Pick a solicitor, any solicitor

Well that was easy. After doing a bit of reading, I discovered there was no real benefit to choosing a local solicitor for conveyancing duties. So I decided to pluck one out of thin air.

I had bookmarked the site reallymoving (full of useful tips for anyone going through the house buying/selling process) and filled in the details to obtain a bunch of conveyancing quotes. These got sent to me via email, at which point I started reading reviews about the various companies and balancing this against their quoted prices.

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Making an offer

I’ve not slept much these last few nights – my brain has been in overdrive thinking about the apartment we viewed on Saturday. We had come to a decision: that we would like to make an offer!

But we had not considered the possibility of moving this soon. Our house is not yet ready for sale. So the sensible option of selling first, then renting followed by buying with the cash is out of the window. We will need to improvise 😉

I see only two possible options:

Option 1: We put our current house on the market immediately, and hope it sells quickly. The nice bit about this option is that we wouldn’t have to borrow any money. But there are several negatives I can think of – such as potentially having to accept less for our house than we would have otherwise liked (i.e. sub-optimal time of year to sell, not had time to decorate/stage it for sale etc). There is also the delicate issue of me having to transition to full work-from-home status – something my employer hasn’t yet formally agreed. Then there’s just the hassle factor of moving – we would much rather have some overlap to provide flexibility.

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In love with a (different) property

We decided to make a weekend of our visit to Kent and stayed in a lovely Airbnb that I managed to snag for less than £35, including breakfast). The weather was cold and a little drizzly but that didn’t matter. We were on a mission.

Since booking the initial viewing on Tuesday, I had lined up a second property to view an hour after the first. Although not one we were seriously considering, the opportunity to nose around another curious property that we had known about for several months was too much of a temptation to miss out on. Then on the day before we were due to visit, Mrs FmC tacked on a 3rd viewing for around lunchtime. This was a nearby apartment that, again, wasn’t a serious contender – but something about it intrigued us and it would give us something else to compare.

So on Saturday we were up early and set off on the approx. 2.5-hour drive to the Kent coast. We arrived outside the Airbnb (where we could conveniently park for free) around 20 minutes before our first appointment at 10:00, giving us just enough time to walk downhill into the town centre.

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Excited about a property

Our plan for early retirement has remained the same for the past decade or so. To move to the Kent coast and live out the rest of our days by the sea. To go for morning runs along the cliffs, to have everything on our doorstep and not need a car. To experience the overcrowded summers and the quiet winters. To become part of a real community and make new friends.

This first came about watching an episode of Location, Location, Location nearly a decade ago. It featured a London based family hoping to find their perfect property in the beautiful seaside town of Broadstairs. I knew nothing about the area at the time, but on that day a seed was sown. One that would lead to us becoming very familiar with this town (and the surrounding area), and wanting to move there ourselves one day.

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December 2018 status update

Time for the last status update of the year..

General

This post is a little later than usual because I’ve been away on holiday. And what a holiday it was! We went to Riviera Maya (near Cancun) in Mexico, for a thoroughly indulgent 14-day all-inclusive break covering both Christmas and New Year. It was wonderful! Lazy days spent eating, drinking and sunbathing (with an average daily temperature in the high 20’s). And very little else. Bliss!

But I’m back home now – along with a healthy tan, my first attempt at a beard and an additional 3.6kg in weight 🙂 So the first thing I’ve done is revise my weight goal – I want to get back to my pre-holiday weight (78kg) by the end of March.

I didn’t manage a single run in December, which isn’t very good. But I did manage another perfect month of closing my Activity rings on my Apple Watch though – making a perfect year! Yay!

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