“The plans we had for the past 6 months or so to buy a house have completely changed. We’re now thinking differently. We’re excited. And I can’t wait to fill you in!”
It’s time for another ‘The House Edit’ update!
The plans we had for the past 6 months or so to buy a house have completely changed. We’re now thinking differently. We’re excited. And I can’t wait to fill you in!
Previously on ‘The House Edit‘
In the last ‘The House Edit’ post, I filled you in on the stress we’d been going through with potentially losing the house we wanted. Luckily, everything worked out and the process began to move onwards again.
But, since then there’s been a lot more stress to add to the (already stressful) equation! Fantastic.
Let me fill you in…
Moving on with the process
After coming to an agreement with the seller on the price we would pay for the property, the process began to move forward once more to buy the house. We were around 6 weeks in at this stage. As our side of things were moving along nicely, our solicitor could see no reason for us not to have completed and exchanged on the house by the end of July.
But, as we were approaching the end of July, it became clear to us that this wouldn’t be happening.
We needed one final document sent over to us in order to finish our side of things so we were ready to buy the house. The sellers solicitors were not sending this over (and refusing to acknowledge our request for them to do so).
The apparent reason for this was to hold us up on our end. We were eventually told that the seller had lost her property and was looking for another…
About a week later, our estate agents informed us that the seller had found a new property. The sellers of that property were moving into a new build – hence the end of the chain, and it should all move quickly.
By this point, we’d hit 9 weeks. Generally it should take on average 8-10 weeks to complete and exchange on a sale. We were originally hoping to have moved, or be very close to moving, by this point.
We were extremely disappointed.
Of course, now we’d reached this stage, we were starting to get pressure from our buyer to get things moving. More stress!
As the sellers solicitors, and our estate agents, had advised us that the process should now be ‘quick’, we asked them to give us a general idea of how quick, quick would be.
How long’s a piece of string…
We had no reply.
So, what next?
It reached the point where we had complete radio silence from their side. Our buyer was now asking for updates every other day, so we felt an ultimatum was the only way we may get a response from them.
We explained that we were at severe risk of losing our buyer due to the delay. If we lost our buyer, we then wouldn’t be able to continue with the purchase of the house, and hence, the whole chain would collapse.
We reiterated that we were paying, in cash, an extra £9,000 over the recommended value of the house in order to secure the property, and that we had been very reasonable in waiting this long so far. Therefore, we asked for the seller to complete on the sale of her house (as ourselves and our buyer were all ready to go) and find temporary accommodation whilst her purchase went through. We gave her 3 weeks to find an alternative property, otherwise we may need to withdraw.
We had no response.
The next stage
A week later, we then started looking at alternative properties on the market. We felt we could be losing this house as we were being kept completely in the dark about what was going on.
Annoyingly, there was only one other property in the area that was within budget. Even more annoyingly, it was through the same estate agents*.
*Note: we are selling through the same estate agents that the house we were trying to buy was being sold through.
Harry rang the estate agents to try to make a booking to view this alternative property. Once they realised who he was, they refused. They also informed us that they had spoken to the seller, and she would not be moving out any earlier. We asked for confirmation of this from her solicitors.
We didn’t receive a response.
Another two weeks passed. Our solicitor chased the sellers solicitors everyday asking for any update. At this point, even if they said it would be another 8 weeks (which would be disappointing) we just wanted to be told.
We didn’t receive a response.
It was then that we decided we needed to progress with setting an exchange date for our own house, in order to ensure we didn’t lose our buyer.
The exchange date has now been set for mid-September, giving us more time than we thought we would have in our house. Some great news! We then went back to the sellers solicitors to inform them of this, and ask if this date would work well for them.
Again, we had no response.
Making a difficult decision
Another week passed, and our solicitor finally got through to the sellers solicitors. They informed us that they didn’t know what the situation was with our seller buying another house. They had still not received the initial draft contracts. This is the very first document that should be sent out when agreeing to buy a house.
Our solicitor then told us she believed the whole situation about our seller having another house sorted had been fabricated. She tried to ring our estate agents to find out what the situation was, and to see why the initial documents had still not been sent after 3 weeks. Our estate agents ignored her. Our solicitor overheard the woman who has been our point of contact throughout telling her colleague “to tell her I’m not here”.
As expected, our solicitor didn’t receive a call back. Or an email.
We were extremely fed up and had now come to the difficult decision to potentially withdraw. We were being messed around, kept in the dark, ignored for weeks on end and being treated rudely by our own estate agents. The love we originally had for this house had begun to waiver.
A change in direction
It was then just last week that Harry found another property that was under our budget. A rarity in the location we’re trying to buy! We went to view the house that night.
Harry was sold. I needed some time to sleep on it!
But the next morning, I felt more excited about the prospect of getting this house over the other.
We made the decision to put in an offer. We then went back and forth negotiating with the sellers, and the next day it was confirmed. Our offer had been accepted! The house was taken off the market as sold STC straight away. We then immediately handed in our official withdrawal from the house we’d been waiting on for the past 6 months.
The next chapter
It was an extremely difficult decision to finally withdraw from the original house, but one that I now feel so relieved we’ve done. A huge weight has been lifted and we’re SO excited to get going with renovating (fingers crossed!)
This house is significantly cheaper than the other. And it’s in a great location. Both houses need work, but spending less on this one in the first place means we are able to afford to do it up more quickly. It also means that because it needs a lot of work, we can do exactly what we want with it to make it our own. It’s also currently empty, which we’re hoping will mean the whole process will be a lot smoother and quicker!
Although it’s smaller, there are definite pros to this house over the other. Things I’d compromised on previously. Such as a hallway, it’s own separate entrance to the garden (rather than a walkthrough you tend to have with a lot of terrace properties) and a bigger third bedroom.
There’s a lot to do, and a lot to consider. But I now can’t help but feel that this was all meant to be.
I can’t wait to share more of this house with you as we renovate and make it our own. Fingers crossed this one all goes smoothly and we’ll be in ASAP so I can share it with you!