather than risk losing it, I drove straight to the estate agents, told them I’d seen it, was very interested and that I wanted to put a deposit down on it with the stipulation that all of the repairs would be done before I moved in. They agreed.
In the evening, I went back to the house with the kids as Drew had said we were welcome to visit again, the kids loved it as much as I did. Katie, who’s come to every other house visit with me said it’s the only house she’s seen that she could see us actually in. It seems that it just feels right for all of us. Even the kids could see beyond the mess and the work that needs doing. I spoke to Drew and he asked if I wanted any of his furniture as he was only giving it away to charity. I said there were a few bits I could use, asked him how much and not only did he say he didn’t want any money for it, but he also said if it turned out I didn’t want any of it, he could come back and get rid of it for me. I asked him if he could do me one more favour and if anyone else knocked asking to look around, could he refuse them? He said he would. I told him that if I got the house he’d have to come round afterwards for dinner as a thank you from all of us. He said he’d love to. We exchanged numbers so we could keep each other informed of what’s going on and then Drew said that rather than moving out in August, he’s actually packing up and should be out by the middle of next week which means the work can start sooner than expected.
On Thursday, we went to the house with the maintenance person in tow who said that the whole house needed a complete makeover; a new kitchen, bathroom, all the decking replaced, windows looked at, new carpets, basically more or less the whole thing. I’m not sure it needs that much work and worried then that the landlord would decide it’s too much work and money but the agency reassured me that he knows and has said, “I’m going to throw a load of money at it.” And so, all being well, we’ll be moving into the house in July or August after the work is done and finally we’ll be able to start a lovely new chapter in our lives after four and a half years in this house, where we’ve had very little but stress and unhappiness and it couldn’t come soon enough.