It’s universally accepted that moving home is one of the most stressful things you will ever do, so imagine doing it only 2 weeks before your baby is born! Well, that is exactly what I did and to say it was a stress filled nightmare would be an understatement. Although my last move was an extreme case I did learn a lot from it, predominantly that I never want to move again! My previous moves were all equally enlightening in their own ways, so here is my guide to what you should expect when moving home.
Making an offer: When you find your perfect house you will want to place an offer as soon as possible to avoid anyone beating you to it. If it’s a new home this is fairly straight forward as you will just offer to pay the price they are asking and that’s that. If you are buying a second hand house however, you might find things a little more tricky.
There was a time long, long ago, when you would barter a little with the price, offering below the asking price to see if you could get a better deal. Unfortunately these days with houses in short supply and high demand, you’re more likely to have to offer over the asking price to avoid being out bid. Once you have decided what to offer you will contact the estate agent who will umm and err and inform you that they will try to contact the seller. They do this firstly because estate agents are inherently evil, and secondly because they want to put you on edge so when they call back 2 days later and tell you that you’ll need to offer an additional £5k if you want the seller to take the house off of the market, you are already so wound up that you’ll do anything to put an end to the who sorry house hunting experience.
Getting a Mortgage: Once you have the house you actually have to obtain the mortgage you were promised. This will involve providing every piece of documentation you have ever owned in triplicate with a hand written note signing your soul over until the end of time, just for good measure. You will then have to explain to the mortgage advisor why you didn’t pay back the £20 you borrowed from your cousin in 1997 and of course, provide a signed letter from him in triplicate forgiving the loan.
Once you have completed all of the above they will gladly agree to empty your bank account once a month until the end of time.
Solicitors: The sole purpose of conveyance solicitors is to delay the transfer of your house. They will do this to great effect by forgetting to order documents, failing to send paperwork until it is at least 3 days overdue, losing your case files at least twice, insisting on querying things about the house which absolutely nobody cares about and going on a three week holiday without telling you and leaving the file with someone who insists they can do nothing until your solicitors return.
Moving Day: Depending on how many possessions you have you will likely either choose to hire a van or a removals company. If you hire a van, bare in mind that absolutely everyone you know is unavailable to help on the day you are moving, it will be impossible to park anywhere within 2 miles of your new front door and you will need to do at least two more trips than you expected. If you go down the removal company rout, bare in mind that they will charge you more than the combined value of your possessions, they will drop your microwave and refuse to pay out on their insurance when you complain, they will insist they know how to dismantle large items better than you do despite the fact that you put them together in the first place, and they will call you the day before the move to ask if you’d mind moving a different day.
Arriving at your new home: You will have spent the past months looking over the photos of your new home repeatedly. Getting excited about every little detail and imagining yourself living there. When last you visited the house it was a shiny show home that blew you away, however you have been fooled. When you arrive at your new home it will be cold, dark, crawling with spiders, the carpets will be soaked with cat wee, the built in appliances will be broken and the walls will look as if someone has been cave painting on them. Do not panic! This is perfectly normal and one day you will finish redecorating. In the mean time, just concentrate on removing the fleas.
Settling in: Your things have finally arrived, you’ve managed to remove the smell of cat wee and you’re starting to feel at home, except you can’t find the bottle opener, or your clothes and you’re sure that you used to own a TV remote but this seems to have been lost in transit. You will now spend the next year or more buying things that you are sure you own but cannot find, only to open a box 3 weeks later and find your original, presumed lost, possession. This will continue until you have completely emptied all of your boxes (note: you will never open all of your boxes), or you have completely replaced at least half of your random thingamajigs.
Moving home can feel like a never ending trudge through treacle, you can feel as if you’re banging your head against a brick wall every time you speak to a solicitor and find yourself wondering how it can take possibly take 3 weeks to photocopy one document. But like most things, eventually the process is complete and you will be left with an exciting new home which you can spend the next 10 years of your life decorating!