So, over the last couple of weeks I’ve been stressing over things I’ve never thought I’d have to worry about. From whether or not the wedding I’ve been planning for months will actually happen to whether or not I’ll be able to get my weekly fix of cottage cheese! However, round about this time last year, I started going through something which everyone says is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life, but you never really believe them until you’re doing it yourself…moving house.
Stuart and I got engaged in the November but we’d decided to hold off putting my flat on the market until the New Year. This was partly to give us a couple of months to get our finances in order and partly because we thought this would be a better time to sell a flat. Unfortunately for us this timing coincided with a little thing called Brexit. So, despite my flat being absolutely stunning (and no I’m not bias) it didn’t get snapped up quite as quickly as we hoped. Stressful period number one. Should we drop the price? Should we take it off the market? Will it ever sell? All questions running through Stu and my hyperactive little minds. Luckily, just before our minds were about to explode, we found a buyer for the flat at the asking price, win!
The day after we accepted the offer on the flat, we had our offer accepted on a cute, slightly “quirky” , house, with parking in our dream location, win, win, win! At this point we were very excited, planning moving in parties and wondering why people got so stressed out about this whole moving process. Sadly, this excitement wasn’t to last. We were having quite a lot of contact with the seller who “seemed” really nice. We’d been talking to her about the neighbours, measured up the garage, on one visit Stu was even doing jobs for her moving furniture! However, as we had more visits we started to notice a few cracks, not in the house but in the seller’s story. She’d lied to us about how long the chain was (it was five people and she didn’t have anywhere to go) the “nice” builder next door had a load of building work planned which would have basically blocked out entire garden and the biggest one was a hole outside the front of the house. She’d told us that it was general maintenance and was basically nothing to worry about and would be sorted by the council. Stu did some digging at work and found out there was no maintenance planned by the council and she actually just had a massive hole in her garden. The next day we pulled out.
When this happened we were obviously really sad. Our dreams we’d had of that house were crushed but most hurtfully we’d been totally lied to. On the plus, we still had our buyer, we hadn’t lost “that” much money and we weren’t buying a horrible house. House search take two. The second house we loved, Stu randomly took me to see on my birthday (a definite sign I thought!) this one was in the same location as the first, had a nice double driveway and had been recently refurbished with a beautiful new kitchen and bathroom, so we wouldn’t have to do anything when we moved in, win win win! We put an offer in straight away which got refused. We both decided because we loved this house, we’d go in with a higher offer which they accepted.
We were positive it wouldn’t be long until we were in this house because it was empty and we had all our paperwork sorted from the first process. So, when it got to July and my buyer said they had to be in the flat or they’d pull out, I wasn’t too worried about finding temporary accommodation. One of my oldest, kindest (and definitely slightly crazy for agreeing to this) friends Rachel said she’d more than happy for me to stay on her sofa for a couple of weeks whilst I waited for the house to complete.
The moving out weekend was VERY emotional. I’d had so many parties, cooking disasters, catch ups and happy times in my pink palace. Stu was equally teary (and not just at the prospect of packing my MANY clothes)but the flat had been where we’d had our first kiss, argument and pretty much started our relationship. But after three days of packing, a lost key incident and a lot of heavy lifting from super Dickie, we managed to pack up the life I’d built after five years in the flat. After we’d packed everything up Stu and I had a roast round his parents before he dropped me off at Rachel’s like a kid going to camp. Like a parent dropping his kid off at camp we then both randomly got quite teary again and said our goodbyes.
Now, while I was SO grateful for Rachel letting me live with her (honestly I wouldn’t want to inflict that on anyone!) my slightly abnormal amount of clothes and getting ready routine weren’t really lending themselves to the sofa surfing lifestyle and living out of a suitcase was proving harder than I thought. My mum picked up on this in one of our many calls and told me I had to come back home. This was something I REALLY didn’t want to do for many reasons. I love my parents more than words can say and I’m so so so lucky to have two kind, generous parents that have literally been amazing my whole life…but. I hadn’t lived at home for ten years and like I said earlier, I’m not the easiest person to live with. I like my routine, independence and control, these are all traits quite similar to another member of my family. However, despite this when my mum talked about the private bathroom, tv and most importantly wardrobe space, I started to get tempted.
After a long eve of talking to Stu we both agreed the next morning I’d ring up my dad to ask him if I could come back home. Before the call I was unexpectedly nervous and when I actually asked my dad, my words came out very jumbled and I wasn’t even sure if they made sense. Especially when there was a bit of a pause and dad said it probably wasn’t a good idea and I should look at renting with Stu instead. Now, at the time this did hurt…a lot. And as I put the phone down I immediately rang up my mum crying. However, looking back and now I’ve had a good few months to reflect on it all I can understand where my dad was coming from and he didn’t actually mean it that way – immediately after dad did try to ring me back but I couldn’t answer and said I’d misunderstood and that I could of course come home.
That weekend Stu and I did the move part two and packed me up to live with my parents. Mum was absolutely amazing and helped put my clothes in my new wardrobe space and got me all set me up in my own little wing of their house. Me and dad did our best to stay out of each others way and everything was going okay (minus a few early Sunday morning wake up calls from mum and dad’s arguments over the decking or who had let Biba out.)Unfortunately me and Stu had another stress coming our way which we hadn’t predicted.
House number two was all set to go apart from one final check from an electrician. The sellers wouldn’t pay for this which we thought was a bit suspicious but we didn’t mind because it wasn’t too expensive and we wanted it to give us a sound mind. Turns out there was a reason they didn’t want us to get the electrics checked. The “renovated” house was a total bodge and none of the electrics had been done. For me and Stu to get it sorted it would have meant ripping out all the new kitchen and cost us thousands. Pulling out of the house I couldn’t have felt more low. I was stuck at my parents and the thought of going on the house buying rollercoaster again filled me with dread.
The day after we pulled out Stu had booked another viewing at a house which had literally just come on the market. Picking me up he had a big bunch of flowers and a card with a cute pug on it, which said while this might not be the house of our dreams we will get through this together. Arriving at the house, it immediately felt different, it was warm, the owners were “genuinely” lovely, they had the cutest dog, this was our house.
Two days later we did another viewing and put an offer in. The owners said they’d had a lot of offers already but they’d go with us because they liked us – probably estate agent bull but made us feel special. It was still then probably another six long sleepless weeks until we got our completion date.
When it came to completing there were still a few hiccups with money transferring to just carry on the drama and it wasn’t until we actually had the keys physically in our hands we could finally relax. But I can honestly say, as I sit here writing this in my new cosy palace it was all worth it.