The House and how it came to be


After renting for a few years near Pentonville Prison I finally got a permanent job and the Turk started talking property.  I was reluctant to invest all our savings into property, it seemed a bit of a waste of time, but I eventually accepted that lining the landlords pockets was not the wisest of ideas so we began a hunt.  I was adamant that we needed to go “in” so we had an offer accepted on a filthy disgusting flat in Kings Cross with real potential.  That eventually fell through and we found ourselves looking further out into the dreaded suburbia of “zone 2”.  This might not seem a big deal to you…to me it was massive.

Our next flat fell through as well and I uttered the fateful words “I don’t care any more, just put an offer in on the last flat we saw“.  At the time I couldn’t remember what it was, but luckily it turned out to be a beautiful conversion flat in Tufnell Park with a large garden and stunning lounge complete with fire.  We lived there for a relatively happy 5 years before the Turk got itchy feet again…

This time I refused to view any flats (we had seen over 100 the first time round) unless the Turk had already vetted them.  It had to have a garden (it didn’t really, I was just being difficult), 2 bed and period features, no further than a 10 minute walk from the tube.  We ended up in an ex-council flat (incredibly close to the tube though) which we renovated in a 6 month stress fest at the same time as I decided to change my career path…fun.

I clearly didn’t learn my lesson though, on my way to work one day I spotted something amazing.  A house for sale…a whole house…by auction…it was AMAZING.  We went to view it, the guardians showed us around and I ooh’d and ahh’d over the missing floorboards, massive gaping cracks in the wall and view of the stars through the absent roof and rear wall.  Ok so it didn’t have a garden, but in all honesty that was all I could see being wrong with it.

The Turk thought I had gone slightly insane…

Ok so the auction estimate was over our budget (by £200,000), but it had only 3/4 of a roof and no back wall (or garden…) so naturally it was unlikely to attract a lot of interest….

…it went for £200,000 over the asking price…

(we didn’t get it…)

To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly.  I needed a house, ideally not one that required a massive amount of work, but in our area I accepted that for our budget it would need some investment.  We searched and searched and it became apparent that we were unlikely to ever be able to afford anything.

The Turk got excited, in massively slightly rougher areas you could buy a house cheaply.  If we bought one and converted it into flats we could make a FORTUNE!

I didn’t want to live in a different area.  But I agreed to look (because, as you may have gathered, I’m incredibly reasonable 😉 ) and I found the most amazing house…again it wasn’t really habitable, and it was pretty far from a tube in zone 3 (literally the middle of nowhere in London terms) but I thought it was fab.  It fell through…

*sigh* I was getting rather bored of looking by this point, and looking around Haringey was getting rather expensive in terms of parking tickets (I lived in Islington for 7 years and didn’t get a ticket once, we had 7 while we were looking for a house in Haringey, most of which were successfully appealed but it was a massive waste of time).  Eventually we found a house, it was 5 minutes to a tube, pretty run down, but with amazing potential.

Then came the big debate, on the one hand the Turk wanted to convert it into flats, make money, and move on.  I wanted to live in a house.

I became pregnant 2 months after we completed on the house…so I won the argument 🙂

I do wonder sometimes about whether we made the right decision, I’ll post another time about the horrors of renovating, the stress of planning permission and raising a baby in a building site.  On top of everything it’s a complete money pit, badly timed with maternity leave it has sucked all our life savings without being completed.  House prices have risen massively and it’s clear now that had we either invested the sale money differently, or turned this house into flats we would have made a big profit giving us financial stability…but on the other hand I don’t know that those choices would have resulted in us living in a home…

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