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.


A Tale of Two Houses… Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of Jess’s Real Renovation and the tale of two houses. If you missed part one, make sure you go back and read that first as it’s a real cliffhanger and a great story. Plus it’s setting the scene for all of Jess’s posts to come – sharing the ups and downs of a house renovation, from pointing to painting and pretty.

My partner saw the look on my face and I think it was only then that he realised how much I wanted that house. It was probably only then that I realised how much I wanted it. It wasn’t rational, it wasn’t the sensible option to buy that house. We both have busy day jobs and aren’t very good at DIY, and it wasn’t the most financially sound option either, there was probably 15-20k of work to do on the house. But I had fallen for it, and now I had lost it.

The next week was fraught, as we tried to get the estate agent back on our side. We went back to our original offer. We were ready to sign contracts, so we put forward our best case for selling the house to us instead of the new buyers. But the vendor kept us hanging for days, so long in fact that the surveyors for the other buyers were phoning the estate agents to book a time to do their own survey of the house. This was crazy, to have another buyer pay for a survey if he wasn’t actually going to sell it to them. So the estate agent had to push the vendor to make a decision on who exactly he was going to sell to. In the end he re-accepted our offer, as I think he wanted to complete the sale as quickly as possible. If that were all a game (and I suppose in a way it is), I think we had just been out maneuvered at every turn. But did we win or did we lose? Well, we got the house…

I never thought buying a house would be so emotional, and when everyone told me it was one of the most stressful things I would ever do, I didn’t really understand what they meant. Unfortunately the buying process for us was anything but a smooth ride, and so I now know exactly what they were talking about. At times we thought we would have to walk away from the whole thing, and if we had, I am pretty sure the house hunting would’ve gone on hold for several months until we had recovered from the stress of it all. We were totally drained and utterly fed up if the whole thing.

When we finally got the keys to our house, it had been months since we had actually been inside it. In those months it was as if we had fallen out of love with it for putting us through all that. But crazy as it may sound, I knew it wasn’t the house itself that was to blame, and we couldn’t hold a grudge against it. So I don’t regret for one second our decision, and now, after just four months in our new (but over a century old) house, we are gradually putting back the character, the features, and hopefully the love that it deserves in order to make it a fabulous home.

I’m really excited about my new home and garden (hopefully more on the garden in future posts too), and over the coming months I hope to share with you some of the ideas and projects that we take on, and more importantly I hope you enjoy reading about them.

Oh and if you’re wondering what ever happened to the house across the road? Well, in the middle of all the turmoil with our house, a sold sign went up on that one too. A month or so ago we saw the removal vans outside and I’m sure the new owners are happily enjoying their evenings and weekends relaxing without builders, brick dust, cold drafts and rickety stairs! Good luck to them, they are obviously very sensible people!


I saw Jess through every last phone call (or it felt like it at the time 😉 ) of this purchase and I had my heart in my mouth reading this account of all the heartache. It’s such a stressful time buying a house and often the decisions we make aren’t that rational, heart wins over head, but I’m so happy she got the one they wanted!

I can’t wait to see what else Jess has in store for you all.

Have you had a similar experience to Jess? Do tell!


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