There was a time, you know, when I wouldn’t even have made it onto the open market. I’d have been snapped up as soon as it was murmured that I was up for sale. Phone calls would have been made. Guide prices would have been met and exceeded. My plush grass would never have had the indignity of a lawn sign thrust into it.
Not that it’s my fault, you understand. The market has changed and so have the buyers. Facebook and Rightmove have replaced estate agents. Civilised conversation has been traded for dull-eyed screen gazing. Consigned to history are the quotations from my previous housing reports. ‘Sweeping spiral staircase,’ they’d gush. ‘Fabulous vaulted ceilings,’ they’d fawn. Now I have the indignity of every high school dropout and dream-a-dream Dixie commenting on my exquisite cornicing and period ironwork with their ham-fisted spelling and car-crash grammar.
Even some of the more erudite comments have been ignorant. ‘Gloomy,’ they’ve called my wood-panelled dining room. This isn’t Grand Designs. Not everything has to be garish chrome and glass-panelled, glorified greenhouses. Besides which, the photographer didn’t catch me in the right light. The lacquered oak and heavy curtains really soaked up what was frankly an inadequate flash. I can look better than that, really.
Then there was that unfortunately-worded home report. The surveyor made far more of my asbestos than he had to. I’m a period property; what house my age doesn’t have a few secrets in its walls? There was high drama about alleged lead piping, as well. It was in the basement for goodness’ sake! Nevertheless, the report read as though I had been responsible for a generation of children with developmental delays and splitting headaches. Sure, I’m in need of a nip here, a tuck there, but I really need to be seen as an opportunity. You won’t find character like mine in a new-build, I promise you.
If there is a problem, it lies in my neighbours. This district used to be high class, but now I stand out amongst takeaways and greasy spoons. The other establishments look up to me, and that’ll be the way it is with you if you put in an offer. You’ll be the envy of the town, lord of the manor, a nobleman amongst the plebs.
Now, don’t be so hasty. There’s no need to rush. Take some more time. Look around for a bit longer. You haven’t seen the storage upstairs yet. Hold on, now. I don’t think I’ve sold myself well. Don’t like my period features? No problem. There’s a real lack of student accommodation in the city. I – wait now – I can be split into flats with very little effort on your behalf. Just before you go, have you considered the commercial possibilities? A classy boutique would sit very nicely on my ground floor. What about a delicatessen? A newsagents?
***Thanks for reading, folks. Any comments greatly appreciated!***