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House Buying Hell

I am currently buying a flat.

I would like to emphasise the word “currently” because the process has been going on longer than time itself. There is something almost Buddhist about my current existence – and I’m not just talking about the fact I keep slipping into alternative states of consciousness (or panic attacks, as the medical profession would call them). These days I live terminally in the present. This is not by choice, so I don’t think enlightenment beckons (although that would be an pleasantly unexpected twist to my involvement in the housing market – or at least one I’ve never heard Phil and Kristy talk about on “Location Location Location”). No. It all comes down to the fact that I’m frankly just waaay too afraid to plan for future (– what if the flat falls through? Waa!), far too scared to think about the past (– will I ever be able to afford that delicious Pecorino cheese from the organic farmer’s market once the mortgage vaporises my salary? Waa!), and anyway, thanks to the mystery of the house buying process (what exactly is it solicitors do that takes them so long?!!), every day slips hypnotically into exactly. the. same. routine… I call up full of enthusiasm and get told, “Mr Heaney, I’m afraid we can’t move forward onto the next stage just yet because we’re still waiting to hear back from [delete as applicable] the vendor’s solicitor/the council planning office/the land registry/God and all his angels.”

Everyone says buying a house is stressful, but I really didn’t realise just how life sapping it would become. I think what makes it a million times more awful is the fact that absolutely EVERYONE wants to give you their piece of advice. I blame all those property TV programs. Most of us can’t afford to buy anything, so the next best thing is to do it by proxy – satisfy the urge by consuming as much as possible from the box and then passing on that advice to anyone you know who is buying – even if they don’t want to hear it. And right now, I really DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT. So, if I appear slightly on edge, maybe even rude, please understand, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m a man on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Roll on the days when I can start looking for Moroccan throws and tea lights…

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