Hi, how are you?! Looooong time no speak. So much has happened since I last posted. So I thought I’d update you all today on what’s been happening behind the scenes. As if the title doesn’t give it away!! WE MOVED HOUSE (finally!)
I don’t really post much personal stuff anymore. I’m of the mindset that if you want to know what is going on my life, you should speak to me. However, you all have followed me for years and I want to share the exciting news that we moved house with you.
It took us almost 2 years to get here, but boy was it worth the wait. Let’s get into the back story as to why we didn’t tell anyone we had bought a house until we got the keys.
We decided we wanted to make the move from Essex to Hampshire in October 2018. So, we started the process of telling the tenants in my husband’s other house that we wanted to sell the house. It turned out they were already thinking of moving and getting new jobs, so it worked out perfectly.
We “sold” the house in May 2019, around the same time we found a house and had an offer accepted. We were pretty far along the process with solicitors when it turned out that our buyer couldn’t get a mortgage. They had strung us along for weeks and then they dropped that bombshell.
We then found another buyer the same day that the woman from the house we wanted sold to someone else. It turns out, while at the time we were gutted, this turned out to be the best thing for us. We ended up with a way better and bigger house.
Plus, the woman was an absolute nightmare to deal with. Her and the estate agents were horrific, rude, pushy, they would hound us with calls daily and leave arsey voicemails.
While we were gutted, we were also kind of glad to be shot of the nightmare owner and estate agents. (It turns out she had a further two people pull out! So all her bitching to us and pushing us because she had reserved some house, too early on in the process, that she’d lose didn’t work! She didn’t complete until the end of January 2020).
Our house sale went through the second time and we officially completed in late November 2019. We were still looking for houses, but nothing had piqued our interest. Christmas then came and we put the move on pause until the new year.
We started looking for houses again in January of this year, we looked at a few, didn’t like them, found a couple we did like. However, every time that particular agent would push for a bidding war, which we didn’t want to do. So we lost out.
The thing was, we were living 100 miles away, working all week and making bookings for Saturdays to see houses. However, we’d see houses on Saturday, then get back home and see a load of new ones had gone up. So we were always a week behind and lots of people had already seen the houses during the week.
One Friday in February, we had some bookings for the next day. One of the houses we really liked the look of. Around 16:00 on Friday I got a call saying the house had just been sold, so our viewing was cancelled. By this point I was just expecting it because everything seemed to go against us.
I then quickly looked at my saved search on Zoopla (which I was checking numerous times per day) and a new house had been listed within the last half hour.
It was a bit of a wild card as we hadn’t been looking at the area, it was the other side of the town we were looking around. However, it had everything we wanted. Compromise is obviously a huge part of moving house, there’s always something. And we were totally fine with that.
Lots of the houses we viewed didn’t have a garage or the kitchen was small. There were others that were prefect on paper, but when we got there there was just something we didn’t like. There’s that “feeling” isn’t it? The indescribable feeling you get when you just know it’s the one.
I got in contact about this wild card house after researching the area. I managed to book in to see it first thing on Saturday morning. Luckily it was with the same agent we were already seeing another house with that morning.
I set one foot in the front door and instantly got the feeling. We hadn’t even seen the whole house!
I still don’t know what it was that made me get the feeling, but something did. It’s bigger than anything else we saw, it has parking for 2/3 cars, a garage, it’s a semi not a terraced. There were no compromises in terms of what the house had. It was perfect for us and we were the first to see it for once!
It was also the only house where I didn’t want to knock any walls down, which hubby was most happy about. Every other house there were random doors or the layout was just plain bad. I always walked in like “right, if we move here, that wall is coming down. That door is moving/going” – this house had the perfect layout.
Monday morning we rang to put an offer in and over the weekend 7 more people had booked to view it! I knew that if we didn’t go for it, then someone else would snap it up. So we offered, a bit of back and forth with the price, and then that was that.
Or so we thought.
Enter the virus.
Our seller was buying a new build up north, then lockdown started and work on her new build stopped for 7 weeks.
It started back up, but they kept messing her around. Changing things, pushing back the date by months. We were getting anxious as if it went past a certain day we’d have to get another mortgage, more searches, surveys etc. We’d already had a mortgage extension, we couldn’t get another one!
Then we got a phone call that threw us again. Our seller had pulled out of her new build purchase. The agent rang her like “do you still want to sell!?” She said absolutely yes as lockdown had made her realise she really wanted to leave as there were too many sad memories in the house. (Her husband died last year and then her son this year).
She found a bungalow 10 minutes away from the house and we were back to the beginning on her side, paperwork wise.
Long story short, it actually ended up all working out better. It went from being end of September, to sh*t we’re completing next week! We completed on 3rd August and picked up the keys that afternoon.
NOW… the reason we told no one until those keys were in our hands. It’s because we told people last time and then it all fell through. We also had the constant hounding of “are you moving yet?” “have you exchanged yet?” “how’s the house coming along?” and we didn’t want the added stress.
I wasn’t in a good place mentally… The whole process over the last 22 months has been beyond stressful. This was one thing we could control, so it wasn’t another stress.
My parents, brother, sister in law, great aunt and 2 best friends knew and hubby’s parents and siblings knew. That was it.
We didn’t actually move in until a week and a half ago as we wanted to decorate the living room before we moved in. Our sofa is so big, once it’s in, it’s not coming out! So, we needed to get the new floor in before that.
My dad, brother and some guys who work for my dad came to help us move and we got the lorry all packed up in a couple of hours. Then it was the long drive down before unpacking the other side. Honestly couldn’t have done it without my dad, he’s been amazing. I’m so happy we are only 25-30 mins away from my parents now.
I tell you, hubby and I have nearly divorced over floor samples and paint colours though!! Hahaha. I must have got 20 paint samples and the same in floor samples. I wanted the perfect neutral oak floor, not too warm, not too cool. Finally found it, but it was imported from Austria!
My dad was like “only Annie would choose a floor that had to be imported”. He came and fitted it for us while I painted the walls and wood work. We eventually went with Farrow and Ball Wevet on the walls and it’s perfect. We wanted an off white that wasn’t cream or green or blue. Wevet is stunning, in certain lights it looks white, in other a cool grey, in others a warm grey. I just love it.
The room is slowly coming together, we don’t have all of our furniture yet as we need to buy a dining table and chairs. Also, we aren’t 100% unpacked. We didn’t have a dining room in our last house. It was a lounge/diner, but the diner end was all my work stuff. This house also has a conservatory which I have no clue what to do with.
Hubby and I also have our own offices/studios. My stuff is no longer in the living room! I have all my photography stuff, makeup and photography props in my own room. Hubby is going to be working from home full time, so his office is all set up. We’ll be redecorating all the rooms at some point. But we needed to get them functioning, so we could get back to work!
Every other house we looked at that had a conservatory, didn’t have a dining room, so that would have been where we put the table. However, this house has both. We’ve picked the dining table and chairs, but the table has to be made. I found this guy on eBay who hand makes these gorgeous tables and they’re half the price of the shops.
In case you haven’t guessed yet, we bought a renovation property! Not like, gut it and start again before moving in, but we want to change everything eventually. The kitchen is the next big project. It’s old and tired and a bit grim. Usable for now, but we picked our kitchen out ages ago. I cannot wait!
When we moved in, we also realised very quickly that something we wanted was going to be moved right to the top of the list! A megaflo! I cannot tell you how terrible the water pressure was in the shower. It took 10-15 seconds to fill my hands with water. It took me almost half an hour to have a shower and wash my hair!
So my dad and his gas safe guy came and fitted one for us last week and it’s amazing! We now have mains pressure hot water basically and I can rinse my hair in 30 seconds! We thought the kitchen would be done first, but practically we needed more water pressure! I genuinely think it would have taken 3 hours to fill the bath!
Here are some before and afters of the living room. (It’s not finished yet, I’ll do another post when it is!)
And now for the afters:
Eventually I will sand down the coffee table and then re stain it to match the floor. We’ll also be getting a new TV stand at some point. Also where the table with flowers on is, we’ll be getting a bookcase.
I’m totally in love with the light in the dining room! It’s from Wayfair. It needs lowering once the table arrives, but for now it’s up so we don’t bump into it. We can’t decide on a light for the living room though. We’ve looked everywhere, nothing has been perfect. There’s a contender in Next, but I think we need to go look again.
We also got this cool table lamp, which looks amazing in the room! It’s also from Wayfair.
I’ll be bringing you along for the renovation ride, so that will be fun!
Overall, we are settling in great. This move has been so worth the wait. We love the house! The area is lovely, we are tucked away near the end of a dead end, so hardly anyone goes past the house. We’re surrounded by trees, our new neighbours are lovely. The best thing? When I go out, I don’t have to worry that someone will have parked outside the house and blocked our driveway! I spent 10 years fighting to be able to park outside my house, now we have a driveway for both cars!
We still have to go back and forth to the Essex house for a few more weeks to get it ready to rent, but come October 1st, our fresh start should be complete as hubby starts his new job then too.
I can’t believe we’ve actually finally moved. I have to keep pinching myself! 2020 has been wild, but things finally seem to have turned around for us. I’m excited to share this whole journey with you. I do have to say that until 1st October, content will be a little patchy. We’re going to be staying at the other house off and on as I have to decorate. But I’ll be 100% back soon and I am excited for all the apple and pumpkin recipes!