My girlfriend Claire and I had each been to Scotland simply as soon as earlier than: me as a child; Claire for a medical faculty interview. I’m English, she’s Canadian, and we met within the French Alps in 2016, shortly grew shut, travelled round Europe, then acquired it into our heads that we should always transfer to Glasgow. Wanting a undertaking, we checked out public sale listings and located an condo in Pollokshields, Southside. It wanted some love, however the beginning value was £10k. Earlier than deciding to bid, I’d spent just a few nights sleeping in my van throughout the road from it. I preferred it.
With Claire away, I ventured to the sale alone. It was my first time at a property public sale. I took my seat and waited patiently. The issue was auctioneers converse quick, and this one had a powerful Glaswegian accent: I used to be actually struggling to comply with. Fortunately, a brochure on my seat contained the main points for each lot, whereas a display behind the stage displayed its corresponding quantity. I ticked off every sale in my copy as we went, counting down.
When our itemizing was subsequent within the e-book, I ready for a bidding warfare to erupt: our restrict was 40 grand, so I anticipated successful to be a battle. When our property got here up, one thing was glitching with the display. I hoped different would-be patrons may miss their second.
As issues commenced, no one else bid – I assumed individuals have been tactically ready. Right here goes, I believed, as I raised my hand. £10,000? You, sir. I couldn’t imagine it when no one tried to beat my opening supply. Then just a few issues occurred directly: the gavel fell, the display switched on, and the bloke subsequent to me requested in my ear, “Mate, have you ever seen that place?”
I regarded up, and was full of dread. The quantity on the web page in entrance of me and the one on the display have been positively not matching. Somebody had talked about just a few last-minute additions to the sale that hadn’t been within the booklet. The penny dropped. What had I purchased?
It had been the penultimate property, so I sat anxiously and waited. The final was the one we had meant to purchase: it went for £87,000.
Public sale over, I disappeared as shortly as I might to purchase us a while, earlier than anybody might take my cash. With low battery, I desperately tried to textual content Claire: I’ve purchased one thing however I don’t know what. Sorry. Might you take a look at it? Then my telephone died.
Once I lastly spoke to Claire, she appeared unfazed. She’d regarded on the place on Google maps, though, with all of the hedges, you would see just one angle. Dunoon wasn’t Glasgow, nevertheless it didn’t look far. And 10 grand for a spot to name dwelling, how unhealthy might it’s? This was earlier than we’d seen a single image.
I known as the auctioneers and confirmed we’d go forward with the acquisition. That’s fortunate, they stated, you don’t have any selection: in Scotland, public sale bids are legally binding.
I drove as much as Dunoon to test it out. It regarded near Glasgow on a map, however I hadn’t observed the ferry you need to take to get there. I used to be excited at first, however then saw what we’d bought and thought: oh, Jesus. Behind the overgrown bushes and an indication that learn “Hazard, preserve out” was a crumbling, rotting mess. There was mouldy furnishings, graffiti on the partitions and the ceilings have been falling down; deserted for 20 years, the water and electrical energy had been switched off – a chair had even fallen by way of the floorboards.
To make issues worse, it emerged we had purchased solely half the constructing, so we spent the subsequent six months shopping for up the opposite two derelict items. Nevertheless it was a ravishing location, and it was too late to show again. By March 2019, we had the entire place.
Since then, Claire and I’ve been engaged on our new dwelling full-time, residing in a caravan within the backyard. It’s arduous work, however we’ve each realized heaps – taking over a lot has helped us develop as individuals. We’ve taught ourselves every thing from masonry to computer-aided design software program, plumbing and electrics. We arrange an Instagram so Claire’s household might preserve updated.
Whereas quiet Dunoon isn’t fairly Glasgow metropolis centre, we adore it. The neighbours have welcomed us with open arms: stopping by with soup and lending us instruments. It’s a particular place – when you’re going to unintentionally purchase a home, you couldn’t do it someplace higher. Given the prospect to return to that public sale, I’d put my hand up for this home, no query.
As advised to Michael Segalov
Do you could have an expertise to share? E mail email@example.com