Moving On…

Readers, I have big, exciting news! We’re moving!

Remember when I wrote this post, saying that something big was happening? And this post about my dream house? Well now I can finally share with you what’s been going on behind the scenes! Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have noticed this picture that I posted last night and heard the news a bit sooner than everyone else. We’re actually already at the packing stage with less than 2 weeks to go before we move (eeek!) but I wanted to wait to tell you all until we were more sure it would all go ahead. We sold 8 weeks ago now so I thought I’d take you right back to the beginning and share the background to our move and the ridiculously crazy sale/purchase story.

Celebrating with friends in Glasgow the night we sold the house…

For a long time now, Pete and I have thought about moving. First it wasn’t financially an option, then just as we started to feel we could afford a bigger mortgage, I qualified and started locum work, making me self employed. We couldn’t afford a bigger mortgage on Pete’s salary alone and planned to wait for me to have 2 years of accounts to show the mortgage companies, then we found out that Pete was also going to become self employed, just 4 months before I would have had 2 years of accounts and the magic date got pushed back again. Out of the blue a few months ago, our financial advisor found a company that would give us a mortgage and gave us the green light to start looking.

Now when I say start looking, we had both been looking, with Rightmove sending us daily updates for over a year. We had lots of big ideas and fantasised about several different properties that had been out of our reach. We decided we wanted to, but weren’t desperate to move, so we would start looking and hope the right thing came along. My wish list was long and there aren’t many houses where we live that fit the bill so we cast the net a bit wider and looked in neighbouring Didsbury. One of the things we wanted was a house we could make our own. (Our current home had been bought by a developer and so whilst we have decorated and made small adjustments, we have also been stuck with the new and perfectly fine, but ‘not to my taste’ kitchen and bathroom, so I didn’t want that to happen again.)

Over the next month or so we looked at a few wrecks and a few lovely houses but didn’t love any of them. As we knew it would be much harder to find what we wanted than to sell our own house, we decided to put ours on the market only when we had found something we wanted. I remember sitting with Jess, telling her about another unsuccessful viewing and recounting that my horoscope for that month had been all about proporty, foretelling that I could have anything I wanted and everything was aligned to make moving a reality, scoffing as I told it. Eventually, sitting in a bar after another viewing, we decided that in actual fact, we didn’t want to leave Chorlton and resigned ourselves to a long wait for the right property to come on the market. 2 days later it did.

It was a Friday and Pete was going away on a Stag that weekend so by the time I texted him, he was already on the road and out of contact. That weekend I arranged valuations for our own house and a viewing for the new house, then told him I had found it when he got back on Sunday afternoon. I held my breath while he looked at the brochure then as I had expected, confirmed it was perfect. We were go!

That week Pete primped the house, resealing the bathroom and touching up paintwork, and we had a valuer on Tuesday and 2 more on Thursday, then went to see the new house on Thursday evening. We stepped into the hall and I could see how much Pete loved it straight away. I tried to keep a lid on it but when I went into the downstairs toilet(!) with built in cupboards for coats, I had to take a moment to rearrange my face before coming out, so as not to seem too keen. We left after our viewing and walked straight around to our chosen estate agent and told them we wanted to sell, and quickly.

The next afternoon our house went up on the agents website and we woke on Saturday morning to find our own house in our daily Rightmove email. It was surreal but we didn’t have long to dwell on it as we had arranged a second viewing on the new house. Doubts had crept in while we were busily planning and I went in with a critical eye. Were the rooms big enough? Was it light enough? Was I sure? Happily, everything was better than I remembered and as we left I felt a lump in my throat – I really wanted this house.

That day we were rushing up to Scotland to meet some friends who were over from Canada, and we got straight on the road after viewing the house. We had left our keys with the agents to show people our house. We left at 10.40 and talked non-stop about the new house in the car. In the hope that we had an offer in hand on our property by then, we decided to wait until Monday and went round in circles trying to decide what we should offer. By twelve thirty our agent called to say there had been an offer on our house – we were stunned. After more discussions and speaking to my mum, we decided to make our offer too… why wait until Monday? We put our offer in at 1.45, just before we arrived in Glasgow, stomachs churning and nerves on edge, even though we fully expected it to be Monday before we heard. While Pete was parking and I was alone in the hotel room we had a call from the agent. Congratulations, she said, they accepted!

This was taken the evening that we had sold our house and bought the new house – we were still in shock!

In the space of just a few hours it felt like everything had changed, we had sold and bought a house and it took me about a week to calm down. Since then it has been rather more stressful as we applied for our mortgage and read the 51 page survey report. Despite it’s age (the new house was built in 1898!) fortunately nothing major came up and we’re all set for moving at the end of this month! Even though I can’t wait to get into the new house I am really sad to be leaving ours. When we started packing yesterday it felt really unsettling to have our lovely home in such disarray and with many of the homely touches packed already (Pete blitzed the living room yesterday while my Mum and I started on the kitchen,) it’s more like a shell than a home already.

I’ve got so much more to tell you all about it and our plans, but for now I’ll leave it there. Is anybody else moving? This will be the first time we get movers in so I’d love to hear any advice you’ve got for making the process as smooth as possible.


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44 thoughts on “Moving On…

  1. Wow that’s amazing- huge congratulations! How quick was it in the end- that’s how to buy a house. Hope it doesn’t get too stressy in the coming weeks- haven’t moved for ages, the only tip I have is to keep kettle / corkscrew always in easy reach xxx

  2. Congratulations. I saw your house a while back in the Rightmove email when it came out… I recognised your flamingo pic from your blog 😉

    We’ve also chosen Chorlton as our home and have picked a house and had our offer accepted. Unfortunately ours is tenanted and the owner has agreed that the tenant can stay until Febuary… I just can’t wait to move and get started on the house!

    All the best with the move!

  3. How exciting! I’m looking to seeing more house posts as you move in and get settled. We moved into our forever a few months ago and as we had a newborn baby we got movers in and it was brilliant. Just make sure the boxes are labelled up well as you do end up hunting around for things when you haven’t seen where each box ended up – oh and wardrobe boxes are amazing, everything stays on hangers and is unpacked into a wardrobe in seconds!

  4. This is perfect timing for a post! On Saturday my husband and I had an offer accepted on our dream home. We’re first time buyers and I’m so excited to finally be moving out of our rented house. I’ve been pinning colour schemes, kitchen/bathroom ideas like a mad woman! Congrats on your house move! X

  5. Huge congratulations Rebecca. Now the fun starts 🙂 You have made making that second move sound really easy! Hope that when it comes to us doing it (in a while as we’ve decided to extend where we are for now) it will be that easy! Good luck with the move xx

  6. Wow, congratulations! It certainly sounds like this house was meant to be. I hope to see lots of interior posts gracing these pages when you start doing it up. I hope the move goes smoothly xx

  7. Congratulations and good luck with the move!

    We’ve just moved from Chorlton and I’m not surprised how quickly your place sold. The market moves so fast there for great properties.

    We’ve moved a couple of miles away and are now pretty much settled in our new places. I must admit, the moving process was a lot less stressful than I imagined, thanks to our great movers. Can’t wait to read all about your project!

  8. Congratulations – that’s so exciting! I look forward to seeing some interiors posts as you decorate! Good luck with the process – I’m sure it will go swimmingly 🙂 xx

  9. Thanks everybody!

    @erin – we didn’t give a second though to the fact that it was our first time selling AND buying (as last time we were first time buyers coming from a rental,) but the paperwork from the solicitors was immense – loads of it :/

    @hannah – congratulations – the next few weeks will fly by!

    @daniella – that’s so funny! Can’t believe you’re having to wait so long – how frustrating. It will be worth it in the long run though, I’m sure.

  10. Well I sincerely hope that when we come to move house again it shall be as swift and stress free as yours! To be honest, I’ve been put off moving after listening to stories from friends of gazumping, offers falling through, terrible surveys but hearing your story has given me hope! We’ve always said we wouldn’t put our house up until we saw a house we wanted to buy so glad to see it worked for you.

    Looking forward to seeing your new abode on these pages 🙂

  11. Oh congratulations!! And I am so jealous. I have been to see th perfect house that we can live in now, totally do up ourselves to our taste and instead of moving when we need a bigger house we can just do an extension! But urgh! It my job or lack there of that is preventing us and even though it need totally refurbished it is just out of the top end of our range. But it I so perfect I can’t look any where else until it is sold…or by some miracle bought by us!!

    Cannot wait to hear more and pick up some tips! Congratulations again! How very exciting!!

  12. ahhhhh, this is such a great story … perfect for a sunny Monday morning, just as the seasons are changing. Congratulations, I hope that you will be super happy in the new pad and can’t wait to see photos of the beautification (And especially the coat cupboard) xxx

  13. Waaahhh I’m so excited for you! And excited for me, because I’ll get to live vicariously through you and all your exciting decorating decisions. Is it bad that the ability to paint walls is really the only reason I want to buy a house…?

  14. Yay, congratulations! I’m giving myself a gold star for mentally guessing that your big news was going to be a house move 🙂 We looked at tons of houses in Chorlton, there’s some great properties there. Looking forward to seeing lots and lots of lovely photos, plans and interiors inspiration on the blog soon!

  15. Wow, congratulations. I remember the excitement and nerves I felt when we bought our first house so I am dreading but also excited for when we have to buy AND sell a house! I hope our future move, whenever it happens, happens as quickly as yours. Moving is stressful but it’ll all be worth it to start a new life in your new home! Congratulations again and good luck xx

  16. Congratulations! So nice to hear a positive and painless (!) house selling/moving story, incredible how it’s all happened so quickly too.

    We had quite the different experience… six months for our house sale to go through (yes, really!) only to discover a month before completion the valuer had altered the price that our house was worth leaving us in negative equity. This was then followed by six months living with parents in our first year of marriage. Less than ideal.

    BUT, we’ve now been in our new home for almost nine months… and all of the heartache and stress is long forgotten. People are often scared to take the plunge and sell their place especially in the current market, but although ours was difficult, we survived and are reaping the benefits now!


    PS. Rebecca, I would say make lists of every single item and box that you have and take pictures if anything valuable/sentimental – a piece of furniture was damaged and a couple of boxes went missing in the move (although they’d been stored for six months), we had that much to sort when we first got the keys we didn’t notice… a month later the penny dropped when we went to use the non-existent microwave!!

  17. Many congratulations!

    My suggestion would be to have all box with all your precious bits and pieces, as well as maybe the regular stuff you have on your bedside table, in one box that you keep tabs on throughout the move. When we moved into the “forever home” two years ago that kept me sane through the chaos of moving.

    Give yourselves time to get it all sorted too, we’re still dealing with boxes two years on – partly down to the house needing *a lot* of work and partly to needing to save to buy the furniture needed to put things in!

    • Good Advice Caroline – I’m already finding that there are things I’m not sure where they are, although i have bought a marker pen and am making long lists of items on the box sides!

      It’s encouraging to hear that you’re still unpacking too – not that I would want to leave it that long but needs must and we are going to be in a similar situation – things needing doing and furniture to save for before things have anywhere to go!

      • I’d rather not have left it that long to unpack boxes either but my husband is rather attached to them! However, the only boxes we have left are in the guest room, so it’s not so bad. Time & money are always the limiting factor with renovations and I have learnt the hard way to always double the estimated time!

        Enjoy the move as much as you can and the “making it yours” bit after. As hard work as our house has been I absolutely love it, and I’m sure you’ll both love making your new home together.

  18. Congratulations. Having movers does make it easier but you do need to label clearly (and if you can add coloured stickers that mark out the rooms that can help too?). Good luck with it all! xx

  19. I am so pleased for you guys, seriously someone up there is looking out for you.

    We’ve just started looking too, it’s a minefield as the house prices in my area (Ribble Valley) are ridiculous and we’re also looking for that elusive gem that ticks all the dream house boxes whilst allowing us the freedom to extend/renovate ourselves (other half being a builder)!

    We’re now at the ‘let’s get serious stage’ and have a savings plan in place to put away a ridiculous amount of money in 12 months for our deposit – which means 12-months of severe austerity that I’m already struggling with at month1. But needs must.

    Re the packing – all of the above advice, I’ve moved more times than I care to recall so hopefully have learn’t a thing or two about it all that may help you…..

    * Prioritise how you’re going to unpack the boxes – those that need to be unpacked straight away, the ones that can wait a bit and the ones that are really only necessary once everything is straight in the new place. Like your kitchen stuff / clothes etc – necessary. More decorative items – next phase and things like books/ old paperwork etc etc the last phase.

    * Have a numbering system for your boxes, write out a big sheet with numbers 1-20+ and whenever you, Pete, your mum etc finish packing a box take the next no on the list and tick it off.

    * When packing each box make a list of what’s in each one. If listing out every single item is a pain in the backside take a quick snapshot of groups of items on your phone as they go into the boxes then email the pics to yourself from each box putting the box number in the subject header – then you have a really quick and easy reference system to come back to – with photographic evidence should anything go missing/get damaged in the move.

    * As well a numbering your boxes label where they need to go in the new house for ease of unpacking – this will save you doing double the work when the movers inevitably dump everything in one room or worse on your driveway. So referring back to the priority list – anything you don;t want to unpack straight away needs to go somewhere to be stored, like the spare room/garage etc so label this on the box, then do same for kitchen / bathroom / bedroom etc etc.

    * They should bring bubble wrap for your furniture but check if they are providing it – I’d also invest in some carpet protector film, it’s so easy to use and gives you that double protection around the bubble wrap and other items – it’s like really strong cling film and you can get huge rolls of it from builders merchants for around £20. This is also good to use around any boxes that are going to be stored anywhere for any length of time as it should help prevent the contents getting damp. If you’re worried about carpets/flooring in the new place getting damaged then it’s also good for that while you have tons of people in and out during the move.

    * make sure your bed and bedlinen goes into the moving van last and therefore into the new house first (and in place in the bedroom) as trust me it will always take longer than you expect it to and by the end of the day you’re going to be knackered and aching to crawl into bed. Last thing you want to be doing is dragging it upstairs and fighting with a mattress.

    Good luck…can’t wait to see it. xxxx

    • As usual Michelle, your organizational advice is invaluable!

      I have on your advice and several of the commenters here numbered all packed boxes K (kitchen) or S (study) and then 1, 2, 3 etc and done a corresponding spreadsheet. Might be over kill as I list on the boxes too. but tend to write on the top which might be covered if they are stacked.

      Top Tip: I have written ‘K1’ on the corner but on 3 sides, so there’s a fighting chance of seeing it whichever way they are stacked!

    • PS I feel your pain on the saving. We have been planning financially for this move for 12-24 months with associated savings plans to stash away an appropriate deposit and it has not been easy. On the plus side, now we’re moving that monthly allocation that was previously for deposit will be directly transferred over to renovation and we can plough ahead, so it pays to get used to the cut backs!

      • Absolutely, I’ve gone from having no money when setting up my business to now having a decent and steady income again so where I was once a scrimper the novelty of having money to spend has been fab. Just need to readjust my thought process and get used to it. We’re trying the ‘putting away one whole salary each month’ thing that you talked about as it’s the only way we can reach the goal in just 12 months.

  20. Eeeeks how exciting for you guys!! since launching my blog Mr H and I have put buying a house onto the back burner but hopefully not for long I am a keen DIYer and love revamping furniture so would love a house we can make our very own home!!

    Can’t wait to read more about your exciting journey!!

    Helen xx

  21. PS… My best packing tip? Pay the movers to pack for you. Seriously, it’s hardly any more expensive than the main moving costs, and makes the whole thing completely stress free. Couldn’t recommend it more!

  22. Congratulations! I’m at the beginning of a huge mission to save up my first house deposit. Luckily hubby to be just got a promotion which will help our savings. I’ll wait in anticipation for more house moving stories. Hopefully one day I’ll have a house moving story of my own. Best of luck with the move! X

  23. Congratulations! I’m really happy for you as I know how difficult and nerve wracking it must be to find the perfect place; my sister just recently had a bad experience with buying a place in London. Anywho, good luck with the move! El

  24. Congratulations and what a fab story! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to see the kind of place you have bought and looking forward to all the interiors posts! We also sold our flat on the first day we put it on the market and in hindsight also should have done what you did and started looking before as it was stressful trying to find somewhere in such a short time frame!! You live and learn!! Xxx

  25. Congratulations Rebecca, that really is a whirlwind of buying and selling!! I hope you’ll both be very happy in your new home 🙂

    I ditto the above re packing, instead of numbers I wrote on the top of each box to let the movers know which room to put the box in. The best bit of advice though is definitely the one about getting someone to do it for you. We have just moved from Chorlton all the way down south to Kent, we didn’t use the full packing service (although next time I most definitely will after I spent a whole weekend packing on my own whilst my other half was at the Ashes… be fair he had booked that in the previous year, little did we know then that we would be moving to the other side of the country!!) but got them to pack all our breakables (I am a massive hoarder of vases, tea lights, wine glasses etc.) so that really did keep me sane as he spent a good 5 hours packing it all up, eek! They were super professional and so speedy!! I couldn’t believe how quickly they packed up and unpacked the van!

    Good luck with the move and I look forward to hearing how it’s all going and no doubt seeing some fab room renovations! x

  26. Oh congratulations Rebecca! How exciting!! Can’t wait to see pics of your new place and how you get it all sorted! You already sound really organised so my no1 tip is probably not that much use to you but it is: lists, lists, lists- makes it so much easier, especially deciding what to unpack first. I just did a notebook with lists of what was in each box but Michelle’s idea above of photos sounds great!

  27. Congratulations!! Such a speedy series of events! We’re in the middle of packing and I second all the comments about numbering & labelling boxes with ‘room ID’. It helps a lot if boxes going mysteriously missing. Also take pics of all furniture to show the condition, just in case there are any unfortunate bumps or scrapes (seems rare these days though!). Good luck with moving!

  28. Congratulations! I am very jealous of house stories like this – it took us over a year to sell my flat and after a purchase last year fell through because our then buyer pulled out, we have recently moved into rented (although actually we love our new rented house and are quite happy to stay here for a while now).

    Most tips have already been covered but these were the things I found useful in our recent move…

    – get the movers to pack for you (or at least quote for it) – they packed all our crockery, glassware etc, much more carefully than we would have done and it meant we didn’t have to think about it. Don’t bother packing clothes – they will take drawers out whole and will put hanging clothes into wardrobe boxes

    – keep the kettle (and tea, coffee, milk etc) separate, bring them in your car if possible – my husband packed the kettle and then couldn’t remember which box it was in and we had some very grumpy movers by the time they got to the new house! My dad had to go and buy an emergency kettle in the end.

    – do a spreadsheet (now/in the week before you leave) with account numbers and phone numbers/websites for changing address for all your utilities, TV licence, water, car insurance etc etc so that everything is in one place and you can switch address easily

    – get a cleaner to do a final clean of the old house after everything’s been taken out if you will have time on completion day, rather than spending time yourself scrubbing skirting boards when you want to be supervising removal people unpacking boxes

    Good luck!

    K x

    • Thanks Katy – cleaning is something I’m worried about fitting in actually as I’m guessing the majority of our stuff will be loaded onto the van by lunchtime and that’s not long to clean – particularly around people. Tbh, we might be spared a lot of deep cleaning as we’re doing kitchen cupboards for example as we go and much of the house is relatively recently decorated, so paintwork is pretty fresh.

      • We were lucky and had a 2 day crossover (benefit of moving into rented) so it was easy to get it cleaned before dropping the keys off but if you can do it as you go that’s good too! K x

  29. Thanks for all the comments and advice everyone!

    We are getting movers in, but have opted to pack ourselves. I felt I wanted to know where all my own stuff was and we’ve left it open in case we hit a panic stage a day or two before the move. The only time off I have is the day before the move and day of, so I was nervous that it would be hard work but we have made a massive dent in it with 2 concerted days of packing (yesterday and Sunday,) plus my mums help. She’s a veteran mover so very helpful!

    I think we have packed 6 boxes in the study (probably 50%), 7 in the kitchen, (probably 40-50%) and 8 in the lounge/dining room (80%) so I’m feeling quite calm. Pete’s at home packing today and starting to think about the peripheral stuff like calling utilities people etc. I’m leaving our bedroom until last – to keep a haven of normality somewhere!

    I’ll keep you all updated next week! xo

  30. Wow. Just caught up. Sounds really exciting and can’t wait to see the pictures of the new place. Hope all goes smoothly. You sound super organised!

  31. Property life moves fast in Chorlton!!! We are still looking for our dream one! I recognized ur living room on right move too!!! Elena

  32. Congrats! We’re moving at the end of the month too. We relocated to North Wales from North London this time last year. I have a flat back home but there was no way we could afford the bigger mortgage to get a house. I’m renting my flat out and my husband is getting us a little semi up here in North Wales. It’s not our dream house yet (we’d need both salaries for one property for that) but we will have a drive and a garage and a garden and 3 bedrooms and, as you also mention, a downstairs loo! Very excited and couldn’t have dreamed of affording this in Barnet!

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