Okay. So, the house we're trying to buy. Our solicitor said our focus has to be "mortgage, mortgage, mortgage." And it is. I've been in touch with the mortgage department today three times already. We're hopeful that we'll have the mortgage offer in the next few days. And then can go to missives (binding contract). Ha. Am I going to read this in a few weeks and laugh that I thought we'd get the mortgage offer this week?
However, since I'm thinking about this house a lot and I can't keep calling the bank, we're also laying the ground work for when we can officially start planning. One thing we learned from the Cardiff house is that the planning process takes ages, and since we're renting a flat/apartment until the house is habitable, delays can be expensive. We're trying to get as much planning done before we take ownership as possible. We've made a preliminary budget by talking to a few trades people and used our costs from the Cardiff renovation as a guide.
We hired a surveyor to prepare a buyers report* for us in addition to the valuation (it was £95 extra for the full report.) As a follow-up from the report, we are arranging a survey for damp. (We expect damp, but want to make sure the entire ground floor is not rotting!)
I kind of have my heart set on a double-storey side extension, adding a living room downstairs and another bathroom and bedroom upstairs. We met with the architect. And met with a friend of Niall's that is a quantity surveyor (cost engineer) . I don't know if we are going to be able to afford the double-storey extension I want. But we'll see.
One thing the architect suggested was that we try and find what we can about the house, including the drainage and sewer plans. The local authority suggested that we go to the archives of the Mitchell Library to see if there are any plans. Niall took a shot at it today and hit pay dirt! He found the original plans for our house type (from 1923), and has ordered a copy. The plans are so pretty. Hopefully they will prove useful. (You know, if the mortgage offer comes through and we buy the house.)
*In Scotland a seller has to provide a home report. Unless, like this purchase, it's a private sale.