Friday, 25 March 2016

Happy Easter

Thought I'd share this lovely little Birthday gift from my eldest. She's developed quite a little talent for embroidery :)

No news much - completed loads of paperwork for the solicitor, doing my best to answer questions about whether drains crossed other people's properties etc. Really I'm not totally sure on much of it, but have answered to the best of my ability. It mad me surprisingly nervous though!
Gorgeous weather here today so took Jet for a lovely stroll along the Basingstoke canal. He does so love to paddle along the edge. The water level is the lowest I've ever seen it, which I can't really understand as I always imagined canals would stay pretty much the same?

We have guests joining us for Eater Sunday roast so I have created a little Easter display today too.

Have a wonderful Easter break :)

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A fantastic birthday present

It was my Birthday yesterday, which I enjoyed. I had a lovely stroll around Wisley RHS gardens with my eldest and dinner cooked for me. I also had a phone call from the estate agent..... We had a viewing on Saturday by a young couple. They want to buy the house - first time buyers, mortgage agreed and full asking price! Yippee! Obviously nothing is signed yet, but it's looking hopeful.
I'm pleased not to have to keep the house super tidy for a bit. I know they'll want to come back again and take another look, but I won't have to be in a state of 'high alert'! They are also happy to work to our timeline too, which was made clear from the off by us because it's dictated by the school holidays.
I will now book in some viewings in Shropshire and a visit to the school up there for a bit later in April. That beautiful house in Shropshire from my last blog also has no chain, so potentially it could work well.....although I do know that house moving isn't high up on the list of most stressful events for nothing, so anything could happen yet!

Thought I'd keep you updated. Not much else to write about at the moment - life just trundling along as usual. I am so looking forward to having a new garden and veg patch to get my teeth into. It's not much point doing anything to this garden. I risk getting a bit bored and frustrated over the next few months, but I do now have a decent pair of wellies (birthday present) so Jet and I can go on some good walks without causing my plantar fasciitis to flare up. I also have a couple more books to read from my son. I might also take a trip to the library and get out some smallholding, self sufficiency books again and start a notebook of useful info...

I am SO excited by it all. Mr D is much more nostalgic than I am, so seems permanently sad and worried about the whole thing. Personally, I am longing for a new adventure :)

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

House details

Our house has gone live! As you had all seen the photos along the way, I thought you might like to see the marketed version. We have a viewing this evening and hopefully some more on Saturday afternoon. Fingers crossed for a quick sale. Keeping it so clean and tidy is hard work!

This is a screen shot of the house I am rather taken with in Shropshire. Slight difference eh?! Look at that view! It makes my heart sing each time I look at it. We will definitely look to view it after Easter when we go up to do our first 'recky' of the area. It has outbuildings and approximately three acres. There is also potential for extending and adding our own flourish over time, which I like the idea of.

I'll keep you posted! Meanwhile back to reality.......

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Small things

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to add advice and tips on my last post. It's invaluable to have such a useful resource. There's nothing quite like other people's experiences to open your eyes to potential pitfalls and helpful hints :)
I've had a quiet day today just catching up on the small things. I haven't done anything that doesn't need to be done and only focused on keeping up with the necessary. Consequently, I've had time to read - lovely!
The recent weeks seem to have been rather busy, so it's good to have a 'small things' kind of day.

No update yet on the house really. The photos have been taken and it should go online shortly. We did have one viewing last Friday evening - husband only as wife was ill. He 'loved the house', but apparently, over the weekend, one of their parents became seriously ill, so they've shelved the idea of moving for the time being. We are now returning to plan A which was to start the viewings next Saturday, by which time the details should be online.
I have spoken to one of the schools I was thinking of for my youngest and they have spaces, so we will visit after the Easter holidays and view some houses at that time too. My sister-in-law has started searching from her end too as she lives in Shropshire. A while ago I had written down a list of words and short phrases which described how I envisaged my next home, both inside and outside - almost like a mood board without the pictures. I emailed them to her and she understood fully what I was looking for - I knew she would :) The very first house she sent through to me to look at, was the first one in ages where I could envisage myself living.
Everything is becoming a little more real now and I'm getting excited!
Mr D has started his consultancy work which is going well so far. I have created a storage system for his paperwork for tax purposes today. He hasn't ever been self employed, so it's a new world for him, but ages ago I worked as a PA for a local small business and have some experience of what is needed in terms of admin and paperwork. I know it will be so much easier if we get a good system set up from the off!

I'm slightly nervous to say it, but things seem to be falling into place ......

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Finding a strategy

As I mentioned yesterday we have finally put the house on the market (well in the next few days at least). The plan is to move to Shropshire.

The reasons for this are:- my brother lives there; it's still relatively rural; you can get A LOT for your money compared with the South East and it's quite centrally placed, so closer to many of the friends and family we see less frequently. Of course, we will be further from the friends we have here, but visiting will always be welcomed!

You might think that for a move so long in the planning we might be more prepared, but actually neither of us really know the county of Shropshire, so we are struggling to work out the best way to narrow our search. We need to take into account secondary schools (I know nothing about any of them at present) and of course I have a clear idea of what type of house I'd like, which could be a help or a hindrance. Mr D has made some additional requests in terms of proximity to civilisation. We think we have narrowed our search area to around Oswestry, but we're not totally set on that. So many unknowns.... So many decisions......!

Did any of you have a strategic approach to moving to a new area, particularly when children are still involved? I'm thinking I perhaps need to start with the school and it's catchment area? Any advice and tips would be much welcomed!
I feel we need to narrow down schools and houses to look at when we go up there for the first visit or we will flounder with too much choice! The Internet is great for info, but you can't really get a feel for the place.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Catching up

Not sure why  there has been such a long gap since I last posted, but here's the latest news anyway....

I am at last satisfied that the inside of the house is spruced up enough to be photographed and viewed. I would estimate that we have only needed to spend about £50, which is great. £35 of that was on a new freezer drawer as the previous one had cracked and the front had snapped off! The freezer is built in and will be left behind.
£50 of course, unless you factor in my hours - at a minimum wage of £7 per hour, I would have charged a minimum of £500 :)

The hallway was recently decorated, so I've just cleaned off all of the woodwork, touched up the paintwork on the walls and removed the pile of coats from the front door.

My son's bedroom needed redecorating and a massive declutter. He has always been an avid reader and had accumulated a large quantity of books. He is now a film buff, so was collecting DVDs too. I have boxed up most of it to be stored in a friend's garage for the time being. Similar to my youngest's room, his isn't huge, but we have managed to fit in everything a teenage boy could need. His room is lovely and light being at the back of the house. It certainly looks a lot less prison cell like after the declutter.

Ignore the filthy windows! You can see the culprit :) 

Let's hope any viewers aren't Man United  fans! 

Our bedroom needed a good clean and I decided the rocking chair needed to go into storage too for now - it was never meant to go in our room and made it all look a little cluttered. The cat will be devastated as its her favourite place to snuggle up. No doubt she will find somewhere else, although I am rapidly closing down their options whilst the house has viewings!

Finally, my eldest daughter's bedroom in the loft was given a good tidy. We can't market this as a bedroom because of the access and head height, but it's still a great space. I guess they'll call it a hobby room or something similar, but for us it has worked extremely well as a bedroom. Funnily enough, my eldest daughter has had the loft room in every shared Uni house too!

I hope you've enjoyed the virtual tour of the house as I have prepared it for sale. For me, it will act as a lovely memento of the house we have loved so much :)

On others  fronts, Mr D has now become an educational consultant meaning he is now self employed and more flexible with when and where he works. He has  taken the last few days off which has been wonderful. Having been working in a high pressure, stressful environment for such a long time, it has been great to see him slowly unwind and I'm starting to see the old Mr D reappear from the grey faced,  tense man he had become. He has enjoyed being free to do what he likes and it's been great to get out in the garden, socialise and walk the dog together. We are imagining him working part time from now on.

We have had three valuations on the house. How ridiculous that the difference between the bottom figure of one valuation and the upper figure of another is £50 short of £80,000! Surely that can't be right?! We have plumped for the estate agent who came somewhere in the middle. He's a local chap and I like him so I had always imagined going with him anyway. We are away this weekend so the house will be on the market as of the following weekend, if he hasn't found someone who'd like to view it sooner. They always seem to have lists of people waiting for these kind of family homes  around here. We are a 27min train ride from London which helps.
I'll keep you posted on how it goes, but it's all reached a more exciting stage now knowing that something is happening at last after multiple years of waiting for the time to be right!