March, 2015

Living in a two-bed bungalow in the UK Midlands, in 2013 we (Dawn and Muz) decided we needed more room - and stairs - and idly started looking for a new house.

We obsessed for months about a brand new estate development beside a country park just down the road, because we loved the location, but as it was still in the consultation stage we would have had to wait for ages. During that time we started looking at alternatives, and as our tastes developed we went from viewing regular 3/4-bed bland, bog-standard, square and boring detached houses on heavily-populated modern estates all the way to the crumbling shell of a Georgian windmill in the middle of nowhere that wasn't even for sale. We decided to rein it in a little bit and spotted a quirky-but-tired Victorian former gamekeeper's lodge and, after hating it on the first visit, ended up obsessing about that instead. But our asking-price offer went to best and final offers... and we were pipped at the post.
Crushed, we went back to Square One and on New Year's Day 2015 we spotted a gorgeous 17th century Listed water mill next to its own waterfall! Our offer was accepted on that, but a specialist period property survey revealed that it was in terrible condition and literally about to fall into the river - so that was our next blow, made worse by the fact that the council wasn't interested in the inappropriate and "illegal" work (so said our surveyor) that had been done to it. Pity the poor people who buy it if they don't do their homework first...

And then on the same day The Mill fell through, guess what?
The sale of The Lodge collapsed and we were given a second bite of the cherry five months after the first. Our offer was accepted and here we are.
Meanwhile, ironically, the first houses on the new country park estate down the road are just about to open as showhomes. Boooooooring...

This blog is mainly for us to track our progress, but if you're working on your own similar project, who knows - you might learn something from our experiences and/or mistakes... but make sure you read our disclaimer at the bottom of the page first, okay?

For inadvertently steering us towards older properties in need of heaps of work we have to lay blame at the door of our good friends who are currently blogging about their own project at Renovating an Old Stone Cottage. It's a great read, so please take a look.

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