The day our current period of lockdown started the estate agent, who had originally valued our house for sale at a healthy figure, emailed me with some unwelcome news.
As a result of the banks' intransigence over their lending policy on houses of non-standard construction it seems that our house is now virtually worthless.
The agent had consulted with their directors, surveyor and Council of Mortgage Lenders representative and concluded that it is highly unlikely that they will be able to find a buyer for it as it stands.
The only value it now holds is as a potential development plot, just under half of the original valuation and barely enough to buy a tiny starter home on a new estate, or a small flat. Not really what we wanted.
So, we have to make a decision on what to do next.
We could just stay put until we both conk out, which P feels could be sooner rather than later if he has to keep up with the house and garden maintenance. We would probably have to start paying for gardeners and handymen to do all the jobs that he has always done until now. Plus we still would not be close to shops and amenities, which was the main reason for moving.
We could get someone to draw up plans for a replacement dwelling and apply for planning permission. One option is to then offer the plot with permission in place which should make it easier to sell, albeit at a low price, or to get a loan and go ahead with the new build ourselves then try to sell at a profit. I feel exhausted just thinking about the expense and hassle that would entail.
We can't do anything until this lockdown is lifted but we shall try to get a second opinion then.
Until then we are in limbo.
I hope that spring comes soon to cheer us up.