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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Tiny house living

Back after a long dramatic pause, we will resume the blog. In my defense, this is the first night in our new place we have internet. So, by the title you may have already assumed that we are finally homeowners in the U.K. My impressions of the whole experience? I hope I don't have to do this again any time soon. It has been such a frustrating process. 
Our new flat (downstairs, right side)

It starts out with us having to hire a solicitor, that we pay in advance, to represent us. Sounds good but since she is already paid, I get the impression that she doesn't really have to hurry or even be that great at what she does. Next, we make an offer. After it is agreed upon by the seller and the buyer then the solicitors take over in a flurry of "inquiries" and vagueness. I say vagueness because there is not set closing date. It doesn't matter if the seller has moved out and the apartment is empty. It doesn't matter if the buyer is paying cash and not doing full inspections to try and speed the process along, it is going to take as long as they decide. Whenever we asked how the process was going, we were told by our solicitor, that she was chasing inquiries. I am still not sure what that all means because we never got a really straight answer. 

Finally, after us calling everyday to check the process, did she decide that this had taken long enough and we could get the keys the following Monday. Keep in mind, that we were told on a Friday. So we made a quick trip to Ikea, to procure some pans and kitchen supplies, purchased to paint to hide the purple walls in the bedroom and obtained ownership. 
Purplish Bedroom (before)

 So, let me describe our "flat". It is just over 400 square feet. It was built, by our guess, in the 1930's. The last owner loved the color teal, loved IKEA, and loved to try and hack really big things to fit into small spaces, without much success. Some of the more interesting features, the bathtub and is so close to the bathroom sink, that the cabinet doors can't open because there is only 5 inches of space between the tub and the sink. If you want to open the oven door, you must first open the cabinet door on the side, once again because there is not enough room. One of the overly large IKEA cabinets, has beautiful pullouts, that of course don't pull out because there is not enough room. 
Teal walls! 
Cramped Kitchen
Space between tub and vanity

Did I mention the bedroom was purplish? But even with all this funkiness, we love having our own place. It was really nice to unpack our suitcases after a month. We have repainted the bedroom, bought some new furniture and have plans to redecorate the kitchen, lounge, and bathroom. 

Bedroom (after)



 Some things that our flat does have going for it, a very long narrow back yard. It has no grass but it does have lots of raised beds for gardens, a nice size shed and bonus, a fire-pit. It is about a 2 mile walk to Kenny and Kim's house. There are several larger stores within an easy walk for us to get the day to day basics, and best of all it is close to my three adorable grand-kids who are happy we are here. So, even though Covid is still and issue and has affected so many areas of my life, it is nice to know we have a place to be that is close to the hugs and kisses of our grand-kids. 
- Becky