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Posts Tagged ‘house’

  1. Sold!

    April 21, 2015 by Amy Hansford

    Guess what? One day on from the last post and we received a offer of the full asking price for our house. That never happens. Or at least it never used to. But say hello to a buoyant housing market. Literally, houses go on the market in the morning and go under offer in the evening.

    And now it all gets really exciting! Oh wait… nope, no it doesn’t not it all goes very quiet while everyone takes money and does things, reporting things, finance things. So we wait. And we wait.

    It hasn’t all gone wrong yet. But we’re at the bit where we don’t have any power to move it forward, so. We wait.

    Still waiting.Sold

  2. Make Your House Sellable

    April 10, 2015 by Amy Hansford

    We are generally tidy people. However, I’m rubbish at cleaning, so we are fortunate enough to have a lovely lady come in once a fortnight to sort everything out. But we do have a fair bit of clutter, or ‘personality’ as we’ve come to call it.

    In viewing various houses, we’ve learned things that make a house look like an appealing home.

    1. Crank up the heating and open the windows. Economical madness, I know, but it makes the viewer feel warm and comfy yet gives fresh air throughout.

    2. Everyone has to take their shoes off. Our carpets have been vomitted on copiously by our cats, and have been professionally cleaned as many times. None of this matters though – a ‘no shoes’ rule gives the impression that this house must be kept in its pristine state.

    3. Flowers. Strike that – green. Doesn’t matter if it’s artificial (as long as it’s the good kind), but a bit of fresh colouring makes the house fresh. You’re selling a lifestyle as much as a house.

    4. Declutter. Strip back as far as you can. On viewing day, everything in the bathroom is hidden except the fake plant and the toothbrushes.

    5. Lights on. If you have energy savers that take a while to warm up, stick them on before you leave the house. Speaking of which…

    6. Get out of the house. It makes a viewer feel awkward having you there, and you won’t be able to resist earwigging otherwise.



    All our cables are hidden, laptops shelved, Elite gaming kit under the sofa, crap on top of the bookshelves removed. All but one bin is put in the garage. Cushions are organised. The computer is hidden behind a guitar. All medication, cups, glasses, books and random notepads from the bedside table are shoved in the wardrobe.


    No really, hide EVERYTHING.

    The result? Space. Clean lines. Funky yet unobtrusive colours. A lifestyle. If you live here, you too can have an uncluttered world of peace. Your plants will grow healthily. You can make bread in your breadmaker. You can have an even better life.

    During the original Moving Up post, we were on Monday and having photos taken of the house. The house listing went live on Tuesday. We have had four viewings, have another two coming up, and have received an offer. IT IS FRIDAY. So if you have a garage, throw out as much as you can (be ruthless), move all non-essentials into it, then have a box ready to run around the house prior to viewings to hide all those random things in. You too can sell your house!

    Coming up: It’s all gone wrong (probably)

  3. Moving up

    April 6, 2015 by Amy Hansford

    I like to be productive. I struggle to relax because I see it as unproductive. So when there’s a job to be done, I am… well, productive. So when my husband sent me a link to a property on Rightmove, we decided to end a year or so of window shopping and start viewing some properties.

    We'll build a Lego house

    We have a lovely three bedroom house which we’ve made our own. We use every bit of it (productive, see?) and it works perfectly for us. Well, almost. There are three things we wanted to change;

    1. Garden. We currently have a little patio out the back which looks out on to the marina. Beautiful views, but not much fun when you’re four. We have a lovely courtyard in the front with a planter for veg, then patches of grass around the property that need mowing. But we long for a safe, secure, private rear garden. It doesn’t have to be huge, just enough to kick a ball, have a picnic, that sort of thing.
    2. Space. We have two bedrooms and an office. While friends are welcome to stay on the sofa bed in the living room, we’d love another room to put people up in. Something with a bit more privacy.
    3. Schools. We find out in a week’s time what primary school Little L will be start at in September. I’m not a huge fan of the available options, and we’re aware that she needs a good push to keep her engaged (she outsmarts us a lot of the time) which the current schools won’t necessarily do. So better schools would be really good.

    We saw our first two properties on Friday (soulless, small garden). Two more on Sunday (both small gardens). Then three on Thursday (cold, old) including the perfect house. Great school area, perfect size, lovely garden, excellent condition. We saw it again on the Friday and had an offer accepted on the Saturday. We had our house valued the same day and we’re having photos taken today (Monday). Our house will be officially on the market tomorrow.

    I know this could easily all go to pot. But the owners of the new house don’t have a chain, and we have a ‘niche house’ so it should get plenty of interest. So we’re 5 days in to our adventure with buying this new house. I reckon the whole thing will take about three months, but you can place your bets now. Housewarming date to be confirmed…

    Next up: Make Your House Sellable

  4. When things go bump in the night II

    June 21, 2010 by Amy Hansford

    I first became aware of the ghost at The Lodge when I was about 15. My parents were at the pub for the night and I was relaxing in the house’s original bath tub. The door was open so I would be able to hear my stereo in the next room (this is 1996, pre iPod), so I was looking out into the hall way. Completely alone in the house, I enjoyed my music as I snuggled in the hot water.

    Without warning, I saw her.
    Baring in mind my position in the bath, I couldn’t see past the waist so I have no way of telling what was going on for that part of the body. But from the top, I saw a figure glide past the doorway facing in my direction. It was black with what seemed like a secton of white on the top, a faceless head with hair pulled back off from it. I say head – it was a blur given the speed it moved. But I felt, given the shape of the torso, that it was a woman.

    That was me getting out of the bath, running downstairs to the telephone and calling my mother. “Mum, please come home, there’s someone in the house!” For all I knew, it was an intruder and was no longer alone. My mother, knowing the history of the house and what it was that had interrupted my bathing, convinced me otherwise and suggested I get back to my relaxing soak. Slightly jittery, I returned to the tub, sunk back down and tried to put it out of my head.

    No sooner had I relaxed, she was back. Once again, she glided past the door. I say glided – there were no footsteps heard nor bobbing motion seen. Purely moving swiftly past the doorway, again going from right to left, once more looking in my direction. I’d had enough – there was someone… or something… in the house with me and I no longer wished to be alone. I rang my mother and begged her to come home. She came straight away, it being odd that the ghost should manifest itself so frequently on one occasion.

    So, who was the vision in black?

    A story for another time…

  5. When things go bump in the night

    April 14, 2010 by Amy Hansford

    The time has come (the Walrus said) to speak of spooky things. To give you a little history about me and my family, The Lodge has been the family house since about 1994. From then until about 2006, it contained my mum, me (popping home from uni for four years of it) and my dad. Since 2006, my sister has lived there with her three kids. Prior to this it was owned by an old lady about whom little is known, and before that it was part of the nun’s estate next door. Before that it was part of the land owned by the Earl of the town, and before that… goodness only knows. Either way, it’s an old house.

    When we first moved in it really looked like a bomb had hit it. It was dilapidated – children were afraid to knock there on Halloween for fear of what was inside. We had a camper van at the time so some of the residents had assumed we were squatters to begin with. My dad redid the entire place, adding a big extension on to the kitchen (was was pantry sized) and an extra room. It was proper old – we were ripping off the wallpaper and found an additional door into the kitchen, previously hidden. Nothing exciting, no portal to another world, just a door between the hallway and the kitchen, but the plaster that was coming away contained horse hair and everything. So everyone understands it’s an old house with lots of history, right? Right.

    Some more backstory now – since I remember, the house has been haunted. Yep, I’m cutting straight to the chase here – there are dozens of anecdotes I could share, and I probably will in time, but the important thing here is that when everyone’s gone out for the day, the house is not empty. When you think you’re alone, something happens to prove that you most definitely are not. Depending on who you are and what’s going on, the house will either be welcoming or looming.

    What we do know is that we have evidence of this ghostery. The form of that evidence… well, you’ll have to stay tuned for that.

  6. The earth says hello!

    March 21, 2010 by Amy Hansford

    It feels a little bit like Spring is actually here today. It’s odd – there’s a smell in the air of things growing.

    To celebrate this, some teeny tiny daffodils have sprouted up in the window box outside the kitchen. They have a certain ‘Alice in Wonderland angst’ about them. I expect them to sniff me as I go past in the morning…

  7. Ug!

    February 14, 2010 by Amy Hansford

    Having had the pleasure of being Sam and Ilona’s guest this week, I found myself sitting in their glorious old armchair by their equally glorious and oft used fireplace. Upon returning back home, I stared at our never-used* fireplace and wondered how difficult it would really be to get a decent fire going.

    Alex is in a manliness phase at the moment – chopping things, home improvements etc, and so was happy to take on the task of fire-creator. And so, he made fire! With the logs remaining in there, the coal from the garage and a helpful hand from a Cracklelog he had it going a roaring treat. As I used to live in a house with no central heating, reliant on the living room fireplace for warmth, I know that a decent fire takes a lot of tending to. Alex happily took to this challenge, poking and feeding it as required.

    We’re now allowing the coals to give us what’s left of their heat, but the room certainly feels a little more toasty for it.

    *Not used by us – used by the previous owner.

  8. Location, location, location

    July 22, 2009 by Amy Hansford

    It’s all been a bit quiet on the Awakey front, or so you would think. I’ve actually moved up from London to Milton Keynes to our new house, which is very exciting! Four days after we moved in, all the boxes are now unpacked and we’re back to normal life, which is lovely. My other half is testing the new route to work – a little different from changing tube stations – while I’m free to job hunt and give a bit more time to the As If By Magic Costumes orders. My colleague Ilona has made some truly beautiful things of late, so I’m looking forward to publishing pictures of the latest pieces soon.

    I’ve also been working on the costumes for the New Expressions production of We Will Rock You. I wouldn’t say it’s been too much of a challenge, just tricky when the cast swear they’re one size when they’re actually another. Such are the stigmas attached to size labels! Much kudos to Maggie for the loan of her amazing purple furry boots.

    Keeping with the amateur dramatics side of things, I’m looking forward to auditioning for Rent with Luton Light this weekend. I’ve not auditioned for what seems like years, and am well aware that my singing peak was back in Anything Goes in 2007, so I’m a little nervous. But excited!

    So, not a huge update. Just a little update to let you know I’m still kicking about.