So after months of pain and misery I'm finally able to blog from the new home of Rosa, Guinness and I. It's not been an easy ride what with the Scotlands abysmal house-buying rules, the credit crunch and the seller of our flat who I will henceforth refer to as Mad Bitch but we've made it. I've already ranted about the Scottish system and I'm sure we're all aware of current worldwide financial problems but I've kept quiet about Mad Bitch just in case she stumbled across this blog before contracts were swapped and decided to do something to fuck the deal up.
We first saw the flat in early March when we were shown around by what seemed a perfectly nice lassie with a rather cute black cat and a partner who though my t-shirt was cool, clearly a man of taste. We were rather taken by it what with it's massive living room, good-sized bathroom, kitchen that two or three could cook in and a view of where we got married but decided to have a think then get back to them. In between we had a rather fantastic visit to Rosa's auld dears in Portugal and when we cam back we put in an offer which, after a small amount of haggling, was accepted so we merrily went along and arranged for a survey. Now at this point we had to decide what level of survey to go for. You get three levels to choose from; a basic valuation, a proper survey and an incredibly close look at every facet of the building by a highly qualified team of surveyors who got accused of a crime they never committed whilst serving in 'Nam, escaped from a high security stockade and now live in the Los Angeles underground. As George Peppard has cacked it we went for the second option and got some interesting results back.
Whilst the flat was basically worth what we offered there were some worries about damp coming through a couple of the walls and resulting damage to flooring so a timber specialist would have to called in for a wee nosey. Not a problem we answered, best to keep things on the up & up and find out where a'body stands likesay. Henceforth a timber specialist was called in by our people, at no extra charge which was nice, and a date for his inspection agreed, clearly this was going to be an easy straightforward deal. Little did we know.
One of the problems Rosa and I have had with buying a flat has been our availability during the working day. We both work in environments that make it difficult to contact us which made everything quite a lot harder. Poor Rosa ended up having to deal directly with the majority of what follows which was bad mainly because it was hassle she didn't need but also because I'm more of an arsehole who will just say no than she is. Anyway on the day of the inspection we our solicitors contact us to say that whilst the timber specialist was allowed access to the flat the owner had moved here suite over the area he needed to inspect and now refused to move it again to give him access. Now I know what it's like to get you living room just so and mibbee moving the suite might have fucked up her feng shui or something but surely she wanted to sell us the flat. Evidently not.
As discussions went on we discovered that Mad Bitch was moving to England with tasteful in t-shirts lad and really needed to sell her flat but she clearly wasn't that desperate. Her rather embarrassed solicitors had a wee chat with her and she agreed to have the timber specialist have a look. Of course when we start getting to the nitty gritty she starts talking about making the specialist sign forms saying he'll pay for any damage she claims is done and taking photies throughout the process which our very professional tradesman says is not going to happen of course. Finally her solicitors talk to her again and we can get our man in two weeks later. To make things perfect she's in Switzerland during this period so she can't hassle the poor bloke who still isn't getting paid for all this crap.
So finally we get the timber specialist in, he has a good look and we gt our report. Turns out that there is some urgent work needing done to our floor joists and walls and this will cost two grand plus. As this is structural stuff the value of the property also falls by that much meaning we'll have to pay the difference ourselves. We revise our offer to account for this saying that we'll give her the full amount if she pays for the work. Mad Bitch replies saying that she'll go halfies, this doesn't mean she'll pay half the work it means she wants us to give her up to £1500 just because she wants it. Much wrangling with her very embarrassed solicitors ensues and she finally agrees to the lower price so a'hing's set and we can get the mortgage together and move in!
During this period the credit crunch has really set in so when we apply for our perfect mortgage they say yes but offer us a sum that falls a couple of grand short of what we asked for. This isn't a major catastrophe, we just have to go to our second choice who offered us sixty grand more than we wanted, but does cost us a few days. Mad Bitches reaction is, to her solicitors extreme embarrassment, to put the flat back on the market which is irritating to say the least but since she legally has to tell everybody about the work needing done we figured we'd have breathing space.
Anyway finally the money comes through, the documents are ready and we're poised to move in and suddenly Mad Bitch says that since the flat will be worth the initial survey price once the works done can she have the full price please? She actually goes to the extent of having her solicitors contact the timber specialist and ask if he'll give a guarantee that the work would raise the value of the flat to what she wanted, apparently they came across as very very embarrassed. Given that this is the equivalent of asking for an extra twenty grand because we might build an extension in the next five years we told her poor solicitors where to go and finally the Mad Bitch relented and we became home owners.
It's been bloody horrible but sitting here with Guinness laid across the rug and watching kids play in the park where I married my daft, lolloping Kiwi it's completely worth it. It's our space and it's the kind of space we both wanted when we started this stupidity. I love it.