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Self help thread. I am a widow coping getting on with it

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Over 50s Money Saving
1.1K replies 195K views


  • Elona_2Elona_2 Forumite
    353 posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Sorry about the duplicate post but the forum is painfully slow and difficult today.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    LL how did you get on today?
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    I cancelled the bungalow viewing because I've had a rethink....the garden was huge and it doesn't look overly secure. I think I might feel a bit vulnerable there on my own.

    Also I have had second thoughts about the need for a bungalow after discussing it with both my Physio and the orthopaedic surgeon. I went for a steroid injection last night and saw my Physio the other day.

    I asked both of them the same I need to be thinking about a bungalow. They both said not necessarily. the Physio thinks I'm too young and belongs to the "use it or lose it" school and strongly advises me to keep using stairs to keep my legs strong and to avoid the dreaded "bungalow knees". She also pointed out the cardio benefits of climbing stairs several times a day. I think she has a point.

    My consultant said that yes whilst I will need knee surgery at some point there is no reason why I cannot continue to use stairs afterwards. Again he stressed the overall health benefits of remaining active and said that using stairs can help us stay fitter for longer.

    We don't know when I will actually need surgery. For the time being steroid injections seem to do the trick although of course I won't be able to put surgery off for ever.

    I discussed it with my son tonight and we came to the conclusion that if I struggled with the aftermath of surgery and couldn't cope with stairs for couple of weeks then I could simply hire or buy a simple transit wheelchair,, check Into a hotel, use the lift and if necessary I could always order room service. :rotfl: There is no reason why a carer couldn't pay a visit to the hotel to help me shower for a few days if I struggled to do it myself. Sounds like a workable solution for a short term problem.

    One of the big issues is that I am not really a country girl. I like cities....I know that cities are not everyone's cup of tea but as long as I can escape traffic noise and live in a nice quiet street then I do genuinely prefer to remain living in the city.

    Another problem of course is that bungalows are land hungry so are more commonly built in the suburbs or in a more rural environment, which then begs the question what happens when I don't want to drive. I am not overly keen on driving as it is and could probably quite cheerfully quit.

    We do get the odd bungalow in the city but they are as rare as hens teeth. When they do come on the market they are disproportionally expensive, even the wrecks and they get snapped up within hours.

    So I think I will try and find a nice small town house and then later when I really need to think about single story living then ideally a nice swanky apartment with a balcony overlooking the river.

    There is a beauty on the market at the moment, smack bang in the middle of the city so could be a bit noisy but it does come with a wrap around balcony. I'm quite tempted, depending on the noise levels, but it is not on the top floor, which would be my preferred option.

    I have also spotted a nice little mews house, with a garage, plus additional offstreet parking for visitors and a small but adequate garden. I know where it is, in a nice quiet backwater around a 10 minute walk into the city centre. I shall arrange viewings for both the apartment and the mews house next week.

    One thing that I have been thinking about is how much more sophisticated and affordable adaptations are these days. It seems there have been great strides made in recent years in affordable and stylish bathing options, domestic lifts etc. Perhaps I could even age in situ if I found the right town house. Getting a proper lift installed would probably be cheaper than moving.

    Lots to think about but at least I think I am getting a clearer idea now of what I want.....that's half the battle isn't it. I think that when I tried looking last year my problem was that I didn't know what I wanted so couldn't really focus. Widows brain......:rotfl: I couldn't make a decision because I had lost confidence in my own judgement. Now I don't think that will be an issue.

    I have had two viewings on this house and a third lined up for next Tuesday. It's just a waiting game now.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Masses of food for thought for me LL, very useful discussion. I always had this instinct about getting a house being better for me than a bungalow and what you said just confirms that. However the last three properties were houses and they were unsuitable in other ways, so maybe I am following my instincts

    If I am honest, then the over 55 house that I saw was the best but was not near a shop and it was a bit of an enclave, I honestly don`t want to be within an area dominated by the same 12 singles or couples, everytime I go out of the house then it would be the same people and eventully the same undercurrents and potentially gossip and no-where to go. I like a mixed community. I think I will widen my search to include new houses
  • humptydumptybitshumptydumptybits Forumite
    3K posts
    My mother stayed in her house when she could no longer manage stairs, she had a stairlift and she loved it and it meant she stayed where she was happy with neighbours she liked and had known for years. Much cheaper and easier than moving house. She had the bathroom ripped out and redone with a lovely big shower instead of a bath. It was definitely better for her than moving to a bungalow.
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Hey Humpty ...... thanks for that. Glad it worked out well. I think if you love where you live then it so much better to age in situ if you can.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    oh I also think it is best to age in situ, to be there with roots. I wish I was in that situation, I feel rootless just now, the only roots seem to be from my allotment and leaving that would be a wrench and a half. It offers me stability and peace as well as productivity. My widowed brother has been in the same 2 bed starter home for 40 years and right now it suits him perfectly, I cannot see him ever moving

    I am still looking, only on RM now. I seem to get the same estate agents if I view locally and have no wish to `bother` them and definitely don`t want them to falsely `befriend` me. One property came up in my chosen area last night but yet again is entirely unsuitable. One of those that has had a family and not been maintained with garish colours and a kitchen I would not want. Too high maintenance and too big and too open plan downstairs and top of budget

    I get into RM looking mode and I know that I would not see exact details but I do get a good idea about layout and posion etc. I saw two rather nice bungalows about 7 miles away but looking at the flood risk map, they are both at high risk, that must be the reason they have been for sale for so long

    Sigh, if I coud turn the clock back
  • lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Alas we can't turn back time.

    Kitty, don't despair, it will all turn out right in the end, and If it doesn't, then it's not the end.:rotfl:

    As you know I sold houses for a living. I've had clients in my office in floods of tears, grown men weeping with frustration. Out came the tea and biscuits and I used to tell all of them the same thing.

    "If it's for you, it won't go by you, Sometimes you miss what you think is your dream home, only to find a better one".

    Finding the right house is like finding the right partner, you have to kiss a few frogs first (with houses you have to view a few dogs).

    You are actually in a very enviable don't have a dependent sale. When you spot what you want you can pounce without having to sell your home first and you can take your time to get it key ready and not have to live in a chaos for a while.

    I am a tad jealous ...:rotfl:

    Well I have had two viewings so far, and three booked for this week. I am feeling sanguine and relaxed. It's going to happen this time. I can feel it. I've bookmarked a few on RM but not actually bothered to go and see any yet. I know my area well, know the streets etc and like you, I'm good at reading floor plans and working out what I can do.

    I know you don't want a big project but try not to be put off by garish colours and a shabby kitchen, they are easily fixed. I'm lucky I guess in that with my designers eye I can always envisage even the most unprepossesing property as a dream home. My husband used to say I could turn a prison cell into a desirable little gem.

    This time I'm focusing purely on location, that has to tick all the boxes. . I don't care about the actually property. I have bookmarked everything from a smart townhouse, to a swanky penthouse apartment to a chocolate box cottage.

    Actually that town house isn't smart, it's tired, the apartment is bland and boring and the cottage needs some TLC. But I know just how to fix them and am looking forward to getting stuck in. If I lose them whilst I wait for my house to sell then so be it. Ke Sera and all that. There will be others.

    30 years in the business taught me one thing. Houses are like buses, nothing and then they all come at once.

    You'll find it.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Ahhh LL. You truly are the balm on troubled waters :)
  • edited 24 April 2018 at 12:26PM
    lessonlearnedlessonlearned Forumite
    13.3K posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 24 April 2018 at 12:26PM


    I don't know why but all of a sudden I do feel much calmer, braver, less afraid. Maybe it's all those feathers........

    Plus of course the reaction of the estate agents when they did the valuation. (I know EA speak and can read between the lines). I knew I had done a good job on this house but they really were blown away. (I'll try and post a link sometime). I can also read the viewers reactions too. They have been impressed.

    I was a bit nervous I had spent too much on renovations (the house was in a much worse state than we could have imagined despite having a good survey). I was a bit doubtful if I could recoup my outlay let alone make any profit. But it's going to be ok. Not a vast profit but enough.

    Tbh. I would never have chosen this house but my son was impulsive and fell for it. I was always a bit concerned about the area but he was right it is "up and coming". I am asking top whack, the ceiling price for the street, but judging by the response I have had so far it should be ok.

    Had a bit of a shock this morning, measured my blood sugars.....must do better.!!! You really do have to keep your eye on the ball.

    Anyway have a viewer coming in a bit, I'd better put some slap on and get in selling mode. :rotfl:
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