It’s been a few weeks since we announced our little project and so much has happened in the last few weeks. But before we get to that here’s a little bit about the house itself.
The estate agent described it as a “charming Grade 2 listed cottage with many original features and offers a tremendous opportunity to create an individual charming character house” Well, in spite of what people say about estate agents … on this occasion they were pretty much spot on!
The cottage is in Old Amersham which if you don’t know is a lovely little market town in the heart of the Chiltern hills. Most of the local property is old and built using timber frame construction. On researching the property it looks like it was built around 1740 and is considered one of the older property’s in the area.
There is a lovely Market hall which apparently dates from 1682 and more recently is known for the Kings Arms pub which featured in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.
So how did we find the house?
Well, it was a warm sunny Saturday morning in January and we were taking Angus on his regular morning walk to the local park when we spotted a ‘For Sale’ sign go up on this charming little cottage in the high street. We’d been looking for a small renovation project for a while. Nothing too ambitious, just enough for the two of us to get our teeth into.
So we took a closer look and found it was a typical mid terrace period property with a modest garden, at the end of which was a beautiful crystal clear river. Looking beyond the river was the local cricket field complete with local pub. Just heavenly.
As soon as we came back from walking Angus we rang the agent and set up a viewing the very next day. (You need to move fast round here if you want something)
The viewing went well but it was clear this lovely little house was going to be a challenge, not least as it had suffered from major water ingress at some point probably leaky roof which had left a nasty stain in most of the upstairs ceilings. Aside from the challenges brought on from the age of the property it had an open plan staircase probably from the 70’s and a large inglenook fireplace (with bread oven apparently) which had been boarded up at some point and replaced with a gas fire.
The boiler was in need of urgent attention and the heating system needed replacing.
There was no time to lose! We had to put an offer in as houses in the high street rarely come up for sale… and almost never within our budget.
Monday morning came and I picked up the phone to the agent and put in an offer. After haggling for 10 minutes we settled on a price!
Job done … or so we thought.
We then found out the cottage is grade 2 listed and in a conservation area (basically means we can’t touch the outside without the consent of the local planners and the conservation officer)
We commissioned a structural survey report and much of what we feared came true. This is clearly going to be a slightly larger project than we first thought but we are determined to get this beautiful little house back to its former glory.
On Friday the 7th of April we exchanged contracts and we’re scheduled to complete on the 19th when we finally get to collect the keys. We are both soooooo excited about the project and can’t wait to share our progress with anyone that wants to listen. 🙂
As soon as we have the keys we’ll post another update around how we plan to approach the project.