I have been a little quiet lately on the blog and on instagram.. there is a reason why, well more than one reason really.. We have all been going through some crazy times for the last 2 years. On top of the pandemic, we sold our house in December, moved in with the in-laws, got extremely busy at work, did quite a bit of studying for my final law exam, Shaun and I both had Covid and the list just goes on. It is now August and here I am to tell you what’s happened and what we’ve been up to..
As you know we sold our house in December, we weren’t planning on selling it last year but again things just kind of happened. The property market went through the roof in the Isle of Man during the pandemic and the valuation we got for the house was just too good to miss out on. The house was never our “forever home” (whatever that means..) and we always knew we would be moving. I didn’t quite expect things to happen so fast and I really didn’t expect to have two mini lockdowns in the Isle of Man in between either!
HOUSE HUNTING DURING THE PANDEMIC
I was looking at estate agents’ websites daily, I knew all the listings by heart.. We didn’t really see many houses we liked. When we bought our first house we thought knew what we wanted to have but at the time we were quite limited due to our budget. Having lived in the house for over 4 years, we realised things we wanted to have in the new house and the things we didn’t. We knew that although the townhouses and beautiful Victorian builds we absolutely loved, just were not for us. Even if my heart did skip a beat when we saw this amazing Victorian building and the original floors. Sadly all Victorian buildings we could afford had one thing in common, they did not have a garden and parking. The type of Victorian houses that ticked all the boxes sadly just were WAY out of our budget.
The house prices are high in the Isle of Man, but with the pandemic and no Covid for over 7 months in the Isle of Man last year, the prices went through the roof. People from abroad were suddenly moving to the Isle of Man, buying houses at top prices without even viewing them. This made finding a house for a good price even more challenging for us.
We realised that for us it was important to find a detached house with a garden that was a project (of course!!). Having a garden and outdoor space was very important to us, the size of the house was important but not a decider. It is always possible to add on to the house and build an extension to make it bigger, but you can’t really add on the garden and outdoor space if you don’t have it. Search criterion got even smaller now!!
We had a couple of viewings and went to view a beautiful Victorian semi detached house which was converted into 2 flats just before the third lockdown in March (lockdowns in the Isle of Man were very different to UK, we had a mini lockdown in January for 3 weeks and 3rd lockdown lasted 5 weeks in March). The house was nice but needed a lot of work (which is not a problem for us), but it did have major damp issues throughout the house and the garden was tiny.. Sadly, it had to be a no from us.
As we were chatting to the estate agent, he said that there was a house coming up on the market, which had belonged in the same family for years and was definitely a project. Apparently the house had not been touched in years and was like stepping back in time. Shaun and I both knew this was definitely going to be a contender!! He told us the house wasn’t on the market yet but did gave us a hint where it was, if we wanted to have a look at it from the outside. The house was vacant and no one had been living there for the last 6 months. He said, to look for a house with the yellow door.
Of course we went round to have a sneaky look… and we didn’t hate it….
As the weeks went on, the lockdown meant there were no viewings. We received the sale brochure and both immediately thought – this will be a huge project!!! It was then painstaking waiting game. Our estate agent was brilliant and although after a few weeks the trades were allowed in the houses to carry out works, the vendors didn’t want anyone viewing the house, so our estate agent did a video tour for us. He wasn’t lying when he said the house was a project.. but we were excited and as soon as the lockdown was lifted, we made an appointment to view the house.. Sadly, there was huge interest and on the first day alone there were over 20 viewings! We were the first ones to view it!
THE HOUSE WITH THE YELLOW DOOR
The house had 4 bedrooms and 2 sitting rooms with one small bathroom and a separate toilet, the kitchen was pretty small too, but as with the other house we were already making plans in our heads on what could be achieved. We saw how much potential the house with the yellow door had.
I will not lie, it needed a lot of work, there was damp on the walls, cracks, woodworm, asbestos in the wall panelling, paint on facias was coming off, wallpaper peeling, pin mould in the eaves, wonky pipes, the list goes on.. But we both really loved it as we could see how much potential it had.
The garden.. what can I say the garden had me as soon as I walked out. It was perfect, with a small parcel of land at the back that looked like a hidden garden, which I have since renamed “the Secret Garden”.
We left the house and for the first time in ages we both agreed that this house would be too good to miss out on, despite all the dodgy carpets, asbestos and mould!
That afternoon, we put our offer in!
To be continued….
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