Owning one’s own house, especially if it has already been fully paid for, is one of the biggest dreams of every couple. It represents years of hard work and is definitely a goal that is worth all that one went through to achieve it. After all, barring any accidents or natural disasters, you don’t lose a house overnight because they are meant to last a long time as long as one maintains it carefully.
Unfortunately for a couple living on the Norfolk Broads, that’s practically what happened when they discovered their £850,000(around 1 million dollars) riverside cottage sinking into the ground.
Ken and Gail Pitts actually noticed that their home developed a severe lift three months ago but that it sank “overnight.” According to neighbors, the cottage, which was built in the 1970’s, began sinking soon after it was re-thatched, claiming that the wooden pile foundations had broken from the strain.
The couple had been living in the home, located on the River Bure at Horning in Norfolk, for 17 years but now they were forced to move out while waiting on word whether it needed to be demolished or not.
Signs have already been erected around the property proclaiming “Danger; Unsafe” and “CAUTION! Uneven Surface” to anyone unwary enough to come close.
According to Ken, they were “devastated” upon learning that the west side of their home started sinking without warning. Both he and his wife refused to offer more details saying they were consulting with insurers on the best solution.
The slanted house soon caught the attention of locals and passers-by, with some of them taking to Facebook to comment about it.
One said: “I heard one end was steel piles, the other was old wooden piles. It’s the wood piles that have collapsed. They are going to take off the thatch to save it and then demolish. Very sad.”
Another wrote: “We passed this last week and I actually couldn’t bear to look at it, too upsetting!”
A third added: “I used to dream of living there when I was a child. So sad to see this.”
The idyllic cottage has three bedrooms and a large garden fronting the river. It also has a mooring for boats and fishing.
The master bedroom houses a king-sized bed and balcony. The kitchen is well-equipped and the spacious sitting room leads into the equally large sundeck by the river.
A spokesperson for Broads Authority said: “It is a huge shame that this lovely cottage appears to be in such a precarious position. Unfortunately, it is something that can be an ongoing danger for properties built on unstable ground.
“We wish the owners all the best as they assess what can be done. If the cottage is within our area as a planning authority, we would offer free pre-planning advice, should this be needed in the future.”
Ken and Gail have been married for 41 years and are both in their 60’s.
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