Thursday, 9 February 2017

Another Little Life Update; or, How a Plant Tried to Make me Homeless

I know that it wasn't so long ago that I made a little life update, but, well, a lot of things have happened since then and I thought that rather than repeatedly post nonsensical twitter updates that don't mean anything unless you know the whole story, I'd just type them all up here instead.

Life lately... where can I start?!

In my last life update, I mentioned that I was having some problems with the mortgage on my new flat taking forever. However, my solicitor became optimistic that we would be able to get everything completed and complete the following week as she was now only waiting on one document to turn up, and so I officially signed over my flat to a new tenant for the end of the following week as my rent was due then anyway.

So, for context. This phone call all happened last Wednesday. I figured a move in date of Friday (as in tomorrow) would be perfect as I have the day off anyway, and my flat officially gets signed over to the new tenant on Sunday so that gave me a couple of days to sort things out if it all took longer than expected. I have a friend who doesn't live too far from me who has a spare bedroom and was happy to have me stay for a few days if anything did go wrong, so as far as I was concerned I had everything worked out.

However alas, it was not to be. On Thursday I was called by my solicitor again, who informed me that there was now a problem. There was a case of Japanese Knotweed that had somehow escaped all the reports up until that day, and as such the property wasn't going ahead. I didn't know anything about this plant before this whole fiasco started, but apparently it is an invasive species with really strong roots that are capable of doing damage to all sorts of things and banks are really hesitant to give you a mortgage of the bush is there. The solicitor even sent me over a lovely diagram of the property including a star where the bush is alongside a photograph of it. I had to laugh.

Unfortunately, this also meant that I was officially homeless the weekend after. I had gone from my beautiful flat, to going through a whole lot of drama to buy a new one, and would be homeless the following week with all the fees I spent on the solicitor and everything else gone. I dealt with a few moral issues as on a technicality I hadn't fully signed over the property to the new tenancy and I could still withdraw it. I thought about it, but it wasn't his fault and he shouldn't have to suffer for it.

On Friday I called my solicitor again, as she had stated that if the plant was receiving treatment then the banks were likely to be more forgiving about it, and as such I called her for an update. She didn't have one. And that is the start of the story as to how on Friday night I found myself walking around a park in the dark and in the rain using a torch and a map to go and find the location of a plant. No really. The results were mixed; sadly, the plant was very definitely there. But, the plant is not actually in the grounds of the property. So, in short, the apartment I'm trying to buy is in a set of three apartments that have a big shared residents garden to the back, and then a fence which backs off onto a park. My flat is the one at the very front, the park is at the very back. The plant in question is not actually in the areas of the development, it's in the park but near to the fence. Apparently, this was still a problem.

Last time I had to find a flat short notice, it really didn't work out. It took me nearly a month and I was at the point of being willing to accept literally anything that came up - luckily, I did get my Stratford flat and I love it very very much so it all worked out in the end.

To my relief, this time around it was actually easier. I found a flat near Canary Wharf that was willing to let me move in three days later, which tied in perfectly with when I would need to move anyway. I looked at three flats, and two of them were significantly nicer and also cheaper, HOWEVER the flat I ended up choosing had the very siginifcant bonus of a 30 day rolling contract. Unfortunately the price tag reflects this and is very very high, however the flat is big and the 30 day contract is perfect for me. This means that if the flat I'm purchasing DOES come through I can just arrange it to all be done at the same time. If it doesn't, then if I like it I'll just deal with the cost and if I don't then I've got plenty of time to find a replacement flat without having to rush and risk being homeless.

Unfortunately, as you may expect from places that offer short term contracts and let me move in so quickly, this hasn't been short of stress either. The price has raised twice already, as has the time that we are able to move in from. It's all been a bit chaotic. I think it's finally sorted, which means I had better pack tomorrow as we're moving the day after. I hope. I'm still not convinced, and I may be posting another little life update soon telling you it all fell apart again, but let's hope this is it for now....!

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