By Fiona Walthall.
I have already shared my journey last year which was all about how the Universe twice stopped me from buying a house in an area that would not have served me well, and how I slowly learnt to trust my intuition as the journey unfolded. It left me in a rented property where I have been for around 9 months, most of which has been in lockdown. I had always planned to wait for the Spring housing market before resuming the torturous process of looking at houses for sale. I did check Rightmove about once a month ‘just in case’, but only started looking seriously around the end of February. I immediately felt a sense of depression and resistance to the whole process of searching Rightmove and other websites. There just wasn’t anything even remotely suitable, and I didn’t feel drawn to any particular area, although I did know that I wanted to remain in the Cirencester area. I searched websites a few times before saying to the Universe, “I’m ready, please could I find my house soon”.
I ended my previous article with the words “I now feel very strongly that my future home will show itself at the right time and that I will recognise it”. So when, a couple of days after my request to the Universe, my nephew mentioned that a friend of his was embarking on a barn conversion near Painswick my ears pricked up. A planning application had been submitted so I was able to research what was being planned and I liked the sound of it. I asked Charlie to set up a meeting on site with his friend and the builder who would be doing the work. I fell in love with the barn, the view, and the whole feel of the area. The barn was derelict and there were a number of issues that would be a bit tricky, but I loved the plan and could see myself living there. The developer reckoned it would take another 2-3 months to get planning permission and then at least a year to build. They didn’t want to have a committed buyer at that stage as they wished to implement the plans they had drawn up without interference. I thought I could live with all of that. So I asked for first refusal, and planned to enjoy being involved in the whole process.
Over the next 2 -3 weeks I visited the barn several times and walked in the area which was just perfect for walking, my top priority. On one day I met a couple walking their dog who said they lived on Long Ridge overlooking Sheepscombe and how lovely it was there. I found myself checking the planning website every few days, noting that the council was still sending letters out to various agencies asking for comments. Nothing was going to happen any time soon. I had told everyone that I would continue to look for a house and one weekend I found 2 in the right sort of area, one of which looked too big, and one looked a bit small but it was on Long Ridge! I viewed the larger one near Gloucester on a Saturday and felt overwhelmed by the scale of the work needed in both house and garden, and it was indeed too big and the walking wasn’t ideal. It served to confirm that I do want to downsize, and don’t want a large house. I left a message for the estate agent for the smaller cottage to say I would like to view it. (I never heard back from them).
I then decided to go to the barn on the Sunday to see how windy it was and then walk past the smaller cottage on Long Ridge. I was going to drive down and park at the barn and then drive back up the hill to park and walk along Long Ridge. At the last minute I changed my mind and parked at the top and walked down to the barn. This change of plan meant I arrived at the barn at the exact moment that an elderly man was looking at the planning notice on the tree. He asked if I knew what was going to be done there so I told him. I then happened to mention that I was planning to walk along Long Ridge to look at a cottage for sale and he said he lived on Long Ridge and knew the house I meant. He offered to walk with me to show me where it was. So off we set together for the less than half a mile walk. We passed his house and about 3 houses further along there was a ‘For Sale’ notice and I looked up at a bungalow that definitely wasn’t the property I had seen on the website. However I felt a frisson of excitement. I took the estate agents phone number off the For Sale notice and carried on down the ridge and into some gorgeous woods for walking.
That evening I checked every website I could find, but the bungalow, Hawthorns, did not appear on any of them. My heart plunged and I forgot to Trust. I rang the estate agent on Monday morning and was told that it had been taken off the market but that James would ring me later which he did. The owner had taken the house off the market in Nov 20 shortly after listing it, as she wanted to wait until she had been given her Covid jabs. At that time she had 2 second viewings booked, but didn’t let either of them take place, so there was a lot of interest in the house at that stage. James said he would ring her to see if she was ready to put it back on. At 6pm that evening he emailed to say she wanted to put it back on the market the next day (Tuesday). We arranged a viewing for 11am on the Thursday.
I had a terrible night. Tossing and turning and trying to work out whether it was the right house for me. Next morning I emailed James and said that I was driving myself mad, and that if his client was amenable to it, I would like to view any time that day or the following afternoon. A viewing was arranged for 3.15 that afternoon!
The bungalow is small, poorly maintained, cramped in the attic bedroom, and needs an enormous amount of work doing to it. The garden is on a steep slope, parking is on the road, and the house is link detached to the house next door, and only really has 2 bedrooms. Whereas the house in the Mendips in Part 1 of my story seemed perfect when looked at logically but I just hadn’t felt right about it, this one seemed a long way from what I thought I wanted, but it felt right! The view is stupendous, the walking is perfect, it is on a private road with so very little traffic, it is not overlooked from behind, has a decent (though sloping) sized garden, and I felt excited by the plans that were forming in my head to extend/renovate it.
James told me that he had a viewing booked for Thursday and lots more on the following Monday (and it had only been on the market for half a day). It was on at a very good price as it needed so much doing to it, and it was clear to me that it was likely to be snapped up. I drove home via my sister’s and by the time I had described it to her I knew it was the one for me and that I mustn’t hesitate. Only then did she tell me that she felt it was right too. She also revealed that I had been blocking progress when a few weeks before I had expressed doubts about whether I wanted to live a full-on spiritual life. We discussed this and her words that had rung in my head at the time were “why wouldn’t you?”. Later that day I recalled those words and felt “yes indeed, why on earth wouldn’t I”. I felt I was re-committing to a spiritual way of life by choice, and it was a very affirming moment. When I saw her after visiting the house, my sister reminded me of this experience and said that was the moment I released the blockage and things started to flow again, leading of course to this story.
I do feel that “my future home has shown itself at the right time and that I have recognised it.” The whole barn story is part of the tale because it got me into the right area, walking the walks, enjoying the views, and meeting the right people at the right moments. The house did its part too, being off the market for the 4-5 months I needed after the stress of selling my previous house last year. And the estate agents did their part by failing to take down their sign so the man who guided me there thought it was still on the market. So many things to co-ordinate but of course the Universe had no problem doing just that.
The buying process wasn’t straightforward. It took nearly 4 months. There were many times when I felt frustrated and wanted things to speed up. Even when things seemed to be almost there, a major spanner was thrown in the works. The seller went into hospital with COPD and pneumonia which meant she couldn’t look for a house to rent. Even when her son found one for her, it took several weeks before the rental agency got their act together and approved the tenancy. So exchange of contracts took place only 1 week before completion, and even on completion day the house had not been vacated but it was empty the following day. In retrospect I can see how valuable this period was for me. I was being taught that it just isn’t possible to control a situation like this (control is still a big issue for me). I had to really release, at a deeper and deeper level, any desire to speed up the purchase or try to take control, and even be ready to forego the property completely if it wasn’t right for me. I did manage to do this towards the end, and for the last few days I was living in Trust and willing to accept whatever was meant to be. As a result I couldn’t quite believe it when it all went through and I collected the keys.
It’s not the end of the story of course. Now there is the wait for planning permission, the wait for the builder to finish his current job, the long wait (around 9 months) before I will be able to move in, and lots of potential to get frustrated and impatient. They say that selling and buying a new house is one of the most stressful things in life. Yes it certainly can be, but it can also be an opportunity to grow and learn and put into practice trusting, accepting, and knowing that the Universe is acting in the highest interest for all.
By FIona Walthall, June 2021.