The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161248   Message #3847348
Posted By: Charmion
29-Mar-17 - 09:16 AM
Thread Name: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
Subject: RE: Declutter & Fitness -2017- Clearing Out the House
I did not buy the house in Stratford.

It's a darn good thing we aren't forced to base this decision on what we see in the real estate agent's photographs, for the house that looked so appealing on the Internet was far less so in real life. It has been ruthlessly renovated and expanded, so much so that it is now well-nigh impossible to distinguish the additions from the original structure without a structural plan. No such documentation was on offer.

Complicating the situation was an urgency imposed by the Stratford agent's revelation that another buyer was forcing her hand, demanding to be allowed to make an offer on the property immediately. She fetched me from the train directly to the house at eight o'clock in the evening, saying that the other guy's offer would go in at nine-thirty pm, if you please.

The first thing that struck me was the plethora of windows and doors -- four exterior doors at ground level, to be precise, and too many windows to count. A real treat for the enterprising burglar, especially in the absence of an alarm system. With all those windows, and some rather oddly placed radiators, the house has almost nowhere to put bookcases, an item with which we are excessively endowed. Incidentally, the current occupant apparently doesn't read much; I saw only a selection of large art books that looked more like decor than literature.

It was the basement rec room that blew the deal, however. Nothing of substance has been done to improve it since about 1965. Vinyl wall and floor coverings showing signs of damp where no damp should be -- thumbs down for me, since that was the only space large and unencumbered enough to accommodate the books, and both our desks.

Hi ho, hi ho, back to the drawing board I went. The real estate agent took me to see four more houses, including a high-Victorian rectory so neglected as to seem vandalized, and I spent a profitable two hours at the offices of the developer building Stratford's first major subdivision. Unless something fairly dramatic happens in the next few days, that subdivision looks like our next destination.

Dorothy -- I feel for you. There's nothing like the cabin fever of late winter when you have a leg in plaster (or even 21st-century removable plastic) and you dread what can happen in any venture outside your bedroom. As you gain strength, you will feel amazed at how weak you felt, and how strong you are beginning to feel. If only it didn't take so long!