Joe Blogs

House Pics


There are some house pictures of the house “here.”:/house.html They’re pretty bad quality, but give some idea of what it’s like inside.

We’re a bit concerned at the moment that the top of the chain wants to complete on the 4th April. They’re moving to a new build and the builder is applying pressure. That’s really too early for us, we’re going to have to pay rent on our flat until the end of August unless we can persuade the landlord to bring in new tenants earlier. We were told the completion day was the 25th May by our estate agent, which is still earlier than we’d like, but possibly manageable.

WordPress Upgrade


I’ve upgraded WordPress to 1.5. It was straightforward for me, although I had to hack one of the scripts a bit to deal with my dynamic php/css stuff. I managed to stuff up Hannah’s at first but a bit of hacking on the posts database fixed things.

The templates seem pretty good, much better than the old way. That is all

Warning: hard sells don’t work on me


I really dislike being pressured into decisions.

We started using an “independent” mortgage advisor when we first thought about buying a house. The way this worked was that we agreed a particular fee on completion of purchasing a house through him. At first it seemed like the right decision because we’ve never bought a house and it was useful to speak to somebody who seemed to know what they were talking about.

We then put in an offer on a house and spoke to the Estate Agent’s mortgage advisor. For this there was no fee. We were not pressured into anything and they were helpful, polite and went out of their way to explain things we didn’t understand. We decided, therefore, to dispense with the services of the independent advisor as we were offered the identical mortgage through the estate agents with no fees. No fees and dealing with the same people for everything seemed the most sensible course of action.

Shaking off the independent advisor has been like trying to remove something from your shoe when there’s no grass around. He was rude and unpleasant to Hannah when he called and wouldn’t accept her “no” as from both of us. I stuck to my guns though, and told him that that was our decision.

So, that seemed like that. But, we then had a call from “the boss” to try and persuade us to change our minds. He said he’d waive our fees as we were “an important customer”. He also thought he could get a better deal for us with Scottish Widows (currently going with Northern Rock), but the monthly payments were only fractionally less and it was borrowing less money than we need. He also patronised us by saying he would like to see us to give us some “fatherly advice”. Condescending idiot.

I will not be using their services regardless. I do not like being bullied into a decision. Sales people should apply pressure without seeming to, or convince you to buy their product with logical argument, not slagging off the competition.

We’re seeing Rob from Dixons this afternoon to go through the paperwork. If I am phoned again by the independent advisors I will tell them that my final decision is made and I will consider any other contact unsolicited.


Assorted mumblings


I have, it must be said, been extremely slack with this blog lately. It’s not exactly that I’ve been doing nothing, just that I can’t find the enthusiasm to blog it.

Things change. As readers of Hannah’s blog will know, we’ve made some progress on getting our first house.

Things have moved very fast so far, and I’m trying to remain focussed. It’s very hard, though, because we really want it.

It’s a very nice, 3 bedroomed ex-council house circa. 1960. We viewed it last night and liked it so much we made an offer. We broke all the rules and offered the asking price, since nobody else had viewed it yet and so it would not be much point in offering less. We’ve got a mortgage agreement in principle and are seeing the estate agents tomorrow. We’ve been assured nobody else will be viewing it now, and so hopefully we won’t be gazumped. I /hate/ that. However, I’m trying to balance being positive about it without pinning all my hopes on it. I’ve known too many people whose housing plans have gone awry.

Anyway, that’s the negative, the positive is that the interior is very nicely decorated and well finished with new carpets and everything’s immaculate. There are enough things to do (like remove the tweenies frieze from the little bedroom and that type of thing) that it will feel like our own house, but the important/expensive stuff is all done already. It has a good loft space and a smallish garage that should be big enough to fit our current car in and still give me enough room to fit a work bench in. The living room is a very good size and it has a separate, decent size dining room and a really very nice kitchen. It’s withing spitting distance of the M6 so, it can be a bit noisy at times, but it’s fully double-glazed and Hannah will like it because it seems all to easy to heat to melting point.

There we go. In other news, we spent a nice weekend in Nottingham again. We ate out every evening (bad for waistline and wallet) and went walking/stumbling with Carl and Susie on Saturday and Sunday. Carl also exercised his photography muscles by taking “this very tasteful nude”: of Hannah. As her agent, my fee was a free print of it. I’m very pleased with it, and I think Hannah is too really.

Tomorrow, a visit to the estate agents to sort some more stuff out.