So it’s really happening! We’re moving house TODAY. And it’s not the move we were hoping to make into our lovely big house round the corner.
Over the last few days we’ve had so many ideas and things have felt like they were changing from one minute to the next. It’s been stressful and emotional, but my husband has been brilliant and borne the brunt of it – taking all the stress away from the rest us and doing all the organisation. We’ve had an amazing solicitor too.
On Monday morning we were resigned to our move slipping by a week or two. We thought completion usually came a week or two after contracts were exchanged,. We hasn’t exchanged, therefore we wouldn’t be moving. But suddenly it looked like we would be moving – meaning an interim move for us.
I broke it to the kids and my daughter burst into tears. Quite understandably, in my point of view. I felt like doing the same. It was the uncertainty that did it.
But we were never going to be out on the streets. We thought through so many options. There’s no room for five of us at my mum’s. Maybe three of us could stay for a few nights and the others stay in a hotel? Maybe we could all stay in a hotel? Hotels are fun. But not to live in. Not great for eating meals and making packed lunches.
We could get a short-term let, but as we didn’t know whether we would need it for a week or six, that would be difficult.
So we settled on a holiday let. My husband went to see one about three miles away, closer to town. It looked nice. The advantage of a holiday let is you can rent it by the week rather than the month. There are no bills and council tax to pay and you get your sheets and towels washed every week. Win!
But it’s not cheap (even for people who temporarily have no mortgage) and it’s a bit of a logistical nightmare. It might only be three miles away, but there’s a lot of traffic lights in between and rush hour traffic to contend with. It changes everything. Suddenly we have to drive to school. Childcare arrangements change. It’s harder to get to Cubs and all the dance classes. And I’d have to take my daughter out at 8.30pm to pick her brother up from Scouts. All fine, but all not ideal.
My daughter cried again. I toed the party line, told her it wasn’t far away and it would be fun. But she likes her little village life, it’s all she’s ever known. The thought of driving to school was difficult for her to comprehend.
Maybe we could go on holiday? But we have to work and the kids have to go to school.
Right from the start I had a good idea. You remember my friend who moved away? Her house has been standing empty. It has sold, but their buyers aren’t moving in for a bit longer. Couldn’t we just ask her? She’s so easy going, I imagined she would get in touch with me if she saw me living somewhere else and ask why we didn’t ask to live in their house. But it’s not an easy conversation to have out of the blue, is it?
Then her husband came back to do some work on the house, so my husband popped round to see him – and came home with the key!
It’s not as good as moving into our new house, but it’s definitely the next best thing. Out stuff will be in different places, but we will still be living in the exact same area. It’s good for them too – they’ve got somebody to look after their house while its empty and a bit of income too (we’re not taking the p*ss – we are actually going to pay rent). But even though it’s all good, I still hoped the move could be delayed a bit.
Finally, late on Wednesday morning, we got the news. We’d exchanged contracts. Our house sale would be completed on Friday.
So here we are. Starting our in-between life for a few weeks. I don’t think it will be plain-sailing, but it will be easier than any of the alternatives.