Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I'm not superstitious, honest. But I've been burned enough times in the past to know better than to announce things prematurely. Yesterday, however, I received a letter from my solicitors confirming that we have exchanged contracts on the house in the village.

For those of you who know nothing about the English (and Welsh) legal system where buying and selling houses is concerned, this means that it's extremely difficult and costly now for either party to wriggle out of the deal. I won't rest easy* until the keys are in my hand, but it looks like the Horse Doctor and I are going to be home-owners in the new year.

There are a number of things that the solicitors recommend you do upon exchanging contracts. One is arranging buildings insurance cover for the house you don't yet own - despite the fact that it should remain the responsibility of the vendors until the deal is completed. I find this slightly annoying, since we're not going to get into the place for a couple of months yet. Also, if you read the fine print of any insurance document these days, you'll find that cover only exists where no other policy is in place for that purpose. I'm not sure of the legalese involved, but it wouldn't surprise me if, in the case of a claim, both insurance companies tried to argue it wasn't their responsibility. Still, it's not too expensive, in the scheme of things.

The other main recommendation my solicitors make is that I take out life insurance. This is one of those things like writing a will** that needs to be done, but is somehow rather uncomfortable. As if to do so is to admit one's mortality, and by admitting it, positively encourage the Grim Reaper in. Still, I need to protect the mortgage - it's one of the requirements of the deal anyway, but I won't draw down the money until completion day, so why should I have to pay to protect it until then? Give me a month before I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the sensible world of adult responsibilities.

But no, I must do as the solicitors tell me. So this morning I have been mostly getting quotes for the value of my life. Luckily I am hale and hearty, don't smoke and no longer drink like an undergraduate, which means I can get a reasonably cheap premium. I was intrigued, however, by the exclusions on the policy I will probably end up buying. In particular the one which said they wouldn't pay out:

if, within twelve months of taking out the policy, you commit suicide.

This strikes me as being a bit brutal, but it makes perfect sense, I guess.

Otherwise everyone would be doing it.

* actually, I suspect I won't rest easy for a very long while. This is a big mountain of debt we've taken on to buy this place and we're going to have to work bloody hard for the next few years to beat down the repayments.
** hmm... need to get that sorted, too.

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Blogger angie said...

Massive congrats! Though I have to say it was a bit odd to title your good news post "Morbid." Yeah, yeah, mortality, insurance, taking on debt, etc. But dude, you're one major step closer to owning the house you want! That's more of a "whoo hoo!" than an "oh, no..."


December 19, 2007 3:31 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

You're right, of course, Angie. But I'm saving the happy dance for when I've got the keys;}#

December 19, 2007 5:52 pm  

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