Who's The Daddy: Children grown and flown now it’s time to downsize

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When a personal event occurs of such seismic importance, you almost feel like it should be on the news. A bright yellow ticker scrolling across the bottom of the screen screaming BREAKING NEWS.

Well, it isn’t. It’s been a mantra of this column for some time that when it comes down to it, nothing matters and nobody cares. Not in a get-the-violins-out kind of way, quite the opposite. People’s heads are full of themselves and you’d be amazed how little time they spend thinking about you, so you might as well do what you want.

So we are. Last week we put our family home on the market, and whoever pays the asking price can have it.

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When me and the boss bought it back in 1997 it was way too big. We had a few sticks of donated furniture and a classroom goldfish that the boss’ school didn’t want. Three five-minute trips in a newspaper delivery van borrowed from work and we were in. And we thought, how the hell are we going to fill this place?

Viewing other people's houses is always good fun. Photo: AdobeViewing other people's houses is always good fun. Photo: Adobe
Viewing other people's houses is always good fun. Photo: Adobe

Fast forward a few short years and two little kids and a big dog later and it was suddenly too small. It was either build a loft conversion so the kids could have their own bedrooms or move out. So we extended the mortgage and the house and everyone had plenty of room.

Now our kids have grown and flown, all of a sudden a house that was a perfect size for four is too big again, at least for two. There’s a couple of rooms we hardly go in, and if yours truly didn’t work from home all day it’d be three. So we’re selling up and moving somewhere a bit smaller.

It’s a sobering moment when an estate agent gives your family home the onceover and tells you what it’s worth. And it’s quite the reality check when they send you feedback after a viewing on what potential buyers have said about it. Nothing wrong with a bit of brutal honesty.

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It’ll be a wrench to leave. We rebuilt this place room by room.

Everything in it has been done by us. The boss has quite the eye for interior design, to the point that when the estate agent sent us the pictures she took on her super duper camera on a sunny Saturday morning earlier this month we thought, blimey, that looks good. We might even buy it ourselves.

Viewings are downright strange though. Once you agree a date and time with the agent you have to make yourselves scarce for half an hour or so while some strangers stroll around your family home making comments.

But the day the 7ft FOR SALE board is planted in your front garden is a sobering moment. Of course, if no one buys it then we’ll be staying put for the foreseeable future. And the two of us could have some cracking games of hide and seek that’ll last for hours.

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Now we’ve got to find somewhere, which is easier said than done. Nosing around people’s houses is a lot of fun, and a great day out. And it’s true, you can tell within about two seconds whether or not you want to buy it.

And I’m sure potential buyers say the same thing about ours.

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