I started this version of my blog because I had moved up to Rugby from Crawley. The process of moving across from the old one took about a day to finish. If only moving home were so simple.
At the end of 2008 I found myself needing to find a new role at work, after the customer I was working at decided to outsource the bulk of their IT function to Tata. Even though the banking crisis meant a lot of the likely customers were not looking to expand (I have been generally working for financial services companies for 15 years, and it’s not easy to move to other sectors), my company found me a role based at Northampton starting in Jan 2009. Jas and I decided fairly early on that we liked Rugby as a place to live for loads of reasons, so I came up here and rented a place.
Then followed a period of about a year when we had to wait until Jas could get work locally – that was where the recession really hit us. Luckily we were able to rent out our house down south which helped with the costs, and in doing so we helped out a friend with a cheap place to live and a decent landlord.
Jas could move up here in Feb 2010 as she did get a transfer with her company, and into a position with more responsibility at a place a few miles away. So all we had to do then was to sell up in Crawley and buy a place of our own in Rugby.
Putting the house on the market in March was fine, but within weeks it was clear that it was going to be a long slog. We had few viewers and the price had to be brought down in stages. The new government invalidated the HIP I paid about £400 for as well, which didn’t make me any more kindly disposed towards the Tories or their yellow lapdogs. We finally got a buyer in August and as things moved on, were able to start looking around. We put an offer in, and then a little chain built up around us.
Everything was going along fine until it just before the expected exchange of contracts. It transpired that my buyer didn’t actually have a deposit, and when his bank found out, they refused the mortgage. My house went back on the market, but in the meantime there was some frantic activity as some of us in the chain tried to see if we could help by buyer out. We couldn’t, but luckily everyone was able to wait, and most of them were patient.
In October I got new buyers, who were keen first timer buyers and had a definite deposit. It seemed that we could still get everything sorted by Christmas. Unfortunately, they had a problem getting a solicitor, and in the end the one they were forced to use turned out to be useless. My buyers had given notice on the place they were renting (which was risky) and so we had to kick their lawyers into gear to get everything done by Fri 14 Jan. Any later and they’d have been homeless. Somehow everything got done in the days leading up to it, and I temporarily was mortgage free and with a big lump sum in my name. Of course, that was mostly used to get the place we were buying.
That all completed last Friday (21st). It has been a long and at times frustrating process, but we are now looking up the home straight.
The new place needs a lot of work, but the last few days have seen us make a great start. The previous owners had not done much to the place and the decor in most rooms was a bit dated. I say ‘was’ because it isn’t there any more after 3 days.
We’ve stripped most of the wallpaper, and all of the polystyrene coving & ceiling tiles. That revealed a lot of crumbly and cracked plaster, so a plasterer will be coming in to start on the walls next week. The carpets are all pretty dilapidated, so we’ve taken most of them up and luckily the floors are pretty good. The kitchen units are at the end of their days, so we’ve started on getting quotes for having a new kitchen installed. There was some odd shelf unit built into the lounge and a fitted wardrobe in one bedroom, so we’ve ripped them out.
The best job was done today: A gas fitter came round to disconnect an old gas fire in the living room. Half an hour later, thanks to a sledgehammer, the huge ugly tiled fireplace was out. There is not much that is quite as satisfying as when you have shoved couple of large lumps of concrete out of the way.