Thursday, 4 May 2006

of pianos and buff orpingtons

I have made a slight tactical error.

Yesterday someone offered a piano on Freecycle.

I am now the owner of a piano. I couldn't help myself. It is being delivered on Monday and is apparently very out of tune.

B was incredulous when he got home last night. Comments along the lines of:

"Tell me you haven't really got a piano?", and "Well, it's certainly going to make moving house more interesting!", and "Please tell me that you haven't really got a piano? You are joking, aren't you?", have led me to believe that he is not one hundred percent on board with the idea.

I am not sure where it is going to go, but I am sure that we'll work something out.

In the meantime, let's talk about the 'Moving To The Country' plan.

Since that last post about having an epiphany about wanting to live in the country again, I have been rather obsessively searching online for suitable properties. Suitable in a 'where would we like to live' kind of way rather than in a 'what can we afford' kind of way, which is much less fun.

And in the middle of last week, I came across two places in North Wales, near Denbigh, that not only looked lovely, but which were also within our price range. So I rang the estate agent for a chat and we arranged a viewing for Saturday afternoon.

They've both got houses with about three acres of land. One of them had land that was pretty much vertical - that's Wales for you - and a really, really dilapidated house that would pretty much need a complete rebuild, along with a new cess pit. But the other one is a three bedroom place that needs modernisation, but seems basically sound. And as a bonus, it already has a functioning cess pit. It has an option to buy three and a half acres of pasture and woodland, running alongside a little river. It's in a valley rather than on a steep hillside and we both fell in love with it, rather cautiously.

The catch (there's always a catch) is that it's coming up for auction on the fifteenth of May.

I have spent some of the last two days arranging appointments with financial people; lighting the blue touchpaper of surveyors and standing well back; and constructing a spreadsheet to give us some idea of what capital we can raise and what mortgage repayments we would actually be able to afford.

The big figures are rather frightening, but I keep telling myself that it's just like eBay but with bigger numbers.

Today, I am definitely going to finish that flipping filing. Although dreams of Buff Orpingtons might get in the way.





35 comments:

  1. The trick I'm told is to have a realistic budget for the fitting out of said properties because that is normally hoovered up extending the budget because the auction price has gone too high.

    That said, I'd find it difficult to walk away if I had my heart set on it.

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  2. The trick I'm told is to have a realistic budget for the fitting out of said properties because that is normally hoovered up extending the budget because the auction price has gone too high.

    That said, I'd find it difficult to walk away if I had my heart set on it.

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  3. A piano. Well fair enough, do you play? There's something addictive about pianos. I used to play years ago and all it takes is hearing the first few bars of Fur Elise or the Moonlight Sonata to set my fingers twitching. If nothing else they're impressive pieces of furniture (I'm assuming here it's an upright and not a baby grand or something?) which the cats will love to sit on.
    Good luck in the auction for the house. North Wales is beautiful. My uncle lives up there and I've holidayed there several times over the years. Oooh - mountains! Oooh - castles!
    One word of caution - like eBay don't get sucked into paying more than it's worth/more than you can afford!

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  4. A piano. Well fair enough, do you play? There's something addictive about pianos. I used to play years ago and all it takes is hearing the first few bars of Fur Elise or the Moonlight Sonata to set my fingers twitching. If nothing else they're impressive pieces of furniture (I'm assuming here it's an upright and not a baby grand or something?) which the cats will love to sit on.
    Good luck in the auction for the house. North Wales is beautiful. My uncle lives up there and I've holidayed there several times over the years. Oooh - mountains! Oooh - castles!
    One word of caution - like eBay don't get sucked into paying more than it's worth/more than you can afford!

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  5. My own preference chicken wise is the Scots dumpy, which might almost sum me up if I wasn't 6'1", and can be found here .

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  6. Bloody html tags - always get them wrong. Click the full stop and you do get where I want you to go but it's not very elegant is it? Anyhow you won't have time to look today, what with all your filing *SNORTS*.

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  7. Bloody html tags - always get them wrong. Click the full stop and you do get where I want you to go but it's not very elegant is it? Anyhow you won't have time to look today, what with all your filing *SNORTS*.

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  8. I can play the theme tune from The Dambusters. And Three Blind Mice. But I am keen to learn :).

    I'm quite good at deciding a budget and walking away - was brought up on farm sales by my Pa, who is officially The World's Best Person To Go To An Auction With. Unfortunately he's too unfit to come up for the event ...

    SheWeevil - Pah! :)

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  9. I can play the theme tune from The Dambusters. And Three Blind Mice. But I am keen to learn :).

    I'm quite good at deciding a budget and walking away - was brought up on farm sales by my Pa, who is officially The World's Best Person To Go To An Auction With. Unfortunately he's too unfit to come up for the event ...

    SheWeevil - Pah! :)

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  10. Scots Dumpys unnerve me slightly; their legs seem too short. But I'd be happy with any chickens at all, really :).

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  11. Scots Dumpys unnerve me slightly; their legs seem too short. But I'd be happy with any chickens at all, really :).

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  12. I can't play anything on any instrument but if a set of bagpipes came up on freecycle I would have to have them!

    I will think many good thoughts about the auction for you!

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  13. I can't play anything on any instrument but if a set of bagpipes came up on freecycle I would have to have them!

    I will think many good thoughts about the auction for you!

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  14. Best of luck with the house. Can you buy it out right before it goes to auction, or do you ahve to wait and bid on the fifteenth?

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  15. Its nice to have a piano. Bet when it turns up it just fits through the door and then you won't be able to turn it around to get it in the front room!! As someone who knows a little about renovation, if it needs any thing doing work out a price and triple it!! We have already spent 3x more than we thought and it still ain't fully finished! That said, best of luck at the auction hope all goes your way. Would be a nice place for chickens, goats, pigs, cows etc etc

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  16. Its nice to have a piano. Bet when it turns up it just fits through the door and then you won't be able to turn it around to get it in the front room!! As someone who knows a little about renovation, if it needs any thing doing work out a price and triple it!! We have already spent 3x more than we thought and it still ain't fully finished! That said, best of luck at the auction hope all goes your way. Would be a nice place for chickens, goats, pigs, cows etc etc

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  17. Good luck! It's my dream to get back to the country as well. :o)

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  18. Good luck! It's my dream to get back to the country as well. :o)

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  19. Good luck with the house! It sounds like a wonderful place. Do you have any idea how agressive the bidding will be at auction?

    The Consort loves having an out-of-tune piano in the house (he doesn't play, I do). For ten years I've been fighting him on this, and we are finally piano-free.

    Let's just say my flute, Impera's violin, and Trixie's clarinet take up much less floor space.

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  20. Good luck with the house! It sounds like a wonderful place. Do you have any idea how agressive the bidding will be at auction?

    The Consort loves having an out-of-tune piano in the house (he doesn't play, I do). For ten years I've been fighting him on this, and we are finally piano-free.

    Let's just say my flute, Impera's violin, and Trixie's clarinet take up much less floor space.

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  21. As someone who has bought a property in the middle of nowhere and embarked on a ghastly, horrific renovation, I say HOORAY! and GO FOR IT! (Within reason, of course.) In the short run, it will be difficult. In the long run, you will thank yourselves many times over. Can you picture your future children growing up there, and can you realistically foresee having enough money to go about your lives? If so, it's a good idea.

    Functioning cesspit is good. Ours didn't have that going for it. :-)

    Re: the piano, it will be wildly inconvenient to move, but lovely to have. Do you know a tuner?

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  22. As someone who has bought a property in the middle of nowhere and embarked on a ghastly, horrific renovation, I say HOORAY! and GO FOR IT! (Within reason, of course.) In the short run, it will be difficult. In the long run, you will thank yourselves many times over. Can you picture your future children growing up there, and can you realistically foresee having enough money to go about your lives? If so, it's a good idea.

    Functioning cesspit is good. Ours didn't have that going for it. :-)

    Re: the piano, it will be wildly inconvenient to move, but lovely to have. Do you know a tuner?

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  23. I knew people in St Asaph, I think thats Denbigh? I got told its beautiful round there but never went to see.
    Hows the filing?

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  24. I knew people in St Asaph, I think thats Denbigh? I got told its beautiful round there but never went to see.
    Hows the filing?

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  25. Please can we not talk about the filing? :(

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  26. Hmm let me think, and chuckle and tease you a bit..... you did your bathroom up.... you did your kitchen up (or was it just a new cooker) and I'm sure other bits and bobs and now you are thinking of scarpering?! LOL That's the way - you go girl :-D

    About the auction on the 15th - there will always be another place. If it works out it works out and if not it was not meant to be.

    But anyway, flippin good luck on all counts!

    As for the piano - are they deivering it too? Most unusual. You can always renage (sp?) with huge apologies on the deal as I am sure there are others who might want it. On the other hand - a piano is a lovely idea. We have one courtesy of ebay.... I was going to play it.... 'nuff said! ;-)

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  27. Hmm let me think, and chuckle and tease you a bit..... you did your bathroom up.... you did your kitchen up (or was it just a new cooker) and I'm sure other bits and bobs and now you are thinking of scarpering?! LOL That's the way - you go girl :-D

    About the auction on the 15th - there will always be another place. If it works out it works out and if not it was not meant to be.

    But anyway, flippin good luck on all counts!

    As for the piano - are they deivering it too? Most unusual. You can always renage (sp?) with huge apologies on the deal as I am sure there are others who might want it. On the other hand - a piano is a lovely idea. We have one courtesy of ebay.... I was going to play it.... 'nuff said! ;-)

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  28. Ah - being from the other side of the world I thought maybe Buff Orpingtons were the kind of half-naked removal men you would want to use if you lived in Orpington. And Scots Dumpys the kind you wouldn't.

    Good luck! It's all play money when it's such big sums anyway.

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  29. Ah - being from the other side of the world I thought maybe Buff Orpingtons were the kind of half-naked removal men you would want to use if you lived in Orpington. And Scots Dumpys the kind you wouldn't.

    Good luck! It's all play money when it's such big sums anyway.

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  30. Re the piano, I am paying a couple of men-with-van chaps to bring it round. It's only up the road, but I think that moving it ourselves would involve surgical supports and possible hospital visit :). Some one's recommended a tuner for me.

    Re the auction, we *are* viewing it as an opportunity to get our ducks in a line - if this ones doesn't work out, then there will be another, nicer one. And you're right Editter - it *is* just 'play money; at those figures. It's very easy to get seduced by the ease of getting a mortgage, particularly as we are going down the self-certification route.

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  31. Re the piano, I am paying a couple of men-with-van chaps to bring it round. It's only up the road, but I think that moving it ourselves would involve surgical supports and possible hospital visit :). Some one's recommended a tuner for me.

    Re the auction, we *are* viewing it as an opportunity to get our ducks in a line - if this ones doesn't work out, then there will be another, nicer one. And you're right Editter - it *is* just 'play money; at those figures. It's very easy to get seduced by the ease of getting a mortgage, particularly as we are going down the self-certification route.

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  32. Good luck with the piano :-)

    North Wales is beautiful, I hope the auction goes your way. You'll love living in the country. We don't live in the kind of rural isolation Kitchen Witch enjoys, but we are on the edge of a village, with views of woodland, a nature reserve, and wide open countryside . . . you can see all the way to the Peake District. We moved here 8 years ago and I could never go back to living in a town, let alone a city.

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  33. Good luck with the piano :-)

    North Wales is beautiful, I hope the auction goes your way. You'll love living in the country. We don't live in the kind of rural isolation Kitchen Witch enjoys, but we are on the edge of a village, with views of woodland, a nature reserve, and wide open countryside . . . you can see all the way to the Peake District. We moved here 8 years ago and I could never go back to living in a town, let alone a city.

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  34. See? I turn my back for five minutes and things are afoot! Good luck. In fact, the bestest luck possible. I know how hideous the waiting is; the house we nearly bought before we ended up at the Witchery was also up for auction, and with the surveys, the waiting and the estate agent-speak, I nearly wrapped myself in knots. I'm keeping those fingers crossed for you both.

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  35. See? I turn my back for five minutes and things are afoot! Good luck. In fact, the bestest luck possible. I know how hideous the waiting is; the house we nearly bought before we ended up at the Witchery was also up for auction, and with the surveys, the waiting and the estate agent-speak, I nearly wrapped myself in knots. I'm keeping those fingers crossed for you both.

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