When things go pear-shaped

So. How do I even begin to write this post? Oh well. In house selling and house buying, it seems that things rarely go the way it’s planned – or at least these are the stories the internet tells you. I thought we would be different and everything would go nice and smoothly. After all, there was no chain to speak of – our buyers were renting their old place out, our sellers weren’t looking to buy anything. But, boy, were we wrong!

It all started two weeks or so after we accepted the offer on our house. We came to Wales to look at our first shortlist and apart from one house – which was a bit too small for us -, nothing was right. One house was gorgeous, but had views to a demolition site. Another had loads of space and potential, but also a sewage station in the front garden. The one we did like went under offer on the next Monday, before we could even think about it. So we made a second shortlist. And off to Wales we went.

This time, there were three. One was a bit over what we would have liked to spend, and it really needed doing up. Second one was ugly, so so ugly, but inside it was bright, the garden was massive and it was really cheap. Third one was slightly more than number two, but one of the three bedrooms was really small and we weren’t sure we would fit. In the end, it was a toss up between 2 and 3, and 2 won. It was in a lovely village, just next to the school, a 5 minute drive from husband’s work. It all seemed perfect. Until we started dealing with the seller.

In the immortal words of Janice, OH MY GOD. Everything was a chore. Getting insurance? Nope. Checking the boiler? Nope. Japanese knotweed? No idea. But we really liked it and we really wanted it, so we let it go. At one point, about two weeks after our offer was accepted – another chore, by the way -, I actually told husband that I thought the seller actually didn’t want to sell.

For some reason, they decided they wanted to complete on the 2nd November. I really didn’t want to move on the 2nd November. That is my birthday, for starts. I wanted to spend my birthday having fun, not moving house. But the estate agent insisted that the seller needed 10 weeks from offer to complete. Fine. We really wanted the house, so we went along with that. Then the date started moving. And they needed two weeks between exchange and completion for some. And  then our buyer solicitor, who had been quiet for a very long time, started asking questions and wouldn’t accept the answers for them.

The seller, then, decided on a date, and said that if we didn’t exchange by said date, she would pull out. On the date, everything ready to go, our solicitor ring the buyer solicitor and, ta da, he’s gone home at 2 and wouldn’t be back until Monday. FML. On Monday, everyone ready, seller sticks to her word and says she’s not selling any more. She went and renewed her mortgage over the weekend and didn’t want to pay the early leaving fee. We offered to pay the fee for her. She says no. On exchange day, we are homeless. The market had been really bad in our old area and, to be honest, the house full of boxes to the brim, we couldn’t afford to lose our buyers as there was not a chance I could have made it viewings-ready again without renting an industrial sized unit somewhere. So we went ahead with the sale, the buyers agreed to wait for us to find somewhere to rent.

So, the next weekend, we booked a few viewings, found a house in the same village we were buying, they accepted us and here we are. We ended up moving a week before the completion date, which meant frantic packing, abandoned Brownies pack 🙁 , retrieving child’s school place (we had already told headteacher the sale had fallen through) and transporting desperate cats, child and stuff in a Fiat Panda across the country – originally we would go in two tiny cars, but husband and I both had to sign the rental agreement so we just drove in one car and he went back on the train to deal with the movers and cleaning the old house.

So, here we are. In Wales. Finally. But we haven’t found a house yet – very little on the market at the moment, hopefully it will pick up for Easter. We – finally! – have internet in the house now, so there is no excuse for me not writing now. Child is going back to school on Monday, and we are enjoying the down time, the flipping wind the beach, the community spirit. Let’s see what 2018 brings us!

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