Sunday, 3 April 2011

Still Playing a Waiting Game

I Hate These Waiting Games!

Somewhere in between realisation dawning that you have a house move ahead of you, the excitement of house hunting, property viewing, finding your ideal 'forever' home, making an offer, having a verbal acceptance and then awaiting the final 'Qualified Acceptance', there seems to be an awful lot of waiting about, mostly while being unable to actually 'do' anything.

This is the stage we are at now - awaiting final 'Qualified Acceptance' to make everything legal. Then we'll be waiting to wave bye-bye to our hard earned, battled-to-protect, savings. It feels good knowing that the cash will be swapped for something tangible, like a house, but the waiting is definitely the sting in the tail.

The process here in Scotland is slightly different to that elsewhere. We have to have indisputable evidence that all the finances are in place, ready to pay up, before being able to make a legal offer on any property. It doesn't matter if you're applying for a mortgage or buying outright, the process involves time and patience with most of the time spent in 'pre-buying' mode.

As soon as the deal is done, however, it's wham, bam, thank you mam, here's your hat, what's your hurry, you're the proud owner of a house, now clear off and go live in it. This is probably why so few property programmes ever feature Scotland as their chosen location. There's none of this making an offer then the house being taken off the market while waiting for all the paperwork, funding confirmations, technicalities and legalities. Oh no, the fun starts here right from day one, because only a lawyer can make a 'real' offer and only once a house is legally 'sold' can it be safely taken off the market. It's flat out right to the finish and the winner isn't always the best horse on the day.

The above is a very sketchy and non-professional description of how the property market works in Scottish law. Don't take my word for it, research it thoroughly before even considering buying in Scotland. By all means, have the estate agent note your interest in your chosen property, but swat up on the legalities well before proceeding any further than drooling over your copy of 'MacProperty Porn'.

I may have time, but patience is sometimes in rather short supply here! I guess we should be grateful for the fact that, as soon as we have the appropriate signatures on the appropriately dotted lines, we are pretty much sure that we have a house, without fear of being 'gazzumped', if that's the correct spelling, but it's still a waiting game - no getting away from that.

The Scottish buying process may seem quick to some - house sales can complete in under a month here - but being 'in limbo' between one's lease expiring on a rented property and getting one's hands on the keys of a newly purchased abode requires some fine tuning.

I'm not very finely tuned - so we are running out of time. With only four more days remaining of our official rental agreement, the possibility of having bought our 'forever' home in time to make the move has all but evaporated. Mind you, this situation is probably more to do with the fact that, only 8 weeks ago, we had absolutely no intentions of moving house, far less pouring all our savings into buying one.

We've sought an extension to the lease - left in the hands of the estate agent - we've done everything possible to make the property purchase straightforward, all our paperwork has been completed,  surveys inspected, local searches done, funds in place ready for the transfer... and still we await those final, crucial signatures that will enable us to own a house. Trouble is, the house we would love to own isn't quite err... habitable, shall we say? If I'm 100% honest, we have only seen inside it on one, brief occasion on a rainy, dull, March day. Some may find this shocking, others might understand the concept of, 'just knowing'.

So, what's a girl to do when the landlord wants them out ASAP, there are hens, ducks, all their housing, a greenhouse, a patio and a garden shed to be moved and a whole house to be packed up and transported 15 miles along the road, most of that being single track?

Yes, I thought so too... it's just another day in Frugaldom. The bread is baking, the washing is on the line and I'm making a trifle!

The garden here is quickly being completely 'un-gardened' and there's absolutely no point in worrying about it. The rent's paid for another month and the 2 months notice period will soon have disappeared into the annals of time. What are they going to do? Take me out in the lane and shoot me? I think not.

Fate lends a helping hand at every turn. To write down everything that has happened here since start of 2011 would be more like writing a novel, so I won't. Suffice to say, it isn't the actual buying of a house or moving house that's the cause of undue stress, it's all the other crap that life throws at you in between times. Logistics aside, no amount of money can pave the way for a smooth journey through life, so why worry?

Frugal living does not limit the number of occurances of events beyond our control. It might help prevent some of those that might, otherwise, have been beyond our financial control, but it does't fend off fate.

Money cannot make the world go round, nor can it stop it turning. We simply need to make the most of what we have without impacting, too much, on others.

Life is life, in all its forms, and I guess we should count our blessings and make ourselves more aware of our immediate surroundings, be it friends, family or location. Only then can we prepare ourselves to grasp any opportunity and appreciate everythig that each of our individual lives has to offer.

Frustration aside, life is simply a waiting game that we all need to play. But life is also about being on the lookout for opportunities. By some strange twist of fate, events have a way of shaping our futures, leading us blindly along unfamiliar routes, but it is only by experiencing such, that are we truly able to see the otherwise hidden opportunities that lie all around us, sitting quietly, playing the same waiting game we do.

They are waiting for us to make our next move!


  1. We've bought two houses in Scotland, and three in England. Give me the Scottish system any day!!

  2. Third time lucky for me (hopefully) in Scotland, but I will never fathom out the English way, it's beyond me even wanting to try understanding that.

    Did any of your Scottish properties go to closing dates?

    Guess it's safe to say that property buying can be frustrating, full stop. LOL

  3. closest i got too doing a property deal in scotland was a council rental , the missives were reday to sign .....and i hightailed it back down south ....alone!

  4. Oh, it's not all that bad up here, surely? I'm sure it wasn't really Scotland or our Scottish ways you were high-tailing it from when you legged it back down south... alone! LOL

  5. One of them went to a closing date with sealed bids, we knew the lady and gave her plenty of time and a good offer, and we got it! We made the offer and it was all sorted in January/February and then we got it on 1st August. We had to do a lot of work, but moved in the end of the following January, by which time we had sold our existing property and had to get out, whether we had the other house habitable or not!! We finished it in stages, and it is still my favourite house - I had grief counselling when we moved to England, and leaving that house was a huge part of the loss. And the stupid part of it was that we chose to move, we didn't have to sell it, but chose to. I was mad/stupid!! Still, we are settled here now and I feel happy here, so I guess what goes around comes around, etc, but I still love that house as we had it - I'm not so keen on what the present owner has done to the poor old place but that is another story...

  6. We know how you're feeling (sick?) as went through it before we got the cottage.
    Hang in there!

    We're looking forward to toasting you when it all finally goes through :) (Any excuse)

    Mr and Mrs SFT

  7. Morgan, I can understand your pain - it's horrible to think of creating a home and then having to make the ultimate decision to leave it behind. Been there, still pass the house, still wonder what if I'd kept it. But then I look around and see that my life, family and friends are with me, no matter where I might be. :)

    SFT, I remember the excitement of you getting your cottage - it was amazing! And now look at you - Mr & Mrs SFT hammering down the mortgage and doing a fantastic job, loving life in your 'forever' home. It really is a gorgeous cottage and your front arch will always inspire me to do similar. :)

    I'm now counting the hours! By the powers of deduction, and a pretty reliable postal service, sellers should have signed their paperwork today, so I'm hoping it's back with the lawyer's by Thursday at the latest. That's the day we are SUPPOSED to be leaving here, but another month's rent has been paid, so we're not going to stress out over that too much.

    Plenty of headaches, so I'll just keep taking the tablets. LOL Many thanks for all the support, I just hope I'll be able to provide some entertaining reading once this all kicks off in the right direction. :)


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