Those of you who follow my blog will undoubtably have noticed a lack of posts over the last couple of weeks.
Those of you who follow my social media profiles will know why; I have moved house!!
The wife and I had decided to move house last year, and put the house on sale in February. Within a month of agreeing the sale and finding our new house, a small global pandemic ground everything to a halt, until finally in June the sale of our old house went through.
If you were following the lockdown blog you will know we moved into my parents home while waiting to buy our new place. What should have been a routine house survey showed up a smorgasbord of problems which need to be fixed, delaying the purchase further, but finally two weeks ago it was all over and we had the keys to our new home! (Then there was just the small issue of waiting two weeks to get our furniture out of storage, but in the grand scheme of things what’s two weeks amongst friends…)
As we have finally moved in and we spend the first weekend in our new home, I felt it was a good time to reflect on a few things I have learnt or discovered during the whole process. This is not so much a guide to moving house, there are certainly plenty of those available on line, rather my thoughts and experiences.
Great fun if you are nosey, a time consuming necessity if you are not. Fortunately we looked at less than a dozen houses before we found the house for us, but I know it can drag on and on for some people. Even in the small number of viewings we arranged, it was telling how repetitive they are. We would ask the same questions (How old’s the boiler? What are the neighbours like?) while the estate agent or owner showed us the house in a near identical order to the others (lounge, kitchen, dining room, master bedroom etc. etc.).
One thing I would do different if the worst happens and we have to move again; definitely book a second viewing. I’m not saying I would not have bought my new house, I love it, but a second viewing might have shown up a few more of the flaws and rough edges, so we had a better idea what we were working with. The first viewing is exciting and a bit of a whirlwind, so it might have been good to take stock on a second look around.
We decided to use the solicitor I instructed to buy my first house, she appeared competent and reasonably priced. The wife had not been in my life when I bought the first house, so found the pace and communication from the solicitor frustrated at the start.
That is until she heard about the pace with which the seller’s solicitor was moving. It was positively glacial, and made our solicitor look close to Usain Bolt in speed.
The most important lesson from the legal side of buying a house is to accept it works at a pace beyond rational comprehension, and there is little can be done to speed it up. Accepting this takes a little frustration out of the process, if only a little.
The removal company
As well as using a removal company to move our furniture and store it while waiting for our new house, we paid for their packing service. I must say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Other than taking apart some of the large pieces of furniture like the table and beds, we had nothing to do when it came to packing, no packing materials to buy, and much of the stress taken out of the moving day.
And when it came to unpacking in our new home, we discovered our possessions safely wrapped and in one piece. Only one item was slightly damaged in the move, and it was easily fixed with a screwdriver.
Meeting the new neighbours was high on our moving in list, not only to be friendly, but selfishly as we have a few changes we want to make in the garden and it will be best to have the neighbours on board.
As it happens, there was next to no effort needed to meeting the neighbours. Several people waved and welcomed us when we first came to the house, while our immediate neighbours came round to introduce themselves and give us a welcome card and plant. I think it is a pretty good sign of the neighbourhood we have moved into.
Now we are moved into our new home, we move from a legal process to the joys of DIY. As I write this, we have already take up several carpets with a plan to have the floorboards sanded, while our list of jobs to do to the house seems to continue to grow, and the time spent browsing social media for inspiration spirals.
I must say I enjoy DIY for the most part. I’m no expert by any stretch, but I can turn my hand to most things and given time to get on with a project I can find it almost therapeutic.
I guess that is a good thing. As I have said, the list is long, and it will likely take us much of the next year to get the house how we like it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it will certainly give me plenty of material to share with you fine people, and will keep me out of trouble for a little while.
Now, where did I put my hammer…?!