The English system of moving house has a strange rhythm. The first part is to choose an estate agent (real-estate) by asking a few to come in and guess – I mean value your property. When this ranges over half a million GBP, I began to wonder what on earth the world was coming to!
House prices have soared! We have lived here for 24 years and I find it staggering to hear what they think we could be offered for the property. Anyway, we chose the midrange agent and set them off on a merry-go-round of viewings which mostly meant that we had to leave the building each Saturday while families came to consider if they would like to live here.
Of course, we could stay in, if we chose, but I felt I did not want my grandson emptying out his toy box or made anxious by strangers.
Three weekends of this has resulted in an “offer”. It is usual in England to haggle over the price a bit and it took a week to agree a price. It’s a good price!
Now we enter the next phase, where solicitors, surveyors, estate agents, building societies all bid for a share in our profits. Searches on the land, services, building controls, and boundaries of each property in the ‘chain’ have to be made. Those who need a mortgage will need an additional survey from their lender. The ‘chain’ becomes a vital element and we all nurture it. One weak link may result in a family quitting and we might all have to start again!
We are lucky because there are only three of us in this chain. John and I have decided to rent for a while to get to know our new location better. Who knows we may hate it and choose to return to London!
The renting market is wretched. Even at the upper end of it. We have seen two converted barns so far. one in a fantastic location but very small and dark. The other is a dreadful location but a reasonable size and bright.
No one will take us seriously until we ‘exchange contracts’ when the chain of sales becomes legally binding.
Thank you Laura for your comment which made me come back to the blog for an update! I am not sure if it is very interesting yet, but if I feel it is, I promise to update again! Meanwhile, I am having fun taking grandson Keoni to the South Coast, under the name of research to get to know the county, or round a children’s petting farm!