Sunday, 7 April 2013


So we finally exchanged contracts on the house of my dreams.  (If I can't have Leeds Castle) It happens to be a 1930s terraced council house.  We have 3x as much garden if not more, than we had before. We have a room bigger than a shoebox for Calfy when she requires it. We have a fire. We have a converted loft. And, ...wait for it,.... 3 loos!   It's a castle I tell you.  And it's ours on Friday. 

The last six months have brought it home to me that THIS is the real problem, however hard Osborne dreams of a new housing boom.


electro-kevin said...

Great news and a great link.


House moving is a REAL ball ache and VERY expensive.

Can't believe the rate of stamp duty on the WHOLE amount on an average priced house.

Thud said...

congrats, I hope its a happy and lucky home.

electro-kevin said...

I have been in contact with the council over the lack of wheelie bin provision.

"We now pay £500 more per year council tax - presumably because you think a bigger house will mean more service. So where is the extra service ? Do we get a bigger wheelie bin ?"


"If you wish to complain about the banding of your house you need to write to..."

"No. I accept the banding of our house. Presumably you are charging us £500 per year more for the extra bedrooms therefore the extra service that our household requires."


"If you wish to complain about the banding of our house..."

"No. I don't wish to complain about the banding of our house. I'd just like a bigger wheelie bin please."


"Please contact this office about your banding..."

So I will. But at the moment it seems to me that council tax is a punishment for aspiration rather than having anything at all to do with public service.

electro-kevin said...

PS, I wasn't quite as turse as that. I'm cutting a long story short for you.

Woman on a Raft said...

Best wishes in your new home.

Are you going to put in a woodburner in the fireplace? I've been persuaded over the last couple of weeks that this would be my priority as I stayed in a house with and open chimney and had forgotten how inefficient they are compared to a stove.

Woman on a Raft said...

Oops, just noticed from your last that you have a multifuel burner. Good - I wish I'd had one last week.

Nick Drew said...

good luck w. Friday !

I'm sure you are doing the right thing by staging into the new chateau - that's how we've vowed to do it next time

Blue Eyes said...

When I moved to my current slum pit I vowed never to move house again. Which is fine because I probably won't ever be able to afford to!

Enjoy the new place it sounds lush :-)

DtP said...

Hurray! Bloody good time of year to do it too. 3 bogs is a bit posh - Elby could have a special Sunday afternoon one complete with newspaper holder and tea cup holder! 3 bogs? Tres la di da!!

Elby the Beserk said...

Dick - my old man would retire with the paper to the loo each morning for a good 20 minutes. I'm a bit too antsy for that :-)

Elby the Beserk said...

EK - Bins, yes. Our rental had a lidless wheelie bin 2/3 full of water when we arrived. I called the council to ask for a new lid. They told me a team (yes, a team. They need a team to put a new lid on a wheelie bin), or we could pay £25 for a new one.

Two days later, a new bin appears with no charge.

Good to see just how organised our council are.

lilith said...

Thank you all for your good wishes :-) We are very excited in between wanting to strangle Richard Branson and cursing the Government, Estate Agents and anyone who has to be contacted by phone rather than letter.

The stamp duty is pure robbery. I can't believe George Osborne agrees with Gordon Brown on this one. He wants 3% of the purchase price of anything between 250k and 500k! That is money that can't be raised by mortgage and has to be found out of equity/capital. So, if you buy a house for £250,001 you have to give the treasury £7,500! Thieves. Our new house is just under this threshold (unusual for the South) and will never exceed it, even if we put in gold taps and an indoor swimming pool.

Don't talk to me about bins Kev. Elby rang up to let the council know that our bin (at the rental house) is missing a lid and therefore fills up with water. They promised to "send a team round" to fix the lid. A team?! In the event they couldn't be bothered and just delivered a new bin and left it next to the old one.

WOAR we plan to have both. There is a multi fuel burner in the living room and a boarded up fire place in the dining room. As the dining room and kitchen have been knocked into one room I plan to open up the fire place so that we have both :-)

I know Dick. 3 bogs. I have never understood how chaps can spend so long in such an atmosphere, but perhaps it takes an article by Richard Littlejohn or Polly Toynbee to get things moving.

Nick, it has been long and drawn out, but there is much to be said to be in a good position vis purchasing. Otherwise you are finding the house you want, but have no buyer yourselves, or you have a buyer, but nowhere to go. We should have taken a holiday let rather than a six month tenancy but it could have taken longer so we had to cover ourselves. Everything is mostly still packed :-)

idle said...

I find 20 minutes about the right time to get most of the Saturday cryptic done on the throne.

A choice of three thrones can't be a bad thing.

Stamp duty is a preposterous and deeply unBritish tax, except for second homes and foreign buyers, in which case it should be a huge levy, in current circs. Foreign owners of London property should be required to pay 5% per annum, which is a little above rental yield. There is probably a European law against this........ another reason to wave goodbye to the racket and run our own affairs again.

Auf wiedersehen, pets.

Scrobs... said...

Marvellous news, Lils and Elbers!

By coincidence, we moved here on exactly the same Friday back in 1989, and the place was a tip (still is in some places), but we just can't ever leave it!

Love the sound of a big garden though! You're just in time to get some spuds in, and sow toms and cuces! Everything is a month behind this year, so by September, everything will be in full flow!

Those coloured wellies will just flash past the plants, especially if one of the three loos is outside, which must be a godsend, or whatever you call it when you're desperate, and the alternative is to run upstairs in your socks, slip on the parquet, crack a few bones and eventually s**t yourself as you lie on the floor in agony...

Have a great Friday you two, and we'll join you in a toast of some warming beverage, like a bottle of malt!

lilith said...

I am really glad you are staying Scrobs. Your house is so very cosy and with such a lush garden.

Hilarious visions of a desperate gardener...yes the downstairs loo is in a leanto on the back of the house next to the kitchen, so no need to even take our wellies off!

Idle, I am sure that that is how it should be and ever was (regarding a gentleman and the Saturday cryptic.)

With all your connections, can't you let these buggers know they are getting it wrong on tax?

Elby the Beserk said...

Now that you mention it Idle, I think the old man may have done the crossword whilst sitting on the throne. Cryptic man himself, and very good at it, he taught me - my greatest day when I completed the Guardian and Times Jumbo Xmas Xwords. Sadly, now when I look at them I go blank. Must try harder!

Scrobs... said...

Sudoku is a good throne enhancer, Elbers!

'Times Difficult', and no writing all the possibles in the squares until you know you have the answer!

lilith said...

I have been doing sudoku again recently Scrobs after a very long time not bothering. Oddly I find the Telegraph Moderate ones easier than the Telegraph Gentle, which I always get wrong!

I'm off now, no internet for the foreseeable as we are sticking with Virgin Media (because I have 500 business/appointment cards with my email address on.) xx

Wrinkled Weasel said...

It's the three loos that make me jealous. At nearly 60, I can tell you that a guest in a loo is an enemy in a loo.

Hope the move went well.


Two Loos the Wreck