When I bought my flat, I was pretty clueless, but my parents were there to help with the deposit. With them moving abroad, they were determined to get me out of rented accommodation, which I’d been in since I was 16 (moving home intermittently when things went wrong). My budget was pretty tight, being a single mum and having zero savings, but after looking at some awful flats, I finally found the one for me.
With its own entrance and parking, there was potential for the garage to be changed into a garden and it was walking distance to the school I wanted my daughter to go to. The second bedroom was small, but big enough for a bed, wardrobe and drawers, so it suited our needs perfectly.
October 2011, I put an offer in and had it excepted straight away, I even managed to include most of the furniture, so I didn’t need to worry about buying it when I moved.
This is where things started to get difficult. I already had my mortgage agreed in principle with my financial advisor, but they wouldn’t offer the mortgage with the lease only having 79 years remaining. With a bit of searching, we managed to secure some extra funds and renew the lease.
All the searches started to go through and the money started being spent. This is something I didn’t realise! Naively, I thought all the money for fees would be paid on exchange of contracts, however, I had to pay a deposit to the solicitors and valuation fees to the mortgage company.
February 2012, it was time to exchange and prepare for completion. My world felt like it was about to fall apart as I got a call from the financial advisor to say I had a CCJ against my name and the bank would no longer lend me the money. I had unknowingly been taken to court over something I would have won if I knew about it! After getting the solicitors involved and trying to keep my head above water, we managed to get the CCJ set aside on the basis it was sent to an address I no longer had access to.
I’m not allowed to talk about the details of the case, as it was agreed as part of the settlement, but with the CCJ removed and the seller of the flat being incredibly patient, the move was back on. I will say, always check your credit report Noddle have a great free site you can use.
April 2012, I am a homeowner at last! A few days before my 30th birthday, I collected the keys, went and let myself in, then burst into tears. All the pain I had gone through came flooding out. I loved and hated the place at the same time, somehow it had been unwittingly linked to my past. It took a week for my mum to tell me that she had packed up my things and moved my stuff into the flat. Once I had my creature comforts in place, I was happier to be in the flat, my flat!
Scroll forward to 2017, the garage was converted into a garden complete with artificial grass, walls have been decorated, Betty dog has been raised, the child has grown into a gorgeous young lady, and I’m ready to move into a house. I love my flat still, but I want that red brick modern house!
January 2018, my flat goes in the market and an offer comes in with full asking price, I’m excited, I could be in my new home by Easter!
February 2018, buyer has pulled out! There is a clause in the lease relating to ground rent increases in 25 years…I pay to get this changed, but now they want something else! Frustrated, but determined, another person comes along to view, full asking price offer again! Amazing, I could be in by my birthday.
April 2018, birthday comes and goes, but paperwork is all signed, ready for completion on 4th May.
May 2018, buyer has pulled out…no I’m not joking! I feel sick, everything is spinning, the house I was buying has been put back on the market and all the money on fees has been wasted! Oh and the reason he’s pulled out “I’ve met a girl who live in Southampton, so I’m going to move in with her!” I mean it was less than 8 weeks, I hope you marry and live happily ever after, otherwise you’ve also wasted a lot of money for nothing!
So here I am, money spent, feeling disheartened, but ultimately I do have a lovely flat and somewhere safe to come home to. I’ve managed to calm down a bit and if it sells, great, otherwise I will stay here for a few more years and make the most of what I have. You can take a look at my flat on Rightmove here