Saturday, 13 April 2013

In which I think we may actually be moving...

I think we may have bought a house. I say I think because I get confused (and Lord knows I don't actually need any help on that score) I get confused because the English system for buying a house is different to the Scottish one.
Do you need an alert that I am about to do a "things are so much better when they're wrapped in tartan" alert? It may come across with a whiff of Scotia, consider yourself warned. Read on McDuff

When I lived in Edinburgh, I moved 3 times so 6 times I bought or sold a house. It seemed quite straightforward to me. Every Thursday there was a newspaper printed by the Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre and it had the details of every property up for sale in Edinburgh. They also had a big website but I started buying houses a long time ago as I am a very old auntie, so we started with the paper guide and worked up to interwebs.

All had open viewing on Sundays 2-4pm and some also had viewing on Thursdays 7-9pm. This means you don't have to have a clean and tidy house every day in case you have a viewer, just twice a week, slightly more manageable for the more slatternly amongst us, you know I mean my children don't you? I am a very tidy sort of an auntie, the children - not so much.

The vast majority of people didn't use an estate agent, because you didn't need one, you showed potential buyers round yourself and if people were keen they got their solicitor to lodge a note of interest, when you had enough notes of interest you set a closing date, usually a Friday at 12 noon. Then your solicitor opened up all the sealed bids and you chose the best bid for you. The standard date of entry was 8 weeks and when you sold your house you went and chose your new one. Nobody pulled out or changed their mind or tried to get more money out of you. If you made a bid and it was accepted then you got the house, for the agreed price on the agreed day. Simple.

In the interests of fairness, you might have had to pay out for a survey on a house you didn't end up getting. You may also have paid more than a house was worth but negative equity was uncommon and it's a whole lot cheaper to buy and sell using a solicitor if you don't have to fork out for estate agents commission.

Buying in England seems absolutely fraught with tension and complication. Clearly I don't understand it at all, every time The Beautiful Husband tries to explain it to me, I cry and plead for him not to scare me, so he stops and we go back to drinking wine. He is a very patient and kindly husband, some may even say saintly, for he puts up with a lot.

But people seem to be able to change their mind, often right up until a day or 2 before moving with no financial consequence or penalty. People can offer you 1 price and the come back and try and renegotiate when you are so far in it's easier to take the hit financially rather than try and find a new set of buyers. That is just bonkers. Sometimes they pull out because they can't buy your house as someone has pulled out of buying theirs, so genuinely can't proceed. Sometimes something they like better comes along. Surely there must be a better way?

The house that I think we are buying, we are the 3rd set of buyers, it has been sold very quickly each time but somewhere along the way, the chain has collapsed. They have been doing this since last August. If this happens to me when I am selling this house I will be a gibbering wreck, your auntie is so not cut out for that level of stress.

I have been hugely afeared of this process, I don't cope with house moving stress well at all, which is why I have lived here for the last 13 years. This house was brand new when we bought it and we only bought a brand new house so the chain couldn't collapse. I needed to know I had somewhere to live and I needed to know I could get in when I needed to and I needed to know how much it would cost me. I am sure I have blogged before about my enormous need to know ness, which extends to every area of my life except my children's antics, there I have a definite need to not know.

This time round it's a trickier process as due to my mental need to know that I have a house to live in, we haven't put this one up for sale. I can't bring myself to until I know, definitely and for sure, I have the keys to the other house. This is a financially STUPID decision as we will own 2 houses for an unspecified period of time.

So really this post is to warn you, I will be stressed and skint for the forseeable future. You. dearest readers, will be required to provide consoling words , soothing tones, "there there" noises, cake and gin.

On the upside, when we move in, we will be having A HUGE party/wedding reception for all family and friends who didn't come to The Mother Country for our secret wedding and you are all invited.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

My Saturdays

5 am - Small boy (aka The Boy Wonder if you read my husband's blog and if you don't, please do, it's over HERE )awakens and shares every thought he has in his head with us. This can last a long time, he thinks a lot, usually about stuff I know nothing of. If we are lucky he will go back to his room and play, there is still a lot of chat but it is further away and occasionally I can get back to sleep. If he needs company his dad will oblige and I will try and sleep on until...

6.30am - a teenager's alarm will go off. They will be blissfully unaware of the alarm THAT IS RIGHT BESIDE THEIR HEAD and will sleep through it, I will hear from 3 rooms away this alarm and will get up and switch it off for them. Sometimes I can switch off 2 teenagers alarms for them. The Beautiful Husband is thinking of making an alarm clock that only teenagers can hear to save my sanity. I will go back to bed until

7am - when I have to get The Beautiful Son up for his paper round, I will continue this wakening at

7.15am, 7.30am, 7.45am, 8am, 8.15 before I reach full fat cross shouty shreikery at 8.30am and he gives in and gets up.

9.30am is swimming lessons and I get to stay home to tidy up and do laundry whilst The Beautiful Husband encourages the small boy to stop talking and swim. TBH fancies himself as a swimming coach and is particularly proud of his "waft the trump" TM explanation of hand position.

10.30 am is library time followed by Costa coffee, this is nice, we like this, we are cheerful and small boy is chatty, chatty with cake is his favourite. He is excellent at both.

12.00 - will be home and lunch and lego, accompanied by chat.

2pm may see older children appear looking for food and hangover cures, then they will then return to their burrow when small boy starts to chat to them

The afternoon will probably be spent going to see houses and deciding we can't live in them, we do that a lot, we are excellent in finding houses not to buy.

Tea time will be good, followed by shower and stories for small boy, then he will by 8pm be in bed.

At 8pm, we will be contemplating a large glass of wine and a chat, with each other because despite being together all day we have been unable to say 2 uninterrupted words to one another. We will then be joined by 1 or both of the teenage children who have spent the day in bed and are now bored and in need of someone to chat to. The Beautiful Husband is convinced the children have a rota that NEVER EVER allows us to be alone. If by some small chance they both leave the small boy will get up and need a drink/a chat/something or Eldest Beautiful Daughter will come home for the weekend.

At 10.30 pm, we will go to bed as we have been exhausted by the children. The teenagers will go out, throwing their heads back with glee and an air of my work here is done, it they had moustaches they would twirl them, along with an mwah ha ha ha laugh.

Midnight will see a teenager waking us up as they try to be quiet, occasionally accompanied by vomiting.

2am will see the teenager who isn't home come home and wake us up with trying to be quiet.

5am will see the small boy awake and fully refreshed from his 9 hours of blissful uninterrupted sleep and just raring to go, he's got a whole load of thoughts he just has to share with us.