Project Dingle

Restoring an old cottage...

Month: March 2016

Old Photographs

The landlord at the pub over the road (yep, that’s right beer fans! We have a lovely little village pub right over the road!) gave us some old photographs of The Dingle, which was lovely of him.

This one is from the 1960s, we think. Before the land on the left became somebody else’s land, witha  house and garden. The bottom window in the stone part of the building used to be a door:


And this one is from earlier – maybe the 1940s. It used to be the village shop, and you can see where there used to be a door and a window in the stone part of the building, and where there used to be a second window in the black and white part of the building. We’ll be putting those windows back in at some point:


We’ll also be building up the height of the dry-stone wall at the front, and putting the gate back in. And we’re rebuilding the porch in oak frame.

Finally: A Mortgage Offer!

After an extremely stressful few weeks, we finally have our mortgage offer.

We started with Virgin Mortgages – a chap we know advised they tended to be good for self-employed folks like Vix (being director of a limited company counts as being self-employed, just FYI).

But although it seemed like they’d offer us the 90% mortgage we wanted, they didn’t. Because Vix also owns a flat that’s self-funded. Despite that, Virgin felt it was too much of a risk and offered us 80% instead. Then decided the house had damp and timber issues (it doesn’t) and withheld £3,000 in lieu of getting an expert in.

Well, knowing that most “experts” in old houses simply want to flog you damp-proof that’ll destroy your old building, we declined.

Instead, we did what we should have done right from the start and got a mortgage broker working on our behalf: Express Mortgages have been absolutely fab, and sorted us out with NatWest.

Top tip #1: don’t try to do this yourself, especially if your situation isn’t “normal”. Vix owns her own business and a 50% share of a flat which she rents out. This makes things… trickier and slightly more complicated when it comes to taking out a mortgage. It’s much quicker and less stressful to let somebody else deal with all this shite for you.

Top tip #2: gather together everything – absolutely everything – that a mortgage underwriter may possibly want. And do it in plenty of time. Get your accountant to prepare all your gubbins and write you a letter stating that your business is grand and growing.

We’ve been on a particularly tight deadline because of the Government’s new rules about second homes: if we don’t complete by April 1, we’ll have to pay an extra £8,000 or so in stamp duty. The grasping graspers. We’ve not made it yet, but if I have to trample the bodies of mine enemies underfoot, we will…

Stand by!

The next stage is: getting the sandblaster chap in to take all the dodgy paint off the exterior of the building and to do the same inside.

Then we’ll spend a day with a specialist heritage surveyor so we can put together A Plan.

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