So on New Year’s Day we decided we were going to move home. After a wonderful but cramped Christmas we finally decided that our house was too small to consider eking out another year of the boys sharing and no separate downstairs space for the nearly-teens.
So we started down this path. I’m not kidding when I say it’s been more stress than I ever imagined and I haven’t coped particularly admirably with it. When we bought this house it was an easy peasy transaction, we were on the market for less than a week and we sold Rob’s flat to the people whose house we bought. There were no real viewings, the couple who bought ours gave it a cursory once over for effect but I think by that point they were so desperate to sell (they’d been trying to downsize for the best part of two years) that when we said we’d do a swap they nearly chewed our arms off.
We LOVE this house. We’ve been here for five years, longer than I’ve lived anywhere other than my childhood home, and we have poured heart and soul into it. We initially bought it mainly due to the proximity to my parents (it is about 100 yards away) but it has been a labour of love since then and a hard one at that. We have completely redecorated throughout the house, made it very much ours, replaced the kitchen, but really in most cases we have been literally papering over the cracks and the bodges of old. It is a proper homey home, strung together with love and memories, but I have been yearning (as I am wont) for a blank slate that I can start from scratch. Those that know me will know I love new beginnings and fresh starts.
The first house we thought we would buy next, back in January, was a very similar house to this. Someone else’s project, an extended semi built around another family’s needs. The location was perfect for us, being just around the corner, and with my usual bullish aplomb we would have snapped it up. With the benefit of 20:20 hindsight I am very glad that they weren’t ready to sell (again, we were going to swap but it would have been after months of the vendors sorting out their divorce…) as the universe had a better plan for us. Ultimately we would have been moving into twice the house with double the problems so I’m very glad the brakes were applied which gave us a chance to regroup and rethink.
On a whim I dragged Rob and the kids to snoop around a show home in a local village. It was just out of budget (and completely mind blowingly gorgeous) but it made us focus on a whole different direction. By looking out of town, and by looking at new builds with all the associated incentives and extras, we would be moving, quite literally, into a whole different ball park.
So we did some sums and were chuffed to the rafters to learn that our actual dream home (and I don’t say that lightly) was within our reach. Our compromise,and there is always one, was the area. We’ve loved our time here, being within walking distance of my family and my best friends. BUT. By moving just three miles out we can achieve the mega house utopia and still be within striking distance of our nearest and dearest. You can probably gather that I do have massive guilt about the move from our little ‘sacred triangle’, painfully so. But we are a five minute car journey from them all, and The Boy in particular has already planned out his bus route and budgeted for a spare bike to keep at Nanny’s to ride round to his chums’. So it’s all good.
But Oh My God the process has been gruelling. Having to do actual viewings here (we’ve had about thirty) has been horrendous. Not so bad when we have notice
and I can shove everything in the shed but properly nausea inducing when the estate agents call you at work to say they are on their way round and you realise there’s a nappy on the floor and knickers in the bathroom. Ironically, one of those last minute viewings led to a cash offer of nearly asking price so there’s a lot to be said for slacking on the housework…
Added to that has been the high speed chase involved in mortgage shenanigans. Hell’s bells. We went with a recommended mortgage advisor initially, because we’d been told that my past crappy credit excluded us from the best deals for a big mortgage, and that we’d need help. He was seemingly a hero (well, we paid him enough), and to be fair got us a low cost deal from a high street bank for the first house. However, when we went with the New Build we had to use their own bod (it’s in the contract for the freebies so whatevs), and I thought we’d stepped on to another rollercoaster of can-we-can’t-we, because with past defaults and three dependants it looked hairy. But we worried for nothing, in the end. Apparently we are supersonic and they will give us the moon on a stick, a sound system that goes up to 11 and a Delorean that gets to 88mph. Scary stuff, really, but nice to know we aren’t mortgaging to the hilt. It’s been a white knuckle ride and I have been at Stress Con 1 and maybe not very nice to be around, but it’s the home strait now so you can all relax. I promise.
So that’s it really, that’s how we got from here to over there. It’s been a weird experience where mostly I’ve had that ‘this is happening to someone else’-ness going on but it is a thing now, we are reserving our new house tomorrow (I imagine this process involves them trying to flog us wardrobes and curtains?) and then apparently we are moving in in a month. I love change, as you well know, and this scratches my newness itch in a completely, head tingly, gorgeous way.
Party at mine, soon, innit.