We now know the area were we will feel ‘at home’ and we know how much we have to spend. This has entailed some letting go. We had already let go of the idea of ‘no mortgage’ move, given that we had paid off the mortgage on the Glenavy property. Now we had to let go of the aspiration of recouping all the money we had invested into completing our home in Glenavy. So we reduced the asking price on our house sale on the advice of our selling agent. We also took a fresh look at the house in Geashill.

The first thing we noticed was that the StreetView images were taken in 2009, when the house was still being worked on. So what else had changed? We went through the auctioneers photographs with a fine tooth comb and came up with a list of questions to be raised. The key thing for us was that the house had a floor area just 3% greater than Brigg House, but it seemed to be a more efficient layout, giving us an extra bedroom, a proper office and a larger garage and workshop.

Meanwhile, back in Glenavy, our estate agent had been working overtime. On the 13th October, a new family came for a viewing. They seemed delighted with the house and more to the point, they were already sale agreed on their Crumlin home and were keen to move as quickly as possible. We discussed offering to complete even if we had not found somewhere to go; such was our confidence that the right house would come up. The next day we had an on-line viewing of the Geashill at which the auctioneer hardly answered any of our questions.

By 22nd October, we had received two offers on Brigg House and we accepted the offer from the Crumlin family. On the strength of being ‘sale agreed’, we were able to book a physical viewing on the Geashill property. This was set for the 4th December. The auctioneer gave us an appointment letter to help us through any Garda checkpoints enforcing the fairly draconian travel restrictions due to the pandemic.

We prepared our lists of questions and had a plan to make the most of the thirty minutes we would be allowed for the viewing. We knew that we would not get half of the questions answered and we were most unlikely to have time to see the entire property. So we were thinking that some sort of sign of God’s blessing on our plan to move to Geashill would come in handy, to say the least! What we were not expecting was a welcome that reminded us of our friendly local wildlife that regularly visited Brigg House…

A visit from Pauline’s friend in 2019.

We arrived at Geashill in good time, well before the auctioneer. There to welcome us were several magnificent pheasants who strutted around as if they owned the place. Our allotted time raced by. We had spotted some significant defects that would need rectification, but we just felt ‘at home’. On the return journey to Glenavy, we were stopped by a very pleasant Garda office. When we explained the purpose of our journey, she smiled, said ‘Welcome to Ireland’ and waved us on our way.

By the 7th December, our offer for Alderborough, Geashill had been accepted. Two days later we had appointed a Tullamore solicitor and the rest, as they say, is history.