Donald MacInnes: Our ideal home on a hill is the first kill in house-hunting safari

 

So now the story can be told; now the cat, unlike Erwin Schrödinger's theoretical subject, can exit the bag.

Our hunt for a home of our own has produced its first kill. But it's not a zebra's head adorning the wall of my (increasingly) metaphorical study.

No, the thing which met its maker was our dream of a nice house on a hill overlooking London. Sadly, some cash-rich prospector outbid us. So now we sit gazing at the walls in our (admittedly lovely) rental flat and wonder if we could have done anything differently.

We became aware of the house (hereafter known as "the house") about six weeks ago.

We had combed the hill for months, looking at a few places, but never being overly impressed. Then we saw it. A three-bedroomed, semi-detached home, it had been renovated extensively by its owner and was presented in an immaculate fashion.

Every wall was snow white, every floor lickable. It didn't even smell of sausages and old tights. Although most people have gone through the will-sapping agony of househunting, it's nevertheless worth stating how rare it is to find a house like this. Having inspected many in the past few months, I can reveal that a surprisingly high percentage of people live like post-apocalyptic hoarders, unaware of the smell which emanates from both them and the shed at the bottom of their Amazonian hell of a garden.

Anyway, having poured over pictures of the house (and even gone into Google StreetView to walk the route from "the house" to "the chippy"), by the time we actually attended the busy open day, we were beyond excited and both doing our best not to scream "We'll TAKE it!!".

As the owner showed us round, I did my best to charm her into selling us the house without actually making her knees buckle or giving my wife grounds for divorce.

As it turned out, we all got on famously. Before we left, I even asked for her number and, with a wink, said we would be in touch. This is highly inappropriate. Not just because I am married, but because we were only supposed to deal with the estate agent. But we had a personal connection! Well, we thought we did.

We found out later that we were one of nine prospective buyers sniffing around. We began with a bid of £11,000 over the asking price. Uh-uh. Not even close.

The next 24 hours saw a minor bidding war between us and the others, the price being nudged up repeatedly until it passed £300,000 and the owner asked for secret best and final bids. We bid £321,321 and crossed our fingers. Sadly, we lost. What remains staggering is that we bid 41 GRAND over the asking price and this still wasn't enough.

It's all pretty depressing. But what are you going to do? We just have to keep looking. Or buy a tent.

Twitter.com/DonaldAMacInnes

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Project Manager / Business Analyst

    £40-50k + Benefits.: Guru Careers: A Project Manager / Business Analyst is nee...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Swiss Banking and Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

    £215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power