Posts Tagged ‘real estate

Well, things have become insanely busy round here! Admittedly it has rather more with trying to say goodbye to friends and keeping track of an increasingly intrepid toddler, than to do with any packing that should be being done… Indeed, the only reason I am sitting down to blog about it is because Loved One bought me a shiny new iPad for my birthday and I wanted to try out the WordPress app. Which is OK, but very basic. Nothing but plain text and NO pictures. Which might explain the rather boring appearance of this particular post..

Here are six things I am slowly starting to realise about moving:

Take all offers of childcare you can beg, bribe or blag – you need every second of child free time you can get.

Try and keep doing things you enjoy if you can. Don’t let the packing demons force you into a hermit-like existence or you will become a person devoid of good humour and your children will hide from you.

When you are doing things you enjoy, try and ensure it doesn’t involve more laundry or catering than normal. Swimming, for instance, will give you a double headache because you have to find somewhere to dry the kit afterward. And on no account do it three times in the last ten days.

When trying to chase up school admission departments who seem to have no idea of the urgency of the situation, do so before 2pm and on a weekday, or the entire department will have gone home and left nothing but an irritating answer machine message telling you to call back at a more suitable time.

If you have been running around like a headless chicken all day, do not expect to be able to pull out endless reserves of stamina to deal with yet more headless chicken impressions in the evening. You will get the kids in bed and you will no longer be any good to anyone.

When contemplating the sheer enormity of what you need to achieve, do not let your urge to procrastinate inspire you to blog about your predicament rather than picking your socks up and actually getting on with it.


I look forward to updating you when the dust settles. And if you catch me blogging between now and then, feel free to give me the severe reprimand I deserve.


I couldn’t help but post a status update on Facebook when our offer was finally accepted (yes, the one I had already re-designed the kitchen for).  So it’s probably no longer a surprise to most of you.  But I have to admit, even though it could all go horribly wrong, it is wonderful to be out of property limbo at last.

It reminds me a little of when loved one proposed to me all those years ago.  He likened it – after the hankies had been handed out – to pressing the ‘go’ button on the wedding plan.  It all began, and didn’t stop till we were married.

And indeed, within an hour of the offer being accepted, I’d phoned the solicitor, emailed a couple of surveyors for quotes, ditto for the removal company, and by 9.30 this morning I’d arranged the mortgage application appointment and been contacted by all three schools within walking distance.  My ear is hot from having a phone surgically attached to my ear and my back aching from being hunched over the laptop emailing non-stop.

Unfortunately, all the local schools are full for the years that middle and oldest ones will be coming into.  We solved the rental issue, though.  For the two months or so, loved one’s darling parents have kindly agreed to have us stay with them. This will save us a couple of thousand pounds. It also puts us in the correct local authority for schools, although unfortunately it won’t get us into the right catchment.

I reckon what will swing the schools will be the attitude of the council officer in charge of our case. If they understand and they are on our side, they will find a way to make it work for us.

If they don’t, well, I might find myself fumbling around the world of home education until a suitable solution is found.  And, as was pointed out to me this morning, a couple of months’ break from the rigours of school life won’t ruin them.

To be honest, if we were trying to rent in a strange new place as well, the concept of home educating would just be too much, especialy when I have my own studies to consider. But anticipating the calming presence of my mother-in-law has made me feel it could be a possibility.

But only if absolutely necessary. Let’s hope the council come up trumps and magic me up a couple of school places.

Yes, we offered on that house I was going kitchen-crazy about yesterday.

They refused, asking for another £5,000.

We expressed disappointment.  We really, really can’t stretch any further. We left the offer on the table, but pointed out that we would not wait more than a week, since we would be homeless in October if we didn’t get a move on finding somewhere to live.

The agent, who is one of two marketing the property, would appear to have been fighting our corner.  After all, he doesn’t want the other agent to walk away with the commission.  At half past five this afternoon we got a call from a new agent verifying our buying credentials.

The owner of the house would appear to have deferred all authority to a well-known developing company, who, after hearing what the first agent passed on, would appear to be re-thinking the offer. Since they then contacted their own selling agent, who then rang us.

I don’t dare believe that we have it in the bag.  Yet.  But I can’t help hoping.

So we have to hold our nerve.

(I have no fingernails left.)

Another week, and it’s all quiet on the offers front again.  We are still getting regular viewings, but as usual, people are saying the bedrooms are too small.  (I reckon everyone’s got used to huge bedrooms somewhere along the line and just can’t comprehend a room that fits a bed but not much else, but I’m veering off topic here.)

We put our house on the market around the end of February. We thought we’d get a sale in no time. Nice enough house, desirable location, reasonable price, etc. We had planned to allow up to three months to sell othe house with a view to moving in the summer holidays…let’s face it, you need another three months for all the conveyancing malarkey to get its act together. And even then, there are pitfalls. Anything could go wrong on any property in the chain, and we could all be back to square one at a moment’s notice.

After the initial month or two of finding this all very stressful, I just couldn’t be stressed about it any more without going nuts (okay, without going more nuts), and adopted the Doris Day approach (you know, que sera sera).  Loved one on the other hand is still stressed out by it. Mainly because through all this he’s not been tackling the keep-the-house-tidy-all-the-time issue on a daily basis, so his exposure to the situation is more low-level, and the stress has built up slowly. He is now a tightly-wound ball of anxiety about the whole thing.

There is a house which, although not perfect, has felt instinctively the right house to buy. This waiting game means we may not get it. This has worried loved one sufficiently to drop the asking price on our own house even further, but in all honesty I can’t be bothered to worry about it any more.  If we don’t get it, there’ll either be another equally good or better house available when we are ready, or there’ll be nothing and we will have to rent for a while.

One thing, though. The waiting game has played havoc with our timing. Our plan to move in the summer holidays and cause minimal disruption for the children and schooling is looking increasingly unrealistic.

How much does that matter I wonder?  How difficult will it be for the kids to adjust in the middle of term?  Will they be able to catch up? Will they make friends easily?  Answers on a postcard…

I was just reading this blog from Transforming Decor that tells us that 90 per cent of home buyers look online to find the home they want.  This is a US statistic, but I bet the UK are not far behind.

Image from reckon, much as we love to look at the papers to see what houses are going for in our area, or to have a ‘wishful thinking’ moment, most of us who are serious about buying go to one of the major websites, such as Rightmove, Zoopla or Primelocation.  As it happens, Rightmove have been the best ones for us, though I gather that Zoopla is good for finding homes being sold privately or by auction, and Primelocation is great for London buyers.  Newspaper marketing is more to give agents visibility for people who might put their house on the market.

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What does this mean for us? Well, when we chose our agent we made sure they felt the same way as we did about this; indeed, we were online before we were in print.

Image from www.primelocation.comHowever, you can never be sure.  Your buyer might just be an empty nester who doesn’t believe in computers, for instance.  So we’ve been regularly in the papers too.

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But I have to say, I wish there was a house-selling equivalent of online dating.  You get matched up to your ideal buyer, you see if you get on, and if not, you get matched up to the next one.  The current system is similar, but wouldn’t it be great to have such a service?

Especially if they give you your money back if they don’t get you a buyer within 3 months…