Its been a long time since I’ve looked at properties to buy, and over the years the basic requirements change. Having said that I’m a long way off looking for a retirement bungalow! Artists never retire, they just slow down a little. And I’m far from doing THAT!
So, having searched through the windows of estate agents in the area, and on the internet, I was able to decide on the first of two places that looked like they might hold some promise for me.
The first one was a pretty sounding cottage in a pleasant village a few miles north from where I live. I arrived with fresh anticipation and a feeling of excitement. But on viewing the outside of the property wasn’t quite sure where the estate agents description of courtyard, outbuildings and garden started and ended. It turned out that the “outbuildings” were an outside lavy and the tinest garage I’ve ever seen – enough for a mini, maybe. Hardly the stone built artists studio that I had envisaged!!!!! It turned out the cottage was tiny too, and there was a weird set up with the garden that meant that the neighbours downstairs windows totally overlooked the cottage garden, so if I’d been sitting out there sunbathing, we’d have had nothing between us but a sheet of glass and a knowing look!
So, that was a no no.
On to the next one…………
Also in a pleasant village a little south-west from where I live. I had high expectations of this one. It was a 1960s detached house in its own garden and it had a study which was bound to be useful for me. I arrived, and could see straight away that the owners weren’t gardeners. No matter, I don’t mind designing and creating my own artists garden, I’ve done it before and can do it again. So, into the house, Ooooooouuuww what’s THAT SMELL….???? Try and overcome the smell that greeted me as I was shown the “study” which had an overpowering stench of something that seemed to have crapped in there a long time a go. Nevermind, on to the lounge, and it was there that I met the dogs. Ah, the reason for the smell maybe? The lounge was ok, the dining area was ok, the downstairs toilet was ok, the utility room was a mess, soap powder everywhere. The kitchen, usually the pride and joy of any house was …….well………………foul. The outside door didn’t open because of the junk piled up against it, the cupboards might just be ok if they were thoroughly scrubbed, twice, before I’d want to put anything in them. But the floor tiles would definitely need to be taken up and replaced as they were black with grime and undeterminable dirt (the dogs again?). Ok, on to the garden, overgrown with grass and a desolate elderberry tree in the corner, the main features being the enormous shed dropped randomly into the middle of it and the dog shit decorating it. MMm…… ok, what’s upstairs? Three small bedrooms, one containing guinea pigs (more smells to add to the rest!) and a bathroom that I wouldn’t have been happy using until a whole bottle of bleach and every cleaning product I could find had been used on it over a three day period.
But none of this mattered. Not the fact that every carpet would have had to have been ripped up and replaced. Not the fact that every surface needed a damn good clean and paint. Not the fact that the kitchen AND bathroom would have had to have been ripped out and replaced. Not the fact that the garden was overgrown and neglected. No, it was the fact that there was no where to paint. No where except a tiny back bedroom. With a funny smell.
THAT was the reason I didn’t want to buy it.
Now, WHAT WAS thaaaaaat smell……………………………….??????