Trying to move house has scarred me for life

There are few things in life that frighten me more than the prospect of moving house.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s not the idea of living somewhere else that bothers me… it’s the getting there.
I think I’m scarred for life by a previous failed attempt to up-sticks a couple of years ago.
Frustratingly, we put the house up for sale just as the housing bubble burst.
Otherwise, I may by now have overcome what is a truly soul-destroying experience.
We had a paltry six or seven viewings in as many months – most of which I’m convinced were ‘put-up’ jobs by the desperate estate agent in order to justify her existence.
Finally, having dropped the asking price by 20-odd thousand pounds we gave up the ghost.
The whole period was thoroughly miserable and depressing on so many levels.
In the current climate putting your house up for sale equates to having an enormous amount of uncertainty hanging over you.
This includes the potential for having to find a new school for your children which is at least as good (or better) as the one they are attending. No pressure there then.
Heaven forbid we did actually ever find a buyer because the prospect of masterminding the move itself fills me with dread.
We are the kind of family that needs a Hercules transport plane when the kids and the dog go on a weekend trip to my mum and dad’s in Sneyd Green and so, frankly, the thought of transporting all our worldly goods in a large van doesn’t bear thinking about.
But, more irksome to me than the actual logistics of a potential move, is having to entertain people I don’t know in my own house.
It’s a bit like being on-call 24/7. At the drop of a hat the estate agent will ring up to say that Mr and Mrs Jones would like to come round to view the property at precisely 5.30pm on Thursday. (They can do no other time and are not available at weekends).
Right. Cheers for that.
Firstly, that’s teatime. Secondly, we have two small children and a dog which equals an ever-present level of mess that has to be cleared away/hidden for the duration of the viewing.
Thirdly, it is best that the aforementioned tykes and the bouncy cockerpoo pup are not in the house during the visit in order that we avoid any embarrassing tantrums/toilet issues and so that our eldest doesn’t let slip that one of the reasons we want to move is because one of our neighbours is a basket case.
From bitter experience these visits are fraught affairs.
Having cleaned the house from top to bottom and given the place that wholesome ‘just-baked bread’ smell, the viewers turn up looking like they have been forced to the door at gun-point.
Having informed you that they ‘haven’t got long’ and that the property is ‘a bit out of their price range’ they still insist on opening every cupboard door and lifting the toilet seats.
I mean, what exactly are they expecting to find? A cannabis factory? Half a dozen illegal immigrants?
Having wasted half an hour of my life which I’ll never get back, they then announce that ours is the 13th house they have visited that day and they still have four more to see. Brilliant.
Worse still was the bloke who took the guided tour of chez Tideswell and then said that he ‘couldn’t actually afford our house but wanted to see what we had done with the loft’.
He went on to buy the house next door. Charming.
The bottom line is, however, that we do want to move so we can be nearer to my family and friends (and the Vale). Thus the house is on the market again.
Yours truly has cleaned the decking and painted the fences, the side gate, the front door and porch, the side door, the shed and the garden wall.
Inside, every room is now painted in a neutral colour and we have also de-cluttered to within an inch of our lives in order to make the house seem bigger.
Meanwhile, Lois and Mina are under strict instructions that we are operating a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy with regard to toys.
Mercifully, the new estate agent is going to do all the viewings for us. We just nip out for half an hour before the poker-faces arrive.
More importantly, however, you won’t find a For Sale sign in our garden.
That’s because if one of our neighbours asked us why we were moving I wouldn’t be able to resist saying: “To get away from you.”

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