Monday, 25 August 2014

Out with the old - a bank holiday clear up

So in preparation for the move, we've used the bank holiday weekend to start tackling the mountains of crap we've accumulated. So much stuff has been in storage for months (if not years) that it's hard to remember exactly what we've got!

In particular, I have bags, boxes and suitcases full of clothes. One of the key advantages of having such a limited wardrobe whilst I was pregnant, is that it has made me realise that I just don't need so much.

Apart from a minor disaster where some cushions we wanted had been ravaged by mice (yuck), we have so far successfully cleared the double garage. Christmas decorations and tools have remained, but there has been one car load taken to the tip and then 8 boxes and bags of clothes, shoes and bric a brac given away.

Have you used freecycle before? It's a fabulous concept - people just give away items they no longer want. My best ever find was our beautiful walnut piano. It's got wear and tear around the edges and needs a good re-tune, but it's such a lovely thing to have in a house and I can't believe we got it for free. It truly is amazing what some people give away and the key to doing well out of freecycle is to be polite and prompt in collecting what you have been given.

Anyway, we decided to give away the boxes and bags on freecycle - after all, it only works as a community if people give as well as take. Was absolutely delighted that someone who works in a charity shop came and collected our bags to sell on. It saved us a trip and will make money for charity - win win all round.

The next task will be the box room in our house - not called the "box" room because it's small, no, it's a large double, but full to the ceiling in places with boxes! A job for another day (or entire weekend more likely).

On the sofa celebrating with a glass of wine right now!

We've found the one!

You join us here at an exciting time in that we have finally found a house to buy.

We've only been looking for a year, seen 70 plus houses (yes, really), spent whole days on Rightmove, put offers in on two, pulled out of one, sold a flat, changed our budget and expanded our search area.

I didn't think we were that fussy as the must-have list was as follows:

  • 4 bedrooms (or the ability to extend to create this)
  • nice village location (village preferably with a pub/shop and primary school)
  • not on a main road
  • decent sized kitchen plus utility
  • decent sized garden
  • commute to work under 30 mins and in the direction my parents live in
We didn't really want a new build (I really wanted a period property) or anything that needed a huge amount of work. Budget £400,000 and the search area was huge.

I'm not even sure what the problem was or why we've had to view so many! It has certainly been hard work and if I had a pound for every time someone said "you should call in Kirsty and Phil"...

We've also seen some shockers as well - a bath with piles of hair around it comes to mind!

After all this, what have we ended up with? Well, it's a 4 bedroom house built circa 2000 I think. Certainly not the period, red-brick double-fronted property I had in mind. It's also not got the large garden Mr MP in particular had wanted (despite the fact he loathes gardening and has to be nagged to mow the lawns we've got at the moment!).

However, it's in a village we just absolutely love and which is highly desirable (to give you an idea, we were the first people to view it and 10 other viewings had already been booked!). It's on a small cul-de-sac and has been done out really nicely so we'd not have to do anything straight away. It feels like a lovely family home and a warm and safe place to bring up a family. On the downside, it's top of our budget (of course!) and there's probably not much scope to add value in the future as it's not a big plot and it's already done out (but given that we are not the most practical couple in the world (Mr MP hates DIY with a passion) and have a newborn baby, that's probably not a bad thing).

Solicitors have been instructed and it's all systems go.