It was the dream... right there, on the page...
Richard and I had started that ritual associated with house hunting... Weekend mornings scrolling through Rightmove - "Oh how about this?"..."meh" - became the frequent reply from either of us, both unable to find a house that ticked so many boxes we'd given ourselves.
We have a sizeable and slightly unconventional family, thrown together and at the times struggled with the cute, over cramped, Barratt house in which every room felt like a goldfish bowl.
We'd done the whole garage conversion thing to create office space and drew out plans to extend the house in every which way possible, but the children grew faster and the house simultaneously became much smaller far too quickly.
In all honesty, our heart really wasn't in it and we didn't enjoy the neighbourhood anymore. Time for a change, but it was to be a mammoth task finding 'That' forever house that ticked all the boxes, from office space to enough bedrooms, an annexe and the all-important decent size garden without being overlooked. Then there's the question of budget.
We must have studied hundreds from New builds to Barn Conversions, Local to those further afield, but nothing sparked enough interest that we would go to the effort of arranging a viewing.
While we were looking at some quite ambitious properties on a Sunday morning, Richard passed me the phone and said 'What about this one?". I gave it the usual "meh" and dismissed it at first as I'd noticed an old B&B further afield that required zero effort... But the further afield (hashtag) school run left me struggling to work out how to reduce a one hour round trip for schools twice a day...
"Show me that farm again!"... I sat and gave it some real consideration and actually it ticked 'All' the boxes. That exciting adventure idea was suddenly possible.
At the time, like many folks, we had this guilty pleasure of watching Escape to the Chateaux. How awesome would it be to be able to pull off an adventure like it? How about 'Escape to the farmhouse' we'd joke, only we actually kinda meant it.
"Let's go see it!" Richard said. Okay, that's code for me to arrange a viewing.
I called the agent from the schoolyard... an open house, one slot left, this Saturday... Ah ha, problem! It's the league two play-off final for County and Rich has two tickets. No way would he cancel that, and this would probably be the only opportunity to see it. I'd have to go alone, relaying to Rich and taking as many photos of what it was like.
To say I fell in love with Sunnybank, at first sight, was an understatement.
Crikey, it needed some work and a lot of updating. There were a lot of interested parties wandering around that day and no chance of a second viewing, how on earth was I going to get Rich the opportunity to see this house and compete with these other people?
Well as you can imagine, I bombarded Richard with all the emotional chatter, the photos, the vast amounts of ideas, the ticking of boxes, but there was one caveat in getting a second viewing with Richard, we had to make an offer on a house he hadn't seen and it had to be competitive.