The process of buying your first house is a big milestone that should be an exciting time in anyone’s life. But, as first-time buyers Hollie and Andy have experienced, it doesn’t always go so smoothly. With the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the process by an entire year, they soon realised that it was going to be a much bigger challenge than they thought. However, with a little patience and the right professionals for the job, it eventually became a house move that would completely improve their everyday lives.
Whilst living in Edinburgh, dog walker Hollie and her partner Andy were beginning to feel frustrated and confined in their small 2-bedroom rented flat. As they also lived with 4 dogs, the flat was quickly beginning to feel uncomfortable, whilst the eye-watering house prices were becoming seemingly more and more unattainable. “My sister’s flat was almost the same price as this 3-bed detached house [we saw], which is just wild. So we couldn't afford to stay in Edinburgh,” Hollie explained. “As soon as we had an opportunity, we were looking to buy...In the flat, it was like we were in each other’s faces all the time...I just felt awful.”
They eventually decided to view a variety of larger, more suitable houses across Scotland, ones with spacious gardens that could entertain their 4 energetic dogs and give them the added room to breathe. “There had to be a garden. We were not compromising on the garden, that was the main thing. We wanted a decent-sized garden and, preferably, a detached house. Which we got!”
They remained fairly flexible with their requirements during the house-hunting process, only requesting to stay in Scotland and to, of course, keep the big garden as their main request. Thankfully, after a bit of searching, Hollie and Andy found the perfect first home for them and their furry friends. It was a beautiful, 3-bedroom detached new-build house that had everything they were looking for. “So we moved to Armadale, which is in the middle of Edinburgh and Glasgow pretty much - it's a 20-minute drive to the outskirts of Edinburgh,” Hollie told us. “Oh, it’s amazing!”
After renting the flat for a number of years, Hollie was excited at the prospect of taking her first step onto the property ladder and finally owning a house with Andy. Not only could they work on and decorate the home as they pleased, but it also meant the added security of knowing the property was completely theirs. “I know how much my mortgage payment is now (it’s a fixed mortgage) and I know what I'm paying every month and what my bills are. Nothing's going to change drastically,” she explained. “I mean, when you’re renting, the landlord could turn around and say, ‘I'm going to sell the flat.’ Then you need to find somewhere else. I always hated that unsettled feeling of just knowing I would have to move eventually. Now, I’m like, I never have to move again!” However, this excitement was fleeting, as the buying process soon became more difficult than both Hollie and Andy could have imagined.
Whilst the couple had found the property in 2019, they had to wait until January 2020 to pay the initial deposit. Of course, this was also when the spread of COVID-19 became a global pandemic, ensuring the world completely stood still. With national lockdowns being introduced, the housing market was heavily affected and many potential buyers were left in the dark until it was safe to re-start the moving process. “It was a new build so we were supposed to be in the house by July and obviously that didn't happen,” Hollie recalled. “So we were kind of ready to go [but] then covid was becoming more and more prevalent...we got into the house an entire year after we actually bought it, which was just stressful as anything.”
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Understandably, moving house was no longer a priority and the couple had to continually delay their moving date. “It obviously made it a lot more stressful because there were loads of things we couldn’t do on the run-up [to the house move]. The shops were closed, we couldn't get anything to prepare, we were just going into the house with what we had.” But one thing they could start planning was which removal company they would use when the restrictions could finally be lifted.
By using Compare My Move’s online services, Hollie was able to find a reliable, family-run removals company called We Luv Removals. Established in 2006, We Luv Removals have been a partner with Compare My Move since February 2020 and have already amassed a superb 5-star rating. They are a team of highly professional and experienced movers based in Glasgow, operating across Scotland. Impressed by their reviews and services, Hollie and Andy knew this was the team for them. “They were amazing. I can't praise them highly enough, they made the day so much less stressful. I would definitely use them again.”
With restrictions slowly lifting and the removal team ready to go, they were finally able to book their moving date for January 2021 - a whole year after buying the property! As expected, Hollie, Andy and their beloved dogs were excited to get going. “On the day, the movers were just brilliant, they took absolutely everything and did more than I thought they would,” Hollie explained. “We ended up taking the dogs last and they were just so excited to go from a two-bedroom flat to a three-bedroom detached house, it was huge for them.”
Despite the housing market being back in full swing, there were still certain rules that the first-time buyers had to abide by to ensure a safe removal. “We wore masks and when they were helping us with the stuff, everyone stayed pretty much two meters away from each other the whole time, just trying to keep safe.” However, despite the added guidelines and social distancing rules, the We Luv Removals team still provided a professional and efficient service that greatly aided Hollie’s moving day.
“Oh, I would recommend them to anybody! They were absolutely fantastic! They made the day so much less stressful than I thought it was going to be. Obviously moving homes is such a huge thing, especially when you're getting your first house. I was just over-stressed, planning everything. But the movers on the day were just unbelievable. They were so nice and so friendly. They helped with everything, more than I even thought they would…”
After a long and incredibly delayed process, Hollie and Andy were relieved to see that their moving day was not going to be as difficult. “They were just brilliant. Honestly, I can't recommend them enough.” From loading large, awkward furniture to unloading the smallest of items, We Luv Removals were available throughout every step of the process. “The movers just made it so easy. It was much less stressful than I thought it was going to be. They were such a huge part of that...I would definitely use them again.”
Since the move, Hollie and Andy have loved having their own space - a home where they have complete freedom and can decorate as and when they wish. “I’ve gone absolutely crazy, I’m painting the fence as we speak right now,” Hollie laughed. “We’re very colourful people. So the whole house is just like multi-coloured as well. I’m going for colourful vibes. I love decorating, that's the main thing. And not having to worry about what you can and can't do in the house.”
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But one of the most welcomed changes from the move was absolutely invaluable to the couple. “Oh, it's amazing...We're not bouncing off each other anymore. In the flat, it was like, we were in each other’s faces all the time. I feel like I can breathe now in my new house,” Hollie explained. “I just felt awful, now I feel so happy in general. Both of our moods improved and the dogs are happier too. It’s just a better life if you know what I mean.”
Here at Compare My Move, we have helped thousands of happy movers throughout the years, connecting them with the most trusted professionals in the industry. Whether you’re an experienced mover or a first-time buyer like Hollie, our reliable partners will help you through every step of the process. Simply complete our online form and you can quickly compare conveyancers, property surveyors and removal companies, helping you save up to 70% on your moving costs.