Dream House #6: The One That Sold Itself

‘You know, we’ll miss you when you’re gone.’

NOT great words to here when you turn up for work. I mean, seriously, WHAAAAAT?!?!

‘Oh no. I mean when you move. You’re not being fired. I’ve said too much. You heard nothing.’

No, colleague, my dear. You – and everyone else – have clearly NOT SAID ENOUGH, because it seems that although I’m the ONE person in the office this is happening to I’m THE LAST TO KNOW!!!

Apparently our section (which consists of me, some new bloke who starts on Monday and whose name I can’t pronounce, and somebody they’ve yet to appoint) is moving around the corner…which is pretty damn spooky as some weeks ago – before the big big boss came rolling into town, changing everything – I had a dream that we would move to the street around the corner! Now all I need is Phil and Kirstie from Location Location Location to drive me round the market square and my dreams will have literally come true!!!

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Still, having that feeling that everyone is talking behind your back isn’t the best motivation for getting stuff done. But hey ho. I guess we’ll see what happens on Monday.

I wonder if I’ll get my very own desk? Exciting! And I suppose at least I won’t have to feel bad every time I see the two colleagues I’ve gazumped, who will now be in the less shiny world of lettings. The Christmas party might involve less getting drunk before lunch on champagne though, which is a shame as I was rather looking forward to that.

But anyway, onto the dream house. I’ve not posted any property porn for a while. But this one is worth the wait. It’s just a shame it’s not actually on the market any more as it’s

THE ONE I SOLD!!!

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Not that it took a lot of selling.

Applicant: Id like to make an offer.

Me: Are you sure wouldn’t like a second viewing?

Applicant: No. Sometimes you just walk into a place and you just know.

When I got to meet up with him and the vendors at the property last week I could see what he meant.

Absolutely one of the most gorgeous homes ever! It makes me sad that I don’t live here. Some houses have a vibe about them and this one just screams ‘WOW!’

There’s the pretty drive up to the electric gates (arriving home would feel even sweeter than ever!).

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In the house, light floods through the windows and skylights and highlights the Farrow & Ball palette. It’s all been done with no expense spared with quality written all over it: exposed beams, limestone kitchen floors, reclaimed oak in the living room, log-burning stove, £10,000 silk curtains!!!

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Then there’s the history of it being a 600-year manor house (or at least what’s left after a fire 200 years ago).

And the absolutely most gorgeous kitchen ever!!!

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(I swear, I could’ve cried at the sheer beauty of it!)

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It has absolutely everything you could need in a home… including gym in the 2-storey garage…

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…Which might be no bad thing for burning off a beer-belly as the local pub is actually attached to the property (very discretely, but with secret access too, which is beyond cool!).What could better than shouting your order over the wall, taking the secret shortcut and then having your drinks lined up at the bar? And you wouldn’t have any distance to stagger home after either!

It’s just glorious, inside…

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…and out.

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It helps too the vendors are just the loveliest, warmest people ever. And thankfully so are the purchasers.

Unfortunately I failed to marry a millionaire, so I shall never be able to call it home as they will. But as my first sale it will always have a place in my heart. And maybe I could use my commission to get myself some similar cushions. Although I’m going to have to sell an awful lot more homes before I can have that kitchen!

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Dream Homes #5: Cool in the Pool

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Those of you with too much time on your hands astute enough will have noticed that I was missing a Property of the Fortnight post on Saturday.

This was mostly because very little property-related action happened despite being sat at my desk for four hours. Thunderstorms had knocked out our internet and with all of our systems being web based there wasn’t much we could do…

…except watch as a group of French performers set up a stage outside our door in preparation for a 2.30pm burlesque performance. As you do.

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And there I was thinking Morris dancing clowns were scary!

Luckily a) I’d gone home by 2.30 and b) ‘burlesque’ to the French isn’t all nipple tassles and undulations. A friend ‘lucky’ enough to catch the show described it as ‘two blokes dicking about – all a bit weird really.’

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Yeah, sounds like I missed a real treat there.

After the arduous morning we then had an evening of team celebration with a barbecue and Pimms at the bosses’ house. The morning’s clouds had given way to a beautiful blue sky. Great food, just the right amount of booze (I’m not vomiting on this boss’ cream carpet!), cute children running around, all the more lovely because they weren’t my children who a) are more prone to whinging/having complete meltdowns around strangers’ houses and b) would have ensured that I very much wouldn’t have relaxed. Infinitely wiser to leave them at home. Besides, it gave Husband a chance to catch up on some childcare duties, in lieu of his World Cup shenanigans.

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The only thing that could have possibly made it an even more perfect evening would have been the use of a pool (except for the part about having to wear a swimming costume in front of colleagues). But it’s why this week’s property of the week (brought to you today because I’ve been catching up all day in the office) is:

The Willows

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Not only is there a pool but this 5-bedroom property has wings, one of which dates back to the 18th century. Who wouldn’t want to refer to the east wing?

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Plus there are more rooms than you could shake a stick at. A boot room to keep all the filthy footwear out of the way, utility room for hiding away the laundry mountain, music room room for (well, in our case) letting the very much non-musical children bash away at the piano without disturbing anyone else in the house, never mind the neighbours and a snug for hunkering down in, on top of all your normal rooms. Having tried to watch TV over the din of Noodles’ iPad game, Teddy’s happy squealing and Husband’s phone this evening a variety of bolt holes sounds like a genius idea to me.

Then there are other smaller features, such as the window seat in the master bedroom – surely an ideal reading nook?

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And the his n hers sinks. Oh, to not have to deal with Husband’s stubble-in-the-toothpaste-blobs! They could all very much keep to his side.

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And how could Boo and Noodles not absolutely adore the garden?

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Even without the pool they’d be in raptures. With, for the two weeks of warm English summer, we’d be the best parents ever!

Mind you, we would also be guaranteed to be second home to all the neighbouring kids for the duration of those halcyon days.

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Plus my grandma lives just across the road and she can be ‘variable’ at best. Living so very close by may not be the wisest of moves. (She’s taken to bursting on my aunt on more than one occasion to deliver some home truths in the past, and here she wouldn’t even have so much of a walk! And to be honest, people can say what they want about me behind my back, but I’m not so keen on hearing it for myself.)

Oh well, it looks like I’ll be sticking to the paddling pool in the back garden. But never mind. It still seems to go down well enough with the kids. I’m pretty sure occasionally I can still pull off best mum ever…if only because they’re not old enough yet to know better.

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Dream Homes #4: Georgian Charms

A quiet day in the office today. Unless you count the accordion-playing, Morris dancing clowns that pranced by, just as a colleague was heading back from a viewing:

‘Oh my God! Make the clowns STOP! Why do they have to get all up in your face like that?! Eugh!’

Oh, the joys of the local festival. Apparently it’s one of Europe’s largest non-ticketed free festivals. Sometimes you’d rather pay if it stopped the clowns and the Morris dancing.

Perhaps it was the dancing clowns that deterred people from venturing our way. Or maybe they’d been sidetracked by the storm trooper playing with bubbles outside the toy shop.

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To be honest, I’m not convinced they’re regulation storm trooper shoes. Maybe that’s why he’s armed only with a bubble gun rather than a light sabre.

Still, the lull meant that I had more time to peruse the latest properties added to our books. The choice this week hasn’t been easy. But I am a sucker for a house with history, so my choice this time is:

Leverington House

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From the outside its definitely not your run-of-the-mill shoebox. You could easily float around the garden as Lady of the Manor. Ok, it’s only got 4 bedrooms, but if the budget doesn’t extend to staff who wants a plethora of rooms to dust?

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Besides, if first impressions count, the Georgians certainly knew how to make a good first impression. As entrance halls goes this is none too shabby (helped both by fabulous dimensions and plenty of behind-the-scenes storage):

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Mind you, it’s not as though the gorgeousness stops at the door. Light pours into the property through the most amazing windows:

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But the property had all the warmth you could want of a family home too. The sort of kitchen that begs to be congregated in…

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Pale blue kitchens do seem to be THE colour for up-market Norfolk property.

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…a cosy snug for those nights curled up on the sofa…

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…and beautiful, airy bedrooms, perfect for Sunday breakfast in bed, surrounded by the Sunday papers.

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The garden would be ideal to set the children loose in, with more than enough room to accommodate a trampoline and maybe a playhouse to match the summer house?

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…and plenty of space for garden games.

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Come time for Hide and Seek, mind you, you would a most guarantee I could be found on the patio (wine glass in hand).

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And with it’s rural setting you wouldn’t be disturbed by the raucous of the festival carrying across town on the wind. Which, right now, would definitely be a blessing. I can’t say I’m too familiar with Aswad’s back catalogue, but by the end of the night in pretty sure I will be.

Dream Homes #3: Through the Arched Window

The sunshine must have inspired a desire for change in people as the office was rushed off its feet today. A stream of enquiries, one after the other, although luckily there was still time for a cheeky cream cake mid-morning. (The bonus of being the Saturday girl is that I’m party to the sod-it-it’s-the-weekend goodies.)

By far and away the most interest was in this week’s Property of the Fortnight. My faith in the taste of the people of West Norfolk is alive and strong, as it is a lovely property that definitely befits the sunshine.

Millstone Cottage

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Bright and sunny, yet full of warmth, the property consists of two adjoined cottages, built for sisters in 1881, that have been beautifully restored and updated into a beautiful family home.

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In my mind, Husband could have the smaller annexe, whilst I’d have the larger cottage with Boo and Noodles. Well, it works for Tim Burton and Helena Bonham-Carter. I’m sure it’d be an ideal situation for Husband and I too.

Or, when Boo and Noodles reach that annoying teen phase they could have the annexe and Husband and I could have the peace and quiet of having the main cottage to ourselves. God, I think that’s an even more attractive idea!!!

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In the world of normal people though, the annexe would make a lovely low-maintenance holiday cottage to rent out or somewhere for other family or guests to stay without infringing on personal space.

Or, of course, you could just have it all to yourself. There’d be no arguments over what to watch on TV with two sitting rooms.

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The whole house feels so fresh and tidy though, it wouldn’t be a hardship to hang out in any of the rooms, be it the kitchen:

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…or the bedrooms…

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…or the garden, which has lovely views over open countryside. Just gorgeous.

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The village where it’s situated is gorgeous too, with a lovely primary school and a friendly atmosphere. (As a dance teacher it used to be one of my favourite classes to teach.) Plus, of course, there’s the more-than-hospitable local pub. A pub saved by the locals from redevelopment into something a lot less special. See, the locals are amazing (and clearly have their priorities in place!).

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I don’t think this one will stay on the market for long. And I couldn’t be more pleased as the vendors are the nicest possible people, intent on playing fair within the property market. (Not something you always get.) I just hope the new owners will appreciate what a gem they’ll have bought.

Dream Homes #2: One For the Family

As you travel into Norwich from the south-west there’s a road full of drool-worthy homes. The joy is that if you sit on the top deck of the Thickthorn park and ride bus you can ogle over the hedges and down the driveways to play the Oooh, Can You Imagine Living There game.

Norwich is a bit far out of the remit of our particular branch, but as our head office is based there I can still justify doing extensive drooling research of their properties. So my pick for this fortnight is:

195A Newmarket Road

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I am a sucker for a period property, especially one with tall ceilings and original features. Although last fortnight I was dreaming of living alone, Newmarket Road would be ideal for the whole Gluestick family (although the drive to work would be a bit of a bugger for my dad, but if I had £1million to spend on a house (plus 4% stamp duty) he’d probably not have to worry about working any more as I must have won the lottery). A large garden for Boo and Noodles to play in – Boo could finally have a longed-for trampoline – and an Annexe for my dad so he could properly escape the screaming.

Obviously, in my lottery-win fantasy Eve and family wouldn’t have to join us (they could have a nice little pad of their own) but even with Boo and Noodles having huge bedrooms and a playroom on the first floor, almost self-contained with bedrooms two, three and five, bedroom four could be a guest bedroom/my office (all pretty and girlie and Pinterst-worthy) so family could stay. And Husband could tuck himself out of the way when working from home, with an office of his own on the second floor.

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Plus there are plenty of features that tick my dream house boxes. A pantry that I would fill with shelves of dry goods decanted into glass jars. A utility room, so no more ironing cluttering up the kitchen table or vacuum with no proper home, waiting to be tripped over on the landing.

Dreams courtesy of Pinterest:

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Pantry of glass jars.

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An organised utility room.

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Guest bedroom for family and visiting bloggers…

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Complete with quiet spot for blogging purposes.

I’d change the kitchen a bit, although it’s already a million times better than what I have now.

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But these are fantasies, so I may as well re-fit with blue-grey shaker cabinets.

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And the master bedroom has an – eeeek! – DRESSING ROOM. Imagine how many shoes I could justify having!

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Then there’s the fact that there’s a light and airy sitting room for during the day and a drawing room for the evening, which could be made all cosy and snug.*

*Because, again, this is fantasyland territory, so I’m assuming the kids will be asleep at an appropriate time each night and Husband and I will want to watch the same things on TV. Yeah, right.

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Taupe and cream for a cosy drawing room, perhaps? Candles and blankets a must.

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Lighter shades for the sitting room, me thinks.

Hmmm. Quite possibly I’ve thought about this a little too much. But, you never know. I could scoop £6million on the lottery tonight…if I remember to buy a ticket.

Besides, you gotta have a dream, right?

I should point out that I have been working hard too today. My first official day flying solo in the office, I got thanked by a client for being so prompt and proactive. (Little did they know I’m still largely winging it.) Plus I’ve finally learnt everyone’s name and got my email signature to work. I feel all official now and I LOVE it.

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Dream Home #1: If I Lived Alone

God, I love my job! Lovely people, really friendly clients and books chock full of amazing properties. I am easily won over by a character property (which is just as well as my own house wouldn’t know a right angle if a set square were to introduce itself) and I could picture myself in just about any property on our books.

And so I introduce to you my very own Property of the Fortnight. I’ll have you wanting to live in Norfolk by the end of the year.

Hampton Court

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Living in a house teaming with people and their stuff and stuff inherited from people now dead so attached with feelings of guilt if chucked out and then more stuff for good measure, I have a dream of living alone. Obviously not until Boo and Noodles are all grown up and have gone off to university or whatever makes grown-up kids move out. Husband is more of a contentious issue. I could probably cope quite well without him and would relish being master of both the remote and the duvet. He wants to retire to France anyway. My French is rubbish and I’d just get fat(ter) on all the croissants and baguettes, so maybe it would be best if we split up amicably/stayed married but lived in different countries (is that a thing people do? It should be!) and I could just go and visit when I wanted a tan.

And so, into dotage, I would like to live here:

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Just look at all that white. With plenty of sticky fingers around the house at the moment it’s not a look I could get away with right now, but I would love to. It’d be a cinch to clean and could look so feminine and full of vintage finds without anything nice instantly being broken by the unappreciative, clumsies of my family. And as it’s small and cute obviously I would have to visit them rather than them coming to me for things like Christmas (meaning that I could sit in front of the telly with a selection box rather than doing the cooking – see, I’ve thought it through).

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Not big enough for family events, but perfect just for me.

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Oh, to have sole use of the roll-top bath. No plastic toys here.

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But then I wouldn’t have to worry about being lonely either. There’s a communal secret garden – ok, no nude sunbathing, but that’s not my thing anyway – perfect for catching up with the neighbours.

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And it’s right close to where all the town’s best restaurants are situated.

I’d just have to hope the polar ice caps don’t melt as it’s right on the quay. Although, to be fair, if that happens all of us in Norfolk are literally sunk.

Oh my God, never before have I looked forward to zipping through the next 16 years. Definitely a dream home. I’m sold.

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