Vignettes – 01/06/10

An overcast morning that by lunchtime has turned into driving rain and slate grey skies. Flat French slip-on shoes aren’t suited to this weather. So I change to trainers when I finally leave the office at 7pm.

Not a bad day when one stops to reflect. The UK MD paid a visit to thank me for 3 major – and successful – projects that reached fruition last week, all under my remit. This is good timing. The stars are in alignment as I up the ante for my pay rise request. They have just given me one. But it’s not enough. Not quite enough to help pay the massive rent that is required to live in a stuccoed (albeit bijou) period property in central London. So we’ll see. My boss, whom for a long time I had a strained relationship with – seems much more of an advocate now than in the early days. I guess it’s the halo effect. I’m over-performing, the feedback from the directorship has been excellent, she hired me, I’m one of her direct reports, etc. And she knows implicitly that I ‘have options’, that I get increasingly frustrated with the organisation and that I probably will leave if my expectations aren’t met in the medium term. If I leave it would look very bad as it would be on her watch. So perhaps they’ll play ball. I’m not asking for a great deal. But it would take me to the next milestone. And it isn’t simply a case of me being greedy. I’ve worked my butt off for this company and I want a bigger slice of the pie. Quid pro quo.

So, 3 flat viewings tomorrow evening. 3 price ranges. Worried I’ll really like the most expensive of the 3 but which is technically out of my price range (unless, that is, I were to get the pay rise) – but we’ll see.

You only live once.

5 thoughts on “Vignettes – 01/06/10

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  1. Ah, the delights of house viewing. Hopefully you find something quickly. There’s nothing more soul destroying than trawling the real estate market night after night and still finding nothing.

  2. Justin – thanks, I’m going to need it!

    Vic – yeh, painful process. It went OK, though I don’t plan to make an offer on anything I’ve seen. Will blog about it shortly I expect. Hope you’re settling into your new place OK.

  3. If it’s any consolation — and maybe it’s the opposite — it took me 2.5 years of house-hunting before I finally pulled the trigger and bought my first house. I began right at the very end of the last real-estate collapse — the one that started in 1989ish and ended in 1994ish. When I started, it was possible to buy a two-family house (3 storeys) in Somerville for around 160k. By the time I finally bought a house, I had to pay almost $250k. My house is now “worth” between 650k and 800k even with the real estate market not having recovered yet. People are buying one-floor condos for 300something.

    It was tough for me partly because it was my first really big-ticket purchase and partly because I had only JUST managed to save up enough for a 20% downpayment when I began looking, and that’s when prices started to skyrocket. I was and am pretty picky, too, about neighborhood, about making sure I had a decent back yard (“garden” in British English) for the dogs, etc. Plus the city I live in, which is a nice balance between being close to Boston and on the subway but far enough out to not be strictly urban without being actually suburban, is a city which used to be very working-class but over the past 25-30 years has become increasingly gentrified. The housing stock thus has a mix of houses that have been very nicely updated and houses that had very regrettable work (read: damage) done to them in the 1970s.

    I’m sure you’ll be able to do better than 2.5 years, though 😉

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