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The Renovation Diary: Searching for the Perfect Home

We started dreaming about our forever home years ago. Somewhere with a climbing rose over the door that we could grow our own veg and ideally one that didn’t appear on Google Street View. We’d talk about this fictitious place over wine, agreeing that our main aspirations were: space to host our ever expanding family and a relatively remote setting, with walks from the door. The last two years and the current state of the world only strengthened that desire.

Finding somewhere new to live became a weekend occupation. The only furrow was a sometimes unruly toddler who didn’t enjoy being carted from one derelict building to another. Of course, there were a few near misses: a Victorian red brick that we could barely afford, a tumbledown barn that was home to protected nesting owls and required a special licences to commence work on and a beautiful cottage but with a borrower-sized garden. We imagined ourselves in each of these but we struggled to find anywhere even close to affordable that ticked all our boxes until I got a message from a friend. She explained that their neighbours, a couple who had lived there for forty plus years, were looking to sell in the next twelve months and she thought the cottage was perfect for us. We arranged to have a chat and a tour of the cottage.

We eagerly jumped out of the car and stepped back to take it in, discounting the pvc windows as replaceable, it was otherwise perfect. The front gate sat directly behind a box with ‘POST’ hand painted on it in big white letters. And as we had dreamed there were butter-coloured roses hugging the front door.

We skipped up the chalky path and met Terry and Sue, the lovely owners and their old black lab Digby. They explained that they were planning on splitting the land and building a house for themselves on the paddock next door. Beyond the enthusiastic descriptions from our friend, we had no idea what it was like inside. But it was plain as a pikestaff that if the owners wanted to sell it then this would be our forever home.

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