Week 0

As many readers will know, I’ve lived in Abingdon for nearly seven years now. It’s a nice town and I have a nice flat. However, with working from home likely to be the norm rather than the exception in my industry going forwards, I’m starting to want more space. Oh, and I’ve long had an ambition to live a lot closer to those dreaming spires Matthew Arnold wrote about.

Other motivations include moving from leasehold to freehold. The management company around here are excllent, and they’ve managed to hold our charges completely flat (see what I did there?) for two years, at a five-year low. A far cry from the horror stories about leasehold coming out of certain developments in London, but even so, service charges and ground rent are money in someone else’s pocket, not mine.

So with all that said - join me, dear reader, in the diary of a moving experience.

I won’t be naming any companies involved in this process until the end, since I don’t yet know whether they deserve the publicity.

In this 0th week of the process, I’ve:

  • Accepted an offer on my own place
  • Had an offer accepted on a new place
  • Hired a solicitor to do the conveyancing
  • Got a mortage advisor on the case

My buyer has nothing to sell, and my seller has no onward chain. So we should be all set to get this done “quickly”, at least by the standards of a famously long drawn-out process.

I’ll post weekly updates here on how it all goes. Nothing is guaranteed until contracts are exchanged (a fact lost on certain participants in this process who seem to think it’s possible to guarantee dates!) so this story doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending. But one has to travel hopefully!

Pro tip for anyone else going down this road: hire a decent local law firm to do your conveyancing, and just accept that it’s going to cost you more. Last time (seven years ago) I made the mistake of using a “conveyor belt” large firm who stack the cases high and sell them cheap. I never spoke to the same person on the phone twice, and they took forever to handle queries. The end result was a zero-chain purchase which dragged on for 4-6 weeks longer than it should have.

This time, I’ve learned my lesson, read the Google reviews very carefully, and got a local firm. The fact that both estate agents know them and have worked with them is a good sign.