When I was 8 I feel in love with a few lines of text of on the classified’s page in our local paper. No picture, just a few words about an old horse being sold for £60. She was called Sandy and I suppose she was my first love (Dogtantain’s horse was also called Sandy so I thought it was meant to be). Without discussing anything with my parents I rang the number on the advert and confidently told the lady that I would be buying the horse. I convinced myself that if I behaved really, really good then my parents would buy Sandy for me and I would be the happiest little girl in the world. Despite not being a horsey family and despite not owning a field, for some reason I thought that washing my Dad’s car and taking them breakfast in bed every morning would convince them to buy me a horse. (The breakfast in bed, incidentally, was always the rainbow salad from my Rainbow Brite annual, cos isn’t salad everyone’s favourite breakfast option?)
Anyway, Sandy never was mine and in reality there had never been any chance that she would of ever been mine. This realisation hit me hard and I stopped washing the car and making salad breakfasts to punish my parents. As an adult I can now see that I probably struggled a little bit to understand why I felt so sad about losing something which was never mine in the first place – and something which I had never even seen, but recently those same emotions have resurfaced. The adult me has shed tears for an expired fantasy, just like the 8 year old me. This time it wasn’t a horse I cried for, it was a house. Just one letter different.
Two days into our holiday in Scotland this year, my partner and I knew it was there where we wanted to raise our family. The night we returned home we immediately began checking out properties on Right Move and I quickly fell in love with something I hadn’t actually seen all over again. The doer upper in Lower Foyers (2 adjoining 3 bedroom properties in fact), was everything I would of hoped for and for months every night as I drifted off to sleep I would be renovating and decorating a home that I foolishly hoped would wait for me.
My dream property was finally sold mid way through December and those same silly 8 year-old emotions resurfaced – pointless tears for something which wasn’t mine and was never going to be mine. That dream was over.
But, I do believe that endings bring new beginnings and since that house isn’t the only property for sale in the Scottish Highlands then I’m sure I can build a new fantasy. In reality the Lower Foyers house was out of our budget, but since living in Chorlton my perception of house prices has been skewered and I saw the £180,000 price tag for a 6 bedroom property as the bargain of a lifetime – this would get you a one bed flat in Chorlton http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-57284974.html.
The focus of this blog is to document our progress as we work towards buying a home in Scotland. I also want it as a record of the sheer madness of this crazy Chorlton bubble which I think has to be experienced to be believed. I’m sure there are other similar places, but it is hard to imagine anywhere else as completely and utterly as fucked up as this one is when it comes to house prices. I go on about this issue a lot because it both fascinates and appalls me in equal measure. One example of the madness is that fact that we now live in the ‘rough’ part of town – the former stomping ground of 90’s Manchester gangsters, where dickheads seem to like smashing wing mirrors and tipping bins over, yet a three minute walk away there is a gated community with a house currently up for sale for £1,250,000 (and it’s pretty horrible – http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-32180433.html).
In the new year I will unveil the next step of my crazy plan for owning our dream home in Scotland. It may or may not work but I’ve got nothing to lose. In the mean time we will work harder than ever and squirrel away every penny we can in order to make our dream a reality. And I will continue to fall in love with photos on Rightmove – although I now accept that I will no doubt have my heart broken a hundred times until we own our own home. So it’s Goodbye to the house in Lower Foyers – thank you for inspiring me.