At the end of last year, we went to visit a couple who were considering using a search agent to help them find what they described as ‘an impossible task’.
They had recently moved down from Derbyshire to be closer to their two children who lived in London and Surrey. They left behind a stunning Georgian house which they loved backing onto a country park in an idyllic part of the county, and as their house had sold quickly and they didn’t know Hampshire at all at that point, they ended up renting a dark and depressing bungalow in a fairly uninspiring area between Basingstoke and Newbury. They had scanned the internet for months and even gone to see a few houses but as often happens, what looked good on the website was a completely different story once they got there. They had even widened their search to surrounding counties including Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, West Sussex, Berkshire and Surrey. All very confusing as you can’t compare like for like when looking in such a wide area – just one county is hard enough! It was also completely defeating the object of why they had moved in the first place as some of the commutes would have been longer than their original journey from Derbyshire.
We took them on several tours of Hampshire and focused on the areas that we felt would work for their budget and provided the right commute for them but didn’t compromise on location. We also had a long chat about their ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ – that too had become confusing for them as they couldn’t decide what was more important – location, privacy or a ‘kerb appeal’ house. What became clear during the search was that the privacy and views were something they did not want to compromise on. We showed them some beautiful period houses in lovely locations like sleepy villages and the New Forest, however the proximity of neighbours or being on busy roads stopped them putting in offers. It is no easy task finding the size of house they wanted in such a private and quiet location with views as most of the properties that fit the bill were larger, grander houses outside of their budget.
We hounded the agents relentlessly for several months, drove past and visited too many houses to mention, and actually only viewed a handful with the clients themselves. Finally, we were given a heads up from an agent that a house on their books was about to come down in price which took it into our clients budget. We dropped everything and went to see it that day before the price reduction hit the websites. The location was perfect, just outside a pretty village close to Farnham, no neighbours in site and panoramic views of the stunning Hampshire countryside from every window. The house itself was not the period they were hoping for however they both had great vision of what they could do with it and put in an offer straight away. They moved in two weeks ago.
Last week we met them for lunch in their new ‘local’, which also happens to be one of the best gastro pubs in the area. They could not stop beaming despite having had to deal with leaking showers, removal men who finally turned up at 7.00pm on the day they moved in, and finding out that the previous vendors had left their washing machine and dishwasher behind and it could only be removed once some of the kitchen units were physically taken out! They are so excited about their plans for the house and its a 20 minute drive to one of their children, 40 minutes to the other. They handed us this testimonial, which pretty much sums up the service we aim to deliver, and what this job is all about for us:
“We wouldn’t have found our house without Goosechase. Teresa and Kate were so cheerful and charming, and so careful to ensure they understood our wishes. When we began to doubt we’d ever find anything, Goosechase’ s confidence never wavered. They worked tirelessly on our brief and kept us regularly informed so we were never left in the dark. They saw things through right up to contract completion, easing every stage of the process, and saved us a lot of time. We heartily recommend them.”
Mr and Mrs Barton, Nr Alton