Hi everyone! Apologies I’ve been a bit quiet lately on my blog but we’ve been moving into our new home! After a long wait and some ups and downs in the process, we finally received the keys on Friday 12th October 2018.
We’ve been in for a month now so we’re starting to settle in but for the first few days, it was honestly so surreal. We reserved this home back in February and have watched it grow from a few bricks in the ground to a stunning townhouse. It felt so amazing to finally be given the keys and be able to step into our new home, knowing that it’s ours!
So here is a little about what we have been up to in these last few weeks from packing up our flat to making our new build house a home. I’ve inserted a few tips along the way as well which I hope any other prospective home owners might find useful…
I like to be honest on this blog, particularly in regards to buying a new build house as I know plenty of people will be looking for advice or would have gone through a similar experience to what we went through. In the last couple of weeks before we got the keys, Taylor Wimpey were starting to really test our patience. A couple of annoyances that we experienced that others who are buying a new build might be going through too:
- We weren’t receiving regular build updates. It was always us phoning Taylor Wimpey towards the end
- Our Sales Executives never seemed to be able to answer the most simple questions
- Repeatedly kept painting us a false picture. At one point, we were told that we were most likely going to be in by late August. We didn’t move in until mid October – how can they get that so wrong?!
- Weren’t willing to accommodate to full-time workers – all our appointments absolute had to be conducted Monday – Friday between 9am and 5pm. Both Ollie and I are in full-time employment so found it really hard to make these appointments.
Overall, we just weren’t happy with the level of customer service we were receiving towards the end. We expected weekly build updates and that just didn’t happen so we filed a complaint via email to the regional Sales Manager and that seemed to get things moving. Her response to us was really dignified to be fair and pretty much admitted that they should be giving us regular updates and that they shouldn’t be giving us false completion dates. Shortly after this, we received our move-in date.
Tip: If you’re going through a similar experience when buying a new build, go to the top. Find out who the Sales Manager is and write to them to explain why you are not happy. Those who tend to shout the loudest do get heard.
So, after that little hiccup we were finally getting somewhere. Ollie and I both booked a week off work for the move so that we had plenty of time to not only move in but settle in too. We picked up the keys on the Friday and started the big move on the Saturday. Ollie managed to borrow a van from his work which was such a big help. It meant that we had it for the whole weekend, free of charge, so it was one less thing to worry about. We started packing the van at 6am on Saturday morning. I know, I know, we sound crazy but if you saw where our flat was located, you’d understand! Our flat was on one of the main roads leading into Exeter city centre and it can get extremely busy, particularly at the weekends. We have buses driving past all the time so it would have been impossible to park the van right outside in the middle of the day without pissing off loads of bus drivers! Getting up at 6am meant that the road was dead and we could get most of the boxes out before the traffic started to appear.
The day went past in a complete blur! I think we made our first trip to the house at about 10am and stayed there for about an hour and a half whilst we unloaded the van and put each box in the designated room.
Tip: When unloading, make sure to go that extra mile and put each box in its designated room rather than just dumping it all on the ground floor. It will make it so much easier later to find things.
We got back to our Exeter flat for around lunchtime and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing! By this point, the road outside had become busy so there was no point in moving anything else out until the evening when it had become quiet again. My mum and dad came over to help us at about 6pm and this was when we got all the big furniture out. We loaded our cars with a few of the last boxes as well and made one last trip to the new home.
Tip: If you’d like to spend the very first night in your new home, make sure you order a blind or curtains BEFORE you move in. This way, you can get them delivered before you move and you’ll be able to put them up straight away in the bedroom, enabling you to sleep well on your first night in your new home.
Throughout Saturday evening, my parents helped us to unload all the big furniture and my dad put up our bedroom blind for us. We sat down to a well-deserved Chinese takeaway before my parents went home.
Waking up the next day in our new house was so surreal! It was so weird to think that this was our new home now. Not only were we living in a new home but we were living in a completely new area too. One of our first jobs of the day was to go food shopping so we went to the nearest store and made sure to stock up on supplies. When we returned, the rest of our first day in the new house was spent unpacking. I love this part of moving. I hate packing and the actual moving part but I love it when you’re in a new home and you can start putting everything where you want it to go. You can see your home coming together before your own eyes!
The rest of the week was filled with furniture shopping, unpacking some more and endless trips to the recycling centre to get rid of all our boxes! We embarked on our first trip to Exeter’s Ikea in search for a kitchen table that we did indeed find. It’s a square white one that fits really nicely into the corner of our kitchen but it extends as well so you can fit six people around it. This is really handy for us as we do love having people round for dinner so when we do, we can move the table into the living room. A trip to Ikea isn’t complete without staying for dinner and indulging in their incredible meatballs!
As far as snagging goes, we haven’t really had many problems which we were really surprised at! I follow quite a few new build home accounts on Instagram and I quite frequently see people having snagging issues but we honestly haven’t really found much yet. The only major thing that we discovered within the first 24 hours of living in our home was that the back door didn’t lock properly. Taylor Wimpey Customer Service were excellent though and sent someone out straight away to fix the lock.
Another thing that the customer service team have been superb with is the issues we have been having with construction workers parking in our spaces. We have two parking spaces which are sat just behind our house and every day when Ollie leaves for work, they are straight in his space. I’ve had a couple of days off recently and when I’ve returned from a trip out somewhere, there they are in our spaces! I had to go and park in the marketing suite car park the other day! Lindsey from Taylor Wimpey has been excellent though. She started getting annoyed for us saying that they should absolutely not be parking there. The problem isn’t 100% sorted yet but Lindsey seems to be going out of her way to get it sorted.
Tip: When moving into a new home, don’t let anything dampen your experience! If you’re having a problem, get on the phone straight away to the customer service team and keep nagging if the problem continues. I started to feel that I was perhaps becoming a nag when I kept having to phone Lindsey every day about our parking issues but she was really sweet and insisted that I do keep calling her.
I’ll end this post here as I think it’s gone on for long enough! I’ll do another blog post about our new home soon when we start progressing with each room.
Have you moved into a new build home recently or are you in the process of buying? If you have any thoughts or questions, please do just leave them in the comments below!