If you’ve been following me for a while here, or on Instagram, you’ll be well aware we’ve been trying to move house. Despite having only lived here for just over two years now, we always saw this house as a vessel to get our foot on the bottom rung of the property market. We renovated and decorated with that in mind (the house is completely painted in white, for instance) and nearly all our decisions have been rooted in the thought that this house, although much loved, is fairly temporary.
To cut a very long (16 month) story short, after heaps of house viewings and offers falling through on other houses, a few weeks ago we were finally very close to moving. A three bed Victorian semi-detached with a drive and a garden, on a quiet road in a fantastic catchment area – just what we wanted and the perfect home to (maybe, once we’ve caught up on sleep!) expand our precious family in. We’d had the survey done on the house we were moving to and so far, despite being in a chain of five, everything had gone smoothly. We’d had a builder friend of ours come and see the house and we’d drawn up plans to reconfigure the downstairs. I was pinteresting like MAD for inspiration, and even spent a whole evening looking at different hinges and brackets for kitchen units on the IKEA website. Our hearts and minds had already moved.
But without wanting to bore you with the details, suddenly a couple of weeks ago things started to unravel, and within a few days, absolutely everything had fallen through. Just like that. There were five in the chain, and for simplicity sake let’s call it 5 – 4 – 3 (us) – 2 – 1. We are #3, and we were buying from #2. However, #2 had a survey done on the house they were buying, #1, and decided they didn’t want to proceed due to damp issues that arose. So, #2 need to find a new house and start the whole process again, meanwhile, #3, #4 and #5 have to wait. But the problem is, #5, at the bottom of the chain, have been waiting longer than anyone, so they start to get impatient. They decide they want to pull out. SO, our buyers, #4, no longer have anyone to buy their house, which means they kinda have to withdraw their offer from us. By this point, (only a few days later may I add,) #2 have found a new house that they want to proceed with, so they put their home back on the market (because our buyers don’t have buyers, they don’t consider our offer as proceedable) and within a few days it had sold. Within a blink of an eye, we’re completely back to square one.
No house to buy. No proceedable buyers for our house. We’re back on the market.
We were deeply shocked that everything could fall through so quickly, but, after the initial anguished tears had been shed, for the most part, we just remind ourselves that that obviously wasn’t the right house for us, and something better will come along. However, for anyone who has had their house on the market before, you will know that house viewings are not to be taken lightly.
They take a heap of preparation, time and energy and can be quite unsettling for the kids. If you have ever tried to get out your house in the morning for 10am, leaving a house, LITERALLY SPOTLESS, you’ll know how much of a colossal effort it is. I mean, we’re talking making all the beds, smoothing down the sheets, cleaning the shower screen, washing up, putting the dishes away and cleaning the sink afterwards. Removing dirty finger marks from windows, leaves that have blown into the porch overnight, maybe a touch of litter on the road outside or hurriedly opening windows to eradicate the stench your youngest has so kindly left in their nappy at the last minute etc etc…
So, we crack on again, spend time cleaning the house, painting over marks on the walls and generally sprucing the house up for what, I pray, is the last time. More than ever, it feels like a chore though, as the excitement and hope has waned and quite honestly, we’re feeling weary of the whole process.
We’re thankful we never explicitly told our eldest daughter what was happening so she is none the wiser. Our eldest is a detail person, (like me, can you tell?!) so she would have really clung on to the fact that we were moving house if we had told her. In fact, we know she had grasped something of what was going on, because, one day, completely out of the blue, she turned to me and said, “Mummy, I want to live in a bigger house, with bunk beds and a garden. I will sleep on the top and my sister will sleep on the bottom…” She still mentions those bunk beds daily.
Apart from the obvious need for more space (we currently live in a two bedroom terrace with only one bathroom) for me personally, not only is our home a shelter and somewhere to raise our girls, it is also my creative channel, my inspiration, part of what makes me tick. My brain flicks from the grocery shop to doctors appointments, to different paint effects, lighting, cupboard door options or storage hacks and back to packing a lunch box again. I read Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and start getting inspiration for a new hanging mobile I could make, or watch Mr Tumble with the girls and spend my time staring at all the Victorian features in the house they use for his set. I cannot ever erase my passion for interiors from my personality or change how I think, so I just have to learn to patiently harbour it for a little while longer until our situation changes.
I know we have so much to be thankful for with this beautiful little house we do have and I know the wait WILL do us good in the long run.
I tried not to talk too much online about what was happening, or how close we had got, as however much my heart had upped and moved, my head still knew that nothing is certain until the new keys are in our hands and we’ve closed our beloved yellow door behind us for the last time. I am however, a chronic oversharer (see reason #1 for having a blog…) so I did chat to a few people about our house being under offer, and if you’re observant you may have noticed we haven’t had any viewings recently.
In the meantime, I ask you, please stick with me. There won’t be loads of makeovers or inspiring DIY’s on the blog for a while. We are in limbo. Despite itching to create, it feels like my hands are tied behind my back right now, my ideas and thoughts suppressed and suffocated by solicitors, estate agents, mortgages and circumstance. One day, I hope to write something like, ‘What We Learnt from Being Part of a Big Chain and How it’s Worth the Effort…’, but until then, this is all I’ve got. Just a raw, in the thick of it, real-life update.
As always, thanks for reading and for following along.
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