A lovely flat with a corner bay lounge: ‘has potential’ rather than ‘walk-in condition,’ but I’d rather have character and some spare deposit than someone else’s idea of a perfect kitchen.

Only, there’s a minor snag. Just a teensy one. The surveyor’s report: ‘The roof’s about to fall in.’

Up in the attic there are decaying lumps of hardboard vaguely keeping the water out, with buckets helping out. In the surveyor’s estimate it’s one winter away from serious damp problems through the side walls, and not much further off fears of serious roof failure.

Now, I was expecting the survey to pick up on pretty much everything – ie. to be fairly dour – but I don’t think it’s normal for the chap to call and say ‘Tell you what – I’ll spare you the written report, so long as you don’t buy it.’

Dang. I can pick ’em.

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