'That was reassuring as we didn’t fancy living on the film set of Poltergeist:' The horror story of moving house

Columnist Dave Swanton writes about the painful terrors of moving house.

By Natalie Walker
Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 1:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th March 2019, 2:37 pm
Moving house is not all it's cracked up to be
Moving house is not all it's cracked up to be

My wife Carole and I are looking to move house in 2019. She refers to it as W-exit meaning Whittle exit. Nothing wrong with where we live, it’s just too big and we want a bungalow

So far we have seen 28 properties and there have been some lovely ones but also some shockers where, to be honest, I am amazed the home owners dare open the front door.

House buying has changed so much down the years. I remember buying the Post and one night was jobs, one night was cars and one night was property.

Most things these days have gone online but you get battered with emails 24 hours a day, seven days a week with properties that don’t fit the

criteria you asked about or are looking for.

How about the one we went to see as the online brochure said it needed a bit of TLC and decoration? It was a bomb site that had a bathroom in the centre of the house without any ventilation and the walls were black with mould.

On the way out, struggling at the time with my broken ankle, I almost stood on a rogue roller skate (Home Alone style) that would have put me back in hospital.

When we spoke to the agent on the drive she asked what we thought and I said it was a bit like the old expression ‘Well Mrs Lincoln, apart from the obvious, did you enjoy the play?’

Estate agents these days don’t work the hours they used to either. Most are accompanied viewings which I understand but from seven days a week the agents now work six and only until 5pm. I have gone to several houses as the ‘advance party’ as Carole works and its not convenient for her to take two hours off during the day, so if I see it and it looks okay we go back together to look around. I am getting the hang of it now, especially after a few cold stares.

If you thought the word strategy was strangling the world, then in property it’s potential.

I am fed up of hearing that.

To me it’s like wanting to buy a pair of shoes size 11 and being offered a pair of size 9 as they will look good with my trousers.

I thought about writing a piece about my journey through house buying in the new millennium and here it is.

One house we saw had the urns of both her husbands buried in the garden with memorials.

The lady assured us they had died of natural causes and that she would be taking them with her.

That was reassuring as we didn’t fancy living on the film set of Poltergeist.

People should also realise that by whacking the heating on full enhances the smell of damp and that too many of those highly scented candles make your eyes water.

Thankfully we don’t have a mortgage, which made me think back to 1979, in a previous life when my first mortgage was 16 per cent.

That, let me tell you, was crippling on a mortgage of £6,000, so goodness knows what will happen in the property market if the interest rates start to rise.

Meanwhile, we are still looking, and hopefully to use the estate agent lingo ‘completing the chain’ as we strive to move house.

Getting furniture and carpets will be the next obstacle; they have 12 week lead in times these days.

Gone are the days where you could go to MFI and buy it on the day.

I once put a set of wardrobes together from MFI and when erected they went down like dominoes so 12 weeks is quite reasonable in comparison.