Duthie Park and buying a house

I took this photo of Duthie Park back in April this year just before all the buds on the trees opened up for spring:

Today I went for a run through the park and took some more photos. Here’s how it looks now:


I love watching the plants and trees change with the seasons. Duthie Park is looking very green and leafy at the moment. It’s such a treasure.



Buying a house in Scotland is a very different experience to the process in New Zealand. They don’t have real estate agents here for a start. Instead people list their homes directly with a solicitor. When you find a house you’re interested in, you ring the owner directly to arrange a viewing. That’s right, the owner shows you around their own home rather than an agent. This was quite nice because the owner knows more about their house than anyone else and they can tell you all the little quirks. If you want to put in an offer you get your own solicitor to do it and it’s all verbal. You don’t have to sign anything either. All that happens is that you tell your solicitor what offer you’d like to make, they phone the vendor’s solicitor who phones the vendor and relays the offer. They either accept or not accept or negotiate and it goes back and forth verbally until an agreement is reached. It was all very civilised, straightforward, and pleasant. This is how the process was for us anyway. I think in a seller’s market houses are sold by tender.

The owners of the house we’ve just bought, or will buy when it settles, rang us yesterday to say how delighted they are that we’re buying their home. Isn’t that nice? They’ve lived in it for more than a quarter of a century. They’re also going to have us over for drinks to tell us all the things they think we’ll want to know about their home.

20 Replies to “Duthie Park and buying a house”

  1. The Scottish system, whereby you exchange missives via your solicitor and are bound subject to you not finding any undisclosed horrors is so much better than here in England. We can go on for an age and then be gazumped which has to be the worst situation. Good luck with it all.

  2. Thanks, I always enjoy your pictures. The process of selling and buying a house looks very civilized. We just sold the house in my mother’s estate, sold our house as an owner, and bought another house. The behavior of the real estate agents we had to deal with in selling my mother’s house and us buying a house was terrible. You were very lucky to have such a friendly process that does not involve agents.

    I am a strong consumer advocate and will not left unethical behavior slide. We filed two ethical complaints, both as yet unresolved, and we had to let two or three other questionable behaviors go as we did not have enough evidence to pursue the matter. Selling the house directly ourselves as an owner was a much better experience as we found some very nice buyers – and we did invite them over for wine to celebrate signing the contract.

    1. Thank you! It was very nice not to have to deal with a single real estate agent. Not one!

      I think it’s great that you call people out for unscrupulous behaviour. More people should do it. I hope the outcome is good.

  3. That sounds so much nicer than a straight, impersonal commercial transaction Rachel. The owners obviously have a sentimental attachment to the house and want to pass it on to decent people. You are very fortunate. Buying real estate in a property boom can be an absolute nightmare.

    When I bought my place, the vendor held a street party which was a great way to meet my new neighbours.

    Exciting times ahead! xx

    1. We have been very lucky. We sold our house in Auckland in the middle of a boom and made quite a bit of money from it. Then when we moved the money over here the NZ$ was at an all time high. Now the NZ$ has fallen quite considerably so we timed it really well. We were lucky.

  4. What a great system. I sold my mother’s home in a similar manner to a personal friend of hers. It was a rewarding experience for us both and we saved the realtor fees. Congratulations and I look forward to seeing it.

    1. That is very nice. It’s great to be able to sell to someone you know or like, especially when there’s an emotional attachment to the place.

  5. My mom is a realtor and I swear she’s a good and honest one, but man, that sounds really nice. If we ever move, I’d love to share our experiences in this house with the next owners!

    1. I’m sure you’re mum is honest and lovely. The real estate agent who sold our house in Auckland was also very honest and lovely. I haven’t personally had any bad experiences with real estate agents. It’s probably more a case of a few bad apples spoiling the reputation of everyone else.

  6. It’s a good system isn’t it? Bought all our houses here within the week of seeing them. Don’t know why other places don’t follow the example.

    1. Yes, I’m not sure either. It’s such a good system and saves tens of thousands pounds of real estate agent fees.

      1. Only drawback is showing all the timewasters round who have just come for a neeb. After 80 viewings it can get a bit much. Though viewing by appointment only helps.

      2. Yes, true. I think if you have to view by appointment and ring the owners to arrange a viewing then you’re only going to do so if you’re serious. So in a sense this system eliminates the time-wasters.

  7. Congrats again. Very happy to know the transaction was quite friendly and personal.

  8. Congratulations! You must be feeling mighty proud to have been able to buy a house which you like. The fact that the sellers are nice folks helps, does it not.

    My Mastermind partner Joost, who lives in Amsterdam, is trying to sell his house but has not been lucky as yet. Hope he too is able to announce his success soon.

    So what be your plans to do up the place?


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