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.