First job when looking for a new house, once you’ve set a budget, and fixed on an area, is to get on to Rightmove. The bible of all houses for sale everywhere.
Our budget was fixed +/- £20,000 and our area was decided on within a 10 mile radius or so of our jobs. We also took into account where our family is located and areas we were already familiar with. We had our list of requirements; location, proximity to shops, big garden, potential to extend, at least 3 beds, decent amount of off-road parking. Pretty much everything else would be addressed once we had extended and made it our own.
Perfect, we narrowed down potential properties to …………one! The only one which ticked all the boxes.
A viewing and 2nd viewing confirmed it was just right with potential, it even had planning permission for an extension, albeit not quite as we would want it but at least it was there.
A search on the internet revealed the sellers had tried to sell a number of times before (Zoopla historic data) so clearly were keen to move out. They were buying a property with no upward chain so we fixed an ideal completion date of the end of our school term in December which meant we could all aim to a common point which everyone was happy with.
Solicitors were appointed, the mortgages, both buy to let and porting on the existing mortgage were agreed, all we needed to do was to pay for a valuation/ home buyers report to get the mortgage finalised. But suddenly everything went very quiet, the sellers had changed their solicitor and would need to restart the process.
With their new solicitors in place, my solicitor wanted money upfront to conduct the searches, ‘just as soon as their paperwork comes through’ We started to get nagging doubts, why was everything quiet, where was their paperwork? So I asked the solicitor to let me know as soon as the paperwork arrived and I’d send the money over for the searches, my nagging doubt meant I didn’t want to spend money if anything fell through. She understood.
Pressed by our mortgage provider though, we paid for the valuation just to get the process underway. That came back satisfactory and our mortgage company rang to say everything was in place and the paperwork would be sent to our solicitor. It was all systems go…… or so we thought!
The following day, the dreaded phone call arrived, the seller had decided not to sell after all, apparently they were having some problems with buying, I fully suspect they couldn’t get a new mortgage. He was self-employed, she was part-time it was never going to be straightforward. However we think they had known this from day one, but were ever hopeful! I wish we had known about the ever hopeful optimist before we had even got started on the process and not only paid out money, but had invested heart and soul in the property.
How deflated do we feel right now, and cheated of the opportunity we had planned for. Back to the drawing board seems a hard task to contemplate now.