Moving home: The traumatic story of a year on the property market | Property | Life & Style


Selling his house was traumatic for Colin Dunne

That’s what the sign said at the bottom of my garden.

Occasionally it was replaced with a tentative Sale Agreed – but not for long.

Then my favourite four-letter word appeared: Sold.

That was 10 months later. Ten whole months? Now I’m in my new house, smiling happily at the heaps of cardboard boxes. 

This morning I think I caught a brief glimpse of the carpet.

It has been a year of almost nonstop misery and I have just one word of advice for anyone who is thinking of moving: don’t.

They say it’s the third most stressful ordeal after divorce and death.

Believe me, divorce is a chuckle a minute compared with this and at least death offers you a way out and a nice lie-down. 


Colin hardly anticipated the seven circles of hell he would have to endure to move home

It has been a year of almost nonstop misery and I have just one word of advice for anyone who is thinking of moving: don’t.

Colin Dunne

The Government says it is going to try to simplify the whole process but the truth is that the housing market in England has reached a stage where it appears to have been a co-operative effort between the Mad Hatter and the Marquis de Sade.

Crazy, expensive and beyond all understanding.

At least it does give you a sense of the meaning of eternity.

Buying and selling houses, which has always been a bit messy, is now a swamp of deceit, half lies and even full-blown fibs.

It’s no place for an honest man. How could it be so difficult? I was selling my cottage in the idyllic Sussex village of Stedham.

For 30 years I lived there. Lovely little house, lovely neighbours, lovely place. But village life these days means you have to jump in the car for everything.

Reluctantly, with heavy hearts, we decided we had to be nearer doctors, shops, trains.

A mile or so down the road in Midhurst, a charming little market town, we found a new-build, about 80 yards from the main street.


Swapping a village idyll for market town living was the plan

In those early days, before I began looking at the Dignitas website, the process did have its lighter moments.

When I told an old friend in London that I was moving to Midhurst, he wondered why.

“To be nearer the lap-dancing clubs,” I replied. “I have been to Midhurst, Colin, and I hate to be the bearer of disappointing news…”

He was right. Dancing in…

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