The times, they are a-changing

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Recently, it’s been radio silence on the blog, and for good reason. I’ve been ill, think four whole weeks of gathering to myself every wintery illness under the grey sky (apart from stomach flu, thank GOODNESS). I’ve barely managed to drag myself out with the girls by the tips of my fingers. But it’s not all that’s been going on, and now that I am feeling more energetic and that I am not reeling as much from all the crazy happenings, I’m ready with an update.

Over the last year, we have given a regular glance to our local Help To Buy website in the hope that a suitable property would turn up, and it’s been a whole year of nothing. Then a couple of weeks ago, I casually went online to check it out again and there it was, a 2-bed house that was local, affordable, and… well, a bit small but with potential. We went to check it out, and it wasn’t bad. Badgerman wasn’t convinced that it was big enough for our family but it had a lot of storage space so I was talking myself into it, thinking this was all we could afford anyway and if we ever wanted to buy, this was as good as it was going to be.

The property prices in the South East of England are a bit steep to say the least, only a small notch down from London prices, which are astronomical. With the money you pay for a two bedroom house down here, you can buy a seven bedroom property in Yorkshire. FACT. So with our limited means, we basically can’t afford anything suitable and what we can afford, even a hobbit would balk at. Until 2 weeks ago I had yet to see a house that had a bedroom big enough for both our girls’ toddler beds. I knew we had to compromise somehow but I didn’t know where and how to draw the line.

Within 24 hours of visiting the 2-bed property, the housing agency was waiting our go-ahead and our financial advisor had a mortgage agreement in principle ready for us. We weren’t expecting this kind of turn around so were completely unprepared to make such a big decision! Then the next thing happened.

You know the saying ‘you wait for the bus and then two come at once? In my experience in Britain, it’s been a case of ‘you wait for a bus and three or four come at once and you have to walk all the way down the line and hope your bus is still there by the time you make it’. In any case, the saying is accurate.

The day I was going to arrange a second viewing, we heard about a new 3-bed property just round the corner in the next village, and it was beautiful and perfect and so much more spacious…

And so here we are: in the midst of purchasing our first home, a brand-new, not even finished house in a quaint English village. If all goes well, we will have completed by mid-January and moved in by the end of that same month. I’m suffering from a mild case of whiplash from everything. Two weeks ago, we were just thinking about Christmas and presents. Now I have a month to do Christmas and pack up a house. The move is happening in the midst of the deadline for school applications, I have no car, no job as yet (but looking), no preschool for Little Girl to go to in our new location, and a serious case of jitters. I’m excited with a slight edge of panic but when an opportunity like this arises, you just have to go and grab it.

So this is what I’ve been doing. It’s quite likely that I will only sporadically be on the blog in the next month or so; I know it’s been a while already but it’s going to be so manic I am not going to be able to stick to a schedule. Please accept my apologies in advance and happy Christmas to everyone.

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