Well, it’s been a little hectic of late. Grab a before going further!
I seem to recall my last update regarding house-hunting was at the end of July. I finished with “Viewing another tonight...”.
The viewing went well. The house wasn’t perfect, but then, I doubt the “perfect house” is ever out there. The fact that we our summer holiday was only 13 days away, and once we returned there would only be one month before we needed to move out made us look beyond the problems. The biggest fault to my mind was the lack of an upstairs loo – there is a nice bathroom downstairs, in a small extension behind the kitchen, so at 4am when one is woken up by a nagging bladder, it’s a long walk. A cold one, too, as there’s no heating in the house.
We discussed it with my brother-in-law/builder who agreed it was a good house, and the lowish price would allow us to do the works we needed.
An offer was put forward, and after a little bartering it was accepted.
We instructed our solicitors, ensuring they had our bank details so they could carry out searches etc; and informed our financial advisor to rearrange the mortgage, sorting him out with fees to pay for the new survey. With everyone working, we went off for a fortnight’s holiday in our favourite little corner of Scotland.
On return we found the solicitor’s work progressing well. Calendars were consulted, and a move date of September 20th was pencilled in. I rang the financial advisor, and everything seemed to be fine there.
Two weeks before the moving date our buyers solicitors pointed out that they needed to exchange early, as the buyers were in rented accommodation, and needed a week’s notice on their current house. Before I was willing to do this, I wanted confirmation that everything was okay with my move. This was the point I discovered that my mortgage wasn’t actually fine after all – the company had withdrawn the offer, and were only prepared to offer half of what I needed! Chaos ensued – apparently my financial advisor had known about this, and hadn’t bothered to tell me, as he was “sorting it”. To cut a long story short, many many phone calls ensued, a gamble was taken where we exchanged on our house before getting complete confirmation on having somewhere to move to (my sister offered to put us up if everything fell through), and we only got the final go ahead from all involved at 11am the day before we moved!
Moving day was chaotic too. We’d already moved a large number of boxes into a garage we’re renting from my sister (far cheaper than renting a container). A good mate of mine was helping me move, and by 8.15am we were loading up a jumbo sized Transit with the first load. We’d arranged to move some things into the garden at the new house, but would have to wait until monies were transferred before getting the keys, which was fair enough. This happened sometime after 1pm. We were, by this point, struggling to get what turned out to be four van loads of furniture shifted in time. We were keeping in touch with the people who were moving into our house – but they weren’t actually moving in for another three days, so didn’t have a problem. We finally got their keys to them at two minutes to six – had we been any later than six, we would have incurred charges, so we had cut it fine!
At least we were in. We couldn’t be bothered to cook, so it was pizza that night – we’re a two minute walk from a good takeaway.
The following day was taken up trying to construct furniture that had been dismantled – mainly the girls’ beds. By the end of the day Heather’s room was pretty much complete. We were too tires to cook, so it was fish and chips that night - there's a good chippy next door to the pizza shop!
Gina’s parents came to visit that evening. While they were here, Gina noticed a smell of gas in the kitchen. I went through and sure enough there was – faint, but present. We called out British Gas, who tested our appliances, and everything was fine, so they worked out it must be the pipes themselves leaking. As a result we were cut off, until we could get an engineer to trace and repair the leak. It was two days before we could get someone out (most engineers were talking in weeks rather than days!). He tested everything, and having dismantled half the kitchen and taken up most of the upstairs floorboards, he determined the leak to be either behind the plaster in the chimneybreast, or under the concrete living room floor – a major hammer and chisel job either way.
We mentioned that we wanted to fit central heating, at which point he informed us that we have the wrong size supply pipes for a combi-boiler, so there was no point repairing what we have, only to have to rip it out later. Instead we have had a number of quotes for installing heating, hot water system, and a complete new gas supply line. Hopefully we will have this fitted within the next two weeks – before the winter weather sets in, I hope. Currently we have no hot water, no heating, and no hob to cook on – fortunately the oven is electric, but anything requiring frying, boiling, or heating in a pan is out! We currently crave mashed potato!!
Once that’s done, the next job is to convert the loft into a bedroom for Lily. She’s currently in the small back bedroom, which will then become the new bathroom. The bathroom in the extension behind the kitchen can then become my study (or “a room for all your crap” as Gina puts it).
The house itself is in a lovely area called Garden Village. The surrounding houses were built about 100 years ago. Ours is newer, though built to match – the original terrace on this site was destroyed in July 1941 by a bomb, presumably aimed at the nearby Reckitts factory, most of which was destroyed the same night. There used to be a railway line behind the house, and this is now tarmacced over, and forms part of a National Cycle Network route. It’s great for the girls who have never cycled so much. It also means that I can cycle most of my route to work off-road, a huge relief to me (and Gina) as the traffic on the road I had to use previously was getting worse by the day. I have my own garage, rather than having to rent one from the council, which was costing me over £450 a year – not having to walk quarter of a mile from the garage to my house is a wonderful thing at the end of a long day! We look out of the kitchen window at a line of trees, which make a lovely noise in the wind – as opposed to looking out at the local tyre sales shop, which made a horrible noise with compressed air drills buzzing all day.
In all, the move was extremely stressful, and with all the work to do upgrading the house, I’m sure there is more to come, but it has been worth it. Compared to our old house, we feel relaxed here, none of the “on-edge” feeling we had before. Yes, we were driven out by yobs, but moving was the best thing we’ve done for a long time – I know more people up the street here after four weeks than I did up my last street after living there thirteen years!
Gnomon wins the prize for guessing closest to where I actually moved. He was 2 miles out as the crow flies, or 2.9 miles by road. However, as he was the only one who guessed, the odds of him winning were favourable…
There goes the neighbourhood!
Actually, best of luck, considering all the hassle you've had.
Having moved myself, a year ago two days ago, I can understand the aggro. Just hope you get straightened out quicker than I have. Still boxes kicking about!
<heat> to G and to Cheeky and Hello. 'Bout time there was another Hull Meet.
Sort it, you lazy
Or even to G!
Cheeky asked just this evening about a Hootoo meet... cuerrently too busy trying to arrange a builder, plumber, gas engineer, electrician, architect... but a few with friends would be nice!
Well that was an adventure. MMF was right to send G <heat> by the sounds of it it is exactly what she needs. The temperature over here is about 5 degrees. Winter for me has arrived.
At the end of the day if you have a bed to rest your head and your family are safe - what more could you want.
I'm considering a move myself ...... not sure whether this journal encourages me or not?
Good fortune in your new home.
it's easy I've moved recently .....got up to turn the telly off
Ah, moving. So restful. Nothing ever goes wrong...
Bah, all you need is a working camping kitchen and à fleece jacket.
What an adventure, Hoggy!
*hands out Slankets*
You're in, you're safe.
I'll make some extra mash on Sunday. Might be a bit cold when you get it, though
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