So a few of you know the new and exciting news in our world, but for those of you who don't, get ready - it's a doozy!
Two Tuesdays ago, I received a completely random message in my e-mail inbox from a woman called Gillian who said that she has a three bedroom house to rent in Southdown, an area of Bath that's about a half hour's walk from the city centre. I brought it to the attention of my manager at work and we looked it up on the web, realising that it's about a five minute walk from her house. It was advertised on a property agent's website, which included several photos of what looked like a gorgeous, fully furnished house, complete with landscaped backyard and patio (and compost!!!), as well as a field about a hop and a skip away where we could walk Nugget. Rachel and I twittered excitedly about that for a few minutes, but I was determined not to get my hopes up as they have been dashed so very many times whilst here so far. I e-mailed Gillian back saying that we would be very interested in chatting with her about it, and gave her our budget, which was a full £200 less than what it was advertised for commercially...which did not include bills. I fully expected not to hear back from her as I was sure she could find suitable renters who could afford quite a lot more than us.
Imagine my surprise when she called the evening she said she would to arrange a viewing a couple of days later. I emphasized what our budget was and she seemed to take it all in stride, saying that we sounded perfect and would we like to see it in a couple of days time?
Well, a couple of days came and went and go to see it we did. It was all we could have asked for and more, not counting the fact that Gillian seems totally awesome as a person. It turns out that she stayed in Rockland last year on her way to Bar Harbor, and may well have stayed in the house where Chad had his first job as a landscaper! Basically, she's looking for someone to love and take care of her house and garden. She doesn't want to rent it commercially because she'd have to move all of her stuff out, get crazy insurance, etc., and wouldn't have the opportunity to choose who the tenants would be. She loves her house and just wants it to be taken care of. And she has chosen us to do it.
So, without further ado, here is our new house, where we will be moving to on the 28th of February (these are photos from the letting agent that I pilfered from their website).
This is a view of the living room from the kitchen. As you enter the house, there is a small entryway with stairs in front of you, leading to the second floor. Directly to your right is the door that is visible in this photo.
As you walk through the living room, through the vantage point at which the previous photo was taken, you enter the kitchen, fully remodeled last summer, complete with washing machine (all washing machines seem to be in the kitchen over here). It's evidently also fully kitted out with all modern kitchen accoutrements as well, which will be a welcome change from our current rent, where the kitchen is outfitted only with the very basics.
If you carry on through the kitchen, you find yourself in the conservatory (feel free to make as many Clue references as you like). This was a new south-facing addition to the house last summer and evidently gets so swelteringly hot during the summer that you can't leave candles on the table because they'll melt. Just imagine all the tomatoes I will grown in this room (shudder of pleasure). It's a bit chilly out there now as the heat hasn't been installed yet, but it's a seriously lovely space.
Last but not least is the terraced garden, complete with barbeque and seating area, perrenial flower beds, and bench swing. The compost is that thing in the back right corner (yet another shudder of pleasure). I am very much looking forward to getting my hands dirty in those beds and am already trying to work out when I can start planting lettuces and other cooler-weather crops.
Alas, I don't have any photos of the upstairs, but here's the basic rundown: When you alight on the second floor, directly in front of you is the bathroom. To your right is the first bedroom, which has a window overlooking the back garden and seems very quiet. There is also a huge, wall-to-wall built in closet. Down the hall are the other two bedrooms, one a mirror image of the first with the same closet, and the second a smaller, single bedroom currently used as an office space...which is probably what it will remain so Chad has a place to write his dissertation.
As for the area, as we mentioned earlier, there is a "city farm" about a three minute's walk from the front door, which it takes about 40 minutes to circumambulate (thank you, Dad, for expanding my vocabulary), and evidently it's where all the cool dogs hang out. About a five minute's walk away is the little downtown area, including a small chain grocery store, a small independent green grocer, a butcher, an Indian takeaway, and evidently quite a good bakery. I'm sure there's more as well, but we just did a quick drive through.
So. There's our exciting news. This is all very premature as we haven't signed a lease yet, but have a verbal agreement with Gillian, who, strangely enough, seems just as excited about us moving into her house as we are about moving there. We're meeting up to sign paperwork and work out the nuts and bolts of our agreement soon, but until then, please keep your fingers crossed for us! We're giving our notice to our current housemates tomorrow, which I think they'll be pretty bummed about since we all get on pretty well, but I hope they'll be happy for us. It really is a plum opportunity.
I'll let you know as things progress, but for the time being, if you're going to be in the area anytime during the next year, after March 1st, you've got a place to crash.
Love to all,
Sarah and Chad