In The Red: 'This time I'm definitely selling my flat – I think'

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The Independent Online

Right. Deep breaths. Here we go: I think I want to sell my flat. I’m not, it has to be said, 100% sure. But I’m fairly certain, so there you go; that’s about as much of a definite statement as you can hope for from a chronically indecisive commitment phobe like me. In fact, this is one of the reasons I want to sell. So that I can rent. So that I’m not tied down. So that I can up and leave at a moment’s (or, at least, a few months’) notice.

I’ve said this all before. I’m perpetually flirting with getting rid of my flat. But this time I mean it. I think. The market is no longer quite as deathly as it was the last time I considered entering it, and my feet are even itchier than they once were. So, estate agents, get in touch. Not you Foxtons, I know your bag. But the rest of you, feel free.

Of course, the prospect of putting a flat up for sale is never an appealing one. For one thing, selling one’s home tends to mean moving. And, as any statistician will tell you, that is one of the most stressful things you can do. For another, selling is going to mean confronting all those DIY jobs I’ve been putting off for months.

Like dealing with my front door. Last year a series of freak accidents – locking myself out, having my handbag stolen, flooding my bathroom and necessitating an emergency break-in – left my front door severely battered. Not actually damaged, from a security point of view, just battered, aesthetically-speaking. I’ll need a new one, which is bound to wrack up a cool three-figure bill. And then there’s the lights that need changing (no “how many writers does it take to change a light bulb” jokes here please. These lights are not ordinary illuminators. Even my father, schooled in the tradition of proper pre-digital-generation DIY is baffled by them). And the walls that need painting. And the shower that needs plumbing. And, of course, there’s the perpetual cleaning that selling one’s home requires to ensure it is permanently buyer-ready. All of which is rather daunting when your life is as time-poor and cash, er, poor as mine.

Hopefully, I’ll recoup the sum I (or, rather, my mortgage-broker) paid for it in the first place. This was, after all, the point of buying in the upwardly-mobile East End of London. But there are the agents fees to consider, the legal fees, and the surveying fees. Then there’s the cost of finding somewhere new to live. On second thoughts maybe I shouldn’t’ sell. Uh-oh, here we go again.

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