This morning husband and I went to an open viewing of a flat, which the estate agents described as ‘unmodernised’. A building site would be more appropriate description, though it’s true that what we saw could be a lovely ground floor apartment with large rooms, a cellar and a garden in a nice tree-lined street. Just what we’d love; or would have loved perhaps ten years ago. Because as we watched the other prospective buyers milling around the damp-smelling rooms, knocking on walls, checking the rotten window frames and, just like us, generally pretending they’re experts on housebuilding, I wondered whether we’d have the stomach for another project?
Husband made calculations in his head, covertly whispering figures to me, ‘Ten grand for plumbing and heating, another ten on windows…then there’s the damp proofing, kitchen at least fifty – no sixty….’ I looked at his face, he smiled and I saw he was in his element.
As we were walking out of the property we charted out the money side, how much we’d need to borrow. ‘But do we really want that again?’
‘That is the question,’ I thought. If only I knew.