Don't Let The Rain Come Down


... my roof's got a hole in it and I might drown .... as the song goes.

Its a wet, windy Saturday and we are nearing the end of our third month in the new house. The house isn't new, built in 1997, but newish in that 60% of the U.K. housing stock was built before 1960, but new issues keep popping up. Note to self: don't buy a former rental property that had been owned by an absentee landlord who clearly was only interested in the rent. I was suspicious when the owner took our first offer without any preamble, but hubby wanted to proceed so in we dove.

While full disclosure is still not part of real estate law here in England (and likely never will be), you aren't completely at risk of finding yourself with a total lemon of a house. Legally, if the purchase is mortgage-dependant a valuation survey has to be done prior to any sale agreement. This tells the lender and you if the property is actually worth the amount you are offering for it. The banking industry has done a complete reversal of its pre-recession lending policies and its surprising how many initial offers on houses are rejected because the survey shows they are over-priced. Along with the valuation, there are two more tiers to the survey, both of which the prospective purchaser has to pay for if they want them, that are meant to ferret out any problems in the structure.

We opted for the mid level inspection survey that, among a whole slew of other things, found there was considerable water damage. That was obvious when we looked at the place. Staining on the ceilings of the kitchen and dining room were from the leaking bathrooms. The same marks on two of the upstairs bedroom ceilings were, we hoped, from the old water tanks that had been in the attic and were removed when we had the plumbing and heating replaced. That may have been the case but now we have another problem.

It rained heavy last night and around 3 a.m., we were woke up by the distinct sound of dripping water in the attic. From first inspection, it looks like one of the valleys on the roof is leaking now. Can't wait to find out what the bill is going to be for that. In the meantime, we are going to have to make do with a couple of buckets under the suspect area. Its not a gush or flood, but it rains a lot in England and you can't let something like this go untended for long.

This was taken after the rotting wood framed windows and wood doors
were taken out and replaced. What a difference!

It really is a wonderful house despite all the issues; bigger than average, great area, nice neighbours. But you get to the point where you want to be able to just stop fretting about repairs (80% of which I will say are done) and your battered bank balance and just RELAX! Homeownership is a challenge for a lot of people these days. A combination of a bit of luck and a large amount of hard work has got us here and we want to enjoy it.

In the meantime, the backyard is really coming along nicely. Like the house, it had been neglected too so I'm pleased at how its responding to a bit of care and attention.



The lavender plants love the full sun the back gets

I brought some of the Crocosmia from our previous house to this one.
Its growing like mad and I've transplanted several
clumps from the original plant


Dahlias in full bloom!


I want to plant more lavender in the back. Its bee and butterfly friendly,
easy to care for and tolerates the mild English winter.

So here's to hoping the Weather Gods favour us for a bit longer! I'm off to Google "giant roof umbrellas".


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