The purchase of the house hit a few problems on the way that others may learn from.

First mistake and it may seem minor when purchasing a house, but make sure the current owner of the house plans to remove everything you don’t want left there, and get it in writing.

This house was fully furnished when we viewed it, though no one had lived there for at least a year. Now the owner had listed on the inventory they planned to take all the furniture, but a week before completion it became clear he intended to leave a LOT of stuff!!

We insisted everything on the inventory he said would be removed was removed before completion with enough time for us to confirm this (we completed on a Monday, so checked the Saturday before). Had we not confirmed the owners position, we could have been stuck with a house full of very old furniture (a neighbour told us it took 4 large skips to remove the furniture!!) with no easy way to make the vendor remove their belongings after we legally owned the property!!

We should have had the carpets removed as part of the purchase, but missed the oppurtunity (not something you think of as important at the time), so are stuck with removing over 20 old shabby carpets (some rooms had two carpets laid!!). So far I’ve removed the carpets from the top 2 floors (6 rooms, around 10 carpets) and a few from other rooms and it’s taken two days of not so easy work and they take up a lot of space! Could have saved myself a lot of hassle just by adding that the carpets should be removed early in the sale. They are going to fill a large skip by themselves.

Next problem we had was not recieving enough information from our solicitor. For example there was a mention of planning permission for a conservatory, but there was no way a conservatory could be added to this property and it left us with concerns that a previous owner had obtained planning permission for a conservatory and had built a large kitchen extension instead!! Turned out the planning permission was regarding a neighbouring property, so we had nothing to worry about. But, because we didn’t get this information early we insisted on seeing copies of all planning permission for all alterations(kitchen extension, bathroom extension, basement conversion, attic conversion) and this added over 10 weeks to completing the purchase. Had we recieved more details at the time it could have saved a lot of wasted time, so badger your solictor for answers early on, that’s what they are paid for afterall.

After that it’s a problem I have. I’m a very busy person, I tend to work 12-16 hour days so when I’m told someone is going to do something I tend to beleive it’s going to get done and so work on the understanding it’s moving forward. With this purchase it’s backfired a few times, for example in the reports there’s mention of a damp proof course gaurantee that was suppossed to be in the first set of papers. It wasn’t so I asked for a copy and since that time have worked on the assumption we have that document. Planned on claiming on the gaurantee last week, but couldn’t find the damp proof course gaurantee (we still don’t have a copy despite contacting our solictor a few days back). So don’t assume everything that’s suppossed to be done automaticaly will be.

On a positive note we did use a mortgage consultant (UK based) who did a heck of a lot of ground work for us at no cost (they get commssions for setting things up). Might not be we got the very best deais available (mortgage is at 4.79% variable for 3yrs which is near the lowest we’ve seen), but saved us a lot of time/effort/research that I lust didn’t have the time to do. I’ll post a seperate post about the company sometime. In the meantime if you want the details drop a note with your email address as a comment and it will remind me to make the post or something.