Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Return to the old obsession

I haven't been able to blog recently. I've been too busy - eyes peeled to the computer screen every available moment of the day. Damn it all.

Before Christmas, we thought we'd found 'the' house. FR went to look at it one Sunday after we'd spent all day Saturday looking at other houses - which drives the children mad - so he went alone. He liked it very much and we decided to go immediately together the next day. When I first entered it, I thought 'wow' - the right response if you're going to buy a house, in my opinion - I really did like it. We came back and FR made a preliminary offer over the phone, stressing that we needed to get the opinion of an expert as the house is in need of reform and he would be speaking with a surveyor before making any firm offer. The owners - an old man and his wife - are aware that they have a big old house that needs a lot of reform and, as none of their sons are interested in keeping the property and doing the work for themselves, selling is the only real option for them. The man is also realistic enough to know that his potential buyers will be few and far between and so he made all the right, helpful noises about negotiating and making the house available to whoever needed to see it. So we went again later in the week with the children - this time taking tape measures and poking around a bit more.

My second reaction was less 'wow' and more 'omg' as the extent of the work that needed doing on the property began to filter into the more realistic part of my brain (it's just a little part, but it is there.) I could feel my feet going cold where I stood, which was nothing to do with FR saying that all, not part of the roof, would need replacing. FR had been speaking with various people all during the week, only to realise that the sort of survey we wanted is not routinely done in Spain - especially if the sale isn't connected to a mortgage application. Getting a survey was not a straightforward little job! I have decided to leave all that to FR to sort out and he has done. (I'll try that approach more often!)

The children quite liked the house but their enthusiasm has definitely waned about individual places - they just want to know if we are going to buy or not. If not, they switch off immediately. This house is not in Alcala la Real - a change of schools would be necessary if we were to buy it. To give them credit, the children appeared to give this house a good going over and investigated the immediate surroundings - which includes a rather lovely park and the town's Cultural Centre. But...both FR and I felt filled with the fear that it would be a total drain on our limited resources. It could be made lovely - but could we afford to do it?

I decided to resist the temptation to rush ahead ( something I usually do), telling FR I simply wasn't convinced and didn't want to make any further commitment to the place. On top of being financially un-doable, it wasn't in Alcala so the children would have to move school and it didn't have a garden (though the internal patio was really rather nice) and we said that was something we wanted. And then it was Christmas.

And then we came to England, the children and I, and I spent some time describing the house to my sister and I started to like it all over again. And then we came back to Alcala la Real and I fell in love with this place all over again. And now I've started searching the internet for properties as if I had never done it before. Obsessively typing searches into Google in both English and Spanish to try and find a new site, a never-before visited page. No time to blog, no time to think.

And today, I decided to do something else and read some blogs for the first time in a while. I had the lovely discovery that I've been given another award - than you Ayak! I shall get on with that very shortly. And in reading other people's blogs, I began thinking about writing my own again. And now I think I might have just managed to break my obsessive househunting cycle by writing about it. One of the first rules, isn't it - admit your problem and desire to stop. I admit, I am addicted to looking at houses on the internet. And I want to stop. I am going to stop and my blog and the world of blogging is going to help me.

I hadn't wanted to blog about the house we'd seen - it felt like tempting fate. I looked the other way and didn't talk about it as I was not sure what I really thought. I've come back from England feeling that this house is a good option for us despite the negatives already mentioned. It's big; it has a lot of potential to make into a beautiful family home with the potential for more options; it is very accessible to Granada where there will be more possibilities for FR; it's in another family-friendly town with lots of amenities for growing children. It is a good place to live if you have three with varied and different interests; it has schools and shops and public transport and the house is central with a garage and good access.

We have now put in an offer that we could afford. We don't know if it will be accepted or not. We should know in a few more days. There is nothing else I can do now apart from wait for the owner's answer. Looking at more houses won't improve our chances of buying this one. I am now familiar with just about every property for sale within a 50km radius and know that there is nothing else I want to look at just now.

And so I'm off to knit a cowl/scarf for Romy from some lovely alpaca wool I have and I promise that next time I blog, I will show it to you as prove of having my obsession back under control. And if our offer is accepted - I'll tell you that too!


  1. Hello Annie:
    Oh how well we identify with all of this. The love of a house which may lead to ruin, but the romance of it all is so beguiling. In the end,one has to believe that what will be, will be.You have been sensible in making an offer which you can afford but must, perhaps, be strong enough to walk away if the offer is not enough. Peace of mind is worth more in the long run.

  2. So that's what's been on your mind and drying up the well of blogging inspiration, Annie! No wonder you couldn't think of other things. I know just what you mean about becoming obsessed when it's something you really long for - a home of your own.

    Happy knitting while you wait to see if your offer will be accepted. So sensible to set a realistic figure and be willing to walk away if necessary. sensible - but not easy to do. Fingers crossed for you..... Pxx

  3. No wonder you couldn't blog! Fingers crossed for you - I always feel that things turn out for the best. My great grandfather had a saying that is often repeated in our family 'What is for you won't go by you'. A crafting project is exactly what is needed to help calm the nerves! x

  4. I have been struggling to find a way to leave a comment - on my own blog! How ridiculous. Anyway, whilst it was a more long-winded way than usual, I hope this will now be visible. And rather than risk it not appearing again - this comment is a sort of virtual 'group hug' to everyone who has kindly left me comments recently.

    Specifically, thank you - Jane and Lance, yes, I know you know. It does help to draw on the experience of others so thank you so much for your kind comments.

    And Perpetua - as always, your words are generous, considered and hit the spot just right. Thank you.

  5. Just testing - and to add my thanks to Karen, who managed to sneak on and leave a comment whilst I was making my own! Axxx

  6. Annie, your commenting problems may well be down to the brand-new threaded comment system, which has a LOT of bugs in it. For the moment, if you were to change to the Pop-Up comment form that Jane and Lance use or the Full-Page one I prefer, you would be able to comment without difficulty. You just need to go into the Settings/Comments bit of your dashboard and change from embedded, which is what you use and which has just been changed to the threaded system, to one of the other two.

    Hope you don't mind me butting in like this....

  7. Oh, thank you Perpetua - no butting in but I am certainly showing my laziness these days. Can you believe I was an Information Manager in a previous life? Nowadays, if something doesn't go quite right with the computer or my blogging pages, I just ignore them and hope they'll go away. I will be more proactive in future - but thank you so much. I'm back in engaged mode and may be doing a bit of tidying up in the near future!

  8. You're welcome, Annie. Your life is busy and mine isn't, so glad to help.
    P xx

  9. And now, Perpetua, I've done a bit of a make-over job. It has been a bit haphazard. My lipstick may be smudged and I may have mascara on my eyelids, but now I've put a bit of slap on I am feeling better!

  10. I like it, Annie. You're ready now to face the world. :-)) I wanted to do the same with my blog but DH threw a wobbly and said he likes it as it is, so I just tweaked a few colours.

  11. Ah, the perils of moving house! In my family we have a saying ... Leap and the net will appear!

    Fingers crossed your offer is accepted x


I welcome your comments - it makes blogging even more fun to know someone is reading!