Well – we think we are now pretty close to finalising our sale/purchase. We went to our Solicitor on Thursday to sign our various contracts etc. Unfortunately, there are still some bits missing before we can exchange contracts. We had everything we needed except that our mortgage offer had expired (due to the length of time taken to get to this point), and we need a receipt from our landlord, to whom we pay ground rent. We’ve now got the confirmation from the bank on the mortgage front, but we still don’t have the receipt.
Without this receipt we can’t exchange (otherwise we could find ourselves in breach of contract apparently – and this would be a bad thing). As our landlord has proved difficult to get hold of, this is a bit of a worry.
We also had a bit of a panic when Damyanti’s name came up in a bankcruptcy check. Seems a bit unreliable to do this kind of check by name (Damyanti Patel not being exactly an uncommon name), but I think she managed to convince our solicitor that she had never lived at the relevant address, and never had a credit card (why this second piece of information was important I don’t know). This also seems a bit of an odd way to do it (Solicitor:’Your name has come up in a bankcruptcy check’; Damyanti:’Oh – that can’t be me, I’ve never been bankcrupt’; Solicitor:’That’s OK then’)
After we have exchanged, it will take a minimum of 5 working days to get to ‘completion’ – the day when all the money goes through, and the whole deal is done. So we are currently hoping that we might get the receipt on Monday or Tuesday. We could then move on the 15th or 16th. Unfortunately I’m at the UCISA Conference from the 17th-19th, so if we don’t exchange on Monday or Tuesday, that pushes the completion date back to 22nd March at the earliest.
Having signed the contracts it does all feel like it is going to happen now, and although there is obviously still potential for problems, we decided we would start packing, hoping this wasn’t tempting fate. We’ve packed all our books, CDs, DVDs and Videos (16 boxes worth altogether). I’ve taken down the shelves we are taking with us, and taken the pictures down in the bedroom.
We are lucky working in a library – loads of boxes just hanging around waiting to be used!
We’ve also phoned a couple of van hire places to check prices and availability. I made friends with Charles at Practical Car and Van Hire, and although they are a bit more expensive, I suspect we will use them (since we have a personal recommendation from some friends as well).
We were meant to be going to Bolton this weekend, but as we drove to work on Friday, the car overheated, and we had to pull over to wait for it to cool off, and top it up with water. Although this was almost certainly because we had to sit in almost stationary traffic for ages, I didn’t want to try driving 350 miles straightaway (although the car made it back to Twickenham without a problem). This was a shame, as Damyanti’s Dad was looking forward to us coming up, and was disappointed we couldn’t make it. However, we will still go up before we go to the States.
I tried to book the car in for a service today just to get it checked out, but none of the places I tried seemed to be open – so I guess that will have to wait until Monday now.
We are starting to make lists of ‘things to do’. We did borrow a book from the library to help us, but it wasn’t much help. For a start, it was last revised in the late 90s, and (perhaps still suprisingly) suggested doing everything by post or telephone (how did we cope before the Internet?). It also was (not suprisingly) aimed at people moving a bit further than 0.4 miles. So, a lot of advice about a ‘survival’ kit (which, for some reason, included a hoover – which hardly seems like a piece of fundamental survival equipment to me), and calculating if you need an ‘unlimited mileage’ van hire, which didn’t seem very relevant!
I’m sure there is a handy website now that lists this kind of thing anyway.
So, a busy weekend. Where we have taken stuff off the walls, there are now holes which need filling, and I guess we’ll need to re-paint (I seem to remember somewhere we are obliged to ‘make good’ any damage made by removing shelves etc, but I’m not quite clear on how much we have to do). Anyway, the advantage of starting packing today means we have time to tackle these little jobs.
Hopefully on Monday we will have a definite move date, but I guess that we may find that it is actually going to take just that little bit longer (it always does), and so we will end up moving on 22nd March. I’m hoping that this isn’t the case at the moment, but realistically (or pessimistically), I think it will be.