We has a house!
As you may expect, given my propensity for randomness and occasional good fortune, it wasn't in the least bit straightforward...
On Saturday we were due to go and see a house on Warley Road in Oldbury, which I've mentioned a few times. We were actually meant to view it about a month ago and had to cancel due to looking at a house on our road instead. It was one of the very first properties we added to the shortlist on rightmove, but because it was so cheap (only £540pcm), we decided for some reason to look at more expensive properties first to see what was out there. Which, obviously, led to frustration and disappointment.
On Thursday (I think) during the daily listings check at lunchtime, I noticed that Warley Road cropped up again. At first I just thought it was a different house on the same road, and opened the link to have a look. It transpired to be the exact same house, being let through a different agent for £15 less per month. WTF?
Anyway, we made a provisional plan to go and view it nonetheless as the booking was arranged. It looked nice from the photos and neither of us were expecting it to be as nice in the flesh; it transpired that it really, really was. It has a good-sized living room, a large dining kitchen which is actually big enough to put a table in, with plenty of cupboard space, a lovely cooker (potentially gas hob / electric oven) with a separate grill (imagine that!), three bedrooms (the single is actually bigger than a bed), a downstairs bathroom with slate tiles and a heated towel rail, and a beautifully-presented, mahoosive garden.
As anticipated, because of the agent in question, another couple turned up to view it as well who had a small child with them. I have been good-hearted in some instances with properties we quite liked but not loved, where people with children have turned up for the viewings, in that I've let them have it as their need is greater. In this case, we both really liked the property and were not willing to lose it, so decided to be selfish. It's well-presented but also slightly quirky - it has two front doors, a secure-by-design with the original door behind, which has a lovely bowed window), there's a window seat in the bay in the living room, the bedrooms upstairs are not completely square because they have corners cut off, the slate tiles in the bathroom are all interestingly coloured, and the rooms are painted mad colours (the smallest bedroom is yellow with a green ceiling :D), and the garden has a patio area with a garden gate leading to the lawn behind.
It's also on a regular bus route (with a bus stop right outside), about 25-30 minutes out of Birmingham in good traffic, and 20 minutes' walking distance from my mum's. :)
So, we took the application forms from the agent and said we'd have them with him by Monday. We then walked to my mum's house, whereupon Paul immediately rang the other agent instead and said, basically, we've just viewed this property through someone else, but you're renting it cheaper. Rather than the irritating application form process, a nice man named Lee at Connells merely took some money off us (£300, which is more than the other agent but worth the difference), took our details, rang the landlord and then rang us back. Pending credit checks, we should be able to move on 15th July!!
It took a couple of days for it to sink in, but WE HAS A HOUSE! It isn't perfect (another reception room would have been ideal), but it's the best so far and is certainly more than liveable until we can afford to buy somewhere. We will have to buy a fridge-freezer, table, sofas and wardrobes, but anticipated that anyway. Also there should be room for the piano in the living room, which is a definite bonus. :)
The only room I would want to redecorate is the living room as it's a weird shade of orangey-yellow, but I can live with the lime green in the kitchen and the purple bedroom. :)
I have no idea what I'm going to do with my lunchbreaks now; staring at rightmove every day had kind of become my hobby... :P
We were very busy for the rest of the day after that. After going to my mum's we all headed into Birmingham for the Caribbean Food Festival which Andrea had organised, arriving just in time to hear Dominic (her nephew) performing a set. We tried some punch, had curried goat with rice+peas, sat in the sunshine for a bit and then decamped to a pub to kill time before going to the Crescent for an amateur production of Sweeney Todd.
The production was actually really good, considering it wasn't professional. The two leads were amazing, Sweeney especially. I think because it was final night he may have been giving it a lot more than usual (I think he was crying at the end during the bows so clearly the adrenaline rush had kicked in), but the bit where Sweeney snaps in Act One was incredibly powerful. Mrs Lovett had great comic timing as well. Also Johanna had a really nice voice, which made a change from the last version I saw where she was just a teense too operatic. :)
So yeah, it was pretty good. Unfortunately I still haven't learned not to drink before shows; I went to the loo when we got to the theatre then had a J20 thinking I would be okay, only to have to run to the loo AGAIN 30 minutes into the show because I was bursting, couldn't remember when the interval was and couldn't concentrate... Stupid body.
We didn't get home until about 11.00pm on Saturday, so it was a very long day. On Sunday I finally got to have a lie-in. Thanks to house-viewings, we've had to get up at 7.30 or 8.00 for the past three weeks on a Saturday, so thank anything that's over with. :P We did intend to go down to herringprincess's for her birthday thingy, but by the time I'd woken up enough to text her everyone else had left, and I didn't fancy contending with Sunday service transport, so we're going to try and meet up at some other point. Seeing as we'll soon be living quite close to her anyway it may be easier to do some kind of mutual new-house-viewing. :)
The writing flurry continues to disrupt my sleep (probably about 2.00am when I finally nodded off last night? I have no idea), but I have now finished the first chapter of the Doomfic and the Angst is coming along nicely, too. I need to start thinking about a title for the Doomfic soon...
Right then, I think that's about everything. I imagine all future house-related posts will be (a) packing stress or (b) unpacking stress, both of which are infinitely better than (c) crap houses stress. ;)