He Who Dares, Wins (Or: How to Buy A House in Seven Hours)

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I’m back!  Did ya miss me?

The evil jetlag has got me, and I’m writing this at 5.30 am, wide awake and zingy.  No doubt by 3 pm, I’ll be feeling like death warmed up and wanting to crawl into bed.  Oh well.

The day we left to go on holiday – Wednesday 23rd October – was up there amongst the most stressful of my life.  And, eventually, one of the best days, too.

You may remember that whilst we were holiday in Greece at the end of September, the elderly owner of the house that we were buying pulled out of the deal three days before exchange of contracts.  To say we were gutted would be an understatement.

Anyway, about 36 hours before we were due to leave for the Maldives, it became apparent that said elderly chap had reconsidered and wanted to sell once again.  Ashley and  I discussed it and agreed that although we would still love to buy the house, we did not want any possible purchase hanging over us whilst we were away with the potential to ruin another holiday, should the seller have (another) change of heart.  We decided to confirm to them that we were still very interested, and would be happy to open negotiations again on our return.

We duly did this on the afternoon of Tuesday 22nd October, and on the Wednesday morning, three hours before we were due to leave for Heathrow, the message came back from the vendor that he would sell to us at  a price we were both happy with – IF WE EXCHANGED CONTRACTS BEFORE WE WENT ON HOLIDAY!

Technically, as the searches and paperwork were still valid from our previous attempt to purchase, this was possible.  But neither party had signed contracts, and the money had to get from our account to our solicitor’s before end of business that day.

So, we spent the next two hours in the lawyer’s office going over the contract, covenants and mounds of other various paperwork, signed the contract, and left (late) for Heathrow.

The money was on its way, but hadn’t made its way through the banking system for the next several hours, which was awful.  As I drove, Ashley made phone calls.  We got to my parents’ house, in Bournemouth, from where we were all being picked up in a taxi for the rest of the trip to the airport.

At 4.15 pm, we had a call from our solicitor saying the money was in place, but he couldn’t get hold of the vendor’s solicitor to exchange contracts.  We were desperately worried that the vendor had had another change of mind and decided not to go ahead.

At 4.30 pm, as the taxi arrived to pick us up, there was still no news, and I began to lose hope.

At 4.45 pm, in the taxi, we got the call we’d been waiting for: contracts had been exchanged, and on 7th January 2014, the house will become ours.

I literally felt the weight drop from my shoulders, and let out a howl of glee!  What better way to start your holiday?

Many, many celebratory drinks were consumed in the onboard cocktail bar on the plane that evening!

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**Apologies for the very picture-heavy gallery at the top of this post – I didn’t have the time or energy to sort through and pick out the best photos, so just dumped the whole lot into a slideshow. **

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27 thoughts on “He Who Dares, Wins (Or: How to Buy A House in Seven Hours)

  1. Love it, the drama, the tension, the outcome and most of all the house, fabulous place that will make the most wonderful home. Now you will sail through the rest of the year with a smile on your face. Well done.

  2. congrats. it is a beauty. I cant wait to see what changes you make. it is architecturally wonderful. some accents here and there to highlight the extremely lovely parts and I would say you will have a fabulous home worthy of any house and home magazine. Good for you.

    Arent Devon view to die for?

    A lovely home to be

  3. Brilliant! You are right – made your hols better by the relief. Just as well you got on a fancy plane after all that stress at the end!!!

  4. Also reading this with jetlag at 5.30am ish! Amazing views with the new house. Some interesting furniture with previous owner…. It looks like a one off custom house – and very different from your current barn but equally as unique!! You must be so excited!! Where are you going to paint first?

  5. Congratulations Caroline, I’m so happy it all worked out for you in the end.
    Now to start packing up your present home and planning where to put it all in the new one
    Cathy

  6. Oh Congratulations ! Wow how exciting ! And I love the pics how fab a cocktail bar !! X much love Dawn , can’t wait to hear about the new house

  7. Wow, firstly Congratulations on the new house and I can’t wait to see what you do with it, it is huge! and the cocktail bar on the plane….wow lol , glad it all turned out well, it was meant to be after all ,so very pleased and can only imagine the relief after all the stress of it all and can also imagine the jubilation and many drinks to celebrate x Dawn

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