Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Thursday 25 October 2012

Simply 'Sold' - so much to look forward to ...

It certainly feels like our plans to return to the waterways of Great Britain are working out very nicely indeed!

The lovely young couple who I showed around our home a few months ago, have bought it.  Their bank's valuation wasn't quite as much as we'd hoped, but it was $50,000 more than the government valuation of 2011, and as we wouldn't have to pay any Real Estate Agent/advertising fees out, and we won't have to move out of the house until we leave on 19th April, it seemed like a perfect deal for us all.  I believe that if you get too 'attached' to money, you block it from coming in.  We 'may' have been able to get another $10-20,000 at auction, but then again we may not!

We've yet to sign the contracts, but we'll do so in the near future with a 10% deposit and a settlement date late in January 2013.  The very positive difference between here and UK, is when you buy a house you go 'unconditional' which means once the contract is signed and the deposit changes hands, it's very difficult and costly to renege on the agreement.  There's no sudden changes of mind, and no exchange on the day of move like UK - that really is the most ridiculous process I've ever known!

We've said ever since we bought our gorgeous house in October 2008, how wonderful it would be if a young family bought it when we leave - and the law of attraction has enabled that to happen.  They have a two-year-old daughter and a baby due any day now, so they'll really be able to make the most of the size of the house and land.

It's not a 'posh' house by any stretch of the imagination, like those you see in the glossy pages of 'Home and Garden' magazines, nor does it have all the latest gadgets, Sky TV, a modern kitchen or the 'best' furniture and fittings.  Those 'things' have never interested Barry or I.  We believe we have much more valuable 'things' to spend our money on or save it.  Our home's beauty lies in its welcoming, comforting, spacious and homely feel, and the natural environment that surrounds us.  It's a place to relax and be yourself, no pretences, no anxiety about 'messing up' the expensive bits and pieces.

So we'll be actively searching for suitable narrowboats now - anyone know of any good ones out there?  We want one around 60 foot (no longer), traditional or semi-traditional, at least 4-berth, washing machine essential and log burner/heater, pump-out toilet.  There'll be more to add to the 'essential' list now we can really consider it seriously, and we've time to look around with the benefit of being cash buyers.

Having owned a boat before, we feel fairly confident that it'll be OK to buy sight unseen - though we'll be relying on someone in UK to check it out for us first!

We're both very, very, excited, and thankful for such a stress-free house sale - Barry says I should become a Real Estate Agent, but I'm not seeing that in my future at all for some reason?!

Here's the amazing, majestic and sacred Mount Hikurangi that I'm seeing a lot of as I drive up and down the East Coast visiting the women and families in the area until 5th November.  There's breathtaking scenery at every turn.

Other lovely things for me/us to look forward to:
  • Two of my three sisters are coming to NZ for a three-week holiday on 18th November
  • On 19th December I'm flying to Bali to meet my daughter, travelling from UK, for her 30th birthday (I know, what a dreadful wife, leaving Barry for our wedding anniversary, xmas and New Year!), but to make up for it ...
  • We fly to UK on 19th March, and on 23rd to 30th March we're staying in a beautiful house in the Lake District, with my three sisters and parents, to celebrate my mum's 80th birthday
  • After 30th March - we WILL be boarding our boat to begin our new life.
Wow!  So much to look forward to ...


  1. Excellent news! We'll keep our ears and eyes open for boats along the way.

    You're so lucky to have sold so amazingly quick and on terms that suit you so well. That in itself is worth passing up the chance of a slightly higher price at auction.

    I totally agree about the UK house buying system. Isn't it crazy!?

    See you next year!

  2. Well done guys, that is a huge saving, plus you dont have to prepare for an open house every weekend, Elaine is still having nightmares about it.

    Paul x

  3. Hi Elly and Mick

    I believe we make our own 'luck', by being aware of opportunities the universe is handing to us and being brave enough to take them, not knowing sometimes where they may lead - it's worked very well for me all my life!

    Paul and Elaine - I know, I remember when we were selling Barry's house in 2008, the first time we were planning on coming to UK, open days ever weekend for months, quibbling about prices, we nearly slit up it was so stressful!!! Definitely wasn't going there again!

    Looking forward to catching up with you all next year :-)


  4. So looking forward to having you back here!

  5. We are too! It'll be amazing to be back and spend time with you guys again :-)

    Look out for boats for us!

    Sandra & Barry