Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Moving Home (fingers crossed)

So far so good, but I don't want to tempt fate.
I have told my solicitors, my buyers solicitors and the estate agent that I want to get to exchange of contracts by 31 August. Only then can I really start to look forward to my new home, throw out old furniture, plan the removal etc.

I have answered all of the solicitors queries, signed all the forms, and agreed to make all the payments. My buyer has had my flat surveyed and been round with a builder to ascertain the work he wants to do. And there have been no negative comments from that.

I guess the local authority searches are on-going and a slow local authority (is there any other type?) could slow things down. And, worryingly, I understand that my buyers mortgage is not quite finalised. So things could still go wrong.

And of course I occasionally have second thoughts. I have been twice to the Council tip with stuff I have thrown out. I have twice been to a charity shop to give them staff that is still worth something. I have put some stuff up for sale on Gumtree. However I still have a lot of items that I won't have room for but which I do not want to throw out. Some are old photographs. Some are old papers. Some are pictures and ornaments that I have collected on my travels over the years - plates from Iran, paintings from Siberia, carvings from India etc. I worry about not having a garage.

But generally I am really looking forward to the new home, to swimming in the local pool in the morning before work, having a shorter walk to the station, joining the local tennis club, maybe joining a drama club, cycling along the banks of the River Lea, taking walks to new places, sipping a Pinot Grigio while sitting on the balcony etc.

Scary and stressful. But also exciting.

This photo shows Hertford with my flat shown in the middle of the photo near the top, just past Tesco and Hertford East station. My balcony, facing away from the camera, overlooks the river and the Meadows beyond. Maybe, just maybe, I could be living there by this time next month.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Moving home (2)

So far so good. My prospective purchaser has had a survey done on my current flat and has come round with his builder to ascertain what work he wants to do before moving in. Apparently he wants to put in an en-suite. He remains keen to buy.

The solicitor has sent me a wadge of documents to complete, which I have done.

Weston Homes, the builder of the flat I am hopefully moving to, have agreed to put in a fitted wardrobe into bedroom 2 as well as fit vertical blinds to all windows, all within the purchase price, which is good.

And I have started to try to tidy up. I have made one visit to the municipal waste disposal area with a load of junk, and have also taken some stuff to the local charity shop.

And I have alternated between huge excitement and sheer panic. Which, I guess, is to be expected.

As I said, so far so good.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Moving home (maybe)

A week ago I had not even had my flat valued.

Since then the estate agent has given it a suggested value, I agreed to put it on the market, I received (and accepted) an offer within 24 hours, and finally I agreed to buy another property. Wow. A busy and eventful week.

I don't have to move. I quite like living in New Barnet - it is handy for the station and for my tennis and golf clubs. My flat needs some work doing to it, but I could have arranged for that to have been done.

But I have never really liked my flat or the block I am living in. And I would like to be further out into the country. I also want to live in a property that I could see myself living in for the rest of my life (which I hope will still be a long time).

Initially I had thought I would like to move to Welwyn Garden City. But then I discovered Hertford. Over the past few days, I have viewed a number of properties. Some were bigger than others. Some were older than others. Most were flats; one was a house. A decision had to be made. It came down to two properties - a terraced house in Welwyn Garden City with a garden and loads of storage space or a new-build flat in Hertford in an ideal location with views to die for but almost no storage space. Head or heart?

In the end, Heart won. With a late goal in extra time!

I have plumped for Hertford. I like the idea of new build. This flat has a balcony with views over the River Lea to meadow land beyond. It is a dual aspect flat which would get the morning sum in the lounge and the evening sun in the bedrooms. I will see the sunset from the balcony. It is very close to Hertford East station from where the train goes to Liverpool Street station, which is close to where I work. There is a Tesco beside the station. Hertford is a quaint historical town with unique shops, a theatre, a Saturday market, many places to eat and a good selection of pubs. The River Lea is right outside the flat; there a bicycle and walking trails which go for miles beside the river to Ware and beyond; there is a canoeing base opposite the flat, tennis courts a hundred yards away and a gym and swimming pool also a hundred yards away. And if we end up living in Spain, I can let out the flat for at least £1,000 per month which would be useful ancillary income.

Yes I am going to be challenged in the fact that I will have to seriously cut down on things I currently have because space is limited. I will need to throw out old ornaments, old golf clubs, clothes I haven't worn for ages, etc. etc. But I want an uncluttered life and I think that physical uncluttering can help mental uncluttering. And I love the thought of sipping a crisp Chardonnay sitting on the balcony watching the summer sun set over the fields beyond. Or being able to go for a short walk into the meadows along the riverbank. And if I am fortunate to still have years ahead of me, this flat will still work even if my walking abilities are curtailed.

This is what the block looks like -

I realise that the property moving process is still fraught with uncertainties. I now rely on my buyer to stick with the process. So, with fingers crossed, I am excited and feeling really positive about the next phase of my life.