Buying A House: Exchanging Contracts and Completion
I last updated our house buying journey at the beginning of June when we had just had our offer accepted and the solicitor was in the process of doing the relevant searches.
Ten long weeks have passed us by since then, weeks which have passed by rather quickly but with each day filled with stress and fear that something could go wrong and we could lose our dream home.
Things have changed a lot since my parents’ days when they were able to buy a property for a few thousand pounds and be able to sit back and watch it increase in value. (I found this tool on Sunlife which showed me how much my Dad’s house has increased in value since he bought it in 1995.) We have spent a lot of money on purchasing this property and don’t have the same confidence that it is an investment for the future. As amazing as it will be to leave a property for our children in the future, will it grow in value like the houses bought in the 80s and 90s? Probably not.
Which is why there was so much pressure on us to find the perfect home for our family and make sure we could see it through to sale. By the beginning of July we had handed our deposit over to the solicitor and paid our completion fees, and then nothing. We waited, we chased, we asked the estate agent to intervene, but nothing seemed to be moving. I had this fear that until we exchanged, anyone could come along and put another offer in and we would lose the home of our dreams.
We eventually asked to go and view the house again so we could have a little chat with the vendors to see what was going on. We were relieved to find out that they were both as keen to get things progressed as we were and we agreed to go back to our solicitors and start pressing things a bit more.
That’s when we found out the solicitor dealing with our case had left the firm.
We were quickly assigned a new solicitor and from that day forward we emailed her everyday until we were eventually told the vendors had a completion date in mind: August 17th 2018.
We rushed to get buildings and contents insurance in place, we started researching removal firms and we went and bought boxes so we could start packing some of our bulkier items. Then we waited again.
I emailed everyday asking when we would exchange and the answer was always the same: we will revert to you when we have the go ahead from the vendor’s solicitors.
Last week I didn’t email for a few days and on Thursday evening got a call from the estate agent asking what the hold up was. The vendors solicitors had tried to contact our solicitor several times a day for the past three days and nothing.
I emailed and received no response, so my husband got on the phone. He asked to speak to our solicitor: on holiday. Her supervisor: on holiday. The complaints manager: in a meeting. The solicitor who was handling our case while our solicitor was on holiday: didn’t exist. My husband got very angry indeed.
It turned out that they were not waiting on vendor’s solicitors to give them the go ahead (they had been desperate to exchange for over a week!) but were waiting on our mortgage provider to confirm they would release the funds. (I’d received confirmation of that the week before and had duly emailed the solicitor as soon as I’d received it) My husband calmly suggested perhaps they chase that up themselves instead of waiting around and he wanted a call back within the hour to let us know when we would exchange. Two hours later we had fully exchanged and we could breathe a sigh of relief.
Now came the task of organising everything ready for the move:
- Booking the removal firm
- Redirecting our mail
- Booking annual leave
- Cleaning the flat from top to bottom
- Ordering a new sofa
- Packing everything that we don’t immediately need
- Eating everything in the house
- Thinking about childcare for Dexter while we move.
There has been tons to think about and luckily I was able to give a short amount of notice to work to take my two weeks off so I can get everything sorted.
Completion is days away and I am so excited to share some snaps of our new home on Instagram in the coming weeks plus share interior updates on the blog. I have big plans for a nautical themed toddler room; a teal and grey lounge and a big update to the master bedroom!
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post