The New House – The Small Bedroom

Right, its time to start showing you all around the new gaff! I am afraid that I am going to start the tour with probably the least interesting room in the house – the smallest bedroom!

I must also apologise for the quality of my photos. The reason why my photos have not been so great lately* is because my computer set up has changed recently (Rob sold his spare Mac), and as I am lazy, I have been using my mobile for the photos on here because I CBA to upload photos from the DSLR onto my little cheapo Chromebook. Blogging so much easier on a Mac! Plus I cannot edit my photos any more because you have to pay to use Picmonkey now. Boo!

Anyway, thats my excuses for my shoddy blogging over and done with! Let me show you around the room and talk about our plans for it.This room will be Robs home office, that is until funds allow us to buy him a fancy pants garden office in a few years time (fingers crossed!) The furniture is on order from Ikea, and at the moment, the room is just a jumble of cables and IT equipment. imageThe stairs come out into this room, and the previous owner of the house cleverly built a raised platform over them with storage underneath it. We are keeping this and the flooring in here, and plan to paint the room in a light grey colour, put some frosted film on the bottom half of the window (to give Rob a little privacy) and maybe change the curtains for a blind.

Once we have made these changes I will post a full room tour and do a proper before and after. In the mean time I will show more rooms in their current “just moved into state” and keep you all updated in our goings on as we settle into our new house and the new period of our lives in Devon.

*TBH has anyone noticed?

You Couldn’t Make It Up If You Tried!

post1-v2Yep, this really did happen. The wheel fell off our removal lorry last Friday (the 13th) and shut the M4!! You really couldn’t make it up if you tried!

Laughing and joking aside, thankfully no one was hurt and it didn’t cause a pile up on the motorway. It was just a very long and tiring day for our poor removal guys and will be a good story for Rob and I to tell down the pub in the future!

It was a pretty easy journey to Devon for Rob and I in the van though. We left at 7.30 am with the cat in her carrier tucked between the two front seats (it was like a proper family road trip – very sweet!) During the journey I had a call from the solicitors to say that the money had been transferred and our house was sold. Then towards the end of the journey, I rang the estate agents who we were buying our new house from to check if the keys were ready, and we only had to wait fifteen minutes before picking them up. Oh, and I also had a phone call from the removal company to say that they were running a couple of hours behind (little did we know!) It was like everything was going to plan and seemed almost too good to be true!

A photo posted by @helshelshels on

We got into our new house at 2.30 pm and after texting our friends and family the good news, one of our friends phoned Rob up saying that he had seen on Twitter that a removal lorry on its way to Devon had lost its wheel and shut the M4 and was it ours by any chance?

We got him to send us the link, and yep, it was ours alright!

Of course we found it funny – what else can you do but laugh! And we gave the rest of our friends a laugh about it via social media! I still cannot believe that our house move managed to shut the blooming M4! Talk about letting the west country know that we are on our way and causing carnage!!!!

Once again, thankfully no harm was done (except for thousands of delayed journeys!) It turned out that although the removal lorry had just recently passed its MOT, one of its tires blew out and caused another wheel to fall off. The removal guys only noticed it rolling down the motorway in front of them in a perfect straight line, because the driver of the car in front of them did the sensible thing by flashing its hazzard lights and slowing down gradually so that they could safely stop.

The British transport police had to shut the motorway because the lorry was too large to tow away for its repairs (we had a full size lorry towing a blooming trailer with the Beetle in it!) Eventually they made it to us at around 7.30 pm and with Robs help they finished unloading the lorry at 11.30 pm. The poor guys, they left at 6.00 am! I just sat in the smallest bedroom with the cat going apes**t watching them, being helpful as ever, me!!!bug goes to Devon

Some More Moving Talk! I Promise This Will Be The Last Post!

We have exchanged contracts and we are now officially moving to North Devon! Whoop!

So when are you moving? I hear you ask. Welp, we are moving only blooming moving on Friday the 13th of May!!

Due to work commitments, that was the best date for us. Unfortunately it buggers up my plans to visit my family on the Isle of Wight the following week for my birthday – because we cannot leave the cat on her own in a strange house with just a litter tray for company! But right now, I am just grateful that we finally have a date.

And no, I do not think that moving on Friday the 13th is unlucky. Its an old wives tale and I am not superstitious at all….Nope, not at all!*

Anyway, I thought I would waffle on a bit more about why we are moving and talk about the new house and I promise that this will be my last post about moving. Honest!

Its funny really, this time last year we were pretty settled in our house and we were still making future plans around it. But then, life has a funny way of  proving you wrong!

After our holiday last August we fell hook line and sinker for North Devon and the lifestyle it offered. Ok, we were on holiday, so of course we felt more relaxed. But all the while we were away, a fair degree of normal life went on because we still had to work (Rob is self employed and runs a business, so he has to be available 24/7 and I had to do a few things online), do food shops, cook and exercise etc. But what a place to do it all in! North Devon is a beaut, offering acres of National Trust protected land, stunning beaches and plenty of outdoor pursuits. We just couldn’t get the area out of our heads!

In January this year, spurred on by the families decision to move away, we decided to just go for it. Our decision to move is probably the most impulsive thing that we have ever done, but it just feels like the right thing to do at this stage of our lives. We have been back to the area a few times since last August and have researched the hell out of it online (Rob was #obsessed at one point!) so we will not be going in completely blind. Slightly blind, but not completely blind!!!

One of our biggest goals from this move was to release some of the equity from our house, buying a cheaper place (downsizing a little) in order to purchase one of those fancy garden offices for Rob. After 10 years of him working from home, its now time for a better work/life balance and to separate work from home. Sometimes Rob does not leave the house for days, so just stepping out of the back door into the garden would make a huge difference. Plus he needs to be able to switch off at the end of the day.

We did indeed find a house at the right price, in our preferred location that met our requirements (i.e it was nice and within our budget – we are not that fussy TBH!) The house needed a new kitchen, bathroom and decorating through out, but we were expecting that and we were prepared to do it all over again. Plus it had solar panels! The inner hippie in me was so excited about having solar panels and lower energy bills!! But unfortunately, after accepting our offer, a few weeks later the home owners took their house off the market and we had to find another place.

I know and fully understand their reasons for doing so and its not my place to discuss why on here. Needless to say we were a bit gutted that we had lost that house and had to find another.

So we rushed back down to Devon to find another place, as we were really worried about losing our buyers, and we ended up having a second viewing of a house that we had previously dismissed as it was at the top of our price range. On the second viewing we knew that it was the one. Its a three bedroom house with a garage and in a nice part of the village we wanted. The house doesn’t have solar panels, nor will we have any money freed up to buy a garden office, so Rob will continue working from a bedroom. But it doesn’t need any work done to it.

And I cannot tell you enough how pleased I am that it doesn’t need any work done to it!!

It is not 100% to our taste, but we can live with it. In time we will make subtle changes like changing wall colours and the tiles in the kitchen etc. But for now, we can just move straight in and get on with things. It is such a relief being able to move to a new area and to concentrate on settling in, making new friends (I hope!) and getting on with our lives.

Rob is brilliant at DIY and we have done a good job fixing up this house (if I say so myself!) but our current house has been such a chore to fix up. Its so hard to find the energy and enthusiasm to decorate when we work long hours. In our first house we enjoyed doing the decorating, going to Ikea and feeling like grown ups in DIY stores, but the novelty soon wore off for our second house! These days we want to spend our money and precious spare time doing more fun things like surfing, cycling and camping trips, not decorating!

The new house is smaller than our current house, but we are not bothered about that. Plus we have managed to transfer our current mortgage over, so we haven’t had to borrow any more money for it!** It is a 1960’s/1970’s house on a small estate, with nice big windows (which was on my wish list as I wanted a nice light and airy place), lots of storage, a smaller garden and IT DOESN’T NEED ANY WORK!!!!

In a few weeks I will share some photos and our future plans for it. I also hope to do lots of posts about exploring our new area. But who knows though as photography is not my forte and I am a lazy blogger!

Gah its so photogenic here #pleasecanimovehere

A photo posted by @helshelshels on

*TBH I have never had anything bad happen on a Friday the 13th. So I do not give a **** about the date! What’s the worst that could happen? We break down on route and the cat pees herself in her carrier in the car? Been there done that! It happened last time we moved, no biggie!

**A life goal of ours is to pay off the mortgage early. I don’t know if we will be able to, but not increasing it and keeping our monthly outgoings the same is a step in the right direction. And blimey, Am I adulting hard lately talking about this kind of stuff on my blog or what?!!!

We Are Still In Kent

If anyone was wondering, we still have not moved. We have not even exchanged contracts yet.

Rob and I had a really bad experience when we moved six years ago* and this time we were hoping that things would go smoother. We were pretty chilled out back in January when we started the selling process – fast forward to mid April and I am emailing our buyers, calling estate agents, responding to our buyers solicitor (who is an absolute nightmare to deal with) via our solicitor on a daily basis. I have broken out in cold sores below my eye (WTF?), cheek and nostril area. They don’t call them fever blisters for nothing!** I mean, how am I supposed to carry with on my international supermodel career with them on my face!!

Anyhoo, fingers crossed things will be wrapped up by the end of the month. If not, and it turns out that our buyers are wasting our time (like we are starting to suspect), then the house will go back on the market and we will start all over again!

This is how things are looking in our place right now!

Before. After trying and failing to sale our larger sofa on Gumtree we took it to the tip. We are just taking the smaller sofa and we eventually buy a new one.

Above before. After trying and failing to sell our larger sofa on Gumtree we took it to the tip. We are just taking the smaller sofa with us and we will eventually buy a new one for the future new house.


Above how things currently look. The cat would not shift her bum, she is not usually allowed to go in the lounge during the day!

The lounge before again.

Above the lounge before again.


We now have two huge (empty) bike boxes that our local bike shop let Rob take from their recycling in our lounge!

How things used to look in the dining room.

Above, how things used to look in the dining room.


And how our dining room looks now.



And finally, a glimpse into a room that I have not really shared on here, our third bedroom.  Over the years this room has been used as an oversized cupboard/dumping ground. We did eventually paint it white, buy some new curtains for it and carpet it. It is still being used as a oversized cupboard/dumping ground.

The spare bedroom. Pretty uninspiring stuff, eh!


*Last time we moved we were trying to buy another house on our estate. It took us over six months to find out that the seller was facing repossession and had no intention of selling us their house. All the time they had a buyer the bank would not take their house to recoup their debt. They were just using us to buy themselves some extra time. From the start we were lied to by estate agents, solicitors and the seller. Because of the delays we lost our first buyer on our house and over £700 in legal fees and surveys. I have a small amount of sympathy towards the seller and their financial problems, but they should not have dragged us into their sorry mess and wasted our time and money. As far as I am concerned they robbed me and still owe me £700! Anyway after almost a year of being packed up and ready to move, we managed to find another buyer (first time buyers rather than a investor like before which I was pleased about!) and eventually move to our current house.

 **I rarely suffer from cold sores and I only tend to get them every two years or so when I am under some serious stress (and its always when I move or am unsettled at work!) I think its because we are still battle scarred from our last move and we are nervous that things are going to fall through again! But if it does, it does. We got over it before and we will get over it again. Plus we have survived worse!

More Moving Talk

Its funny how things go, isn’t it.

About six months ago, I looked at the cushions on our sofas and thought to myself “these are looking a bit tatty. Next pay day I am going to treat myself to some new cushions”.

But then I decided that it was time to buy some new sofas. After all, they are now eleven years old and the larger sofa has become so worn down, that it is now uncomfortable to sit on.

So I put off buying some new cushions until I got some new sofas.

But then, I (or rather we) decided that I wanted to move house, so the new sofas were also put on hold.

So I have gone from buying new cushions, to buying a new sofa, to buying a new house!!!

……I should have just bought some new cushions really, it would have been a lot easier and much cheaper!!

Normally Rob and I journey through life and make subtle changes at a much slower pace! In thirteen years we have gone from renting, to living in our first house in Chatham that we bought together for five years, to living in our second house in Maidstone for six years, to living in in our third house (hopefully – we are not there yet!) in a village in north Devon!

Boom! There is my big reveal – we are moving to Devon! More details coming soon!

Yep, its going to be a big change and I do think that living somewhere semi-rural will be a huge culture shock for me. I am the ultimate townie after all!

When we lived in Chatham I sometimes had to step over smackheads on my way home from work (true story), we had a burnt out car down our road (not ours thank goodness) and the front of our house was graffitied.

Apart from that, living there was fine! We got out of the town alive (!) and the only real side effect is that my (slightly chavvie) accent has become even more pronounced and we both swear now more than ever. Oh, that and the fact that nothing shocks me anymore!

After that, living in Maidstone, on a so called rough estate for six years has been lovely. I genuinely like the area and the people who live here (well most of them anyway). I feel part of the community (because everyone knows everyone) and I talk to lots of people in passing. That is one thing that I will miss. Plus we have had no trouble living here. Well, apart from once when the tires were slashed on the Beetle on our driveway. But unfortunately that kind of thing can happen anywhere, even in the most well to do parts of the world (and even in semi-rural villages in Devon!)

Living in our new village (wow, I feel so posh saying village!!) will be strange and different. We found it odd that everyone leaves their bikes out unlocked and their garage doors wide open! It will be years before we become that trusting – if we ever will be! Personally I do not think that I will ever be that laid back about my possessions and security. You can take boy and girl out of Chatham/Maidstone but you can’t take the Chatham/Maidstone out of the boy and girl, eh!!

Also, we are so unused to people being polite that we didn’t realise that people were letting us pass on the pavement and moving out of the way for us! Manners are so rare in Kent these days, as everybody is going about their business in such a hurry and nobody has no time for anyone else. But to us this is the norm, and its going to take a while to get used to people being more considerate.

Unless we have been lucky on our visits so far and we still have our rose tinted glasses on, eh!

Who knows really? However the west country is famed for its slower, laid back pace of life, and I for one am looking forward to finding out if this is really the case!

Wish us luck and keep your fingers crossed that everything goes through OK, as we still have not exchanged contracts yet and it could all go tits up for us! But I have decided to talk about things on here now as everyone IRL knows where we are going and there really is no point in hiding it online (not that there was before anyway! It was just me being silly and ultra superstitious and scared of things going wrong!)

Pyrex Stuff That Is Not Pyrex

I want to share a few Pyrex bits and bobs that I have accumulated over the years.

First up is this old American magazine advert that I bought cheap off Ebay, which I have framed (badly), and displayed in the kitchen. I love it because Pyrex really is a joy for “fixing, mixing, cooking, serving and storing!”


Please excuse the slightly blurry pic!

Next up is this tea towel, which I also bought for a couple of quid on Ebay. 
And finally, this wonderful leaflet from 1962. Its a recipe booklet/info leaflet, and is much nicer than the boiled brains and regional offal in this Pyrex booklet that I shared here!image

My Kent Bucket List

Its official – my time living in Kent is nearly over! We have now found a house and hopefully will be moving in a few months, fingers crossed!

If anyone new is reading my blog right now (anyone???…*tumbleweeds*) – my parents and sister are relocating to the Isle of Wight, and Rob and I are hoping to move to a different part of the country soon. (I promise that I will reveal where we are moving to in an upcoming post. I just don’t want count my chickens before they hatch etc! Not that anyone is sitting on the edge of their seats dying to know, but hey ho!!)

So while I am not exactly sad to leave, I am a sentimental person. (Although I am trying to stop that, because sentimentality stops you from letting go and doing new things!) Kent is not a bad place to live and it has a lot to offer. I have made the most of living here for 35 years and have seen and done plenty. There will be places that I miss, but I have the memories. For instance, I will miss parts of the coastline as I have good memories of staying with my grandparents who lived in the Thanet area when I was a kid, and I enjoy seaside day trips with Rob and my family. But my grandparents are gone, and soon my family will no longer be in Kent. So its time to make some new memories in different parts of the country.

I am a going to write a list of things that I want to do in the county before I leave. Some will be silly, sentimental stuff, some will be things that I have never done before, some will be very geeky and most will be very mundane and boring.

To be honest, I will probably never get round to doing them because of a lack of free time due to working and packing and lack of funds etc. But if I write them down here it might encourage Rob to take me out for an afternoon and then we can go for a nice drive in the camper!

Visit the coast – I am not too worried about going to Whistable before I leave (done it to death), but going back to Westgate where my grandparents lived in the 80’s is a must.

Beach huts at Westgate

A photo posted by @helshelshels on

Go to the American diner in Sevenoaks – We know a lot of VW owners and there has been talk for years of the VW crowd organising a convoy down there to one of the classic car events that they hold. I would also like to do this because I will get to eat a great big greasy fat chicken or veggie burger (I will travel miles for a good burger!) If we cannot organise this in time with our VW friends, then I would like to go with my nephews. Its right up their street. And mine TBH, because I am a big kid when it comes to American diners!

Go to New Ash Green and take some photos of the Span housing – Because I am a big geek when it comes to mid century architecture. And you never know, I might even be able to squeeze a blog post out of the trip!

Visit Rochester – Its been a while. In fact, in the 6 years since we moved from Chatham to Maidstone, I have only been back there once! Because it is such a s**thole, after we moved I said that I never want to go back to the Medway area ever again! But Rochester is nice, and it has improved since we moved (which was in the middle of the recession). The town has a bit of history, nice coffee shops and a good second hand bookshop, so its worth me taking a bus trip over there on a day off. Plus, I want to wander around Chatham high street to remind myself exactly why we are moving!! And it would be nice to have a nosey at my old house before I leave. What can I say, I am a sentimental old so and so!

Rochester on a sunny winter Sunday

A photo posted by @helshelshels on

Visit Canterbury – Again, its been years since I last visited.

Climb up the North downs to Thurnham Castle – We love this walk/climb. But its been off the agenda over winter because of the mud. I am not afraid of a muddy walk, but mud and steep, steep hills are not a good mix. Think Glastonbury crossed with Mount Everest. I feared for my life the last time we did this walk!

Visit Rye – Because its nice. And again, its been a while……I really don’t get out much do I?

Up To The Table!

I have a new mid century obsession! And much like my interest in Aussie MCM, its one that requires a little bit of effort on my part to research it….

….And by effort, I mean that I need to do a bit more Googling than usual as there is no Wikipedia page on the subject that I am currently fixated with.

Anyway, my latest MCM obsession is Arkana furniture!

Anyone heard of it?

Not me, until recently anyway!

Let me explain how this all started. I was googling how much an Eero Saarinen Tulip table would cost. I have always liked the look of them and quite fancy one myself. Designed around 1955 these stylish tables and chairs are associated with the 60’s space age era and a design classic.

Eero Saarinen tulip table and chairs. Image from

Eero Saarinen tulip table and chairs. Image from

Eero Saarinen tulip table and chairs. Image from

Eero Saarinen tulip table and chairs. Image from

Obviously I cannot afford a vintage or current Tulip table made by a licensed manufacturer, so a knock off cheap and nasty, plastic, reproduction would be my only option.

But then I came across various Arkana dining tables and chairs listed on Ebay. From what I can gather, it seems that Arkana were a British manufacturer in the 1960’s and 1970’s that basically ripped off Saarinen’s Tulip designs. So there is a chance that I might be able to afford a genuine knock-off vintage piece from the era!

Image from

Arkana table and chairs. Image from

Arkana table and chairs. Image from

Arkana table and chairs. Image from

Now I don’t condone copying in any shape or form, especially when it comes to MCM design* – has anyone else noticed the amount of fugly chairs out there with Eames shells, but with different legs?  Yuck! Just no really, please stop messing with perfection!

But for some reason this furniture does not offend me. Maybe its because its British (the factory was in Falkirk, Scotland and the head office in Bath) and was designed by someone called Maurice Burke? I mean, can you get a more British and seventies and un-designer-like sounding name than Maurice Burke?!!

Or maybe its because Arkana seem to be a bit of an underdog in the history of MCM British furniture design that have been almost forgotten about?

To be honest, I think I slightly prefer the four legged look of the Arkana Tulip chairs rather than the original Saarrinen designed Tulip base. But that’s just me. And I do love both designs!

For now, this post contains all the information that I can find on the company and its pieces. I am guessing that back in the day they made relatively high end, expensive furniture. My guess was made only because not a lot of people owned their pieces (or rather, there is is not a lot of it around today) and Arkana are not as well known as other furniture manufacturers of the same era, like G Plan or Ercol.

What pieces I have found on the internet are pretty swish. They are of the era and they scream 1960’s/1970’s, but thats what I love about them. You can just imagine people sitting around them in polo necks, with huge framed glasses, interesting facial hair, eating fondue and talking rubbish drinking mass produced cheap white wine all night long. And doing the same thing back in the 70’s too! Boom boom!!!**

Image from Pinterest via

Image from Pinterest via

Also designed by Maurice Burke in the 60’s is the Mushroom table and chairs. Which I was not super keen on at first, but it has grown on me more and more. A bit like a fungi. (Sorry, I couldn’t stop myself!)

Image from

Image from

Image from Pinterest (sorry not sure of original source)

Image from Pinterest (sorry not sure of original source)

Image from

Image from

And we have the Safari or Chelsea chair.

Image from

Image from

We also have this chair designed by Geoffrey Harcourt and manufactured by Arkana in the 70’s. Not to my taste, but I can appreciate its design appeal and retro factor.

Image from

Image from

P.S I consulted my collection of MCM design books and the only mention of Maurice Burke or Arkana that I could find was a credit in a photo for the table top in a home tour on page 501 in Mid Century Modern Complete by Dominic Bradbury.

P.P.S I found a Facebook appreciation page with a grand total of 47 likes!

*I will make an exception for pretty milk glass cake stands though!

**Sorry, its far too easy to make fun of hipsters!

Hallway and Landing

I am really trying to not talk on here all the time about moving and house prices.

Oops – too late!

You try not to, but you do end up getting a little obsessed with it all, and it does kind of take over your lives. So I do apologise if I am being boring and repeating myself.

Although you could argue that being boring and repeating myself is my trademark niche in the blogging world haha!!!

Anyway, before we leave this house (which we have sold, but probably will not leave for a while as these things tend to take an age) I thought that I had better share some pictures of the rest of the work we have done.

Please forgive me for the quality of the photos. I had to use my crappy little bridge camera as Rob is out today and has taken his DSLR with him. So dark and grainy is what you are getting today. But not in all the before photos taken by Rob!!

Below is our upstairs landing and hallway. We painted it white, replaced the stair spindles, skirting boards, door frames, put new flooring down and carpeted it last year (around August/September or May time? I cannot remember?) and then finally started to hang some of our prints that had been patiently waiting to be hung for many years, in my much hoped for and planned stairway gallery.

We then decided to move and had to put a lid on the gallery, so that was the end of that!

Here are some photos of the upstairs landing and hallway when we were carrying out the work on it –

In the middle of paint stripping hell here (for Rob not me)

In the midst of paint stripping hell here

The good news was that the house still had its original 1950’s bannisters and spindles. The bad new was that there were a few missing and what remained were so damaged that they needed replacing. We used the nearest sized pieces of wood that we could find in the DIY stores (a few mm out from the originals – another reason why we replaced them all) and kept the original clean, simple look rather than use something more more Victorian-esq and ornate.

And we still need to give them another coat of gloss paint, but never mind that!stairs b4

The old carpet

The old carpet

The cat did use this as a short cut once or twice, but she is lazy and doesn't like to do any jumping and normal cat stuff too often!

The cat did use this as a short cut once or twice, but she is lazy and doesn’t like to do any jumping and normal cat stuff if she can help it!

And crappy skirting

The crappy skirting

more deets

More details

I am lucky that Rob is so good at DIY. He has his uses!

I am lucky that Rob is so good at DIY. He has his uses!

stairs 1stairs 2stairs 3stairs 4

With the replaced banisters

With the replaced spindles

And after the new flooring was fitted

And after the new flooring was fitted

Right thats enough photos of the DIY. Im sure you can appreciate that it was a dusty, messy process that was expensive and took blooming ages (tell me – why are we moving and doing all this again?!!) Here are how things look right now, or at least on a grey January day through the lens of a crappy camera.

A stairway to heaven?

A stairway to heaven? New spindles, carpet and my Hornsea plant pots on the window sill.

What prints we have hung and our lampshade

What prints we have hung and our bright orange lampshade which we are leaving behind (sob).

This is the worst photo ever. Even for me.

This is the worst photo ever. Even for me.

This one aint much better!

This one aint much better! And here is our lime green retro lampshade that we are also leaving behind (sob).

Here is our hallway. We are not replacing the crappy interior doors because, guess what? We are moving! I think that I might have mentioned before that we are moving one or twice? Maybe?

Here is our hallway. We are not replacing the crappy interior doors because, guess what? We are moving! I think that I might have mentioned once or twice before that we are moving? ….Maybe? But the good thing is that we are leaving them behind for the new owners!

I think that I might get Rob to take some fresh photos for me and update this post at some point in the future, so do check back! But for now these will have to do. Sorry again about that.

Moving On Up Now?

I am afraid that this post will be the blog equivalent of a middle class dinner party because I am going to talk a lot about property prices and how much money we have potentially made on our house. And I really do apologise about that. Sorry.

I know its more than a bit tacky to talk about this kind of stuff. Especially at dinner parties online to a bunch of strangers. So sorry again.

But I am not going to brag about monetary things. In fact, I am more than a little uncomfortable about how things stand right now, and I need to get a few things off my chest and do a thoughts dump type of post on here. So once again, sorry about that!

Let me be blunt – if and when we sell our house we will make a huge profit. For some reason in our town (and indeed in the rest of the UK) the property market is booming and prices are rising faster than the speed of light.

We were (optimistically) expecting our house to be valued for 30k less than what we are (hopefully) selling it for. One estate agent even insisted that we market it for 15k more than what we have listed it for! Bless him, he kind of looked at us both in disbelief when I said to him “but we don’t want to rip anyone off ” and Rob said “how are first time buyers supposed to get on the property ladder these days?”

Estate agents do get a bad rep, don’t they? To be fair, they don’t do a lot and they insist on driving the property prices up. When they came round to value our place, they all sat down and talked us through what prices other properties on our estate had recently sold for (basically pulling all their information off of Right Move and doing the same research as Rob and I!!) and then adding 15k to the price.

That is their formula. That is how they work. And that is why prices keep going up and up. And its not right really, is it?

I know that there are other factors involved, like buy to let investors, property developers, the fact that we are a crowded small island and the supply and demand etc. But I think that property prices are stupid and I am not happy with how much ours is potentially worth.

I have to tell myself that it is not real money, that it is just Monopoly money really. It is not money that we have earned, it is just a figure on a piece of paper that is in complete contrast to how many £££’s we actually have left to pay back on our mortgage. And if property prices do fall again, which I reckon they will eventually, as long as I am paying below the current going rental rate for the equivalent of my home, then I will not sweat it. In fact, I actually hope prices do fall or level out so that more first time buyers have a fighting chance.

Although saying that, if I wanted to move during a down period, I might be a bit screwed!

At the end of the day my house is a home, not an investment. But we need to get the full market value in order to buy another silly overpriced property to become our new home. We have both worked hard, saved hard and missed out on lots of things to buy (and to keep paying monthly for) this property. But the same can be said for renters. They work hard and scrimp and save to pay their rent and bills each month too.

I wish I had the intelligence to explore this subject deeper, but I will round this post up and leave things as they are for now. After all, who knows what is going to happen in regards to house prices in the future? Will the homebuyers ISA and building more homes really make any difference?

….And I guess thats why property prices are always a hot topic at dinner parties!!!