Been house-hunting again today.
Specifically, I went to view an apartment, which is in fact more a wing of a grand old house. Set down a private drive, on the steep slope down one of our many estuaries, with fantastic views from the grounds and from parts of the house – most importantly the spacious and elegant sitting room. The house itself includes extravagant luxuries such as classical columns, and much of it is covered in ivy. A spacious three-bedroom, two-bathroom place (the long bedroom would become my office) in a quiet and beautiful location within comfortable cycling distance of Plymouth: what more could I ask?
Well, there are drawbacks. Much of it could use redecoration, and the agent tells me the landlord is very particular about how it gets done. Running costs are going to be very high, with lots of large, single-glazed sash windows (five in the sitting room alone, and excluding the french-style doors on the dining area which is open-plan to it), and no gas supply at all. But encouragingly, they are in decent condition, and every one I tried opens and closes cleanly and easily.
The agent’s particulars are unclear on the subject of furniture: in one place it says part-furnished, elsewhere it says unfurnished. Today it looked not very far off fully-furnished, and the agent said they’d prefer a tenant who’ll accept the furniture. While some of the furniture is nice and I’d be happy to keep it, other items fall a long way short of the quality of the flat itself. Most importantly, I’d need to get rid of the main bed as seen, though the two singles in my prospective office could stay (in the smaller room) as spare beds.
Most unusual here seems to be the relationship of the landlord, agent and prospective tenants. Apparently the agent will present a report and recommendation, whereupon I – having expressed my interest – may or may not be invited back for a second visit and to meet the landlord. Not at all like the usual scenario, where they’ll just take any tenant who’ll pay and who ticks the right boxes!
Overall, it’s the nicest place I’ve seen for some time, and I think I’ll take it if offered. Unless, like buses, good properties come in batches, and I take somewhere else first!