Moving house

It was more than 10 years ago that I last moved house. At the time I said “never again!”, but knew really that, one day, I would need to do it again. Since then, a lot in my life has changed. My children have grown and spend relatively small amounts of time at home. My wife died something over 4 years ago and, in due course, I met my present partner. The challenge was that we lived an hour’s drive apart. We managed with that for a while, but, about 18 months ago, I decided it was time to move nearer to her …

The estate agent was very optimistic about selling the house. It was in good condition and in a nice location. But it took much longer than we had hoped. Interestingly, it was not a case of people viewing and not liking the place. The problem, which we never understood, was getting people through the door. Anyway, we eventually had a sale and then that fell through due to a problem with the buyers’ chain. This was a very frustrating time, as I saw houses that looked interesting come and go and could do nothing. Eventually, back in May, a new buyer appeared and we struck a deal.

The race was on for me to find a place to buy, as I was not keen to go to the extra expense of storing all my possessions while I found somewhere. A house that I liked the look of had been on and off the market several times and reappeared. I made an offer and had a nail-biting weekend waiting for the response. A cash buyer out-bid me, offering the full price. With hindsight, I am not at all sure that this house would have suited us. I then saw another place. It was quite a large Victorian semi in the right area. It was mostly modernized and offered a lot of potential. More haggling, and it was mine. Well almost.

The legal process of the sale and purchase took over three months. The survey on the house showed up some requirements for work to be done and the vendors were difficult to deal with, but had to concede that a house was only really saleable with working drains. Eventually we got there, with the legal niceties going right up to the wire. We exchanged contracts and the removal company immediately started packing up all my stuff. Then we went on a week’s vacation, which had been booked months ago. A couple of days after we returned, the move happened.

The actual process of moving was no fun, but not particularly troublesome either. The guys soon had everything packed into their truck. I did a little final cleaning, locked up and we headed off to the new house. There were two snags when we got there. First, the legal process was not complete, so we had to patiently wait for about 2 hours. The second problem was that a mini-digger, which had recently been used to effect the drain repairs, was still parked there and it was in the way of the front door. We finally got the legal All Clear and the keys arrived. The removal men started unloading and the contractors came to remove the digger. In due course, we were installed in the new house.

Now it is a question of converting a house into a home and eliminating cardboard boxes from out lives. This will take a while, but there is progress. The odd thing is that I thought that I was downsizing and this is the largest house I have ever owned and seems bigger every day!

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