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!!!

Lately #17

Its time for another catch up in handy bullet points!

  • Our house is now up for sale! Email me if you want to see it online and I will send you a link. Or you can just stalk Right Move!
  • Before we had the estate agent round to take the photos for the advertisement, I frantically cleaned the house, and while dusting the bedroom, I noticed that my money plant was looking pretty droopy, so I just prodded it gently and then the bloody thing fell apart! Oh dear, not a good sign on the day that you are putting your house up for sell and relocating!

A photo posted by @helshelshels on

  • The estate agent who took our photos said to me that our house is decorated very nice and “its very retro isn’t it!” – Mission accomplished. My work here is done!
  • I do dry January every year and its actually depressingly easy for me to give up alcohol for one month because I am old and boring and hardly drink at all these days, what with all my clean living and all that (ha!) So to up the challenge I try to give up another indulgence for a whole year. Last year it was Nutella (because of the poor baby Orangutans of course) and I have not touched the stuff since Dec ’14 (go me!) Before that it was wine, which I never really enjoyed anyway – give me a G&T or a beer please! This year I am giving up Diet Coke and Pepsi, because its pretty bad for you and I don’t like the manufacturers ethics etc – and so far so good. I now drink fizzy water if I am out for lunch or in a pub during dry January. Its not the same buzz, but much better for me at the end of the day.
  • My Mum and Dads house has sold. It only took about three weeks to do so, and they have found a nice bungalow in Shanklin to move to. Fingers crossed it goes through OK!
  • Its a shame about Bowie’s passing. Did you know that he spent time in my hometown? And apparently not much has changed since the sixties!

New Year, New Orla Swag!

Im not going to bother with any resolutions this year. 2016 will be all about making changes and moving house. Hopefully anyway!

So this post is not your usual looking forward and here are my new intentions type of early January post. Nope, Im going to buck the current blogland trend and talk about shit I don’t need something that I am looking forward to hitting the shops soon.

I love Orla Kiely and I love the Great British Bake Off. I also love watching the celebs attempt to bake in the Sports Relief Bake Off. (In fact sometimes I kinda prefer the celeb version as its funnier and less competitive?) And it just so happens that two off my favourite things are colliding soon with the new Orla Kiely limited edition range for Sport Relief 2016 available in TK Maxx and Homesense from the 21st January.

Boom! You know that I will be marching into town to get my grubby mitts on these bad boys! Plus I will not feel guilty treating myself because some of the money goes to a good cause!

Images from the Cardiff Times. Click on image for link to source.

Images from the Cardiff Times. Click on image for link to source.

In other related Orla news – she is also launching a range of new enamel cookware. Its not cheap, or practical, and is probably too pretty to use every day – but oh my word, it is blooming gorgeous!

Image from uniqueandunity.co.uk. Click on image for source.

You definitely would not want to use these on a gas burner! Image from uniqueandunity.co.uk. Click on image for source.