Friday, 30 January 2009

Our ideal home

We moved to Chester in August 2003. As we were only able to spend two weekends house hunting, before we were due to move to Chester, we decided to rent, initially, rather than buy. Renting, we felt, would give us a better feel for the area. The only property that we had been tempted to look at was called Blue Pig Cottage. We both liked it but we both also had reservations about it. It did not quite tick all the boxes and rather than saddle ourselves with a property which we might later regret buying we decided that Blue Pig Cottage was not for us. We made the right decision as I have never regretted not buying Blue Pig Cottage. Having found a suitable house to rent, we settled ourselves into it, had a holiday then set about looking for a house to buy. Here is our wish list of what we wanted from our new home:
  • An older property with character - this we managed to achieve buying a late Victorian cottage. The previous owners have artexed some or the ceilings and put up beams. Neither of these features are Victorian but we can not afford to remove them. The beams do feel as if they have added character even if they are out of place.
  • Detached - this was an essential as I have had enough of noise from the neighbours. So the cottage is detached. It was originally two semi-detached farm workers cottages that have now been knocked into one cottage, by a previous owner.
  • A garage -yes, the cottage had a garage but it was largely made of asbestos and had to be demolished and rebuilt before we had use of it, which meant that we had no garage and had to buy a shed to house our garage items. Four years after the garage was built the shed still stands on what should be our vegetable garden.
  • In a village with a pub within walking distance - we are on the outskirts of a village and the nearest pub must be forty five minutes walk away along an unlit road with no pavement. I think that we failed on that one.
  • Property in need of decoration but not building work - the decoration was old and not to our taste so we were alright there but the minor building job which the estate agent suggested turned out to be a major project.
  • A reasonable size garden - this we have achieved, although when we moved here it was more a plot of land being mainly lawn and trees.
  • Two separate reception rooms -I would rather have to two smaller rooms than one large room. Easier to heat in the winter.
  • Four bedrooms -one room to use as a study. If husband's junk is not contained in one room it ends up all over the house. That leaves us with three bedrooms. Our intention was that the family could come to stay with us. How wrong could we be? If you move from south to north the family do not come to visit you. You have to visit them.
  • Two bathrooms - one for us and one for the visitors. What visitors?
  • Handy for shops and conveniences but a quiet location - there is no shop in the village. It probably isn't really a village. It is a long walk to anywhere including a bus stop. I have to admit that we are quite isolated, but most of the time it is quiet apart from the hum of farm machinery. You do need a car to live where we do. Both Chester and Ellesmere Port are only a few miles away and we are on the door step of the Wirral and Wales.
The only item on our wish list that we did not mange to achieve was the location. I would like to be able to walk to shops etc but it took six months of looking to find the cottage by which time we were both thoroughly fed up with the rented house and we realised that we were going to have to compromise on something.

17 comments:

CG said...

Why won't people from the south come north to visit you???

I guess all house purchases are a compromise!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Well, that answers most of the questions I had....
Do you have any pictures of your cottage, my imagination runs wild !
It sounds delightful.

Gilly said...

I did laugh about "what visitors?" The older parents always have to visit the children - carting a family a long way in a car is too much!! And yes, no-one wants to come north to visit. They either think we live in a freezing cold, damp astone cottage miles from anywhere, or in a grim mill town, covered in soot!!

And we live in a town - its still a long way to the shops!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

We may have to draw up a similar list CW when we eventually sell our house. Had already decided to rent for 6 months to give ourselves time to choose at our leisure. Hopefully it will the last time we move.

Hope you are well settled into your home now and don't regret your final decision. A x

Helen P said...

When my husband and I lived in London for 13 years my Wirral-based parents visited only occasionally; they found it 'expensive, too busy and too far away' and used to arrive so stressed after spinning around the M25 for an hour or two that it took them all weekend to relax. In the end hubby and I did most of the travelling and eventually made the decision to move back north!

imbeingheldhostage said...

I understand Gilly's comment. I still can't believe it when my married sister (with grown children) whinges that she's never seen my kids-- because she wants me to cart five kids, hubby and myself thousands of miles to see her.
This post is good for me to see it from the other view. When I have all of these kids out working (so that they can support me), I want to have a house everyone comes to for visits-- with grandkids.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I think it's nice to put your own stamp a property. Shame you don't have many visitors though, it's so good to show off your house to friends and family, especially if you're proud.

CJ xx

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Hello, I have nominated you for an award-check out my blog...

Sandi McBride said...

Life is a compromise, sometimes, isn't it? I'd love to see the cottage, do post pics soon!
Sandi

david mcmahon said...

There's a house on our street that ticks all your boxes ....

We could be neighbours!

cheshire wife said...

CG - I think that you are right about having to make a compromise.

A Brit in Tennessee - thank you I'll be over.

Oh David that could be so good!

Gill - That British Woman said...

I know how you feel getting that 100% perfect property is very hard to find, so I guess you have to compromise somewhere......

Gill in Canada

blogthatmama said...

It's always ultimately a bit of a compromise and things never get done as fast as you think! I'm going for a new build in the middle of a town if we ever sell this 200 year old cottage in a remote village with no pub!

Millennium Housewife said...

I think you did pretty well! At least you got to find out what was truly necessary MH

Moannie said...

Oh dear! I think FFF would agree with you on the visiting. I plead age, a dog that gets car sick and a husband who is convinced it is still the era of no speed limit.

Do post a pic of the house.

Maggie May said...

You did very well from your list.
Pity about the lack of visitors though!

Sandi McBride said...

Congrats on Post of the Day mention from David!
Sandi