Immediately after the August Bank Holiday 2001 a new Estate Agent's sign was erected outside our house - we had two months to sell. No pressure then!
Also we were helping our son relocate to Swansea, nearer his work (as he would have nowhere to live after we had sold!). It was on Sunday 2nd September after returning from a visit to Swansea with him that my wife said to me that a elderly gentleman had been hovering outside for a while. When she confronted him he had asked the price of the property and whether he could see it. My wife does not usually invite strange men into our house when I'm not there but on this occasion she did. He had a quick look around but was more interested in the Grand Prix on TV than the property! Anyway we thought no more about it.
Well would you believe it; about five days later the Agent rang and said that the elderly gentleman who called on Sunday had made an offer and had the ability to complete before the end of October. He had sold a commercial property nearby subject to contract. We accepted the offer!
Then the terrorist attacks on the USA happened, 11 September, and the world as we knew it would never be the same again.
We didn't know if we could fly to Florida safely. We expected to be there from 6th to 20h October.
Nevertheless, we had sold. There were things to do. I telephoned our agent in Calpe on the Costa Blanca to reserve accommodation for how long? We didn't really know! He couldn't help us having terminated the rental business. So I phoned friends in Moraira who gave me the number of another agent who, fortunately, was able to provide us with a villa for three months. I phoned Brittany ferries to reserve a cabin on the Plymouth to Santander route for 11th November. Finally I phoned the hotel we had used previously in Logrono to book a room for the 12th November but they were full fiesta week!. After some more phoning I was able to reserve a room at an hotel on the outskirts of Logrono.
On the 6th October we flew to Florida as planned BUT contracts had not been exchanged on the sale of our property.
We returned on the 20h October, rang our Solicitors, contracts still not exchanged but we were assured the sale would still proceed. We really felt under pressure then. Sale or no sale?
We were due to leave on 11th November. So what do we do? Do we empty the house or leave it furnished in case the sale doesn't go through.? We decided to empty the house. Small items were sold at Car Boot sales on a Sunday morning. Larger items we didn't need went to either our daughter in St. Albans or our son in Swansea. A removal firm from Barry collected what we were taking with us to place in storage. We headed for the ferry contracts NOT exchanged!!..............
Summary of Links
Moving to Spain
Part 1 - The Idea
Part 2 - The First Trip
Part 3 - The Return Back Home
Part 4 - Second winter in Spain
Part 5 - Xmas Eve in Spain
Part 6 - Trips to Spanish Cities
Part 7 - Madrid
Part 8 - Third winter in Spain
Part 9 - The Villa
Part 10 - The Decision to Move
Part 11 - Research
Part 12 - Leaving Home
Part 13 - Buying a Car...(or not!)
Part 14 - The Perfect House
Part 15 - Completing on the house
Part 16 - Moving In