This weekend we moved house. Normally something that is reasonably stressful and hard work- but even more so when you are 38 weeks pregnant! Something we’d hoped we wouldn’t have to do. Especially as the last time we moved was when I was 38 weeks pregnant with Ivy.
As soon as we found out that I was pregnant, all the way back in January, we knew that a house move would need to be on the cards. We never anticipated though, that the move would happen when I was quite so heavily pregnant (again!) and that it wouldn’t be our last move. We had really hoped that this would have been the final move. How wrong we were.
Moving house is never easy is it? It’s never the simple task you think it will be. Our first problem came when trying to sell our little Cheltenham terraced house. We always knew our house was too small for us if our family ever grew. In fact we always knew it was too small for our little family of three really, but hey- sometimes you have to make sacrifices! The size was one of them. What it lacked in size though, it made up for with a large kitchen, a utility room and a whole load of gorgeous wooden floorboards. It really was a lovely first family house and we had set about to make it a home, although we always knew it wasn’t our ‘forever home’.
Unfortunately due to a slowing market, high Cheltenham house prices and the fact our house was ‘small’ it took us a lot longer than anticipated to sell it. We had months of viewings, which meant months of keeping our house immaculate for said viewings. Now let me tell you, keeping an immaculate house is hard work, but keeping one with a toddler and when you are still in those first few months of pregnancy when absolutely everything is hard work and energy zapping- is near impossible. That first trimester, or first 20 weeks in my case, is so difficult as it is, and in between naps, extra bathroom visits (multiple times a day) to be sick and looking after Ivy, I was making sure that the house was clutter free, spotlessly clean and looking at its ‘best’. I of course wasn’t on my own, and luckily I have a very well trained husband who, having been taught well, is very domesticated and willing to get stuck into the house work. Phew!
We did, eventually have an offer on the house. Nearing the end of June we had an offer that was quite frankly laughable. The offer came in at considerably less than we had paid for the property just 18 months previously. Luckily we were able to negotiate this offer and managed to push the buyer up to a more reasonable offer that gave us what we needed in order for it to work for us. So that was that, first task complete. We had sold our house. But we all know that’s just one hurdle.
The next stage wasn’t too bad, we instantly started hunting the market in our desired location. It seemed like our search criteria was exactly the same as everyone else’s- and there was a ridiculous amount of competition for properties we liked, some of which we loved and lost because of it. So when our ‘dream home’ came on the market we jumped at it as quickly as possible and made sure we had the first viewing. We tried our hardest to give each other some sneaky looks and thumbs up for approval, and then whilst stood in the garden we made our offer, right there and then. We were straight away told not to hold our breath as this property still had another 14 viewings booked in over the next few days and likelihood was that the seller would go ahead with these to see if she received any other offers before reviewing them. Well this time, luck was on our side. She cancelled all viewings and accepted our offer. We were over the moon, and honestly couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
So where’s the catch I hear you asking! Well, to cut a long story short, the chain was incomplete. The seller we are purchasing from was apparently actively looking for a property, however it ended up taking her almost 4 months to find somewhere. In this time, we were having pressure added from our buyer and therefore started looking into ways of splitting our sale and purchase and we decided to continue with them both independently. In doing this, we have taken on a redemption fee from our mortgage provider and we are now the proud owners of…NOTHING!
Yesterday we moved house, whilst 38 weeks pregnant, but not into our house! We have moved into a rented property until our purchase is ready to go through. If we can manage this within 3 months, then we will be able to claim back the huge redemption fee and hopefully (keep everything crossed!) be in the ‘dream house’ before Christmas.
This is obviously not the ideal situation- but what it does mean, is that we have moved house before the babies arrival. Even this was a little touch and go on the day, I kept it pretty quiet, not wanting to alarm anyone, but I actually had a terrible night before the move and at about 5am on moving day I had convinced myself the baby was going to come! It didn’t, luckily, but I did spend the day enduring quite strong braxton hicks and constantly thinking ‘please just hold on until this evening’. And we’re still waiting…I’m going to blame stress for that one!
My advice to anyone else thinking of moving so close to their due date:
- Be prepared- we got hold of a load of boxes and started packing weeks in advance.
- Label everything- we initially started by packing up all the ‘stuff’ that we all have in our homes, that is not necessarily needed like; photo frames, music, books etc.
- Take the help- Family and friends are always offering in times of need, and it’s very easy to say ‘No, we’ll manage’. Well this is one of those times when you should most definitely say ‘YES PLEASE’ and if no one offers….ASK THEM!
and the last one…the one I always find the hardest…
- Don’t overdo it! Utilise the help you’ve got, be part of it so that you can make sure things happen like you want them to, so that you can make sure boxes get put in the correct place etc. But let others do the work for you. Just supervise.
And so our next hurdle, will inevitably be moving with a newborn!!!!
Any hints and tips will be gratefully received…
Here are some photos of the house, it’s a mess and the decor is questionable, haha but it’s a house and it’s doing a really important job!