Review of 2011

January 1, 2012

That time of year again to have a look over what I’ve blogged about and review what the year has been like ( see 2010, and 2009)


MOVIES watched at the cinema…

RESTAURANTS, blogged about…

BOOKS read this year….


Feb: honeymoon in Barbados

July: we did a wee tour of England, visiting relatives in Coventry then having a few days in Yorkshire and the Lakes.

August:  CLANkidz not always seen as a holiday, but still it isn’t ‘work’ and it is in St Andrews so I think it counts

Other Highlights:

Feb: I got Married, D’ moved into my small flat and we began our married life of bliss.  The reality is that it is difficult to find a balance in everything when married, it hasn’t been easy but it has been a lot of fun.
Also, in Feb, as mentioned we went to Barbados and I found a new interest – Rum!
Oct: Put my flat in Woodlands on the market and it sold within three weeks
Nov: After looking at a lot of places we bought a house in Scotstoun
Dec: Moved into the new house, filled it up with clutter immediately, then had Christmas parties.  What a good month!

buying a house

November 29, 2011

Time to reflect on the house hunting process that took most of September and October this year.  Using sites like  and estate agents own sites we spent a lot of time looking for anything in our price range with the right number of rooms and in any of the areas we decided to look in.

Deciding the areas was the most difficult part of all this.  We needed to be south of the Clyde or close to the Clyde tunnel for Danar to get to work.  South side would be more tricky for me to get to work being either bus or car and underground, while some of the houses North of the river were close to the rail line that would take me straight to the office in about 15min.

With these criteria we started to give over our weekends to driving at break-neck speed across the city to quickly look around people’s homes trying to find interesting things to say – often all I came up with was “that’s a good size”.  The map here shows all (I think) of the places we viewed with the red ‘x’ (difficult to see I know) marking where we have ended up,

We saw some nice houses, a lot not-so-nice, some wrecks and some fairly sad places that were obviously someone very old had died recently.  We viewed a new town house called river-view that you couldn’t see the river from, and a house with plastic floor and wall decor.  We looked at new-builds and older properties.  Detached, semidetached, bungalows, conversions, anything…

In this process, we saw only one property that we put in a ‘note-of-interest’ only to be told that it had already gone under offer.  This was disappointing and we did keep phoning up that estate agent to ask if things had fallen through, just in case – is that wrong?

However, on Tue 4th Oct when we accepted an offer on our flat and it all became a lot more real. Two days later we had three viewings arranged, one of which we thought was OK and probably worth a second viewing.  The next day we found out that property was actually going to closing – so we decided to put in a bid, did some negotiating and got it.  The rest as they say is history…

selling my flat

November 28, 2011

Technically since getting married 9 months ago ‘my’ flat is actually ‘our’ flat but it is hard for either of us to think of it that way since I’ve lived here for 10 years and a lot of D’s stuff had to go into storage rather move here (my stuff got thinned out too, but that’s not the same).  So from the start the plan was to move as soon as we could.

It took a few months to get organised, throwing even more stuff out or hiding it with parents and friends until the flat was clear(ish) of clutter and in a condition that we thought would help to sell it.  In the mean time we started tentatively trying to figure out where we wanted to move to and what type of property we would like but perhaps that is for a different post.  We had to decide on who to market the flat through, and the main decision appeared to be whether to use a solicitors firm, or an estate agent (who often also have solicitors).  To be honest I’m still not entirely sure what the difference is but from viewing lots of properties and from our experience of selling I would highly recommend going with an estate agent rather than a solicitor.

The actual process of selling the flat was (in retrospect) fairly straight forward.  We had a visit from the estate agent, an estimated valuation, then parted with some money.  Then a surveyor comes in to do the home report stuff, from which we get the actual valuation, and then a price is agreed for it to go on the market.  At that point you sit back nervously and wait for viewers.

The current economic climate is not great for selling property.  The market is apparently very slow, the media tells us there are no first time buyers, the banks aren’t lending and no one wants to buy at this time.  However, we were selling in a prime area of Glasgow – Woodlands.  The property here tends to move faster, due to proximity to the Universities and City Centre.  So we hoped it wouldn’t be on the market for months or years as we keep hearing about.

In the end we had a fairly steady stream of viewers which just meant having to keep the place tidy for them.  After only two and a half weeks we had two notes of interest and then a verbal offer came in.  This drove us to go to closing and accepting an offer just three weeks after putting the flat on the market.  Happy days!

Selling the flat suddenly made the need to decide where we were going to move to much more urgent……