Friday, 5 March 2010

Real Estate Spookulation

We live near a lovely village called Alwalton.  I am enamored, and I understand it has always been regarded as quite exclusive.  In doing some web surfing for this post, I stumbled across this census-like listing of who exactly was living in Alwalton in 1279. I'm sure that is officially older than dirt. I note back then, someone's rent  was three hens and one cock yearly.  What a deal.

Should you need to send a package, buy a few groceries, or satisfy your need for a sudden crumpet and tea in the upstairs tearoom, Alwalton's post office is an excellent destination.  Historically, I've taken guests to the Alwalton post office as a treat.  I had a very reasonably priced fruited tea cake with butter, which was like a big, lovely, fruity English muffin. I can also vouch for the quality of the carrot cake and the takeaway Bakewell slices, which are an almond cake dosed with raspberry jam and a bit of icing.  Just when I was worried about not fitting through the doorways horizontally,  I noticed the sign on the ceiling beams warns, "Duck or Grouse!"  The thatched roof is something to see, as well. 

Not far down the street from the beloved post office was a property listed for sale for the absolute bargain price of 175,000 pounds.  Better yet, the agency was hosting an open house the next Saturday.  I was just curious, so I had Chumley check out the listing.  It certainly fit the definition of quaint. According to the estate agent, with my helpful translations/editorial remarks:
A charming (dodgy) Grade II listed (big brother is watching you to see you don't do anything naughty like put up vinyl siding or a sunroom) semi-detached stone cottage in need of full modernisation (oh dear) with large garden (overall plot approximately 0.3 acres.)  The cottage is thought to date back to the mid 17th Century with 19th Century alterations. (Double doh - it was last improved in the 1800's?) Built of limestone rubble with ashlar dressings and a Collyweston slate roof. (It's not going anywhere fast.) Situated in the heart of the picturesque village of Alwalton adjacent to the small village green. The accommodation now needs full modernisation. (Contender for "Understatement of the Year.") A particular feature of the property is the large (?!) garden that in all extends to just over 0.3 of an acre. To the front of the property there is a small garden (postage stamp) enclosed by a low hedge (obstacle course). Gated access to the side of the cottage leads to a large garden in all measuring just over 0.3 of an acre. The gardens are extensively laid to lawn interepersed into which there are a number of mature trees with a small garden timber shed (one could use this structure as kindling, but that's about all).

I scrutinized the picture, and something jumped out at me. 
"Do you see what I see?" I asked Chumley. 
"There's honestly no telling," he replied, quite rightly. 
"Orbs!  On the roof. It's haunted! Freaky!"
Chumley and his rational mind stared me down. "It's just a spot on the lens," he scoffed.  "Still want to see it?"  He was intrigued by what 19th Century additions would look like.

We showed up to a bustling house - apparently, word got out that it might go on the cheap.  It was wired and plumbed, but barely.  There was a spider in the bathtub the size of a small Toyota.  I crept around each corner, on the lookout for that orb in the form of old Uncle Clive.  Something resembling a tree held up the roof, which was bowing like an overloaded donkey's back, but was apparently structurally sound.  "If it hasn't moved in the last 400 years, why would it start now?" Chumley reasoned.  The structural surveyor had peeled back manky newspaper paper used to smooth out the wall surfaces upstairs, dated from 1953.  Chumley started chatting about his vision for the place, what walls he would move, how it could look.  I, for once in the decade, became deathly silent while trying not to concuss myself on the low ceilings.  He finally sensed what was wrong.

"Please don't construe any of my comments as actual interest in buying this place," he said.

Thank God for that.  We hear it did sell, allegedly for over the guide price.  I hope whoever bought it has more vision than just old Uncle Clive rattling around upstairs.


ChaChaneen said...

ha ha You crack me up! Funny post!

Leah said...

best post yet, I can totally picture the open house scenario. Love it!