Well, prickweasels and fucksticks, I am somewhat irritated. We found a house we really liked, put in an offer, got briefly caught in what looked like a bidding war, got out of the bidding war, had the offer accepted, started the painfully expensive process of actually buying the damn thing … only to learn yesterday that the seller had received an offer for the asking price.
I am, frankly, peeved.
To be fair, I’m not actually peeved at anyone in particular. I don’t believe anybody has behaved especially badly over this – the house was off the market, the offer was received from somebody who had seen the place previously and faffed about for a while before decided they wanted it, the seller has a family to support and it would just be plain stupid to turn down more money. They did offer to meet us halfway between our offer and the asking but, at this stage, I kind of feel like I’m getting salami sliced. I’m already paying slightly more than I would absolutely want to and, y’know how it goes, a couple of thousand here and a couple of thousand there and sooner or later it all adds up to real money.
By which I mean: it’s all real money, but there comes a point when you’re dealing with sums so outlandish that it stops feeling like real money.
So, the long and the short of it is, I’m just going to say no, sorry, do what you have to do, and I think it’s goodbye to the house on poet road.
Even though I’ve already laid down about £1000 on various surveys and legal costs, which is particularly galling. Apparently this is all very rare and unusual – usually once you’ve started paying for shit, a deal is a deal. But then it seems to be the nature house-buying that nobody is really obligated to do anything until actual papers are actually signed. When I told the mortgage guy, who has been a star to be honest, he was utterly furious on my behalf, which was kind of nice in a way because it meant I got to be calm and neutral. He pointed out that a viable strategy was simply to offer them the extra, wait until the process was nearly complete and they were locked into their next property, and say “I’m paying you [this amount] so suck it up” and there would be nothing they could do about it. (He did not use the phrase ‘suck it up’ but I felt it was implied in his tone).
But I do not have the balls. Well, I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. I feel pathetically morally squeamish but I can’t say I’m a fan of fucking people for money.
This isn’t, by the way, any sort of nice guy bullshit. I genuinely don’t believe this would have gone differently if I’d been more ruthless or more of a dick. We all make our moral choices – and the choice itself is the important thing, not the outcome of them. For me, this is genuinely not a thing worth behaving badly over. And being able to live with myself is, frankly, important to me.
Of course, you might say having already paid out a grand on the his damn, a little bit extra isn’t a big deal – but I think that’s … some kind of recognised fallacy of commitment, you know, the more you put into something, the more you HAVE to keep putting into it, when actually the sensible thing is to get the fuck out.
But there will be other houses. Other flagellant poets. Better poets, dammit.
There’s not much else on the market at the moment, which, of course, contributes to a general sense of meh and moop. I was inclined to lie on the sofa being sad last night but I managed to rouse myself through writing about lesbians (that’s ROUSE, by the way, definitely ROUSE nothing else) although I am now moopy again. I’m generally so cheesed off I am tempted to call a halt on the whole process but H is determined I get back on the horse (to use H’s own words – ill-chosen, incidentally, since I hate horses and horses hate me). It all feels a bit grim at the moment but suspect it’s rather like falling in love. If you operate off the principle that there is only one twu wuv for you in the entire world, then you’re probably doomed to unhappiness.
We’ve got a couple of viewings booked over the next week or so. You never know. And I’ve always had a rather fickle heart. Actually that’s not strictly speaking accurate. My heart is rather loyal. It’s the rest of me that’s fickle.
And there’s always the hipster maisonette that was kind of charming. But, then, I probably shouldn’t rebound on a hipster maisonette. The thing is, it’s got a lovely living room and dining area, with huge windows and lots of light, and it’d be perfect for entertaining (‘entertaining’ sounds ridiculous, ‘having people round’) but hipster maisonette is where I am now. And, actually, I was talking to a friend about this quite recently and he pointed out that, ideally, given what a huge investment it is, a house should reflect where you’re going, just a little bit, as well as who you are.
I was very impressed with that. Unexpected wisdom.