Up in the air

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.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Oh no! I am sorry, I know you were so excited about moving. And of course, you are right, it could be worse but it is your blog and your right to moan. Xx

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  2. You have every right to moan, and I hope it felt good getting it all out of your head. It’s no wonder that moving house is among the top 5 most stressful things a person can do! Really hope it all works out and you’re in your new home soon (& without being too much out of pocket!) Although it’s not much consolation now, come early new year this will all be behind you 🙂

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  3. How rubbish! I’m afraid there are loads of people out there that seem to think it acceptable to mess people around with dates. Our buyers wouldn’t sign the paperwork for a couple of weeks because it was a bad time to sign apparently. hope you can sort something out with your vendors. Can totally understand that you don’t want to force their hand. Hope you’re sorted soon. x

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  4. That sounds really stressful 🙁 And so close to Christmas too I bet it’s the last thing you need! My mum had a similar thing and they somehow survived in a 2 bed flat with furniture from a 5 bed house for a few months! Hope it moves quickly for you – it’ll all be worth it once you’re in your lovely new home xxx

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  5. Oh what a pain. And at the worst time of year. I hope something magical can happen for you and it all goes through before Christmas. How awful.

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  6. Really sorry to read this. What a stress. Hope the ‘pain’ will be over soon x.

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  7. Thanks very much, everyone. It is a pain, but it looks like we’ve at least found somewhere we can stay – and it’s bigger than this house! Still don’t know where we’ll be at Christmas, which isn’t ideal 🙁 x

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  8. Really sorry Sarah, moving is stressful enought without all this added hassle! Hope things work themselves out soon xx

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