What has happened to 2021 !!!!! – it feels like it never really happened yet here we are getting ready for 2022.
I really shouldn’t say that as it was an incredibly strange year for me. It started off strange with continued isolation. Blood test in the first 6 months had gone for excellent to terrible. Initially in February it looked like my immune system was back to normal, but pre Vaccine that changed. After multiple test it turned out that my immune system had bottomed out. But the oncologist wanted me vaccinated as he felt it was necessary.
Scans and a blood test in Oct turned everything on me. A historical blood test showed positive traces of Covid 19 from mid 2020. Multiple attacks to my right lung causing numerous pneumonia infections. The most serious in late Sept which almost stopped the sale of my house in Cork. But we battled it and won. Actually I am understating that. I handed the keys to the new owner on 23/10/21. From deposit to sale was just under 6 weeks. It was sad to leave the house but unfortunately it was just too big for me. A 2,500sqf farmhouse on .6 acre of land. The gardens had transformed into a thing of beauty and the house had been refurbished top to bottom. We had an amazing auctioneer Ms Rachel Sarah Murphy from Free The way Property who made life so easy for everyone involved.
So after living in Cork (on and off) since 1990 I decided to leave. I had looked at properties throughout Munster, including Tipperary, Limerick, Waterford, West Cork and Kerry. It was not a difficult decision really, I had my mind set on Kerry. A magnificent part of Ireland, I again have to be careful here as the site is still been stalked so exact locations and our plans for the why what when where can’t be disclosed. It only takes a few self centred idiots to ruin things for everyone.
I emptied the items that the buyer did not want and obviously personal items into a Ustore unit in Cork, actually 2 units – Anita had 9 supersized cases of clothing, she had given about 2 black bags full of clothing to charity…. But it took days to move. It also delayed closing the deal by 24 hours. But no drama and got it done. I had rented an AirBNB in West Kerry and had moved Anita, Benji (The little Pom) and Harry (the little parrot) 2 days before we vacated the house in Cork. The AirBNB was close to Tarbert and about 15 miles from Ballybunion Beach
The reason for this particular area was that I loved it, I have found a house that suited us and commenced negotiations. The auctioneer in charge of this was simple a disgrace. She had manipulated offers and unknowingly to me pushed the asking price up by nearly 5% on an under bidder. I don’t want to name this company because they are amongst the largest auctioneers in Ireland but I can assure you I would never recommend them. It was frightening to see the difference between how professional Rachel was in selling my house and the way I was treated trying to buy.
Into December 2021
After a total of 5 weeks we returned to another AirBNB in North Cork, a beautiful house for 4 weeks. It was early December and we couldn’t keep doing the AirBNB –I had spent most of the end of Nov looking at houses for sale and basically liked nothing. Fall back plan was a short or long term rental. I had not looked at rentals in years. But if I thought dealing with auctioneers on purchasing was bad then I was in for a shock about renting. What an absolute headache. The letting auctioneers were more arrogant than the selling auctioneers. Why are these people allowed to ask for confidential information including bank statements, PPS numbers, medical records, employment records and local family history etc. No auctioneer has ever asked me for this even when buying a property, I have never once been asked for proof of funds.
After a week I decided not to go through an auctioneer for a letting. Instead I went after a private letting and found one. By the first week of December we were in a beautiful house in Kenmare. Kenmare is in South Kerry and a main tourist area. The owners of the house also owned a restaurant in Kenmare and they were fantastic. No hassle and extremely helpful.
Then I decided to relax, take a break from searching for a house till the New Year. Unfortunately that was not the case, I got hit by pneumonia but this time to my left lung – it shook me and I was concerned. 4 rough days and self checked for Covid but that was negative. It eased back somewhat. I had also decided on part of Anita’s Christmas present. I had been searching for months for this, Anita has decided to write a book, it’s a fictional novel and in the early stages of creation. I wanted to buy her a vintage typewriter, but something special and I found one – a 1936 Royal been sold by the granddaughter of the original owner, when I say this beauty is steeped in history I really mean it. The typewriter has travelled from New York to Boston, to UK to Ireland over to Germany and then back to Dublin. Its new home is now in Kerry (And thank you Kay for everything)
On the topic of Anita… 14TH Dec she had her appointment with her Oncologist in CUMH. And Anita remains in full remission. We just battle the hell out of these attacks. Say No to Cancer
Now I did say I was taking a break from searching but that did not mean that my search computer system did not stop. A number of houses presented themselves and then very unexpected one appeared. Matched 99% of what I wanted. First spotted it late on 10th of December, viewed the house externally on the 12th and raised contact with the auctioneer on the 12th (a Sunday) internally viewed it on the 13th and we both loved it. Made an offer on the spot which was accepted that afternoon. Deposit was in place on the 14th and paperwork started moving. The engineer was booked for 17/12/21.
I will be uploading better photos
And now for a commercial Break….
I am going to interrupt the flow of this article as a substantial number of readers are not from Ireland and buying houses differs from Country to Country. In Ireland the buying process can be fairly straight forward. Initially a buyer needs to establish funds, either by selling their own property , by cash purchase (When I say cash its more capital in the bank) or loans. The buyer decides where they would prefer to live, what type of property they can afford, and what their budget is. I am keeping this very basic. And they start a search. From new houses to old, large, small, urban, rural and so on. Once the buyer finds a property generally via websites, they discuss with an auctioneer, good luck with that, The auctioneer will advise current offers on a property (Lets say a property is advertised at offers in excess of €200,000 but current offers from buyers could be €220,000).This is really where the buyer has to decide if they can trust the auctioneer, we have experienced auctioneers inflating offers that don’t exist or matching bids to create a bidding war. There are little if any real protection against these types of auctioneers and hopefully legislation will change to control them. So finding the right auctioneer is vital. The auctioneer then organises to allow viewing the property for sale, in reality the auctioneer should check to ensure that the buyers has the required finance in place, as a point of reference I have never once been asked to provide proof of funds. So the buyer views the property and if everything is good they can make an offer, the offer is not legally binding. The auctioneer consults with the Vendor (people selling the house) and decide to either accept the offer on stay on the market to achieve a higher offer. If the offer is accepted the buyer transfers a booking fee to the auctioneer, this can range pending the house value, but normally about 2 to 4% of the asking price, this booking fee is refundable if anything should go wrong. An engineer is then appointed by the buyer to do a pre sale survey, they cost from €500 upwards. These reports are vital, they check construction, wiring, roofing, dampness, and appliance quality. Appointing a local engineer to where the house is located is also a great idea as they have a history about the location. They create a snag list or fault list, they estimate expenditure over a number of years to come, they advice on the value of the property in the area. They are worth every cent, if they miss something serious they are liable. If the engineer fails the house then the buyer will receive the booking deposit back. If he passes the property then everything goes over to lawyers. Both the buyer and the vendors lawyers agree terms like expected closing date, the vendors layer will send contracts of sale, copy deeds. Proof of title, letters for banks authorising sale (where a house has existing debts), BER certs, Folio maps, land property tax payments, services providers, its actually a long list. Once the lawyers are satisfied then the contracts can be signed and a non refundable 10% or 20% deposit is put in place by the buyer. Its considered at this point to be sale agreed, however the process between lawyers agreeing the terms of the contract can take weeks or months, it depends on how prepared the vendor is, if the vendor has their paperwork 100% right then the process can be swift. Once the contracts are signed and the deposit in place then the next step is achieving the agreed closing date and that is down to availability of funds, banks can be slow everything down. It is considered extremely rare or as a few auctioneers have said “freakish” to close within 6 weeks, the average with good paperwork is 3 months and complications can extend that to up to 12 months. My last house was bought in 6 weeks from booking deposit and sold in 5 ½ weeks from booking deposit. Must mean I’m a freak , felt being called a chemo monster was better suited, but with this current house I am out to beat that.
Back to the house.
Engineers visit on Friday 17th went well and no major surprises. Few issues been dealt with but all achievable. So within the first week we are setting the pace. By Monday the 20th of December the negotiations had finalised. A week from viewing to bidding and pre sale survey, this work can normally take weeks if not months but within a week we’ve taken it to the next level. Then the legal side started…. this is the big part. Making sure all the necessary paperwork is spot on.
With Battling Cancer since 2014 I have perfected patience. Everything with cancer results take time, months and sometimes years. Some test can take 8 to 12 weeks to get results. I’ve mentioned a number of times in previous blogs that I prefer waiting than been terminal. So lessons learnt and applied to house purchase- go with the flow but keep the foot on the pedal. Cost of renting in Ireland is extremely expensive. But I’m putting everything I can afford into this beautiful house.
Christmas Eve 2021 – Still no paperwork in for the house so its going to need to be pushed again when the holiday season ends.
Few final annual items:
hlai.blog has again broken all previous annual viewings with over 35,000 viewers worldwide in 2021. I am delighted with this as the purpose of the site is Awareness. The site is classed within the top 5 most read and informed international lymphoma awareness sites.
I am commencing further psychology training in January 2022. I have achieved 4 higher diplomas in psychology but this time I’m focused on getting QQI Level 6 qualification in Mental Health and the same in Child Psychology. These are both big parts of dealing with victims & their families. I may have to set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of this as everything on this site is funded by me, we don’t have a sponsor and with the way my finance is going I’m going to need to get help in keeping this going.
Covid has rightly screwed up my employment. And most likely my career. June 2022 will be my 60th, listening to people saying “age doesn’t matter” is total crap it’s like “size doesn’t matter” it does, and that’s a fact. But I have a plan for the New Year part of the what when and where,
Still in remission , July 2022 marks the 5 year survival rate. As I write this Covid has gone nuts again, Restrictions in place on the run up to Christmas.
Wishing you all a great christmas (Did anyone spot the Teddy in the photo below)