Tag: house buying

Home is Where the Heart Is: Our House Sale Saga/Drama

House buying and selling here in the UK is not for the fainthearted.  About two years ago, we put our house up for sale and after only  a few viewings, received our first serious offer. They were a young couple, about to be married.  She was a teacher in a secondary school in the area and he also had a regular job (don’t remember what it was).  They were really keen to buy our house, but sadly, they weren’t very truthful about their financial situation and the mortgage company wouldn’t lend them enough money to buy our house.  To be fair to them, they did all they can and applied to different mortgage companies to no avail.  If only they had their finances ready first before making the offer.  That would’ve saved us money and disappointment.

Disappointed, but Not Heart Broken

The house we were about to buy was a practical house.  It had the extra bedroom we needed to make into an office.  It had a huge garage, which wasn’t even on our list of must-haves when looking for a house.  It had a bigger garden, but it didn’t tug in our heartstrings.  We went for that house, because we thought at that time, that it was the right house for us.  It was a practical house that ticked off our list and more.

After doing something thinking, we decided to stay put and have a major renovation instead. We hired an architect to design our attic conversion. After sketches and meetings and quotes, we decided to put the house back in the market again.  The amount of money we were going to spend seemed too much and our architect warned us that if we decide to sell in the future, we wouldn’t be getting our money back.

Second time around, we didn’t have much scheduled viewings. The months went by and we thought, maybe we should just put an office shed in the garden?  We started planning again and got in touch with Howdens to do our kitchen for us.  We said we’d go on holiday first and then when we came back, we’d take our house off the market again, and start with the renovations.  A dream-kitchen, new flooring and an office shed.

But while away, we received a serious offer.  It was from a woman who has always loved this part of Cornwall and dreamed of having a second home here.  We met them.  She seemed lovely, the husband seemed okay and they had a lovely three-year-old daughter.

While away, we spotted a house online that looked promising.  When we came back, we visited the house and as soon as I walked in, my heart sank.

Love at First Sight

The house was a typical English cottage, full of character and is roughly about a hundred years old.  There was an open fire in the lounge, a wood burning stove in the dining room.  And another wood burning stove in one of the rooms upstairs.  The kitchen though was small, but had a belfast sink which I love.  There was a front garden, and a very private back garden, and a bit of a side-garden.  And a huge porch.

My heart sank because I knew that if we lost this house my heart would be broken.

We made an offer as soon as we came home.  It was a cheeky offer, so I wasn’t surprised that it wasn’t accepted.  But when we learned that someone else was interested, I told my husband to offer the full asking price.  I didn’t want to go on a bidding war, I’m not made for that.  To our relief, the owners accepted.

I remember the day the house sale fell through the second time, as if it just happened yesterday. I’ve just put little T to bed and my husband was on our bed with his laptop on.  He looked at me and I instantly knew something was wrong.  He received an email from our solicitor saying our buyer’s husband has instructed his solicitor to pull out from the sale.

I burst into tears, even my husband was teary-eyed.  He looked dejected.  We both felt defeated.

The next day we found out that the woman’s husband walked out on her and their three-year-old daughter.  While we were devastated, we couldn’t begin to imagine what she was feeling, what she was going through at that time.

Our estate agent tried to hold the chain together and quickly lined up another buyer who seemed interested.  She came on a Friday, offered on a Saturday and then back out on a Monday.

A few weeks before the Christmas break, we had another viewing.  She turned out to be a mum who we used to know from T’s school.  Her kids have moved on to secondary school.  She was viewing for her friend.  We didn’t think anything could happen, especially since it was almost the Christmas break, but on the last day of T’s school, we got an offer from the mum’s friend.  And I’m happy to share that we are moving house on the 22nd of this month!

Yes, the house we fell in love with is now ours.

Have you ever been disappointed in a house sale/move?

Do share.

The House-Hunt is Over!

I’m happy to share that we’ve actually made an offer on a house and it was finally accepted.  Whoppie-bloody-doo-dah!  I can’t tell you how relieved I am right now.  As much as I love looking at houses,  I’ve realised now that it’s so much more fun when you’re just sitting on your couch in the comfort of your own home and watching other people do it in my favourite property shows like “Location, Location, Location” or “Move to the Country” than actually doing it in reality.

As first mentioned on this post, the practical house has indeed won us over in spite the lack of enthusiasm on our part when we first saw it and this suitable home also happens to be in a good location.  Does this mean we’ve succumbed into location over property?  I shouldn’t think so, in the end, it was all about the darned ever-so-sensible house/choice for our little family.  I am indeed a grown-up now.  Whoopie-bloody-doo-dah.

I’m wondering though – is it really over?

The hunt is.  But my stress-level is still churning, especially since my husband warned me that though our offer has been accepted, all is not %100 over till we’ve exchanged.  You see back home even though payment hasn’t really exchanged yet, once you sign in the dotted line, it’s as good as done and dusted.  Apparently here in England, things are just a bit more complicated and even though offers have been accepted, one can still back out and it can also take ages before you can heave a sigh of relief and declare that the ordeal of buying/selling your property is indeed over..

So we’re on a different hunt now – the search for a good solicitor.  I’d like to share  a few things I’ve learned so far:

  • Whatever country you live in solicitors are expensive, so make sure you do your research when looking for a good but affordable one.  Remember just because your estate agent recommends someone, doesn’t mean you have to absolutely use them too.  My husband phoned the firm J, our agent recommended and he nearly fell of his seat when they told him their fees.
  • So we shopped around and asked recommendations from friends and family, made calls and asked for quotes.
  • And also went online. While you’re trying to save money, however, when choosing the cheapest make sure that they are “proper” solicitors.  Remember, you might end up spending more if they do a terrible job and might have to hire professional negligence solicitors in the end, which may of course cost you more.  I’ve also learned that it helps to actually read the reviews on the solicitor’s website.  At the same time though, take the comments you’ve read with a grain of salt.
  • If you’re buying a house with a mortgage, make sure that the solicitor you’ve chosen is accredited by your mortgage company.
  • And lastly, selling/buying a house in this country is utterly maddening!  I absolutely refuse to move again unless it’s my dream-period property which is a lovely detached Georgian/Victorian or Edwardian house.

Fingers crossed, if all goes well we might just be in our new home by spring time!  Wouldn’t that be great?

But I’m going to miss this little house though.  We have memories here long before little T was born, when life was simple and oh-so quite and it was just me, my husband and Mutley.  Now the Mutt is gone and it’s me, my husband, little T, Boots and Doc.  And I will especially miss my tiny kitchen, the place where I blogged the most.  Here.

But of course, we are all excited about the whole move.  I’m trying not to be overenthusiastic though till the final-final exchange is done lest the chain breaks.

Have you sold/bought a property in the past?  How long did the completion take?

This is a sponsored post, however, all words are by Yours Truly and so is the photo.