Trying to sell Soweto leaves us in limbo

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We are selling our house. Or, rather, we have been trying to sell our house for the over a year now. Let’s get the terminology right, because until someone actually offers you cash money and signs something legal, you are, technically I reckon, not actually ‘selling’ your house.

Let’s start again. We have a sign outside our house that says ‘For Sale’. That’s better. And for just over a year now, people have mostly ignored this. Sporadically, some hapless, misguided folk have come to look around it. And not bought it.

So, we are in that state of limbo that many other homeowners find themselves in just now (and probably have, like us, found themselves in for the last one to three years). It is a tumble-weed strewn, barren lunar landscape type scenario called: ‘We want to sell our house. Please, please, please buy it!’

A cold, hard wind blows for those ‘selling’ their house in these straitened times, whereas our wee hoose benefits from a generous shelter belt, so the wind that roars down from Hume is barely felt at Shoogly Towers.

As a registered smallholding, we appeal only to a limited number of folk. Unlike a hoose in the toon, we have a very specific target market. Perhaps those poor misguided souls who come to view it have a picture in their head which doesn’t match up to the reality.

In estate agent speak, we have a traditional, one-and-a-half storey farm cottage in generous grounds of around one acre.

Doesn’t that just conjure up an image of a white-washed cottage, roses round the door, picket fence, with a kitchen garden around it that you could just see Monty Don rummaging through? (Note to self, really must get over this obsession with Monty).

We further limit its appeal by covering about a third of an acre in what Mr E calls ‘Soweto’, my very own Brazilian favela of assorted chook huts. Part of another third of an acre has a trampoline, swings, climbing frame, slide, see-saw and ‘den’ cluttering it up.

The rest, the ‘formal garden’, is a very loose interpretation of ‘formal’, and would perhaps be better described as ‘Victorian cottage garden after a series of hand-grenades have been tossed about in it’.

It also benefits from generous sheddage – perhaps this would appeal to hoarders and dealers in second-hand tat. I think we are missing a whole target market here.

Our house is hee-yew-ge outside and weeny inside, just two bedrooms and a third one which estate agents up in Embra would describe as a ‘box room’. In its favour, it does have a window (which many box rooms don’t), but it doesn’t have a door (which most box rooms do).

The Young Mistress yearns for a room with an actual door. I feel like a bad p arent because she just spent ages making a ‘welcome’ sign out of craft materials and has had to put it on the front door. Soul destroying. Quirky signs such as ‘Princesses Only’, ‘No Boys’ and individually decorated letters spelling out her name whittled from sustainable wood by someone called Bunty who has a website called Lilypie Crafts will, sadly, never be an option for her.

I am hoping we can manage to sell before she hits her teenage years, and is scarred for life by door envy.