I take the morning off work, and we all go down to the solicitor and work through the details of the lock-out contract... Begin to wonder if it's worth doing. Steve transfers £10,000 to the solicitor as our penalty if we decide not to purchase after all.
Later in the day, hear that the surveyor has not found any serious problems, and the owners have agreed to the terms of the lock-out contract. But they have not got their mortgage arranged yet, so we may still be in for a bit of a delay.
Put the first cheque (£150 for the searches) and set of documents into the solicitor's office so everything is waiting for him first thing Monday.
Their solicitor has been instructed now, but ours has a broken fax machine, so he cannot get the details from the estate agent in order to start the searches. I have the afternoon off work to pick up the boys (Sue is doing the final house clearance run to Guildford with Steve), so I pick up the details from the estate agent and deliver them to the solicitor. He tells me the owners have received another offer for the house, £30,000 more than our final offer, but they were still selling to us. It is hard to believe, but things are starting to go right again.
The surveyor is scheduled for Tuesday next week (28 September).
Much to our surprise, they have accepted our final offer, along with the lockout agreement. It must be all the prayer. However, when our solicitor gets in touch with theirs, he discovers they have not given any instructions concerning any sale. So we still need prayer to get this house.
Abbeywood is still on the market! The people who failed to get it yesterday phoned the owners this morning - after the final deadline - with an increased offer. We are being asked to increase our offer again (how many times?) or enter a contract race (with the prospect of being gazumped yet again even if we do win it). It still seems like the right house, but we are not keen on either prospect.
Much prayer... again... eventually decide to raise our offer slightly, but make it clear that this is our final offer, and we want a lockout contract with them - which would commit us to buying the house, and prevent them from selling it to anyone else. Tell the estate agent and also write it in a letter we drop round to the owners in the evening. It doesn't look very hopeful.
We increase our offer, on the basis that if we don't and then fail to get the house, we will really kick ourselves. Eventually we hear that our offer has been accepted - because we had increased it. Thank you Lord!
Now we need to pray that nothing else gets in the way of a rapid move. Mark & Susan Howe would quite like us to have moved by 6 October, which looks quite tight.
Someone else has put in another offer for Abbeywood. The new deadline is 6 pm tomorrow. More prayer... In faith, we withdraw our offer from the house in Brentry.
We make an offer for Abbeywood, the house in Stoke Bishop. The estate agent promised a decision by the end of the day, but the owners are out for the day, so no news until Monday. We are praying furiously, as Sue has really set her heart on this one.
The owner does not want to take the property in Brentry off the market: he would like us to offer a bit more. How much? He won't say. We explain that if he won't say yes to our offer, we won't stop looking for a house.
Mark and Steve find another possibility, this time much closer in Stoke Bishop. Sue likes it; we make an appointment for me to go round this evening.
Sue likes the house in Brentry - we agree with Steve to offer a bit over the asking price for it.
Our house in Southway is finally sold... I suppose that means we are halfway to moving house...
I like the house Mark found. Unfortunately, Sue is still in Guildford and has not see it yet.
Mark has seen one property that looks eminently suitable, but it's in Brentry - not within walking distance of school for the two youngest. I hope to see it with Sue on Monday evening next week.
We exchanged contracts on Southway today. Completion is set for 15 September.
Finding a house just for us in Bristol does not seem to be working, so we are going to look at the possibility of finding somewhere with Steve Poulard. We are thinking of somewhere large enough for him, us, the EN office and a place for the Snowball training.
We should be exchanging on Southway today, but Sue gets a letter from our Guildford Solicitor: the buyer's Solicitor has just decided to raise some questions about the boundaries. I phone and clarify the points. It turns out that the buyer's Solicitor also failed to include a cheque as promised, and despite faxing them yesterday it did not turn up in the post today. So no exchange today: possibly the end of the week if we are lucky.
The Bristol Estate Agent rings me at work: the vendors have withdrawn their house from the market 'for personal reasons'. We are looking for a house to buy again. This is getting to be a habit. At least we have not spent hundreds of pounds on this one before it fell through.
The vendors say they will accept £124,500. We decide to offer it, so we are buying a house again. According to the Estate Agent, they are willing to move as soon as possible, but hope to have at least four weeks to get organised. On past performance, this should not be too difficult.
Sue comes down to Bristol with the boys and looks at two houses - the one with the larger garden I saw two days ago, and another. We decide to make an offer of £123,000 for the one I saw. It is in Groveleaze, a mile or so from St Edyth's church where the Snowball training will be based, but closer than several other properties we looked at.
We accept the revised offer of £105,000. The Estate Agent says that they checked the impact, and it will not delay exchange of contracts next week in this case. We are now expecting to exchange by 1 September, and complete on 15 September.
I look at two more properties, both of which I like, but the garden of one is much too small for football.
The Estate Agent in Guildford says the survey showed major problems with our roof: all the tiles need to be replaced. Our buyer wants to reduce the price by £5,000 as a result.
Our solicitor in Guildford says we could exchange contracts early next week, but not if the price is going to change.
We are back from France, and dash down to Bristol to look at three properties. None of them looks hopeful. It is hard to decide just how low we need to set our sights in order to find something within a sensible timescale. Steve says that we can move in to the house he is renting (he will move out for the duration) in order that we can be in Bristol for the start of the school year, which is a real blessing.
I leaflet all the properties in St Edyth's Road (except one!), asking people to contact us if they are thinking of selling and don't already have a buyer. Have a number of conversations with people, who are very sympathetic and friendly, but nobody knows of any suitable properties.
The Estate Agent in Bristol knows nothing of any problem, but promises to contact the vendors. A little later, he calls back. They have accepted a private offer, £5,000 more than ours. We have lost a house, and he has lost the commission - after putting in a good deal of work to earn it. We all feel rather sick.
While in France, we get a message from our Solicitor in Gloucester: our vendors have pulled out! We cannot get in touch with anyone to find out more.
We phone from France: the survey on our house is being done at midday. The Estate Agent is getting a builder to come round and look at the points which may be raised in the survey report, so we have the answers ready when the questions come, and save some time.
Spent most of the day on the telephone to everyone. Our vendors and the rest of the chain are willing to move everything back, and the chain has held up - just. The new plan is to exchange 23 August and move 27 August. We can go on holiday to France on 7 August without causing any problems.
We accept an offer of £110,000 subject to the buyer getting a mortgage offer. The 'confirmation of finance' is due on 5 August. Our vendors and the people further up the chain are extremely insecure.
We have now had two people who have viewed the house, and three or four who have arranged to come round but failed to turn up. The house is a complete tip with boxes and piles of things everywhere - we were expecting to have moved by now - and it is all very depressing.
We hear that our buyer cannot get a mortgage, and we have to find another buyer. Moving on 6 August is looking rather dubious, and our vendors say that the whole chain is threatening to break down.
There is a delay in our buyer's mortgage offer - 'technical details' according to the Estate Agent. Moving by the end of July is looking unlikely, so we now plan to exchange on 29 July and complete on 6 August. It is very tight, but everyone still says it can be done.
We have the legal documents relating to the purchase at last, but there are at least half a dozen significant errors which we find. They can be sorted out, but it will involve a small delay. We might be able to complete before the end of July, but it is looking less likely now.
Our Solicitor in Gloucester is waiting for information from the vendors' Solicitor. They say they have not got the deeds yet, so cannot pass the information on. But they do have a photocopy of the deeds, and that supplies all the information they need at present...
The legal parts of the purchase are going through now, but there is a delay in getting our mortgage offer because the Halifax did not read our application form properly, and have made an error in the offer letter.
Our Solicitor in Gloucester has not heard from the Estate Agent yet. The Estate Agent is waiting for the vendors to tell them who they will use for their Solicitor.
Made an offer of £115,000 on a house in St Edyth's Road, Bristol, which was accepted. The vendors are willing to complete by the end of July. It's all looking rather good.
Accepted an increased offer of £106,000 for our house. The buyer wants to complete by the end of July.
Turn down an offer of £105,000 for our house.
Our house in Guildford goes on the market at an asking price of £110,000.