Homeowner: day one

I had taken the day off despite not wanting to move straightaway, but I needed to do some work, and I’d thought I’d be able to get that done in the morning as my solicitor has told me that completion usually happened at about lunchtime.

”I threw some essentials in a suitcase and an IKEA bag and set off to the estate agent’s to collect the keys.”

However, I’d just settled down with my laptop and a coffee when they called to tell me the house was mine – it was 9.38 in the morning. Wow! I really had to get some work done, but I was pretty distracted – as I’m sure you can imagine! I did the bare minimum – if that – and then I threw some essentials in a suitcase and one of those large IKEA bags and set off to the estate agent’s to collect the keys.

It was a bit of a painful journey on public transport as the estate agent wasn’t close to the train station or to my new house. I ended up getting a Uber from there to the house.

And there I was outside my new house. I’d never unlocked it before – it’d been the estate agent who’d done when I came to view it – and as I did, I noticed that the front door was a bit tatty – another job added to the list.

”You can’t do much without light!”

The first task on that list was to sort out the gas and electricity. They are on prepaid meters and they were deep in debt as the house had been empty for about a year. I phoned up EDF who set up an account for me and explained what I’d need to do to zero the meter – it turns out it’s a bit of a faff. For the electricity, they gave me a reference number and told me it would be active in an hour and a half and once that happened I’d need to buy a new key quoting that number (sadly the closest place I could buy one was a mile away), then I’d need to insert the new key into the meter, which would zero the meter, then I’d need to go out again and find somewhere (thankfully a bit closer) where I could put money on the key and then I’d have electricity. Well that took a couple of hours running about town, but it was definitely a priority – you can’t do much without light!

The gas was more complicated as they needed to send an engineer out to zero the meter. It was a bit late in the day to get an emergency appointment and the closest non emergency one was at the end of the month. Not ideal. However, the lady I was speaking to suggested phoning back early on Monday and I might be able to get an emergency appointment then. In the meantime, I could use the existing in-debt account. If I put £10 on the previous owner’s gas card, they’d take £7 for the debt and leave me £3. It was a bit irritating but better than no hot water, so I did that. Apparently, I should be able to claim the £7 back – although we’ll see about that!

”I went out and bought a load of cleaning products and a vacuum cleaner and started to clean.”

I then sorted out the water (which was very simple) and went out and bought a load of cleaning products and collected the vacuum cleaner I’d ordered at Argos and started to clean. It was in a decent state to be fair (in fact I wondered if they’d had a cleaner come in in the not too distant past) but not clean enough that I wanted to prep food on the kitchen surfaces or use the shower. I made a good start on the kitchen but had to leave at 5.30pm as I was meeting a friend for dinner – where I talked about my house non-stop!

More tomorrow!


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