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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 02-Mar-12


Friday 02-March-12

Housing pains

Some time this year we're going to up sticks and head back to Wales. My wife is retiring from teaching and I can write anywhere, so we're going back to our roots. Sounds delightful, huh? House in the country. Walks with the dogs. Chilled out living. Only thing is that my wife and I have different views of what we each want. Uh oh.

I would love to go back to the town where I was brought up. Abergavenny is a delightful market town near the mountains and yet also near major routes and with a railway station to boot. Where I used to live, you could turn left and go for long walks with glorious views, or turn right and mosey on down to the town to see what was going on. My wife wants something even more rural. I tend to go into a house with a checklist while she walks in and declares how it feels. I think about practical risks like the rising cost of fuel and if one of us gets infirm or dies, while she prefers not to think about such things. A frustration is that I found the perfect house in the perfect location where the seller was ready to offer a deep discount, but Eleri doesn't like it, so that's that.

We have browsed the web for almost a year now and visited countless places. Most of these tend to be disappointments as things like the industrial dump or dodgy area nearby tend not to be mentioned in the agent's details. But at least Google Maps and Street View help to minimize such surprises these days. We've found possibilities but not definites. We came close on one but the architectural survey threw up problems. And we're still looking.

I know. It's not a big deal when compared with the world's problems, but where you live is important to you and you want to get the best place possible. We've been trying to change one another's minds about it all for some time. Oddly, our methods reverse when trying to persuade one another, perhaps as we're naturally aligning with the other's thinking methods. I mope and talk passionately about what I really like while my wife gets logical and explains coolly what she will and will not accept.

In the end, we'll agree on something, though I suspect won't be what I really want. In negotiations there are two things that count: the substantive issues (houses, in this case) and the relationship. I put my wife's happiness above my own and will act to preserve the relationship first, so will give on more issues than I would when negotiation in other situations.

We actually saw a house recently that was certainly very nice. It wasn't isolated but was a good drive down to town and a longer way from Abergavenny. I also worry about how Eleri would survive there if I popped my clogs. But you have to give, so we'll probably put in an offer.

Your comments

Why move at all?

-- Mik S

Dave replies:
It's certainly an option, Mik, and we're thinking about that too. We've a lovely house here and it's near London and our daughter. But other family and heart is in Wales.

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