There is only one person to blame, my brother; he’s thrown the proverbial spanner in the works and created the latest major dilemma in my early retirement years!

I suppose it all started some 12 months ago when I knew I was to be a beneficiary in my aunt’s will. At the time I did consider the possibility of purchasing her house but discounted it for a number of reasons. I like living where I live; despite the fact my home is a terraced house, it is a rather grand one with high ceilings, moulded cornices and quirky room layouts just suitable for my eccentric personality. My garden is a dream, years of work have gone into making it my little piece of heaven. My neighbours are great so why then would I even consider moving. Well, being a terraced house there are some drawbacks not the least of which is noise transference through shared party walls which can be a minor nuisance and irritation at times.

Sadly, my aunt passed away a month or so ago and I have been clearing out the house and stripping the garden of brambles in readiness for selling, knowing that there will be a huge amount of work to be done by any prospective purchaser to bring the house up to the standard of living in the 21st century. That is, until my brother throws his two penn’orth in!

“I’ll come over and help you rebuild it” he says nonchalantly, he lives in Australia, “Even if it takes six months!” he continued whilst waiting for some sort of response from me! I have to confess I was a bit taken aback, my brother coming over to help was not an option I could even have dreamt of, this threw a whole new complexion on the situation!

So that’s it then, shall I, or shan’t I? The house is mostly original from when it was built by my grandfather in 1923. Some minor modifications were made when my uncle and aunt acquired it in the 1970s but since then has been mostly untouched. The garden is hugely overgrown and needs taming, the garage is falling down and need rebuilding, the roof is dilapidated and needs replacing, it needs rewiring and new heating. On the plus side, the house is detached, it sits in a large plot on a desirable street and also has excellent neighbours all round!

Help, what do I do?