I feel very trapped at the moment. It's funny how under stress people involved can be distorted into caricatures / archetypes falling into good or bad camps. Thus my estate agents seem distinctly wolf like to me, my buyer a vulture with dark staring eyes, my ex a large slippery boa constrictor and my solicitor a hero. They all feel rather large, gigantic in fact and I feel very small, like the archetypal little old lady who is a long-term tenant in a house sold to a property developer. There is another monster on the block - the sales Progressor who spends her day bullying and harassing anyone who stand in the way of exchanging contracts. There was a big brouhaha yesterday because my solicitor evidently put the phone down on her. What you may ask can possibly be going on? The FMH had on offer made on it in October - a good offer. The buyer has made it quite clear on visits that she is going to gut the house. Yes I can see why but it was rather insensitive I thought to my delightful decorating taste. We are in a chain quite simply and my lovely flat is taking rather longer on the conveyancing side. My buyer is ready to exchange now and does not want to sign after Xmas. To me this seems a reasonable request as we are talking about a week's delay but the furies have been unleashed. I was drilled mercilessly into the ground by our young military estate agent yesterday as he attempted to pressurise me into breaking the chain. I was sick afterwards. Today I went dark and then my ex who is buying a thatch with the ow started messaging my elder daughter continually with extremely negative comments about me. He thought it should be fine for me to move out in the first week of Jan, move into a hotel for a few weeks and put everything into storage. I am continually staggered by his complete lack of care and concern for the woman he was married to for 21 years. This would cost me a bomb in London and what about the dog and cats. Tomorrow I expect a knock on my door from the estate agent. I have made my position clear. He of course gets on famously with the ex who feeds back to my daughter that everyone is really frustrated with me.
I really like that song Once in a Lifetime too, the whole Stop Making Sense album was delightfully strange. I remember listening to it in early high school at a friend's house and wondering why David Byrne wore that big suit.
Not being critical . Im not in your shoes and wouldn't want to be. Being in property (or slowly getting out of it) there are so many pitfalls . For example it used to be buyer beware when purchasing. Not any more. Some of the modern generation think they can sue .
So currently my daughter has a very complicated case on a house she sold last year. CH was working when property surveyed by surveyor. It then broke down 4 days after the idiot moved in. The case hinges on the statement ''good working condition'' as opposed to ''working condition''.
Just how is anyone supposed to know when CH will stop working.
96 pages of evidence from their side alone !! All now disproved of course.
Xmas is always the worst time to complete/exchange/move etc because of extended holidays etc .
Now this may sound funny but I trade in property and shouldn't have any attachment to it as its only a house. But I do !!
I put my work into doing it up/repairing etc. So when I sell one its sad to see it go. Its been even worse when I have had to sell my own home. One reason I pulled out all the stops to keep my MFH. But every time I have sold the new place has become the adventure to make it my own. You will too.
So make it yours and then you can happily say ''ITS MINE ALL MINE''
Good luck with the move and lets hope the predicted snow holds off !!
Polar - a friend of mine talked today about trying not to be the victim or create an enemy. Normally I don't but this particular set of circumstances have tested my normal position or perhaps I should say mental health. I had bought two houses before and then we exchanged and on the same day. This is my mentality. This time I am working alone with my ex against me. As Shoegirl suggested I have negotiated to prevent running up high costs and now have long stop completion date and so I will break the chain. I can only hope that my flat will exchange early in the New Year. Anyway it seems to be resolved now and hopefully I won't be out of pocket. When I was married, we took more risks but I have become risk averse on a low income. A costly mistake can set me back weeks but yes it is great that the FMH has finally sold.
Shoegirl - thank you for your robust response as always. Funnily enough I remember reading your blogs on moving when I first joined wiki. I found them very helpful knowing already at that stage that this would one day be happening to me. I seem to remember it took you a while to grow accustomed to your new home which makes sense. It must feel strange at first. Eliza - yes that Talking Heads song - I remember it and the words. So apt. Yes perhaps it is best to step out from these four walls into a new life. This is a hard time of the year for me as my father died suddenly three years ago and the family seemed to fall apart afterwards - the domino effect. The new place if I get it is full of light, with lovely views and a landscaped garden that I don't have to work on. Fingers crossed.
Yes Stem. You can exchange/complete in the same hour but thats not essential.
Here on Wiki of all places there are indications of broken promises and broken dreams.
Basically the law in the UK is that there is no deal on property until the fat lady sings. The fat lady singing being completion. Yes the exchange date is when you become liable buy but that is still not a guarantee to buy. Yes the seller can sue etc for lost monies in connection with the sale. Thats no consolation for maybe losing the next property.
I always advise the seller to ask for a deposit, non refundable.
There are far to many ignorant people buying houses who know the law. Know it to an extent. They have dreams above their expectations or abilities to get a mortgage.
The MMR review caught a lot out. Using a basic calculator on mortgage sites gives a rough idea. BUT in the past income less household expenses counted. Now its household expenses plus contracted liabilities like 2 x Ã‚Â£50 a month iphone contracts and a personal lease on a car for Ã‚Â£250. Add in Ã‚Â£50 a month Sky package and these idiots find the mortgage offer is far lower than expected. They are contracted to these outgoings so there is no escape.
Any good estate agent should check viability first. Most don't.
Result wasted time all round.
Another big problem is setting time limits. We are conditioned in an internet age to want instant results. EXCEPT for housing !! I had one property sale delayed by post delays. For goodness sake the solicitors premises were next door to each other !!
We also assume that people are doing their jobs. Nope. Whilst there is no urgency work is done in rotation. Well they have 6 weeks to mess about. It soon jolts them if you tell the buyer you are dropping out unless finished by a certain date. As I said it took me 4 days from offer to completion.
Of course estate agents push. They are in business and their job is to sell the house. I wonder how many employees on here would be happy with excuses like ''we are not paying your salary this month because Mr.Smith doesn't want to move until after his 2 week holiday ''!!!
Not being critical Stem but on one hand you don't want to lose your purchase and on the other don't want to be inconvenienced. Wouldn;t it be nice if all concerned sat round a table and thrashed everything out and agreed a timetable !!! Sending letters back and forward between 2 mortgage companies, 2 solicitors, 2 estate agents , a buyer and a seller all takes time. This is in addition to the property you are buying. Add into that the searches, land registry etc and its a nightmare . The home information pack was meant to do away with much of this.
but it was abolished.
The foibles of lenders just add more paperwork. My daughter got a mortgage but had to use a different solicitor because the normal solicitor only had 2 partners instead of 3. The new solicitor even ended up trying to buy the WRONG HOUSE !!! OMG.
Communication is the key so if I were you Stem I would be on the phone daily prompting and agreeing to dates. And a solicitor going on holiday is NO EXCUSE. Anyone involved in the conveyancing could read through the notes in minutes and take over. Most of the work is done by office girls anyway.
Good luck and just think once its all over 2016 will be a better year and its now your job to make it better !!!
Stem - wading back in here because I remember you posted earlier about your home being your brick mother. I have thought about that a lot since then, before and after my own move. And I would say: Not really. I know what you mean. It feels safe, familiar etc. Outside the brick walls feels scary. But what if your mother was infantilising you? And what if you no longer need her? What if you have grown out of that stage?
I realise that my own home loomed far too large in my life. I felt as though my early potential had been squandered. I had turned into a fat, neurotic, stay at home mum. I had perfect children and for much of the time I thought I had a pretty good husband. And my home. So I may be a failure, but look what a wonderful home and family I have created. Don't look at me. Look at my kids. Look at my garden.
That has all been stripped away now. I mean, the husband is an x and is an arse. The kids - well, still perfect, but one has rejected me, so no more happy families. My expensive, beautiful home is gone. The trappings of success. Guess what? I now live in the back of beyond - paid a lot of money for my new home and am glad of it, but it was virtually every penny I had, and 20% of the FMH so obviously a step down in many ways. And the children who live here tell me time and again and seem to mean it - they prefer this one.
Plus: I never left the old place. If I saw friends, they came round. I was the hostess etc. When money was tight (even before separation) I sat tight. The four walls. It was not good for me.
I am not saying any of these things is true for you. But I do feel, knowing you a little, and having been through something similar, that you no longer need this particular mummy. Once you have cut the apron strings, scary though it is, I think you will find you don't fall, but fly. In my own experience, the lightness and relief is wonderful. Not to say there aren't complications, problems (my floor is coming up - now what?) and days when I want to cry because I turn into my new street and my heart sinks and the words from the Talking Heads burst into my head 'this is not my beautiful home! this is not my beautiful wife!' etc. You know? Once In A Lifetime. It goes on: And you may ask yourself 'My God!... What have I done?' - I hear this every time I peer into every house in the street because I still can't recognise my own home until I find the only one in the street that doesn't have net curtains!
But - and this is the point, Stem - much as I feared moving, I am so glad it's done. You will be too. Do what you feel is right of course, but from where I am my feeling is: clinch the deal, take the money, move, breathe.
It's hard being on the end of it, I know. So you need to do what is right for you and not get railroaded into something where you lose out and other people gain because of it. I'd encourage you to make decisions for the right reasons. Just think about what is really right for you and give him the bad stuff back, all that blame and disrespect back to him because it doesn't belong to you. Just put yourself in a bubble and let thisbounce off you, you don't need to be a sponge absorbing all this.
Right decision for the right reason. If this means you incur some expenses that disproportionately impact your share of sale this becomes a negotiation point perhaps. Saving money isn't always the right reason but how it is paid for might be something that needs to be addressed.
Do what is right for you. The estate agent is chasing commission. Your ex wants his money. Everyone else is worrying about what they have to gain from the sale. So, decide what you want and stick to it. Don't take any more calls/visits from the estate agent or anyone else and tell them email only, you are busy and are not able to take calls. That way you can control when you look at it and in my experience people are less agressive and more concise in emails.
The buyer may want to gut the house. Of course it is emotional when you are letting go of something that has been such a big part of your life like a house and it's hard not to take it personally when people plan changes. I moved a few years ago now and I realised my old house, the FMH had really become part of me and letting go wasn't easy. The desire to make a new house ones own isn't always about not liking the previous owners taste. I've made changes to houses before because I wanted to put my stamp on it, not because I didn't like the way something had been done.
Sometimes we perceive things in a certain way because of our own state of mind. We find things more difficult to hear and to deal with. Your buyer perhaps is only thinking of her own plans, it doesn't mean she necessarily is being critical or insensitive maybe. I remember feeling crushed about comments people made to me at times in my own journey, we are all human and at tough points how can we not feel more sensitive.
You ex is only thinking of himself. I too remember feeling completely bewildered at the time, how he could just turn off those feelings like a tap and walk away leaving me with the burden of responsibility for picking up the pieces that he left behind whether that be me paying a mortgage whilst unemployed, leaving me with no money, there was more but I get bored when I think about it these days.
All this happened five years ago for me and I've been moved in my new home for over two of those years so what I am about to say comes with a hell of a lot of time water under the bridge. Do I think really my ex did stop caring and just walked away skipping happily? No I don't, not now. His way of separating from me was to run away, he couldn't handle the responsibility, the brokenness of what he had left behind. So he ran and created something else with someone else as a way of evading an ending. My ex I think wasn't relational, he didn't have those abilities, that compassion, that empathy, the strength needed to really work through difficulties in life whatever they may be, a relationship, job loss or whatever.
Did his lack of being relational and self aware mean he didn't care about me? Who really knows but I do think these days that it's much less black and white. That al belonged to him, it is who he is and that goes with him. What I can say though is when it stopped meaning anything to me at all then I started to see the situation much more objectively. I certainly could not have done that right in the middle of living through the aftershocks
of marriage breakdown.
I'd say your ex is behaving in a manner that is self serving and inconsiderate because of his own limitations. Texting your daughter is merely a sign of those limitations in action. If I were his new lady buying the thatch with him and saw him behaving in this manner towards his ex wife and family, I would run for the hills, immediately. She obviously can't spot the red flags either but none of this is your issue in a sense. I'm just encouraging you to reframe some of these things because his behaviour isn't about you or your 21 year marriage and him not valuing that shared history It is about his limitations and not being able to relate to others in a healthy functional way.
Thank you lovely wikis for your support. Funnily enough my therapist advised me 3 years ago to get out as fast as possible which is something Eliza you have raised. I think I have become institutionalised within my home and the world out there feels cold and unattractive. I am completely painfully aware that my ex does not care twopence for me. Tonight the estate agent arrived at the door with a contract and a demand that I return it on Monday am at 9. My solicitor has now gone on his Xmas holiday. The long stop completion date agreed on the phone is nowhere in the contract. I have to get this bit sorted as I will have to rent in January, rehome the pets and put everything in storage for possibly only 2 weeks. It's very hard selling a property when you are divided. The ex has clearly been working against me and I have little negotiation power except where signing comes to play. Yes I know it is best to get on with it but my finances are stretched to the limit on the flat. I can't raise a mortgage because of debt accrued through divorce so my mother and sister are lending me a bit to be able to buy it. If I have to vacate on the 7th Jan, I will have to rent which will wreck my buying potential. It is scary how property prices are booming. I take comfort from knowing that most of you are on the other side, you have done it and moved on.
That does sound unnecessarily aggressive, but I imagine that rude attitude is par for the course these days. Don't listen to what your ex says about you, you've put up with some pretty shabby treatment over the years, so ignore his opinion of you - it quite frankly doesn't matter any more. You don't need to know.
The agent is way out of order speaking to you in that manner and should not have criticsed you to your daughter. You can tell him that people are pretty frustrated with his attitude too(us of course!)
Remain as calm as possible and just do what's best for you. Sorry it's come to this at the end, but the sooner you get into your flat the better.
Hope all this stressful and time-consuming stuff gets sorted soon Stem and you get to move into your own place which sounded lovely. It must be very frustrating having your ex hassling and criticising you as well. Mine was enraged and abusive when I repeatedly asked him to move his enormous amount of crap out of the garage prior to selling. Safer to not expect your ex to show you any consideration or concern even when the sale will benefit them; try to ignore his unhelpful comments. When this is all done hopefully you won't have much contact with him again.