Wednesday 28 October 2015

Conveyancing UK style

Buying a new home is always very stressful.  Buying a new home after living abroad is even more so!

After being aided by who appeared to be a well established, long running estate agent (and I should know as I used to work for one years ago) I suppose I did what we always used to say not to do - that was to use a conveyancer/solicitor attached to the estate agents and/or vendor.

Years ago it just used to be that you never used the same solicitor as your purchaser/vendor.  Mainly in case there was a conflict of interests.  But now with the modern method of having teams of conveyancers associated with the estate agents and most of the work done online it seemed logical to use one of theirs as they must be working for the estate agent and should therefore get everything completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

To begin with everything rushed through with an efficiency and attentiveness that surprised and pleased me.

But now nearly two months since the offer was accepted the silence is deafening!

So after a chance meeting with someone and mentioning who we were using as conveyancers I was told how awful they were and not to touch them!  Too late now I'm afraid but what could be the problem.

Searching the internet for reviews on the said company all I found were bad reviews.  Not so much about the people but how slow and unprofessional they were (one person waited 6 months to exchange).

But what I find frustrating is the lack of communication - from the estate agents and the conveyancers.

I have no idea whether the vendor has found a property to purchase or whether there is a chain involved.  I have no idea whether a survey has been done by my mortgage providers and I have no idea who my point of contact is!

Technology might be brilliant but good old fashioned communication and keeping your client informed at all stages beats it hands down.

Too late for me to do anything now - but just wait!

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Checking my link

Just quickly checking my link as I have now totally reverted to my original blog as my Living In Mallorca blog is naturally redundant now that I have returned to the UK.

I will write more later but I am finding it very difficult to fit everything in now.  So what has changed?

While working full time in London and rising at 5:30 to go to work and returning at any time up to about 20:00 I still managed to find the time to write my blog, do my painting, create web pages and internet shops, do online courses and a multitude of other things.  Now, working from home, I barely have time to anything!  I think the nearly 3 years of living in Spain made me too laid back.  Got to get my get up and go working again :)

Oh well on with work and more later!

Wednesday 7 October 2015

Totally Responsible

have to admit to being rather scared that at the age of 61 (nearly 62) I have taken on the sole responsibility of an 8 year mortgage to enable us to buy a home.

It is the return of the 'what-ifs'.

What if I am made redundant, what if I am ill, what if my other eye gets a cataract.

I guess being responsible for the lives of two others - one human and one canine - is a very scary part of life and a position that I am not used to being in.  But here we go, one day at a time, trusting that everything will be ok.

I seem to have spent the past three years taking on the role of decision maker and problem solver - not a role that I am naturally born for but hey ho - go with the flow...

Saturday 3 October 2015


Home - so many definitions of the word.  Home is where the heart is, home is where I hang my hat etc.
For me home is a feeling of belonging.  Let me explain.

Living in Mallorca I loved the island and made some dear friends but I never felt I belonged.  The weather was great, the way of life and maƱana attitude were a novelty at first.  But my roots weren't there, my whole way of life was far different to the way they lived and the language was a barrier that I had little time, while working full time, to do anything about.  It was down to me to change or for me to leave.  I chose to leave.  My family were in the UK and while not in one another's pockets it was comforting to know that if I returned to the UK then I would at least be on the same island!

Upon returning to the UK we looked around trying to find somewhere to live.  What area should we go to, where could we afford?  While waiting for our house sale to complete we looked at lots of different areas.

The coastal areas whilst being by the seaside and having their own attractions just didn't feel right, we didn't belong, and most were out of our price range anyway.

The countryside around the Weald of Kent is the most beautiful I have seen but the areas I can afford I do not want to live in!  The areas I would have wanted to live I could not afford.

Northwest Kent where we had lived for 30 years was well out of reach now as prices had risen as the regeneration project was under way.

Then we returned to an area in the southeast to view a couple of properties.  Between viewings we had to waste some time and we sat by a sports field just watching the wildlife.  I got out and took Freddy for a walk and listened to the birds singing.  Blackbirds, starlings, sparrows and finches - just every day birds that I grew up with and a eureka feeling came over me.  I was back home!  Like someone who had wandered for years and finally returned to their nest I felt I was back where I belonged.

Now the area is not exactly where I was born and bred being a few miles distant but everything was familiar.  I could remember things from when I was younger.  Oh that's where such and such happened and that's where I did so and so. The familiarity was comforting!  I could relax.  I knew how the system worked.  I knew how people thought or behaved.  I was no longer an outsider.

I was home and so I put in an offer on a house which was accepted.  There are still the normal searches and legal hoops to jump through but this is the area we have chosen.  In the countryside but not too far from the towns.  About midway between one side of the family and the other.

Your roots, your past, the memories and the familiarity - they mean more than you imagine - and to me they make a place a home. I belong, I am home.