pmsumner: (Default)
Since the last entry several things have happened. I guess the first and most important one, given the content of the last entry is that we took the house with the feature walls I linked to back there. We moved house on Good Friday and it took us a week or so to get almost everything sorted. The move was bloody hard work but thanks to Jane's colleague and partner (Alison & John) we didn't have to hire a van, and they gave us so much help I don't think we'll ever be out of their debt.

The new house is mostly great! I'll take & post some pictures eventually. It's an ex show-home and all the main rooms have feature walls - for example the living room wall is turquoise with patterned wallpaper. It doesn't sound that nice but it really is. It's about as different from our old house as it's possible to get. It's significantly bigger to start - the old one was a 2-up-2-down with huge kitchen, small living room and an extension for utility room, and an enormous garden, this one is 3-bed with a large living/dining room, fairly small kitchen and a tiny garden :)

Since moving, we've discovered that this new house has significantly less storage than our old one. So we've had to buy new furniture - a new oak wardrobe (well actually Jane's parents bought the wardrobe) and sideboard from Colour Supplies, as well as a new 2-piece sofa (3-seater and 2-seater, brown leather) from the Shrewsbury Alan Ward sale as they're closing for a refurbishment. So we're now skint. But we'll have a nicely furnished home with plenty of storage, so it's all good :)

In other news, I have a new job! This happened rather suddenly at the end of March. I went for an interview with the company which lasted almost 2hrs on the Tuesday, then Monday the week after I was offered the job! Didn't take me long to accept it, but working the month's notice at my current employer has been a weird experience.

The new position is with a company called Transactis, and my job is "Application Support Engineer", which as far as I can tell means making sure data gets from point A to point B and fixing it if it stops. The company are part of the Shop Direct group who own the Littlewoods & Very online catalogue shops along with various others.

It's a significant pay rise for me, and a slight increase on the commute (yeah I know... but it's only a slight increase and hopefully they'll be moving somewhere where I can get the TRAIN to work!!! What a concept!). It'll also involve working some on-call, which will be an experience but shouldn't be a bother.

Being on-call means that I probably won't be able to do the next show with OMTC, which I am slightly disappointed about, because it's panto and panto is relatively easy. Having said that, taking a break every now and then is a good thing, gives us time to breathe. Both Jane and I were in the last production (The Sound of Music) which was just about a sell-out. Fabulous show in the end, despite grumblings during the rehearsal process.

So, that's all the news that's fit to print. How about you?
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
location: LL11
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 02:51pm on 04/03/2012 under , , ,
We've been to see a few properties over the last week or so, and also not been to see several properties that we wanted to see - agencies are a bunch of incompetent goons I swear - so we've got a good idea of the local market again.

We saw this place (http://www.eclettings.co.uk/index.php/properties-available/3-bedroom-barn-conversion-holt/) on Saturday, which although nice and would have been a big change from where we are now, just didn't feel right. Things I can explain: it was single-glazed, had only 1 parking space (for a large 3-bed house?), was in the grounds of a nursing home, and somehow felt unfinished. It was like it needed a bit more work to be complete. I can't explain exactly what was wrong but it wasn't right.

However, on the same day we also saw this place: http://www.northwooduk.com/node/35502. It's an ex show-home on a new estate and is slightly oddly shaped but is also well-maintained, a good size (3 good-sized bedrooms), has 2 bathrooms and a downstairs loo! You probably don't appreciate how exciting this is!

We shall be applying for this on Monday morning. I hate this phrase - "applying for". It feels almost dirty. Even more irritating when the agency in this case are the same agency we're with now, so it's not like they really need to do credit checks and the like. We've been paying rent to them every month now for 2yrs, you'd think they'd trust us some more by this point.

Yet they're still going to charge £200 "reservation fee" (admittedly this goes towards the deposit if we're "accepted" so I'm not so bothered about it) and £100 "admin fee" as well as the rent & deposit, all payable on the day of the tenancy starting, though what they claim that's for I'm not entirely sure? Perhaps for photocopying/printing the agreement.

Then of course there's the period of overlap, which is all going to be a bit odd. Our tenancy formally ends on the 7th April, which this year is Easter Saturday. What letting agency in the world will actually do anything on a bank holiday weekend? I'm curious how they'll want to work it. I suspect it'll go one of these ways - either we pay them a few days less rent (it's only £30 or so but it's better in our pocket than theirs!) and hand it back on Thursday, or we hand it back on Tuesday having paid nothing more (seeing as it's not our choice).

I want to keep the overlap (paying rent on the new and the old place) as short as possible - 2 days should be enough but I suspect we'll end up with more because agencies are evil, right?
location: LL11
Music:: The Secret War of Harry Frigg
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
pmsumner: (Default)
We've been renting our house here in Wrexham since April 2010. We've been perfectly happy - it's a nice house, it's a good and quiet area. The owner of the property lives near-by and is a good owner, he deals with things as they need dealing with and is a nice bloke

On a technical note: we signed our agreement with the agency, they are our landlords - the owner of the property lets it to them who then sublet it to us.

A few months ago the owner of the property approached us asking how much we paid the agency. We talked and it turns out he's paying them £100/mo in fees, plus fees for finding tenants and drawing up new contracts when the fixed term tenenacy expires. He suggested that if he could get management of the property back from the agency then he'd reduce our rent by £50/mo and he'd still be better off.

Nothing much came of this until a week or so ago when he told us that the agency had been back in touch with him, giving him 4 options:
  1. We carry on with the tenancy as agreed, nothing changes
  2. They kick us out and find him new tenants at a cost of £400
  3. He takes over management of the property for £1,400 (+ VAT)
  4. They return the property to him, empty.


Now he's understandably a little unhappy at this, however it's all in the agreement that he signed (we have a copy of this, it's awful for the owner). He now wants nothing more to do with the agency which rules out options 1, 2 and 3. He seems to be of the opinion that he'd rather lose a current good tenant and a regular income "because of the principle of the thing".

I talked to him about this and, told him that the course of action he'd taken was going to lead to us leaving, and not through choice. He didn't really say anything, so I think he either doesn't understand the problem thoroughly, or he is too wrapped up in "the principle" to care about the impact it will have on him and us.

So, tl;dr - we're going to be moving house in April.

The next job is to find somewhere... but where? Too many options...
Mood:: 'pissed off' pissed off
Music:: Pan Am - Ep 11/22
location: LL11
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:24pm on 05/04/2010 under
My lists are getting simultaneously longer and shorter, this worries me. It should be impossible! I guess the fact is, we are where we need to be, if not ahead! Everything's packed that can be packed without affecting our daily lives.

Tomorrow comes the job of the kitchen, along with clothes. The kitchen is always a headache because there's so much stuff that needs individually wrapping or protecting. The clothes aren't difficult but they're bulky.

Wednesday I shall move some furniture around to reduce the number of trips needed to get stuff packed up, bring as much stuff downstairs as I can. Having it downstairs will just make life easier in the long run.

Thursday we sign and pay the monies. Our plan is to move as many boxes as we can in the cars on Thursday, before we get the van. Taking the freezer at least because we've got stuff in the freezer here that we can't cook (our oven's broken, damnit, and that's screwed up all my plans for cooking this week - I had it all planned out) and with any luck we'll be able to do things with just one van load (I don't think we will be able to manage it - there are some oddly shaped items that just just won't play well together), but I would like it to happen that way.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday we shall be doing the bulk of the big moving stuff, along with rehearsing! Technical rehearsal on Sunday is in the way at a really annoying time.

Monday/Tuesday next week there will be cleaning. Mucho cleaning, in all those hideyholes that are normally hidden by furniture. I'm trying to clean as I go, but it really isn't that easy. Along with cleaning, there will be dress rehearsal on Monday and our first performance on Tuesday.
location: CH3
Music:: Malcolm in the Middle - Academic Octathlon
Mood:: 'energetic' energetic
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posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:44pm on 27/03/2010 under , ,
Twitter's had all my updates lately. Anything more than 140 characters is too much to think about.

The big news: Jane and I are moving. We've been looking around for ages for somewhere to move to and we spotted a house that looked good on paper - off the beaten track (I am SO fed up of our house vibrating with the lorries that go past), proper off-road parking, nice and ticked all the right boxes. We went to view it and I think we both felt the same - it's perfect.

This is the house on the agency website.

Rent is significantly cheaper than our current place, council tax is significantly cheaper too! The only downside from my point of view is that it is about 20 minutes further away from my current employer. However I don't mind this - the savings we are making will pay for the extra petrol, I am certain.

We move on the weekend of the 10th April. We have a van hired and will be doing it ourselves. I looked into the cost of someone doing it for us and was horrified! If we were going a long distance I might not mind paying £600+, but we're going about 20 miles! We don't have any majorly huge furniture, I estimate that we can do the job in 2 runs if the van's big enough (it should be a long wheel-base sprinter or equivalent), 3 if not.

The hardest thing is going to be getting stuff in at the other end! Going in the back, there is a set of 7-8 fairly steep steps, and the front you can see in the picture here:
- http://www.northwooduk.com/property_images/images/nwwrexl_114r_img_00.jpg

It's going to be a hell of a week - because the week we move is also show week. The timing of this move is both perfect and awful. I had the week of the show and the week before booked off work anyhow, the current tenancy runs out on the 13th April, and the current landlord wanted to increase our rent. Everything just seemed to happen at the right time. Sunday will be the worst because we have a technical rehearsal on Sunday afternoon, which screws up one of our biggest opportunities.

Our house is currently resembling a minor disaster area. The small bedroom has been emptied and turned into a box room, containing nothing but boxes of books and a bed! The living room contains several bin-bags full of either recycling, charity shop donations or rubbish, an old ironing board and the components of some self-assembly furniture that we're disposing of. The kitchen contains boxes. So many boxes!

I think we're where we need to be with packing. The books are packed, and they're often the worst thing, second perhaps to the kitchen, or maybe clothes.

I have been doing some work around the house - stuff like replacing the sealant in the bathroom, touching up some paintwork where it has been knocked or scuffed. I don't know if the landlord expects that but I'd rather do it, when it costs pennies and a little time, rather than not do it and have them try to charge us for it.

In non-house moving news, the show (Annie Get Your Gun) proceeds apace, and I think again we're where we need to be. There's 2 weeks (3/4 rehearsals) now before the show starts and things are relatively smooth. I need to do some work on not losing my damned voice yet again, I've now lost it twice in a month - though I suspect the reason for it this time is that I never quite recovered from the first problem.

Work is work, is work. I've been getting involved recently with some stuff that's involved some direct contact with the directors, which is both good and bad. Good because it may once and for all make someone realise that I can do more than I am most of the time, and bad because the kinds of things that tend to come from the directors are frequently pains in the asses and involve lots of time spent listening to people whinge. Not something I'm good at or something I want to waste my time with. You got a problem you want fixing? Let me fix it instead of complaining at me about the fact it's not fixed yet.

And as a parting comment: Toblerone Cookies are both delicious and addictive.
Music:: Hannibal on Five USA
location: CH3
Mood:: 'tired' tired
pmsumner: (Matilda)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:31pm on 13/04/2007 under ,
Derren Brown was just on, and I missed the beginning. I caught the bit where he hypnotised someone and then got them into a photo-me booth where they were re-sleeped and secretly transported to Marakesh before being revived! That was so cruel, but SO funny! I tried not to laugh at the poor guy's reaction but I couldnt help but think an actor would do well to study his look of utter bewilderment :)

I blame the beer. I took a beer-break from packing. I've got the living room 99% done, the kitchen 80% done, the bedroom is a state but it's mainly clothes and I'm planning on doing that next. That leaves... uhhm... well that's about it really ;) A small home has to have some advantages!
Music:: Ad Break
Mood:: 'giggly' giggly
pmsumner: (Matilda)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:23pm on 11/04/2007 under

  • Write to Jordan's - 23rd April, end date!
  • Cancel/Move Demon - Cancelled on 14th April.
  • Cancel/Move BT phone - Move arranged - midday on 14th.
  • Find van - Booked for 9am on the 14th through to 9am on the Monday.
  • Contact council (tax) - Letter sent
  • Contact T-Mobile - Done
  • Contact LetsXL - Done
  • Contact United Utilities - Done
  • Contact Egg - Done
  • Contact A&L - Done
  • Contact Cahoot - Done
  • Contact Cineworld - Done
  • Cancel Sky - Done
  • Set up postal redirection - Done
  • Investigate and set up joint bank account - Hopefully done on the 2nd attempt
  • Contact Jordan's in Chester to discuss "Article 3" on rent increases - Done, but boo.
  • Contact Lloyds TSB - Done
  • Contact TV Licensing - Done twice
  • Find sofa - Done
  • Find washing machine - Not needed yay
  • Find new ISP - Done but needs re-ordering on 15th or 16th. Eclipse are the future, right?
  • Start packing up house, which can be subdivided:

    • Anything which is still in boxes from when I moved in - throw it or freecycle it - Nothing!
    • Find boxes at work/supermarket and put books in them, take apart bookshelves - Boxes gotten
    • Find somewhere sensible to put the things that I have broken down - Oddly enough, the kitchen
    • Consider taking apart wardrobe, but it's a pain to put back together
    • Go through clothing and throw out clothes that don't fit or are old/knackered
    • Empty box-cupboard and find boxes for things that have them still

  • Update LJ 'contact details' post - I can't find it! Anyone?
  • Tidy house/Arrange paperwork
  • Contact O2
  • Contact PayPal
  • Contact Lloyds TSB (car insurance) - Must do this like, tomorrow
  • Contact Powergen - Final reading on 14th April
Mood:: 'drained' drained
Music:: Fierce Creatures - ITV3
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 10:16pm on 11/04/2007 under
My spodtable is dismantled. My living room is in chaos, my bedroom looks like a clothes bomb exploded in it, my kitchen has boxes in it beyond what a kitchen should have and I'm vaguely happy about it.

I had a quick go at re-sealing the bathroom earlier. I stripped off a 30cm-ish strip of sealant and re-did it, it appears to look ok, I'll see how it looks tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow evening will be a frenzy of stuff, I suspect. Saturday shall be nothing but moving boxes, if I have my way.

I'm still not sure how far through my list I am, I'll have to do an updated one.
Music:: Fierce Creatures - ITV3
Mood:: 'stressed' stressed
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 07:56pm on 10/04/2007 under ,
We showed Jane's parents the new place, they seem to be happy enough. I'd be miffed if they didn't at least pretend as we're very happy. We discussed sofas and have decided firmly on the one that we want this time, and have decided for certain that we're not going for a sofa-bed - the extra cost doesn't justify it IMO.

We discovered that the lovely landlady is nice, and she has bought curtains and a washing machine for the house, both of which we thought we'd end up paying for. This is a good thing, saving £300+ in the short term. We only need a drier and sofa now.

I'm currently on hold to T-Mobile, as I think I need to argue out an upgrade with them. They think I can upgrade in November, despite me agreeing to no 18mth commitment when I upgraded last April. I'm prepared to make a fuss today - really need a new phone, mine's becoming unreliable.

Success. Knowing one's rights and the processes makes life so much easier. I have a new Sony Ericsson flippy phone being delivered in the next couple of days.
Music:: Simpsons
Mood:: 'chipper' chipper
pmsumner: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] pmsumner at 11:06pm on 31/03/2007 under ,
We, that is Jane and I, have paid the deposit and first month's rent on the house, and we have located our preferred washing machine & sofa.

We uhhmed and ahhed about sofas and think we have finalised on an Ikea Ektorp (Leaby), Ektorp Sofa-bed (Leaby) or Backa (Kungsvik) sofa. Why? They're about £100-£200 cheaper than the nearest rivals, the two we liked most have a max 1 week lead time.

These aren't the "endgame" sofa, they're an interim which are nice in their own right, but aren't what we would choose if we had everything our own way.

Washing machines, around £250 from Currys, for a model with a timer on it. If we're on an economy 7 tarrif anyhow, it's worth it. If we're not, it's not. Must investigate.

Next weekend we're going to view the property again to measure up and try and organise where things will be put and whatnot.
Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful
Music:: Top Comedians

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