Big Exciting News

I’ve mentioned that I want to have a serious go at writing. I’m intending to take part in the National Novel Writing Month, which is November, and have been planning the best way to go about it. Call me useless, but I can’t write unless it’s quiet. The non-murder mysteries I’ve written recently were completed at weekends when nobody else was around, and most of my short stories happened on similar evenings. As the house doubles as an office, and Mum and Dad usually work well into the evening, it’s always busy. Not to mention other daytime distractions. So what’s the Big Exciting News? I bought a flat in Stratford-upon-Avon!

Last Thursday evening I walked into the office and Mum said “I’m finding you an apartment”, which surprised me somewhat! I hadn’t really thought about moving out, but Mum happened across a flat while looking for houses on behalf of my sister, and figured it would be perfect as somewhere to work during the day. We went looking at new two-bedroom apartments last Friday, and they were great. We saw one that came fully furnished, including sheets, towels, crockery – pretty much everything you’d need. It was on a new estate, and was perfectly nice…but I just couldn’t get very enthusiastic about it. I started looking for something older, and on Friday afternoon I spotted a one-bedroom flat in the centre of Stratford for a good price. I called to ask for a viewing and booked for 1130 on Saturday morning. By 1230 we’d put in an offer, and at 1300 we heard that it had been accepted!

We were originally looking for somewhere to work, but it’s so perfect for me that I’ll be living there. From the details on the advert it could have gone either way, but I walked in and it just felt right. I’d been worried that a three-room flat would feel terribly small, but that wasn’t a problem. There’s a lot that could go wrong before I officially own it, but I can’t resist sharing some details: it’s a first-floor flat about ten minutes walk from the centre of Stratford. It has off-road parking(!), a loft, a fitted kitchen and a communal garden. It’s Just Wonderful 🙂 Stratford’s only a 25 minute drive from here, so popping back won’t be a problem. There’s apparently no chain on the other end, so moving in should be as fast as it takes to sort out the paperwork – maybe four to six weeks.

Speaking of paperwork: holy crap. I was expecting stamp duty and surveys, but not mining activity searches, environmental home reports, extra work and fees for leasehold properties…I’m currently sorting out mortgages and figuring out budgets, and am seeing scary amounts of money dropped on solicitors’ charges etc. It’s fascinating to see all the work that goes into buying a house, but somewhat daunting.

This’ll be a major topic for the foreseeable future! The flat and the computers are occupying my every waking thought currently, and I imagine will be for the next couple of months. I have a very large list of furniture / utensils / General Stuff that needs buying (including a car!), the most important of which is most definitely this.

It’s a big step for me, and I’m excited, a little scared, and very nervous indeed.