Anyone will tell you, when a good opportunity presents itself you should grasp it with both hands. There has been such an opportunity under my nose for a number of years, but it wasn’t until we had a buyer for the flat that we were able to make an offer.
We have a family friend who has notoriously never been house-proud. His pride is in his collection of rare classic trials bikes, not in his home. In fact, his house was probably better described as an extension of his garage. To say it was in need of modernisation would be the world’s biggest understatement.
He bought his two-bed terraced house in the early 90s and even back then it needed work. In the years and decades that have since passed, minor repair work has been carried out and a new bathroom was installed but never finished. While charming, it’s fair to say DIY and home maintenance is not our friend’s strong point.
Although I’d been looking for the ideal wreck for quite some time, this wasn’t a completely selfish proposition. Our friend lost his leg on a motorbike (not that it deterred him in any way) and for years had been talking about moving to a bungalow.
He agreed in principle to sell us the house, but I knew in order to make it happen we’d have to help him find the bungalow of his dreams. Thankfully it didn’t take long. I never thought I’d be able to say ‘beautiful’ and ‘bungalow’ in the same sentence, but since finding – what was soon to become his – truly gorgeous 1930s art deco gem, I honestly can.
Low and behold, once the sale of our flat had gone through, within two weeks the house was ours, and the bungalow his.
I love it when a plan comes together!