Tuesday, 29 May 2012

30th May 2012

So now we move onto sorting a school out for Kirsty. Over the past few months we have phoned both councils a number of times and I really do not think any of them listened to our situation before providing us with an answer. Some said we should hold off until we moved up, some said we could apply anytime and others said we should do it straight away.

Now with the sale of the house finished I had some time to think about this and decided the best option was to write it all down in an email and send to the admissions department in Norfolk.

I explained exactly where we were at, living in Enfield with parents, not being able to move until Summer due to work and sons GCSE's, explained we had a rented place already and an offer in on another house. Basically I laid it out line by line so there could be no doubt as to what was needed.

Within 5 minutes Hayley came back to me and said we should certainly do it now. We should send in the transfer form, rental agreement and birth certificate to Enfield, and also send her copies in the post. They would be reviewing places for Sept starts after half term. So finally I deifnate answer, so last night we went to the pub (any excuse), and we filled in the forms and stated our preference for schools.

The letters were posted this morning and now we just wait.

Monday, 28 May 2012

28th May 2012

So at 10.30 on Friday 25th May I got a call from the Solicitor t say that the funds had been received and the sale was now complete. I cannot tell you want a relief that was to finally have that out of the way.

I must say right upto the last minute I was never 100% sure or maybe I did not want to think it was 100% certain. Anyhow it is all done now and we are now in control of our own destiny and more importantly we now no longer have a mortgage.

We spent the weekend up in the rental property and it was very nice being up there, going out and about on foot and bike. Whilst up there we took the opportunity to visit our sellers and discuss some of the points on the survey. As it turned out these were very minor points, mot of which the sellers had had on their survey when they had brought it and things had not changed and they had not bothered to correct.

Having said that he was very good, he is going to repoint all the areas where there is cracking, he is also going to plane the door where it is binding and he has checked the guttering which the surveyor had said was blocked and found it not to be.

The garage door frame where it was reported to have rotted was all fine apart from 2% of it, which could be easily fixed, and based on all of this we have decided to sign the contract and go ahead. We will get the fuse box done when we move in.

We chatted with them n their conservatory for half an hour and it was really nice to hear what they are upto.

So my biggest headache at the moment is notifying companies of change of address. Where possible I try nad do Helen's as well but this is not always possible and she needs to catch up with some which need doing urgently. I think we have covered all the main ones and I think others will crop up over the next few months. We have post redirected for 3 months so we should be Ok. I am making notes of what is being done by whom and how as we may well have to change address on possibly two more occassions.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

25th May 2012

So today is completion day on our house. 114 days (16 weeks) after we engaged the Estate Agents, but so much longer in the planning.

Last night the kids had their hair cut at the house, so we had dinner there for the last time. With no furniture there we put a picnic blanket in the living room and got fish and chips and ate out of the bag.

I slept surprisingly well last night, went off quite quickly, woke up at 12.30 and 2am but got straight back off to sleep, unlike the night before when I was up for 2 hours. Awake and up though at 5am. The very hot weather meant we slept with out window open and the birds were noisy and early.

I am hoping for everything to go smoothly today, there is no reason it should not, despite no contact from any solicitors or Estate Agents over the past week or so, letters have been arriving at the house addressed to the new owners so this gives me reassurance. Virgin Media will be round between 8 and 8.30 to collected the set top boxes and modem, and there is not much left in the house for me to gather up. Then it will be working and waiting for a phone call to say we have completed, and I can then gather up my stuff, take meter readings and leave our house of 14 years for the last time.

It will be sad in a way to leave, it has been our family home, a place where our children have grown up, Craig was only two when we moved in. I have liked the house very much but the area around it is now not so good and also our neighbours are not what they were. 

When we moved in, we had to the left of us Dawn, Steve and two children. The children would play with Craig, the garden gates left open for them to run in and out of each others gardens. Steve and Dawn were always good for a chat, they would always be around and about and they were both easy to talk to. Often our jobs would not get done because we were chatting too much. They moved on though, onto the Willow Estate to be nearer to Enfield.

On the other side was lovely Jean. I had to build Craig some steps so he could talk to her over the fence. He would spend a lot of time in her house as well and she was always treating the kids with money, toys and was a lovely neighbour. Again many times we would stand chatting to her over the fence and again for long periods. Then she passed away a few years ago and since then things have not been the same.

We used to spend a lot of time in the garden, but not so much recently. To our left Mario and Sara moved in, nice couple who say hello, but they are not around so much and when they are they are not out in the garden much. To our right we now have a family of 5 who make quite a lot of noise. They are OK to talk to and once of the children is in Kirsty's class but they are not people who I find it easy to spend time chatting to. They put blankets on their washing line just to cut themselves off from us and the garden is left in a mess most of the time.

Next door to them is a Nigerian family, again very nice, but since their children have grown up and have cars the parking out the front has got worse. Even though we have a driveway, the way they park leaves a small space behind them which other people use. The problem is that the space is not big enough for two cars and people parking behind them leave their back end over our driveway making it difficult to drive on and off due to the narrow slip road we live on. Despite asking them just to park in the middle of the space they still continue to do it and it has become very annoying. I got a lot of satisfaction by placing our skip their for a month, meaning they had to park somewhere else. It was not a difficult request but for some reason they would not help me out.

So that is it really, today, hopefully (you see some doubt still remains), we will have sold our house, we will have no mortgage, and stage 1 of our 3 stage plan to move to Norfolk will be finished.

114 days to sell the property is probably a very good time frame from start to finish. However for me it has seemed like an eternity, days and days seemed to pass before we exchanged, with nothing seemingly happening. I think I put pressure on myself knowing our deadline was the end of May, due to Helen having to hand in her notice, and it seemed to drag and drag, but I guess this is how the process works and now when I look at the property I am buying, we took a week just to put the survey into the solicitors. Had this been our buyer doing that I wold have been chasing every day to see if it had been done.

Tonight we are off to King's Lynn for the weekend and I am looking forward to it and I am looking forward to not having a mortgage and no longer being responsible for the property which has been empty now for a few weeks.

Monday, 21 May 2012

21st May 2012

We are in our last week at our house we are selling. Well I hope we are, you see I still have doubts until I get the confirmation that we have completed. Not much to do this week, apart from the normal school, work, clubs etc. 

We did a good clean of the house on Sunday and this week I can continue moving the last little bits out ready for Friday. On Friday morning I have to take the meter readings and the Virgin Engineer is coming to pick up the modem and set top boxes.

The lawn looks a mess but the mower is up in King's Lynn so not much I can do about that. She shed is empty as well so it is just the kitchen and the front room with a few bits in it. 

This week sees a heavy week for Craig and his exams, I think he has something on every day and on some days he has two. He seems to be quite relaxed about them and I hope that proves the case when the results come in.

We have booked in surveys for the Electrics and the Drainage at the property we are buying, they should be done this week and hopefully they will come back OK. If not we need to decide what to do and that will be based on the cost for repair. If significant then I would think we might have to discuss with the sellers. Apart from those two things I think we are happy with the other points on the survey and will put up/repair those when we move in.

Kirsty's school is still a bit of a worry. It seems that we can submit the transfer request at any time, the process takes 2-3 weeks but once she is offered a place she is then expected to take up that place straight away. So if we do it now she could have a place in Norfolk come the end of June. If we leave it until we are up there who knows where she might end up. It is the one piece of the jigsaw still open really. It maybe we decide to take the place early, and once Craig has finished his exams we move up there and leave Helen down here until she has finished work. We shall have to wait and see on that one.

The broadband we had installed at Dads house has been a saga. When I ordered it I told BT what our usage was, Xbox and some you tube and general internet stuff and they said 10gb should be plenty. Well after a week of us being there, with Craig at school all day as well we had used 7gb of the 10gb monthly allowance.

So the Sunday before last we increased it to 40gb to see how that would go. When I checked this Sunday how our usage was going we had used 37.1gb of our 40gb usage. Clearly it was still not enough, both kids use you tube alot and the streaming of videos makes for high download figures. So this Sundat there was nothing for it but to up the package to unlimited. It works out about £10 per month more that we had originally set up, but it should only be for 3 months. Once we leave we can reduce back down to 10gb until the end of the contract. Then Dad can decide what he wants to do with it.

So hopefully the week will progress smoothly and on Friday we will complete the sale.

Friday, 18 May 2012

18th May 2012

So this time next week we should be completing our sale of our house. It is funny really because on one hand I just want to get it finished and know for sure that it is sold and there are no more worries about anything going wrong, yes I still have doubts that something will happen, but on the other hand once we have sold life gets a bit more difficult get the Kirsty to and from school each day. 

At the moment we can leave Mums nice and early, miss the traffic and sit in our house until school time. Once we have sold I will have to leave later and catch more of the traffic. I will then also have to make the journey 4 times a day, rather than the two as at the moment I spend the day at the house doing my work, so do not have to drive back to mums after dropping Kirsty off at school.

We now have our contract to sign for our house purchase. With it came the land registry documents with all the covenants, I read that 3 times and then thought, I could read this 100 times and still not understand it, the wording is so weird. The solicitor says everything is fine so I have to take their word for it as that is what I am paying them for.

The environmental search has come back with a big PASSED on it. My solicitor did highlight one section though where there is a 1% chance of Radon gases, what does that even mean. Might have to google that later.

We asked our sellers about the wardrobes they had and the curtains downstairs and they have agreed a price with us for selling these to us separately. We have exchanged emails with them on various stuff and it does make it easier to be able to talk to them directly, but I understand why Estate Agents discourage it as there might not always be two parties like we are and I guess things could get out of hand.

So thats all for now, weekend in London coming up, but we aim to go to Kings Lynn the following weekend.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

17th May 2012

So we have had the survey back on our new house and as expected it has highlighted everything down to the smallest detail. Anyone of a nervous nature would never buy a property following a receipt of a survey.

It has however shown up some things that we should pay out for before we proceed any further. The electrics first need to be looked at, there was nothing major but they have not been inspected for a long time and some of it is old. Also the owner has outside electricity by means of a cable running out of the house and along the wall and the cable is not armoured.

The other thing was some cracking in the wall below the kitchen window. Below this is a gully for waste water and the surveyor suggested we get a CCTV drainage inspection to check for any leaks. This was backed up by cracks in the drive way concrete and the path. Both the path and the driveway seem to slope down towards the house with no drainage away and this also might be the cause of the movement.

Anyhow the owners are away at the moment so we must wait until they get back so we can give the contractors their number and to book appointments to go and carry out the inspections.

Other than that it highlighted things that were not too serious, run of the mill stuff that you would probably just keep an eye on in your own home, but there are some things for our solicitor to check, such as the conservatory building, a step in the kitchen to the toilet ( does it meet regulations), the changing of the front entrance into a WC, the boiler installation and the installation of a shower cubicle. I will pass them a copy and ask them to obtain the relevant documents on our behalf.

The good thing is that this puts some delays in the process, which for us at this time is great as we do not realy want to complete on the property until July.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

15th May 2012

I am finding it quite difficult organising things whilst living with Mum and Dad. Apart from the fact of trying to find things which could be in one of 3 places, there is the added problems of getting the children to and from school. The journey is obviously now not walkable and so we have to leave early enough to not get caught in traffic but not too early that we have to sit around and wait. The problems are compelled now that Craig has finished school and only goes in for exams, which can be morning or afternoon, and sometimes for only 30 minutes, so he needs to get there and get home again.

This morning Kirsty woke up with a cold so that was another decision that needed to be made quickly, sorting out breakgast in good time, then planning for her to go to Brownies tonight, if well enough, meant bringing her uniform over here, to our old house, remember we still have this until the 25th and I work from here, along with some dinner for her to eat.

The logistics are interesting to try to work out how to do things the best, where to tell Craig to go and what to organise and have in which house and for when. Also having to work, and then sort out dinners for different people at different times makes it quite interesting life at the moment.

Monday, 14 May 2012

14th May 2012

So been a bit of a gap but then have been very busy. We got the keys OK and removal men turned up on the Wednesday at 10.30, so they made good time. Once unloaded we spent the afternoon emptying a few boxes and putting together beds and wardrobes. The front room is piled high with upopened boxes and these will remain unopened until we move to our new house. We had one little problem, the boiler was not working and the landlord could not get someone to fix it until the next morning. We got our friend around to help us light a fire and at least we had some heat. We drove back that Wednesday evening, and my hands hurt from all the re assembling.

We then started to adjust to life living with my mum and dad again, and so far it has not been too bad. Just little things like stuff getting moved when you think you know where it is, and just trying to find things of ours which might either be there, or at the rented house or the house we are selling.

On Saturday we went back up to King's Lynn with the children and my mum. We got to show them the rented place and also the house we are buying. We also walked around  the area to see the schools the children would be going to. Mum was really impressed with the house and the kids were the same. I was so pleased, it seems we have made the right decision.

We came back home Saturday night, Helen worked all day Sunday, I cooked the roast dinner for us all and we then went to the pub for a drink. 

Not much going on this week, counting down the days to our completion date of 25th May. The predicated fuel drivers strike did not happen, they accepted the deal, so we did not have to move early as it turns out, but I could not take the risk. Sitting here in my front room, on a deckchair with a laptop so I can keep working and not much else in the house. Been going round each room and giving it a good clean. Just kitchen and front room to do now.

The drive to school from Mums is not too bad but we have to leave at 7.45 to make sure Craig gets there on time. Once we no longer have this house it will get a bit worse, having to make 4 trips a day but needs must and its only for about 8 weeks anyway.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

9th May 2012

So the removal van arrived at 8.15am. That was a relief, as ever I thinking the worst and wondering if they had the right day booked. Two guys Derrick and Matt. Took me a few goes remembering the names and then once I remembered the names I then had to assign them to the right person. 

They cracked on quite quickly, said we had prepared everything very well. They said when they see a job "owner Packing" they always worry about what will face them. They said they had one guy a few weeks ago who had not even started packing when they arrived. He was very laid back and said they could follow him round whilst he filled boxes. They asked what was up in the loft, I told them it was empty and that I had got all the boxes down myself. They said they would have gone up and got them. Urgh, that's annoying as it was hard work bringing them down.

I was anxious to see how they would get the large 3 seater out of the front room. I had taken up the laminate flooring in the hall, it gives that extra bit of space to get the sofa through. We needed to do it when we put it in there. I kept an eye on them waiting for them to tackle the front room, intrigued to see how they manoeuvred it. As it turned out they got it out within a few minutes. They simply took the double glazed window out and shifted it out through there. LOL all that time taking the floor up and putting it back.

Still by 11.30am they were all done and everything was on the lorry. I am left working from here sitting on a deckchair with my laptop. I had remembered every ones lunches this morning apart from mine. So it was just toast for me.

I have been round, swept and hoovered, amazing the dirt that collects under fridges, beds, sofas and wardrobes etc.

Now just waiting for kids to come home and for mum to pick them up, then it is off to Norfolk when Helen gets home from work. Then only two things to worry about. Will the landlord be there to give us the keys and we will actually complete on the 25th May 2012 so the sale of our house actually goes through. I know it is unlikely not to but until we complete something could happen. Yes we would get the £20k deposit but all the aggro of packing and moving all our stuff around and also the fact that Helen has now handed her notice in would make it difficult to recover from. Still that's me all over.

Monday, 7 May 2012

8th May 2012

So we are almost ready. Helen and I spent Sunday and Monday packing up the house and dismantling furniture and beds. Over 80 boxes in the end and I made a mistake with the ones in the loft. I packed many up there since christmas but forgot the weight of them. When I came to take them out the loft and down the ladder I realised that maybe I should have made them lighter. Some were really difficult to lift down, but all was done in the end and everything is ready.

Kids moved to Mum and Dads on Sunday and by Monday afternoon all the stuff we needed over there was taken. It looked a lot of stuff but as the other bits would be in a house where we would not be for lot of the time we had to take things to Mum that we did not actually need day to day but that could not be replaced if we were burgled up there. After a bit of sorting out we managed to get organised and put a lot of stuff up into the loft.

We slept there last night and this morning we all left at 7am to get over here for school and to meet the removal men. Once they have arrived and packed up I will work from here until end of school, get the kids and Mum will come over and pick them up.

Once Helen finished work today we will travel to Kings Lynn, to meet our landlord, sign the contract and get the keys. We will sleep there overnight and wait for the removal van to arrival tomorrow.

Lets just hope the removal men turn up today or it might get a bit complicated.

Friday, 4 May 2012

4th May 2012

So last night we completed what Helen called phase one of the move. Well I feel like I am on phase 25 but enough of that. The first physical thing to move out of our property was the rabbits.

Our friend in Cheshunt had kindly offered to look after them for a few months until we are up in King's Lynn permanently. Over the past few weeks I have been trying to work out how to get the hutch there without having to dismantle it. The husband of the person looking after them works for a telecoms company and has a large van, so we asked but no good, his van is kitted out with equipment and racking. I tried my cousin, a builder, again no go, same situation. Who else had a van, my nephew, so we sorted dimensions and yes it would fit in. Great, until he came round one day and we measured up, the hutch would fit in the van no problem but it would not go through the door opening which was narrower.

So there was nothing for it other than to take the hutch apart. Once we started to do this, in the light drizzle of course, we soon realised that where they had been urinating and where the rain had got in, much of the hutch, which is only a year old, was falling apart. 

Trying quickly to dismantle it whilst the rabbits still wanted to play in it, I was getting quite annoyed. We did not have a lot of time as it was getting on for 6.30pm and we still had to rebuild it the other end. So we started loading the car up and noticed that the A10 was solid with traffic. Anyhow we continued to load it and then put the rabbits in the cardboard boxes which we had brought them home in last year. We closed the lids and put them in the kitchen, whilst we gathered up the chicken wire, straw, hay, food etc.

When we came back into the kitchen, Snowy was happily running around. She had chewed through the box and escaped. We could hear Lucy doing the same but not having as much like. We tapped the boxes up as best we could, quickly got into the car and went round the back way to try and avoid the traffic.

It was not too bad in the end and we got to Cheshunt in good time. Quickly we emptied the car and placed the rabbits in the garden still in the boxes. More and more chewing, they would get out soon and I think that put pressure on me to get the hutch  built. Could I do it, of course not. My rushing meant I started with the wrong bits, could not hold it steady and made it quite stressful. Not helped by Kirsty, and their two children, running around us, picking up tools and generally getting in the way. After trying nearly four times to put it together I had to resort to reading the instructions. We slowed down, followed the instructions and finally got it put together, with it still raining. We put the sawdust and other things in and put the rabbits back into their home.

We left them there and Kirsty was a little upset having to leave them. We let her stay up till 9pm and she went to bed and was asleep very quickly and with no fuss. I was shattered, as was Helen, but the first thing was out of the way.

At 10.30 we went to bed, I took my jeans off and found 4 screws in my pocket. Oops, I hope they were not important ones.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

2nd May 2012

All seems to be progressing nicely. Survey is booked in for Tuesday 8th May on the property we are buying. The boxes and packing materials turned up yesterday from the removal firm. Kirsty's bedroom is pretty much done now, Craig is sort of doing his but appears to have a problem understanding that things should be in 1 of 3 places. Either put out in the rubbish, in a box to go to his nans with him or in a box to be packed and sent to the rental house in King's Lynn. He is getting there though and come Saturday evening I hope his bedroom is ready, so that Sunday we can dismantle his bed.

Had a nightmare trying to set up phone and boradband at the rented house. When BT first checked they said there was no line there, and would need to send an engineer out. Previous tenants used Talk Talk, so I called them, they also said no line there but there deal was a bit better than BT. So I ordered the service and an engineer to come during our visit up there at half Term. Well I think I did, to be honest the person I was dealing with did not speak very good English. It actually took about half an hour to sort out because I just could not understand him.

Anyhow the email came through and the date the engineer was coming was shown as 15th May. So I rang him back and he said I would now have to talk to Customer Services. I did this and again got through to someone I could not understand. After 15 minutes she said we could cancel the order and start again as she could not amend the date, I had to go out at this point and said I would call back, she asked me to hold whilst she checked something. 5 minutes later she came back saying she could change the date, again her English was not very good and I was now running late and getting very frustrated that something so simple could not be done. In the end she said I needed to call back later, fuming I put the phone down and went out.

On my return I decided that Talk Talk were not for me. I had experience the customer service and it was not good, a quick google search found out that their customer service rating was not very good, not much use when you have a problem. So I rang again to cancel the order, got through to terminations, explained why I was not happy, the girl spoke perfect English and dealt with it very well. Got a cancellation number and an email to confirm.

I then phoned BT back to see if they could deal with the order and our requirements, this time the guy I spoke to said there were two proprties listed for the address our rented property is at. One was just number 60, this had never had a line, the other one was number 60 but had a house name, this had a phone line and was still connected. This was a result as it meant that no engineer was required to visit, which is diffcilt to organise when we will not acutally be living there. The service is due to start on 1st June, equipment will be delivered to my mums address, where we are staying, on 1st June and this is in good time for 2nd June when we plan to go up there for half term week.

Today I have been packing and wrapping up the pictures and photos. Decided to take photos out of frames and keep these with us at Mums, just in case someone breaks into the rented property, things like photos cannot be replaced. We have so many boxes now around the place, either packed, partially packed or flat packed waiting to be filled.

Tomorrow it is the rabbits turn to be packed up and moved, when we take them upto to their temporary home in Cheshunt, where a kind friend is going to look after them until we move up fully to King's Lynn in the Summer.