Independent Living Octant – Phase 3

Phase 3 of an octant is a long-term commitment and should take at least 30 hours, can include gaining a qualification or teaching something to others. My Phase 3 is something I completed in my personal life but took a lot of time, stress and brain power! In my mind the ultimate Independent Living challenge!

Phase 3: Buy a house

This process took almost a year to complete. The first task was to budget and once we had a figure in mind that we could afford we began looking at different properties. We started by looking at one bedroom homes in my home town. However these were often in communal grounds which brought additional costs and limited parking.

We then considered two bedroom houses in a town 30 minutes away.  We looked at around 15 houses in different parts of town before we settled on one house which had everything we both wanted. It had a small garden, parking for two cars, a small dining area and two bedrooms. We then started the process with the solicitor and returned to the house for a second viewing. Two months into the process however we received the homebuyer report and the environmental report. These documents showed the house had lots of issues, contaminated land, flooding risk and subsidence risk. The house did not pass the environment report for this reason. It was a difficult decision but we decided to withdraw our offer and began the process again.

To avoid similar problems occurring again we started to look at a different part of town. Our circumstances also changed which allowed for us to borrow more money and we could now afford a three bedroom house instead. We found a perfect property, viewed it and immediately put in an offer as we knew houses were selling quickly.

From here the process took another four months. In this time we reviewed the paperwork from the solicitor, purchased household items, and revisited the property several times to take measurements. As a completion date was set I arranged to transfer the money to the solicitor, had the mortgage confirmed by the bank and booked time of work to move.

On the completion day our priority was to change the locks. Using videos from the internet we were able to unscrew the original locks and replace them. Moving boxes took a long time as the journey from my old home to my new home takes 20-30 minutes so this was done over several days. Originally we moved all the boxes into the garage and gradually unpacked them into their allocated rooms. I also set about cleaning the entire kitchen, bathroom, all the carpets and the windows.

On the first few days I also set up accounts for gas and electricity, water, sewage, and council tax. Moving to a new area I also registered with a new GP and updated my details on the electoral role.

I’ve now been living in my home for over a year and gradually we improve it room by room. The ‘games’ room Mario mural is taking some time as our priority becomes the bathroom, the kitchen, the living room… But we love it!

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