I mean, how is that even possible? I'm not sure I really know but it was definitely love at first internet search, let me tell you more. It started in Devon, which is odd as the house - the one I fell for - was in Norfolk, but I guess distance doesn't matter on the internet so much.
It was - and still is - a Grade II listed building, built in Norfolk's traditional carrstone and an unusual choice for a confirmed townie as it was a fair way out of a smallish village. It needed a lot of work, that much was clear from the pictures but it also captured my imagination.
It had potential. It was a doer-upper and would have made a fantastic forever home. I know the lingo, I watch Kirsty and Phil.
I even showed it to MOH and his interest too was piqued. So now it was less of a pipe dream, or was it?
We talked about it, considered when the viewings were - it was for sale by auction and the viewings were set for three week days between 9:30 and 10:00am, and of course they started the first week I went back to work. Hmmnn. We wrote a list of questions we wanted answered and thought about asking my parents to go and check it out on our behalf.
In my head I remodelled the rooms, and made plans for the yet unconverted space. There was room for a large kitchen diner, a hi-fi room for MOH - something that's high on his wish list, a boot room and craft room, which are high on mine and much more.
I even thought about how I could furnish the space. And I thought I might get to revamp some furniture and use some chalk paint, that is if I could persuade MOH that this house needed that kind of furniture. But even I knew furniture was a long way off.
In the end after much discussion, thinking and mulling it over we decided that it was a lot of work, and while it might have been right for us at some stage that time wasn't now. So we didn't go and see it and the list of questions we'd carefully composed weren't used either. But even though that was that I couldn't resist registering on the auction site, just in case...
So what did we learn from all this?
Well, apart from learning how much a dream can capture your heart and falling in love just a little bit with this house, we learnt that moving to the country would be countenanced by this confirmed townie, and for the right place we'd take on a "project."
More surprisingly, well it surprised me, was the realisation that most likely in the next ten or so years we'll sell this house. I mean, I knew we'd sell it at some point, and I couldn't see us selling it to buy another house in this area (and I still can't) but even so putting a number on it, and being comfortable with that was something I hadn't expected. That doesn't mean I don't still love this house, but more that we've worked through an outline for a longer-term plan and that puts lots of things into perspective.
Nothing's fixed but I'm a firm believer in having a plan to help ensure you get there. And now we have that, and that's strangely satisfying.
Oh, and the house that started all this?
Well, it sold at auction - I checked, and it sold for some 40% over the guide price. There's a learning in there about guide prices and buying property at auctions, which isn't something we'd done before. It's something I'd consider though, but I'd want to do more research first.
We were in Norfolk the weekend after the auction and I was keen to see the house in person, even if that was just from the outside and just from a drive-by. We managed two drive-bys, which was pretty impressive as it was in a cul-de-sac! From those we learnt we were right it did have lots of potential, and also that it did need a lot of work. Even from the outside that much was clear.
I suspect too, that it'll be a house I'll keep my eye on through the property sites, maybe stalking it just a little bit that way to see how it's changed if it comes back on the market and to see how the price is affected, because even though it's not mine I'm not quite ready to give up on it completely.
Sometimes life throws things at you to help you grow, don't you think?