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Posts Tagged ‘flats’

  1. Loads of stuff, crammed into one blog post

    October 13, 2010 by superlative

    I have so many things I could blog about at the moment that I haven’t actually blogged about any of them. Which is a shame, because usually anything I have to say is both interesting and hilarious, and you are therefore being unfairly deprived.

    So I will have to do a very quick run down of the great shifting sands that are my life right now, and I apologise in advance for the brevity.

    Dirty thirty
    Chris turned 30 last weekend. Although he’d already had his main party for it (the pirate party a couple of weeks ago), I tried still to make his birthday a bit special for him, and I think he had a nice weekend overall. It was gloriously sunny, which was pleasant for October, and so we were able to indulge his penchant for lounging around semi-clad on the beach one last time before the winter hits. He was also able to take some nice pictures with the SLR camera he got for his birthday, even though neither of us knows how to use it properly yet. The ones of the fit man playing beach volleyball came out particularly well.

    I did some balloons for him at home (he likes balloons), and we had a few people over for champagne on Saturday night before going out for a bit of dancing at the Brighton Ballroom. Not as many people came to the champagne drinking as I would have liked, but I suppose that’s because practically everyone came to the pirate party and you can’t keep on demanding people celebrate your birthday.

    So yes, he’s 30 now and seemed to cope with it rather well. I have six months to get used to the idea before I hit the big three-o myself. Six months I’m going to cling onto defiantly. ‘Late twenties’ sounds so much better than 30 or ‘early thirties’ and so I’m reluctant to give it up. Maybe I’ll just start saying ‘very very late twenties’ once I pass the milestone.

    Open University
    My course has been going fairly well so far, although it is quite time-consuming. I’ve had my first two assignments back just a week ago; they’re only practice assignments, but they’re meant to give you an idea of whether you’re ready for the course and to give you practice at the assignment format. For the first one, a computer-marked multiple choice one, I got 100%, and for the tutor-marked written one I got 99%, so woo hoo! I guess that means I should be able to manage the course OK.  I’ve really missed the validation you feel when you get a piece of academic work back with ticks all over it and a nice comment at the end. I just hope I do so well when the assignments start actually counting towards my final mark.

    Flat hunting
    We have started flat hunting again, as we suddenly found that with a 15% deposit there are mortgages we can actually afford. And in a shocking display of speed, we saw five properties last Friday, saw the best one again on Monday, and today I’ve put in our first ever offer on a flat with the estate agent. I’m waiting to hear back at the moment.

    I have found the whole process VERY stressful and unsettling, purely because I don’t handle change very well and I’m terrified of committing to the wrong thing. I was alright up until the point where we started thinking about making an offer, and then I had a complete freakout and probably pissed Chris off a bit with my general flappiness. I’ve settled down a bit since then, and I was quite a bit happier once we had a mortgage agreement in principle sort out, as that gave me more confidence as a buyer.

    We’ve gone in a bit under the asking price for the flat we like, and the estate agent indicated afterwards that it will probably be turned down, as the seller has received an offer for that price before. We are in a strong position to buy and move quickly though, so you never know. And the fact he’s been offered that price before made me think actually it may not have been that cheeky an offer; people obviously think it’s worth about that much.

    So anyway, I’ll wait to hear back I guess, and then we’ll see if we want to increase our offer or look elsewhere if the man says no. It’s very exciting, but very scary, and I have to not think about it too hard or I start feeling sick.

    Other bits and bobs
    The X Factor has started its live shows at last (bam bam bam, bam bam b’naa naa), and has picked a right motley crew for the final 16. Well, final 14, because two of them have gone already. I hate loads of them, I’m indifferent about the majority of them, and I only like about two or three acts. Still, it was nice to scream at the screen again for a while on Saturday night, and Twitter always comes alive during X Factor and that adds to the fun. My current favourite is probably Treyc despite the fact she cannot spell Tracy correctly, but I also quite like the fitty twink boyband (because they are fitty twinks), and Rebecca is alright, and even the made-up girl band seemed OK to me. Who knows who we’ll end up with by the series finale. It isn’t the strongest year, but I shall watch for a giggle nonetheless.

    Oh yes, and Smash EDO is conducting one of its idiotic protests in Brighton again today. I’ve written previously about how ridiculous and pointless their protests are, so I’m not sure I can be bothered to get into it again. All I will say is that they’ve dubbed their protest ‘Hammertime’ (hmm, peaceful protest, or MC Hammer tribute?), one person was arrested for carrying a blade in about the first hour, they’ve covered their faces again (always a sign of good intentions), and they’ve probably cost the police hundreds of thousands of pounds.

    I’m sure the protest will be entirely successful at achieving the permanent closure of the EDO factory. I’m going to hold my breath. Ready? Holding it. Still not closed? Still even now not closed? Not even remotely bothered by the protesters you say? And nor is Israel? Or the Palestinians? Oh right. Well fuck that then, I was turning purple anyway.

    Smash EDO supporters often like to leave abusive comments on my blog if I dare to question the motive, method or efficacy of their ‘protest’. I wonder if I’ll get any today? Let’s see shall we….

  2. Where am I going to buy my drugs now?

    September 14, 2010 by superlative

    The drug dealers have rather abruptly moved out of the flat next door to mine and we have new neighbours. I’m quite surprised, because I thought they were going to be staying put there for a while.

    It was only a few weeks ago that one of them knocked on our door (the nice one who doesn’t deal drugs) to say they’d had another letter from their landlord about noise complaints, and they were sorry and wanted to ask what they could do to be quieter. We hadn’t actually complained about the noise, it must have been one of the other flats, because from our point of view they already were quite quiet. The fact that they sold drugs from the flat and had large numbers of rather sketchy-looking visitors/customers was much more of an issue to me, but of course I didn’t say that. I was just nice and jovial and said no they hadn’t disturbed us, and that was it.

    So I was a bit surprised that last weekend they were suddenly packing stuff into a taxi and hoovering the flat at 11pm (they never hoover, presumably they manage never to spill their drugs on the carpet). I saw one of them in the street and just nodded and smiled, and in return I got a rather stoney look, so I can only assume that someone complained about them again and they were told to leave. I feel sorry for the nice one because he’d always been very friendly to us, but I don’t feel sorry for the drug dealer. I just don’t want that in my building.

    I’m still rather annoyed that having called the police and asked what you should do if you think your neighbour is a drug dealer, having been told “yes that behaviour does sound suspicious, you should file a report with us”, and having then filed a report three times, NOTHING happened. Nothing at all. They didn’t ask me for any further information, they didn’t say keep a log of how many suspicious visitors they have so we have more to go on, or anything like that. They just noted it down and then did nothing about it.

    What else is a responsible citizen supposed to do? Why should I just tolerate having a drug dealer next door, even if he was only a low level one? I realise that I could simply have been a malicious neighbour who wanted to get someone I didn’t like into trouble, and so they can’t just bash the door down on my say so. But I’d have thought something might have happened. But no, apparently not. Maybe they need to get complaints from more than one neighbour before they take it seriously or something.

    But anyway, they’ve gone now, and two girls have moved in.

    In an effort to be neighbourly, we introduced ourselves when they arrived, and had them over for a glass of wine in the evening. They seem on the whole quite nice, and probably are a better calibre of neighbour than we’ve had in there for a while: one is an NQT, and the other is a mature student (although still in her early 20s, so she’s only ‘mature’ because she’s not starting her course at 18).

    I was less impressed with the 10 friends they had round on their first night, who seemed much more like the daggy, slightly zoned-out set of students that we’re used to next door. They were polite enough, but the building immediately felt like a halls of residence again. They left smoking debris all over the patio too, which I found rather disrespectful of the other people that live there.

    But the girls ARE quiet, friendly and polite, so I’m hoping it will be fine. And they approved of our Zac Efron poster and Hollyoaks Hunks calendar (yes we have those), so we may get on famously.

    We’re thinking again about moving anyway, as our landlord wants to put the rent up by another £20 and I’m starting to think it’s not very good value for a one bedroom flat with no double glazing, no central heating, only one storage heater for the whole flat, and periodically bad neighbours. I just want somewhere nice to live, that’s quiet and is befitting of our stature as refined young professionals. But we still haven’t saved up enough to buy, so it would have to be another rental place, and the only places I really like are around £1,000 a month. We could afford that, but it would stop us saving up to buy very quickly, so then I don’t know if we should move or not.

    Anyway, yay to no drug dealers and replacement neighbours, and I’m off to check lettings adverts now.

  3. If you can’t afford to buy it, rent it

    July 2, 2009 by superlative

    I think that we’re leaning a bit more towards renting a new flat rather than buying now. After a few weeks of looking, we’ve found that we aren’t even seeing any places advertised that we want to go and view, let alone would consider buying. There just aren’t enough things coming on the market at the moment, as all the sellers are waiting for prices to pick up again. So all the things that do come on the market are there because the seller has to sell for some reason, and there’s not a lot to choose from.

    So anyway, I had kind of gone off the idea of moving at all, as it’s summer now and our location in town is quite useful in the summer, and I’ve done some work on making our flat a bit nicer. But Chris is still fairly keen on moving, and having had a look at some adverts there are some really lovely places around that we could afford. We could never afford to buy them of course, but we could rent them and still stay happily within our means.

    We’re off to see one tonight that I think only came on the market on Monday. It looks really nice in the pictures: it’s a Regency flat right on the seafront with a gorgeous big lounge and views of the sea. Look how nice this is:

    Of course we wouldn’t have that furniture in it, we’d have our own stuff and make the inside look a bit more modern, but the rooms are nice and big and the view is great. I suppose it’s at the top end of our rental budget, but we can afford it alright, and we should still have a bit of money left over to put into savings each month.

    Saying all that though, I can still feel my nerves setting in a little bit. I can’t remember when I turned into an anxious person, I’m normally too rational for it, but the fact is I am anxious about a fair few things now. And with things like flats it’s the commitment that makes me nervous.

    What if we end up not liking it? What if the neighbours are horrible? What if the landlord whacks the rent up after a year? What if the landlord decides to sell it? What if it’s the wrong decision??

    All those things go round and round in my head until I think “gaahhh let’s just not move! At least we know what we’re getting with the flat we’re in now!”

    BUT, in lots of ways we do quite want to move. It’s too noisy on the road we live on, the student neighbours next door can be a pain, and we’d like to have a proper guestroom instead of a sofabed in the living room.

    And if you look at my nervous questions above, you can pick them apart and they don’t sound so serious.

    What if we end up not liking it?
    We can move out after a year, or probably sooner if we want. The only real issue with that is that you lose all the fees you’ve spent in taking out the tenancy and you have all the hassle of moving again. It’s not dire though.

    What if the neighbours are horrible?
    Same as above. And our neighbours aren’t great at the moment.

    What if the landlord whacks the rent up after a year? What if the landlord decides to sell it?
    What if it’s the wrong decision??
    Again, you can just move out. At least we wouldn’t have bought the place and be stuck with it until we could sell it.

    So really I shouldn’t get myself too over-wrought about it. I shall try to go and see this flat with an open mind and non-anxious eyes, and then I’ll write if we liked it tomorrow!