After many pieces of paper with scribbled calculations, we came up with a maximum price we could afford to pay for the house... then a maximum maximum and then a, 'if push came to shove and we'd loose it if we didn't maximum.'
We contacted Mark the following day and arranged to see him at his office to put forward our offer.
It was the first time we'd seen his estate agency and we were surprised at just how small the room was. Just big enough for him and his colleague Madeline, two desks and possibly 4 customers.
We sat in front of Mark and nervously put forward our maximum offer. He nodded politely and smiled sympathetically, "I don't think that'll be enough, but we can try," he said in his pigeon English; though something told me he'd said that particular line before.
He picked up the phone and put forward our offer. At this point my heart was in my mouth. We so wanted the place, but we realised we were pushing our luck. We knew the house was worth more, it was whether we could afford it.
"No, I'm so sorry. He won't accept your offer, it's too low," he said as he replaced the receiver.
We were gutted. At this stage we didn't feel we could raise it up any higher. We left the office feeling more than upset and tried to kid ourselves that something else would come along, something cheaper, something more suitable...