I bumped into a friend today and got chatting. We talked a bit about his business and I asked what impact the current economic climate was having on him.
Pretty good it would seem, and to illustrate that there’s still plenty of money for some, he told me about a property he’d been to recently, to discuss a fairly major building project.
Apparently it had changed ownership the previous month, the new owners being Russian, for £24 million! He was told that on viewing their new estate they noticed a small cottage at the edge of the grounds which wasn’t part of their holding. Walking over, they knocked on the door to be greeted by the elderly owner, a widow living alone. They asked her if she’d considered moving, No, they were told, she planned to live there until she died. Undeterred they made her an offer on the spot, without even stepping over her threshold.
Their offer was £1 million, more than three times its market value, if she was out in three weeks, as they wanted it to house their security guards. She was gone in two.
As my search for a new home and business continues I’ve been thinking about past and present homes. As an adult I’ve lived in eight houses, all good properties and all very different, but some felt like home and some didn’t.
Why is that? I don’t think it’s down to size or appearance, location or neighbours, though those things must play a part. Somehow, a house has to feel right before it can feel like a home. If I think back, each house I’ve loved as a home felt special as soon as I first walked through the door; the others, though great houses, just felt, well, great. And I don’t think that’s enough.
In recent weeks I’ve looked at three properties in my search for a new home and business. One wasn’t right but the other two were really nice. If I did a paper exercise one of them would win hands down – better condition, better price and so on. But it didn’t feel “special” and the other did.
So, try as I might to be businesslike and rational, in the end when I find the right property, I think it will be the heart that rules.
Well you’ve found it and you’re reading it, so I guess I’d better explain. Yes, I know the blog has a cheesy, cliché title, but that’s what someone said when I told them my plans, and it made me smile. So I’m going with it.
There are clues in the blog title and the website/domain name. Something to do with holidays, cottages, the West Country, running away, lifestyle you say? I know what you’re thinking – that sounds dull – I’ll find something more interesting.
Can’t say I blame you but stick around for a little while longer and I’ll fill in the gaps.
Here’s the background:
After 20 years in the big corporate world and the last 10 years running my own business (with big corporates as clients) I’ve decided to step away from the horrors of that world and enter the unknown; I’m buying a property in the West Country which has a house to live in and some cottages attached to rent out to holidaymakers.
I’m right at the start of the process and avidly reading all I can about that sort of business, greatly helped I must say by a really good resource called Lay My Hat. I know roughly where I want to buy and what sort of property I’m looking for. Now all I need to do is find it.
Over the coming months I’ll update this blog from time to time with things that I’ve found interesting or amusing. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Oh yes, nearly forgot about the website that this blog is attached to. Nothing much to see there as I write this but eventually it will become the website for the new business. Over the coming weeks I’ll be putting together generic (but useful I hope) content about the area I’m planning to buy in and live in. Then it will grow from there.