patp

Homeless soon. Any tips?

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Our house sale is looking likely to go through before Christmas. New bungalow on plot to the rear is not finished. Second fix plumbing was under way when plumber husband got diagnosed with bowel cancer. He is undergoing treatment with results not yet known.

We have a fifth wheel caravan to move into and are hopeful that UK Power will have us connected to the grid. Openreach are a nightmare but they may have us sorted with fibre to the premises. Drains are behind schedule i.e. not started due to contractor being super busy with Covid related problems.

 

Our buyers are in a worse state than us i.e. living in a rented, freezing cold, caravan on a site that does not allow dogs. Their two elderly dogs are farmed out with one in kennels.

We have a couple of options for immediate relocation. One is to stay on site surrounded by mud etc with our dog. Another is to go to a, nice, campsite just up the road for £20 per night.

 

Do we put all our furniture in storage or use the, dry, bungalow for storage? Tips on how to organise the stuff i.e. in one room or in dedicated rooms?

Should we get the utility room sorted so that we have access to washing machine etc?

 

All above are doable (?) except drainage. Should we dig a temporary septic tank? There are our old compost heaps nearby - if we don't use chemical in the caravan could we compost the caravan toilet waste?

 

Any tips for stress reduction given that husband is not allowed alcohol and I am abstaining in sympathy?

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 If you have agreed a sale already then you could go back on it, yes the buyers would be pi£&ed but would sort you out.

trades health problems are not good but not your pain to suffer, tell them to get someone else in to finish their work or you get someone in.

mud can be managed, few hundred tons of hardcore and some geotextile willimprove things immensely.

can’t advise on going to a camp site because that’s your decision to make.

take a step back, write down what’s important and action it.

yes you may upset some but it’s your well being you have to look after.

Edited by markc
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And I thought we had problems. 

Its hard not sound trite responding to a post like yours but  - to me -  not responding to express sympathy  would be unkind.

 

At this remove, staying on site looks the best alternative.

£100 of crusher run stone, carefully laid and levelled will reduce the mud bath.  Then buy  a massive off-cut of synthetic grass (Astro Turf), curt to shape and lay  it along the most used walking route.  When the mud dries, use a blower to get rid of it.  Or an industrial vac will do the same.

 

Systematise common houselhold chores : storage, washing - making those easy and quick releases energy for other more difficult tasks. Dogs are mess-balls. But it won't be for long. Washable mats are a great help.

 

My sincere sympathy to you both and especially your husband . Lets hope for a rapid recovery. 

Kind regards

Ian

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@patp just been having a re read and now take it that your husband who is a plumber has cancer … sorry to hear that and my apologies, I read it as your plumber’s husband.

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I sympathise with the situation you’ve found yourself in, my brother had bowel cancer 3 years ago. I think given these circumstances you’d be better renting somewhere, if your husband needs surgery he will need his home comforts to recuperate and staying in a caravan surrounded by muck may only harass him, looking out at everything that needs done when he’s not physically fit enough to do it wouldn’t be good for him, personally I’d want to get December and January out of the way , your health is more important than any house 

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1 minute ago, recoveringbuilder said:

your health is more important than any house 

I concur, I had cancer twice during my build, although living in a caravan on site during the build we still had our old house for me to recover in which made a lot of difference. Could you look for a holiday short term rental locally as another option, fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

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@patpGiven such a stressful situation you have to act in your own best interests and that is to delay or even torpedo the sale. Your priority is to maintain a warm and comfortable home for any convalescence in future months. A touring caravan over the two toughest winter months is fundamentally unsuitable for someone dealing with serious disease and would constitute a medical impediment to recovery.

 

Time to tell the rest of the world to sod off and act selfishly even if that is not your normal self.

 

If the situation is presented as a 3 month delay to the buyers they might decide to hang on rather than start a fresh purchase cycle. Try to demonstrate to the buyers that you have a feasible plan to move out by April into the new build even if part complete.

Edited by epsilonGreedy
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I offer a contrary view to the above. Do NOT kill the sale of the bungalow, let the sale proceed and move into the caravan.  A 5th wheel van is the top end of the touring caravan market and should be comfortable. The only issue becomes pay for a site or pitch it on your own plot.

 

I offer that as honest advice in a market that nobody understands.  There are plenty of things in the pipeline that could kill the housing market, and trust me, as someone that gave up trying to sell after 3 years on the market in a dead market, you do NOT want to be holding a spare house with all the financial implications of that, wishing you had sold it when you had the chance.

 

We actually found that moving from the caravan into the very unfinished house was way more comfortable.  But at the very least you can store all your furniture in the dry and set up a laundry etc in the unfinished house quite easily.

 

If you still haven't got electricity by completion day, negotiate with the buyers of the bungalow to power essential items like the caravan and laundry from an extension lead from the bungalow.

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What a kind lot you are. Thank you so much for all the lovely words.

 

Renting with a dog is nigh on impossible. We may find a let but doubt it will be local or in a decent condition/location.

 

We cannot complete the new bungalow without selling the house. Having lost three buyers we feel strongly that we must hang on to these. They are cash in the bank buyers. As they are also going to be neighbours they tick another box of being nice people.

Yes the fifth wheel, though smaller than most (Celtic Rambler, made in Wales, if you want to have a peak), is comfortable and we spent a winter in it a few years ago. Husband has refused surgery (permanent stoma was the negative that made him do that) and has had intensive radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy. This all coincided with a break in building due to running out of funds. He is recovering at the moment but we do not know how effective the treatment has been yet. Surgery may still be necessary. He is adamant that he is never having the radiotherapy/chemotherapy again!

 

Great advice on the aggregate around the caravan. Our farmer neighbour deals in it so we have a local supply. Synthetic grass sounds good too. Fencing has also got to be very secure for us to relax when the dog is let out. Three sides are fenced but we need to put up a temporary dog proof fence all along one side running to about 35 metres with a natural pond to factor in. When travelling in the fifth wheel we use windbreaks to fence the dog in.

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I completely understand about radiotherapy and chemo (ask me how I know), I also understand his reluctance regarding a stoma, I had one fir 6 months after major surgery (not cancer related 😱) but there are many people out there who have one permanently and live very active lives so not the end of the world. I do wish you both all the luck in the world and hope this situation resolves itself as quick as possible ❤️

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A phone call to Anglian Water to finalise the water connection (it is all laid up to the new bungalow) resulted in ne getting nowhere this morning. They refuse to do the final connection until all the second fix is complete and every bit of sanitary ware is installed and ready for "inspection". How is it that we can get connected to electricity without all our appliances being "inspected" and to the phone line without having a phone installed but not to a water supply? I asked about a temporary supply (we have been using a hose from the house) but that, apparently, requires a new pipe to be laid!

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I had a site tap installed fir the build then extended it when the house was finished. Why can’t they do this fir you.?

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All the very best Pat. I can understand why you want to keep your house buyers, but try to keep yourselves as warm and stress free as possible under the circumstances.

I've just done the geo textile /aggregate thing to combat the mud, I feel much happier too. If you stay on site having a washing machine and tumble dryer or drying facilities will help you enormously. 

 

I can't understand about the water either, I just had to send a photo of the pipes and the connection in the house with its lagging, turned off. I was struggling at that point and a local chap who worked for Anglia water helped me out, is there anyone you could ask?

 

How about putting feelers out to friends who might lend a hand to help  you get the basics sorted, you might be surprised what happens, as you must be feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment?

 

I know your plumbing husband doesn't want anyone mucking about with his plumbing, but it's not the worst thing in the world, I've known a couple of people have had a stoma, including my dad, and you can't see the bag under clothes, they are very discrete and often the op will be reversed as Jo said, it's just to let things heal. 

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Probably too late now, but we did not use the Local Water Authority to lay the service pipe or any pipe on the property.  We used a Local WIRS contractor.  Much cheaper, and easier to deal with, as very small company.   

 

https://www.lrqa.com/en-gb/utilities/wirs-wirsae/

 

You mention Openreach are a nightmare, but there would be no problem negotiating with the new owners and running a cable from the old house [as suggested for the electric] , also Your contract will not be with Openreach it will be with a provider, who should give you compensation for being late.  We managed to get £180 compensation, but we had to ask, as the were so late - It was in my advantage not to chase them though.  

 

We didn't move into a caravan, but I am not sure if it was on this forum or another, where someone, got a shed, and made it as a walkthrough at the door of the caravan, so they could leave mucky boots, and clothes and get changed to, so the muck did not encroach into the caravan.

 

As others have said, it's time to think of yourselves,  

 

 

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Great suggestion above thank you so much.

 

While on the phone to Anglian Water he said something about a trickle feed from the water meter. Something about a blue plastic tag. Anyone know what he is talking about? Husband was shouting obscenities so I missed half of it :) 

 

Of course the new owners could supply us with water at the site too. If they want to move in before Christmas we could make it a condition. We had already asked them if our sparky could run a, metered, supply to the bungalow. They did not say no.

 

I think we are going to end up on the campsite up the road as the most stress free option. We are experienced motorhomers so I am sure we will manage. It does not have a laundry, Jilly, but there is a launderette in the nearest town and I am sure our friends would not mind us popping in to do some washing occasionally.

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I am sure the new owners would be willing to “share” electricity and water temporarily to make sure they get the house but I think the least stressful option would be the best fir both of you currently.

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In our area there is the pink ladies charity that is really helpful with helping out with situations like this. Is there a charity locally to you that would help? Even to help organise re what you would need to get in. They might be able to call in a few favours for you. People are good given half a chance. 

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I saw a couple of plumbers on a site and asked them If I had heard it all correctly. They were not surprised :(

 

@CalvinHobbs we are fine with the organisation (or have managed all the battles so far - do a search on water main running under site :)) Our main aim is to not look back and say "wish we had thought of that".

I think the favourite option is to plan a move onto the local camp site and hope that we can manage to stay put. The electricians are here and working on getting us connected. UK Power due next week. We could run a hose from the existing house, as we have been up to now, but would have to lag it in the coming weather or keep rolling it up!

 

 

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patp you both sound amazing. Good on ye. As long as you know the charities are there for you emotionally if you need it. I really wish you the best.

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Update

 

Could not believe what the AW agent said the other day so phoned again. This time I have been told that our plumber can access the pipework on "our" side of the boundary and put a standpipe in. Once done we have to ring them and they will come and fit a water meter. Phew!

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4 hours ago, patp said:

Once done we have to ring them and they will come and fit a water meter. Phew!

And after they have done that, you can connect the new house.......

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20 hours ago, patp said:

Update

 

Could not believe what the AW agent said the other day so phoned again. This time I have been told that our plumber can access the pipework on "our" side of the boundary and put a standpipe in. Once done we have to ring them and they will come and fit a water meter. Phew!

 

 

It sounds as though one of the post-sale plots will "own" the mains water feed before it branches off to the other property. The conveyancing solicitors should advised of this so that easements can be declared in the Deeds to grant access rights for usage and maintenance.

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7 hours ago, epsilonGreedy said:

 

It sounds as though one of the post-sale plots will "own" the mains water feed before it branches off to the other property. The conveyancing solicitors should advised of this so that easements can be declared in the Deeds to grant access rights for usage and maintenance.

No other plots involved here. Our site is a single plot to the rear of our our existing property. There is an AW main running down the, private, access road to the new property. It serves our existing house and the house on the opposite side of the road. The private road is a shared one between us and the farm next door. The new supply comes off that main. I imagine the solicitor will be aware of the nature of the track ownership. We did tell her about it and she was going to register it in both names as it is, at the moment, unregistered. Our neighbour is amenable but not sure if it is top of his list of priorities.

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