Alice-Azania Jarvis: Buying a flat can be like going on a blind date
In The Red
Alice Jolly is an author, playwrite and teaches creative writing at Oxford University. She is crowd-funding her own memoir of infertility and surrogacy with the publisher Unbound. 50 per cent of the proceeds of the book will be donated to SANDS (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Foundation).
Saturday 03 December 2011
Last week, I mentioned change. And the fact that there's an awful lot of it in my life these days. New year, new diary, new page of the calendar and all that. I'd just accepted an offer on my flat, and had made an offer on another one. This change, it should be said, looks perilously close to collapse; the buyer that Foxtons found for me is poised to pull out, having been unable to get a mortgage for himself. It's frustrating given the legal fees I've already racked up – and the way in which my heart has found itself set on the other property, which is now almost certain to be out of reach despite being, quite literally, the Flat Of My Dreams.
If nothing else, it will have been a valuable lesson in the vagaries of the housing market: the forms, the paperwork, the brokers, agents and lawyers. The way in which you can, like a blind date waiting alone at the restaurant table, be left in the lurch by a total stranger. And I might take it as a cue to implement more change: invest in a set of chairs for the unused table in my sitting room (radical!). Learn how to change a spotlight. Clear out a few overstocked cupboards and cluttered shelves. I'd get a pet, only there's no outdoor space and I don't really want a dependent. I'd move in my boyfriend, but he'd pose the same problem.
At any rate, there's another big change happening in my life. I am soon to leave The Independent. After four and a half years, it seems a good time to shake things up a bit. We all need to do that sometimes, don't we? I don't want to stay in one place so long I cease to appreciate how wonderful it is. Which this place – this paper – most definitely is (as for the column's contribution to that, only you can be the judge).
It also means that, for the first time in four years, I won't be popping up at the back of your paper on Saturday morning. Next week will be my final appearance, and I intend to use it to share what meagre lessons I have learned in my time here. Has In The Red given me a better brain for finance? Am I now more likely to save than to spend? The jury's out. But, if you're interested, do tune in. And if you have any questions, fire away. Just don't ask me about selling your flat. Because on that front, I am singularly clueless.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
- 1 Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
iJobs Money & Business
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...
£25000 per annum + £50,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Southend, Al...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a Call Centre Agent you will...
Day In a Page
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens