London

On moving house

So. Where are we? Three months after accepting an offer on our house, we are still in Islington. We still have not exchanged. We have pulled a lot of hair – very much to the dismay of Big M who didn’t have a lot of hair to begin with. We got in a few silly arguments about how to proceed. And we changed our minds about 100 times along the way.

Finally, we told the buyer to lop off last Sunday.

It has been an emotional three months. The same day we accepted the offer back in February, another potential buyer came forward with a higher offer. £30,000 higher, to be precise. We decided to stick with buyer #1. After all, we had given her our word, and it would have been morally wrong to go back to her and drive the price further up. It would have been bad for our Karma, right?

Well, you know what they say. Karma is a B.I.T.C.H.

We should have been pricking our ears when her lawyer started negotiations with the phrase ‘Oh. That seems to be a very high price for a house.’

Surprisingly, we are not selling our house for a song. It’s a lovely house in excellent condition in Central London. This is reflected in the price.

During the past three months, the buyer’s lawyer turned out to be an anxious, panicky and hysterical wuss. An exchange was becoming more and more unlikely to happen and would have only been possible under an extensive conditional clause, which we weren’t willing to accept.

Plus, where we wanted to buy in Richmond, houses are rarely seen on the market. In fact, there was only one house we liked. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a garden and is 30% over budget.

So. We started to look into flats. But hold on. We are moving from a house into a flat? In Richmond? Nah, I don’t think so. If I am moving to the outskirts of town, I want bigger, brighter, bolder.

Of course, I can do downsizing. But if I do so, I might as well downsize in Kensington. Schools are great, antisocial behaviour is significantly lower than in Islington, and it is… well, it’s Kensington. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like it. I had enough of intellectual-creative f***ed-up-ness and shabby chic in my life. I prefer much more to be watched up and down by the sloaney ponies than being checked out for my rob-able value by the hoodies in this neighbourhood.

But. The Kensington property market is dried up. Recession? Definitely not here. What about buying a three bedroom flat for just under a million pounds. Oh, and by the way, the lease expires in two years. Why am I not ecstatically thrilled?

A pestering wuss of a lawyer, a property market as dried up as a potsherd and a lack of nerves on my side resulted in our decision not to sell. Yet.

Whist I was typing this, the buyer got back to us and told us that she decided to use another lawyer and to accept our proposed way to proceed. It’s not over yet.

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