Well, as a Wedding and Party Planner, I pride myself in my organisational skills and being a team player, however when you go through the purchasing and moving process for a flat, let me tell you that it is a total mine field and roller coaster.
Why, you may ask well, all I can say is if I do it again I have to toughen up for sure.
Now, I will share my story in an abbreviated version which I hope you’ll enjoy. From the sleepless nights to more grey hairs, to tears and then laughter.
It all started back in November last year when I had a call from an estate agent and, he said he had the perfect flat. Now, let’s face it how many times do they say that!
It was a Friday afternoon and off I went to see this lower ground flat which I didn’t want, but I had said I wanted a garden / outside space so had an open mind. And, it was love at first sight, it was absolutely perfect and it was going to be a new start for me, something that was then confirmed by a medium two days later.
So, I went away that weekend did the sums and re-visited on the Tuesday with a girlfriend, who was a local. The estate agent knew I was keen, why, well I wear my heart on my sleeve, so that resulted in about ten calls over that period. On the second visit the owners were at home and I just saw the space again and fell deeper in love as I could see myself there, and it was my friend who asked the questions and brought me back to reality. My friend’s second opinion confirmed it for me and it was full speed ahead. The next day, I appointed my solicitors and he was amazing and worth every single penny. If you want a painless process when it comes to the legal side of things you should definitely consider Farrar & Co at Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
Within, two weeks we had exchanged, there was no going back and still only my girlfriend had seen it, to some of my family’s dismay. During these two weeks, once I had my offer accepted even though we had an exchange date set, the estate agent would call me on average 3 times a day except Sunday’s, and sometimes more when no response from the lawyers so sorry to all my friends who are estate agents that was not good. At the time, I was also juggling work as I had a wedding going on, so the additional stress was certainly testing as it was not going to plan, and finally after five menu tastings it was only signed off on the Tuesday with the wedding on the Saturday – so thank goodness for highlights!
When, I put forward a proposal to a client for SJD Events and they agree to appoint me, I send them a contract and then I leave it for ten days or so, and then follow up, if I hounded them like I was, I would lose the work for sure.
I went back to the flat once again to look at the space for ideas but, I walked past the flat at least once or twice a day when I was in the neighbourhood with my godson, as I familiarised myself with what is known as the ‘Chelsea Beach’.
Over the Christmas period, reality was kicking in as I sorted the funds and I was busily shopping in the sales. Looking for beds was a nightmare as I decided which mattress to have as it had been suggested to look at a Tempur one. Sadly, on trying it in the shop I felt like I was set in plaster, it was very comfortable but too hot for me. Then, whether to have a divan with two or four drawer it all got very daunting as, so much choice and I felt really stupid trying out the mattresses in the busy shops, though nobody else seemed to be phased.
Anyway thank goodness for reliable John Lewis and visiting on a Tuesday morning at 10am when the department was empty.
Then, should I buy a sofa before I move in and thank goodness I went for no, as not only could I be faced with some issues of getting it in the front door and down the stairs, I also felt I needed to get a feel for the place first. Then, the question of the position of the TV should it be free standing, on an arm from the book shelves or above the fire place – so many choices.
But, shopping for your own home is so much fun. I do however need to slow down and remember ‘Rome was not built in a day’, this being my new saying rather than ‘no pain, no gain’.
The packing process wasn’t my strong point and nobody could believe I was so relaxed, but that isn’t how I would have put it. I had all the boxes but just hadn’t packed a thing and I was getting the flat in 4 days’ time, so the clock was ticking. I knew that I work better under pressure or certainly the case with my weddings, so it would be a case of open a bottle of red, put on a good CD and just go for it, and that is exactly what I did and it was all done within two evenings.
The day of completion was approaching and the sleepless nights were getting worse, it was excitement but also nerves and I was leaving over fifteen years of memories but it was all about new beginnings and I see that now.
The morning of completion came and at 11am on Wednesday 30th January, off I went to my new place to see it before getting the keys officially. Well, to say that I had a ‘melt down’ was a minor statement as I stood with the estate agent, I had to fight back the tears when I spoke to my solicitor and left thinking what the hell I have I done but it was too late.
I had expectations and was therefore really disappointed but in hind sight this might have been an overreaction but when you have built up a relationship and you play by the rules, you hope rightly or wrongly they do too. I believe that we should take a leaf out of the Europeans books and that the when you sell a flat/house it should be professionally cleaned and be spotless. Sadly, the first room I went into was the kitchen and as I opened the oven there was the burnt bits from Sunday lunch, the fridge had literally only been emptied – ok a bottle of champagne was left and the hob was grim. So, I then saw everything through hazy eyes. However, after I had cried, breathed and taken myself out of the space and went back it wasn’t that bad but again ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.
Thank goodness for another dear friend, Sandra Levinson of Calabash who had a team in to clean it within 24 hours and that was prefect, so if you ever need a reliable, professional team then Calabash are the ones.
I am now just over a week into having my new place and now that 90% of the boxes are unpacked, the intercom is fixed and quotes have been received for the unforeseen glitch in the master bedroom that I have to accept, it is all coming together.
So, now to look to the ‘new beginnings’ and I really can’t wait till the summer to use the garden but firstly I off to have another dye up to hide the extra grey hairs. Then it is fill the fridge with food rather than beer and wine which I had for my dear friends who have been helping me. In fact I could not have done this without my best friend and her amazing husband, so thank you.
Let’s hope if I ever write about moving again it is easier and that I have learnt a lesson – ‘I need to toughen up’.
To ‘new beginnings’ and realising ‘Rome was not built in day’ not that it will be easy for me as an event planner but I do like a challenge.