Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Making a House a Home - Getting in the Door

We finally picked up the keys to our new house at 7:45pm last night (thanks to a kindly local estate agent who was willing to drive them over out of hours).

We were due to get them by 1pm on Monday and had taken time off work in anticipation, arriving in the area early to be nearby when we got "the call".

At 1pm we were told a moving van had turned up late and that they needed another hour. Fair enough.

At 3pm we were told the van they had been sent was too small, that another was being sent, but that we were definitely getting in before 5pm (which is the time when the solicitor's office closed, making completion impossible). Annoying, but ok - we'll sit here singing Christmas Carols to pass the time ...

At 5pm we were sat in our car at the top of their road clearly able to see that they were nowhere near finishing packing.

Deflated, we arranged to return first thing Tuesday morning to collect the keys and race to work (Frances having used up her final available day's holiday) and asked our solicitor to request that they reimburse us for our incurred expenses.

So we were there at first light to meet the poor estate agent who had agreed to come over especially early to let us confirm that the property had been property vacated. Apparently they had finally moved out by ... 1am.

A quick check confirmed that all was in order, we placed the call to our solicitor to have her release the money and confirm completion ... only to be told that they were refusing to reimburse us a penny for Monday. (Even if you ignore the value of the wasted day off work, we had incurred additional legal fees, and spent a fortune on petrol, parking and train fares due to their error.)

We asked our solicitor to push back and there followed an hour and a half of confusion, frustration and anger until, at 10:30am, we found out that the seller's solicitor had actually been unable to get in touch with them all morning (they were asleep after their late night!) so we raced off to work desperately hoping that people there would forgive us for missing most of the morning.

Everything was resolved during the day and we finally completed at 4pm, collecting the keys when we could get there after work.

The joy is only matched by the relief that the process is over and we can begin building our new life here in earnest.


  1. That sounds so difficult - so glad you are both in now and hope you get to enjoy it.

    1. It was so stressful but it all worked out and luckily for the sellers in terms of costs we work with some very understanding colleagues who aren't militant about hours.