Thursday, December 14, 2006


Feeling Flat

Yesterday I became a home-owner.

I put the deposit down on a flat “off plan” in 2004, and it finally made the transition from plan to reality yesterday. And so, after some “Will they? Won’t they?” shenanigans involving the release of the keys, casued by ineptitude on the part of banks and solicitors from far and wide, we officially became the owners at around teatime.

They say that buying a house is one of the most stressful things you can do. Other than realising that I was inadvertently wearing shades to a Remembrance Sunday parade (as I did last month), this was pretty much the most stressful thing I’ve done in a while.

Watching money trickle out of my account to pay for conveyancers to do very little was the worst part. Quite how they can justify their fees is a mystery to me, and I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of racket going on there! The best part of £50 for a “telegraphic transfer” fee (do you not mean a “click of the mouse” fee?) to transfer the money... Ridiculous, and utterly unavoidable. And I don't quite understand how, in a block of flats, there has to be a title search and survey for EVERY single unit... But still, it's all over now.

Anyway, we’re in there now. I say “in,” but I actually mean that we own it, rather than live in it. We remain living where we always did, and are now looking to sell the flat straight away. Not to make a quick buck (although this would be nice, obviously), but just because times have changed, I want to stay in Prestwich (and the flat is in Blackley), and I don’t really want to live in a flat… That’s what happens when it takes 30 months to build a flat! Plus, the developers have put the service charge up 50% since we bought it, and so we can't afford it any more. All rather worrying really...

So my property trials continue. When I actually acquired it yesterday, rather than the jubilation that I hear people are supposed to feel when completing on a property, I actually felt a bit deflated. Bring on the day we sell it and complete on somewhere we actually want!


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