Last October we saw a new listing on a property website that appeared too good to be true. It was a reasonable sized piece of land, not too far from good transport links and with full planning permission for a 4 bedroom property. Tick, tick, tick.
Having been looking for a few years for somewhere similar, this was as close to ideal as we had seen and so we ventured south. In the back of our minds we envisaged the large new housing estate just out of camera shot, the industrial site that ran 24/7 generating excessive and unrelenting noise. We expected the worst.
Approaching the plot we were surprised by the rural location. Birdsong was the soundtrack and the fields were used by farmers, not housing estates or industry. Hopes were lifted.
Driving onto the plot we were immediately taken with it. The hillside location and the large mixture of land uses it encompassed provided a character that plain, flat sites lack. Standing in the sunshine we looked around and dared to dream.
Estate agents sell property. It's in their job description so when speaking to them about the plot we expected the usual sales talk. "Yes, there has been a lot of interest." "We are anticipating offers later today." Instead, we got a simple conversation. It was refreshing and encouraged us to move forward.
We visited again, meeting the seller and walking around more of the plot. The sun shone again - surely a good omen? The next day we contacted our solicitor and talked about our next steps. Decisions needed to be made - or did they?
Having waited so long for the opportunity that now presented itself seemed far too good to be true. The location and character of the site was ideal. The size was right. The seller (who would become our neighbour) was approachable and friendly. After a short debate we realised that it felt right. We made an offer the next day through our solicitor. Decision made.
The negotiations that followed weren't always straightforward, but we eventually agreed a price and so in mid November 2016, we bought a plot of land.
NB As with all legal processes time moves slowly and it took until April 2017 to actually complete the sale.