I bit my lip as I listened to Alex on the other end of the phone. “Yeah, I finished everything a little while ago.”
His voice rumbled over the line. “Funny, I haven’t seen anyone there when I’ve driven by.”
Even though his voice was making me tingle, what he said was making me think ‘creep’. What did he mean by driving by? It’s not like he’s interested because he would’ve called me long before this if he wanted to get into my pants. So what was it that he wanted?
“I’m not going to live in the house.”
Yeah and I don’t have to explain any of that to you. What the fuck?
“After all of that work you did to get it finished and you’re not going to live in it? Are you planning on selling it?”
There it was. The real estate agent rearing his head. “It depends on the price someone is going to be offering for it.” Andrew wouldn’t be too annoyed if I happened to sell the house for a tidy sum and he couldn’t rent it. No, he would be pissed because then he’d have to live with mum and I for longer. I swallowed. “If it doesn’t sell it’s not the end of the world because Andrew is going to be moving in with the girls.”
I closed my eyes briefly. “Why do you ask?”
“I have someone interested.”
The fuck? My eyes popped open. How the hell could someone be interested in a house that no-one knew was on the market and wasn’t really on the market at all? Not to mention hardly anyone had been on the inside. “What sort of interest?”
“They’re looking to buy in the area. I told them I knew of a house that was being renovated and they wanted to know more.”
“And they would be interested in looking through the house.”
“And what’s their offer going to sound like?”
Alex laughed. “I guess that’s going to be the decider. I want to help them find a house that’s a good price and fills all of their requirements. I also don’t want to cheat you out of money.”
“Very political of you.”
“I thought so too,” he added.
Yep, smooth talker. “Throw me a number.”
“What’s your number?”
“I’m not going to play a game here. Tell me what they’re willing to spend and I’ll let you know if they’re anywhere near it and it’s worth their while coming and having a look.”
“Okay. I’d say for the location, they should be paying around mid-threes.”
Shit, I had a feeling that’s all the property would be worth. Why did I have to buy near the school? It’s not a bad area but I’ve probably done it up too nice to get the money that the house really deserves.
“With the renovations, I’ll have to have a look at the house as a finished product to say absolutely what it’s worth.” He paused for a moment. “But I would be advising them that it has to be high threes.”
Not as stupid as I thought. “I would consider selling for somewhere near that.”
“Okay, can I come over and have a look tomorrow arvo?”
And then I went and told mother of the conversation.
“I thought we agreed that Andrew would be leasing the house?” She didn’t look up from the pot on the stove.
I licked my lips. “I did some rough numbers and if I could get high threes for the house then the mortgage would be paid and all of the costs covered for the renovations. That would be better than having multiple lots of debts around while we renovate another house.”
“Did you factor in capital gains?”
“Technically, if I can get them to hold off for a little while longer then I would’ve had the house for over a year.”
Mum smiled. “That’s my girl.”
Mum wasn’t going to push the issue? She was happy that I was considering selling the place? What the fuck was happening with the world?
“If you can get the money for it, then sell it. Get out of debt and we’ll start fresh.”
“But I won’t have anything really substantial to put towards a new project.”
Mum looked up at me but said nothing.
“I guess,” I continued. “I’ll have to keep my job for a while longer.” That hurt to say. I never realised how much I missed the building industry or the rush that came from doing something physical.
“See what happens with the house before you go and decide anything.”
The next day I slipped out of the car and walked up to the house. Alex was there and waiting. “Hey, you’re early.”
“Yeah, I got out of the office early.”
I smiled and moved to the front door. What had I seen in him that day? Was it just hormones? Yeah, he was attractive, but there was no spark. I sighed and pushed the door opened.
“Holy shit,” he followed me into the house. “This looks top notch.”
“I really think this would be something they would love to move into.”
“Pending price.” I added.
He smiled at me cheekily. “Of course. But between friends, how much did it all add up to?”
My guard went up and I gave him an equally cheeky smile. “Enough. And who says we’re friends?”
“Oh, you wound me madam,” he slapped his hand over his heart.
I snorted. “Not enough if you’re still standing.”
“You’re awful playful.”
I shrugged. What was going on? Wait… was he turning on the charm like it was a switch? That’s how he does it, that’s how he sells houses, he flirts with the clients and they relax and let him have his way. Holy fucking shit. “You don’t want to see me play, I play rough.”
“I like it rough.”
There it was again, the spark. But it’s not real because he’s faking. “Then let me blow your mind; I’m settling for anything under four hundred.”
That didn’t wipe the grin, in fact, it made it wider. “Challenge accepted.”