Right now our house move is up in the air. And it’s not a good feeling. I know these things happen. They become a good story in the end, but not when you’re in the middle of it.
We’d always been lucky before. Our first two houses were new-build and this one had been sitting empty for a year or so after the owner had died. Our last house sale was exactly eight weeks from when the buyer said he’d like to buy it to when we moved in. That’s how things should be.
When the ‘sold’ sent went up on this one before the end of the summer holidays, it was a reasonable expectation that we would move around October half-term. We didn’t. Every time someone asked when it would be I would say ‘a couple of weeks’. But the couple of weeks never came.
My husband and I went to the solicitor’s to sign our papers well before the end of October. It was a lovely warm, sunny day. It was almost like summer. So we were ready to exchange contracts and ready to move. By that point we’d resigned ourselves to something around 15th November, but our solicitor decided to be proactive – we’d go for the 8th!
Needless to say, nobody could do the 8th, but it forced them to pick another date. The 22nd.
So we expected to exchange contracts around the 8th. The 8th came and went. Maybe the 11th, maybe the 12th? When it got to the 14th we realised we wouldn’t be moving on the 22nd. Someone at the bottom of the chain was messing around and not moving things on.
The elderly people whose house we are buying put their move on hold (they were actually going to go a couple of days before we moved in). They are moving a long way and will need their son to travel a long way to make it happen. As far as I’m aware, the downward chain of three people are all moving locally.
So it wouldn’t be the 22nd. Maybe the 2nd December?
Then yesterday morning things started moving fast again. Finally the bottom of the chain had signed the papers and everyone still wants to move on Friday. This Friday. In three days. Apart from the people whose house we are buying. The words ‘after Christmas’ have been mentioned.
So the plan is to exchange contracts today and move on Friday.
All those people who messed around and weren’t ready to move in October will get a nice new house. And what will we get? Rented accommodation and a whacking great hole in our finances. We’re not in the business of kicking elderly people out of their homes. So out of a chain of five, we are the only ones left out of pocket and out of a home.
This is not making me a very happy bunny right now.
Where will all our stuff go? And where will we go? There’s too many of us to just go and stay with someone.
But if we don’t exchange today, the balls will all be up in the air again. To be honest, this will be better for us of course as maybe by the time everyone is ready to move in, our sellers will be ready to move out and we can cut the time in a rented place out of the equation.
My husband is being amazing. He is sorting all of this out himself – talking to solicitors and estate agents, the elderly couple we are buying from and their son (because of course they don’t have an estate agent). He’s managing to do all of this alongside his demanding job.
I just wish he didn’t have to.
Apologies if I sound like a moaning old whingebag. I know things could be a lot worse. I am grateful I am not in the Philippines or facing homelessness in this country. I realise we are lucky to be able to afford our own home. But today I just want to moan. And that’s my prerogative.