Tuesday, 5 February 2013

For Sale! Part 2

So, the husband had been made redundant, and we had, in haste, removed the house from the market to take stock.  With a devil may care attitude and a couple of job irons in the fire, we decided it was now or never.  So, the flat went back on the market just two weeks after it was removed, and we started to look around again for properties we liked.   

There was not a lot of properties we were interested in, new houses lacked the character we were looking for, anything built in the 60-90s again just was not floating our boat.  So we narrowed it down to either Victorian or Edwardian properties, which are pretty abundant in our locale.

The first one we liked the particulars of was a Victorian mid-terraced town house over 4 floors, just two roads away from where we were living at the time.  It had loads of room, with a basement kitchen diner with an adjoining family bathroom, an additional 2 reception rooms at ground level, two bedrooms and a shower room, and an attic bedroom at the top of the house.  It was brimming with original fireplaces, doors and other sought after period features, so we booked in a viewing.  It wasn't until we went to visit the property that we realised how much the property would cost to purchase and then renovate.  

It was being marketed by an on-line only sales agency as a three bedroom, mid-terrace, the second of the 2 larger bedrooms was a concern straight away.  With our trusty torch, and some googling before we returned for anther visit we figured out it was not a bedroom at all, instead, it should have been classified as a loft room.  When you see a loft room mentioned in the sales particulars, it means some work to make it a room has been done but it is not up to building regulations for it to be a habitable space, if you are in this situation, you need to see the sign off from the local authority planning department to verify that you are buying a bedroom, if a vendor has an indemnity policy for the works, this does not constitute sign-off, instead it is to receive a payment if the room ever has to be removed.  

A loft that conforms to building regulations, must have steels inserted to take the weight of the new room, it must have a self closing fire door either at the top or bottom of the permanent staircase, and it must have mains smoke detectors, these are only some of the requirements, but in my limited experience, these are the things to easily spot by their presence or more worryingly by their absence. 

So, for a 2 bedroom house, this was hugely overpriced for the area, so even though we loved it, we walked away.  The head should always have a say, and not let the heart take over.    

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