Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Home Shopping, part IV

Coral Reef

It’s been three weeks since my last update. The good news is that, as of this morning, we have exchanged contracts, so we’re now 90% of the way there. This also means that neither Christine or I have much money left over, having put almost our entire life savings towards the deposit and legal fees – around £18,000 in all.

Originally, we were supposed to exchange contracts and complete the purchase last Friday, the 22nd. That got put back to the 29th, although we had all of the money and paperwork signed and in place by the 21st. But now the completion date isn’t until mid-June, so although the contracts have been exchanged, we won’t actually get the keys to our new house for another couple of weeks.

Once we do have the keys, we have some work to do to sort out some minor damp problems, which will see our living room and dining room out of order for a while. There’s also some minor decorating that we’d like to do before we move in properly. For these reasons, we’ll be staying in our current rented apartment for a little while longer until the work has been done.

The house also isn’t particularly energy-efficient. As part of the sale we received a report showing what can be done to improve things, and a couple of those are quick wins which shouldn’t cost a lot, so we’re planning to get those out of the way first. These include more energy efficient lighting, and new thermostats for the central heating and hot water boilers. I’m actively considering purchasing a Nest Learning Thermostat to help lower our energy bills.

So, fingers crossed, we’ll have the keys to our very own home very soon.


  1. Good luck! Any idea what the delay what the delay was in exchanging?

    I know when we were looking at “second hand houses”, we did also look at companies such as A Shade Greener / Everlastingboilers who do low-cost boilers/repair systems (basically, you “lease” the boiler paying – when they had prices on their site and therefore IIRC – around £30 per month), but all repairs/replacements/maintenance are covered.

    If the house isn’t fully insulated, see if there’s any deals ( such as and ) as you may be able to get it for free/ultra-low cost (less than £50).

    • The delay was a request from further up the chain; I know the reasons but don’t want to share them on a public blog post. Insulation would be expensive and disruptive as the house doesn’t have cavity walls – we’d need to get either internal or external insulation, the latter of which would probably require planning permission.

  2. Best of luck. Home buying is one of the most stressful/exciting/rewarding things you’ll get to do. I’m crossing my fingers for you both.