So, after a manic week spent mostly on building sites, in the car or at the airport I have made it home and have been able to speak to the surveyor. He took great pleasure in suggesting that the house of my dreams is a deathtrap that will suck up my lifesavings, my will to live and leave me penniless and in debt for life. He was on the verge of suggesting I watched 'The Moneypit' and took it as a serious documentary.
The difficulty is how much attention should you pay to a survey? They are naturally pessimistic and never tell you good things that make you feel happy about spending the most money you will ever shell out on anything. In fact they are designed to part you from large paper bags of cash in order to persuade you not to part with further bags of cash for the actual house.
The big problem on this one seems to be the roof. Unlike most welsh houses the roof does not have slate but is done in some delightful tile invented by a lunatic in the sixties. I had naively hoped that, despite its ugliness, I could live with this for 20 years or so before worrying about replacing it. Not according to Survey Man. Apparently, the tiles are 'shaling' which is a BAD THING. Not that he has ever seen it before, but that fact in itself seemed to induce a gloomy outlook over the whole roof.
In addition, he added morosely, the roof trusses might not be strong enough to support the weight of slate tiles so replacing the sixties tiles with slate might mean changing the entire structure of the roof. Great.
His advice? Pay for more specialists to come and look at it and then throw myself off the nearest cliff when overwhelmed with depression.
Naturally he also said that the house had, and I quote, mysterious damp which was erratic and unsourced. Well, that's a welsh house for you.
Oh god - am I biting off more than I can chew? Are my eyes too big for my stomach? Am I cursed with an inability to write anything other than cliches?
What do I do now? I'm sort of afraid to haggle in case I lose the house entirely but equally I can't buy it if I can't afford to look after it. I can feel myself getting stressed just thinking about it. I will go and lie down quietly and moan to myself for a while and hope for words of wisdom from all of you as to what course to take.
The price of health
2 days ago