Moving is a very tough experience, they say it is one of the most stressful times along with a death (not your own as that may not be that stressful), marriage, divorce, etc. So let’s just say it’s usually tough.
When we decided to move the market was just starting to swing towards the buyers, the press and Government can say all they like, but everyone can see that there are row upon row of For Sale signs, and when you notice them, you’ll notice that a lot are staying put week after week.
So when you’re looking to sell and you’ve already bought, you can be in a tight squeeze right now. I know we were, and we’ve got friends who are going through the same thing right now.
We went to see a Cala home in a new development outside the center of Edinburgh and instantly loved it. We’d been looking at places for ages and we, well I should say I, wanted a garage and plenty of storage space in the house as well as a Home Cinema\Games room. My girl friend wanted a nice place with space, much less than me really! We found it in this home.
It was one of the last in the block, with prices for the next phase already risen and this flat with a discount it seemed too good to be true. It was, the price was at the top end of our bracket and it would make things tight, and take all our savings and the money from the sale of my flat.
So we put a small holding fee down to keep the property for a week until we got the Bank to say yes to the Mortgage. We struggled, and it looked like a no go. The flat would have to be bought within two months and we weren’t sure if we could sell mine in time, the Solicitor was dubious and warned us the market was really quiet.
Then good news, just as we thought we were going to give it up, the Solicitor called to say Cala’s Solicitor had indicated the move in date had been moved forward a month. The Bank said yes, we got the money, and we went ahead arranging the selling of my house. In the meantime our Solicitor confirmed to Cala’s Solicitor on numerous occasions that we would accept the new move in date.
All was going well, until we found no one was coming to see the house. Rugby, Wimbledon, Football, loads of major sporting events were blamed on the lack of viewers, Trades Fortnight, whatever it was, they weren’t coming, James Earl Jones was wrong.
At around the height of this panic Cala’s Sales Manager for our site began to call, pressuring us into taking out a Bridging Loan and moving in early. Apparently their Solicitor had made a mistake and we were supposed to be in on the original date a month earlier, in 30 days time! It started out nicely enough, with Cala offering to reimburse us for the expense, but it began to get more and more pressured.
Tough I said, we signed the agreement, we purchased with that deal. They didn’t see it that way, we had been told initially what the date was and we should move in on that date. They couldn’t admit that their Solicitor had made a mistake and we were perfectly right to move in on that date, if they had this would have been a lot easier.
So this continued, I made it clear that if we had not been told that date we could not have bought the house, we would not have had the money. Doesn’t matter was the response. Cala wanted us to take out a Bridging Loan for all the money tied up in the house, the dual mortgages and house bills for a month, with associated Solicitors fees, etc. and move while still struggling to sell the house.
I couldn’t do it. Never mind the fact that no one would give us open Bridging like that without charging us nigh on a thousand pounds just to start the loan. The kept at us, but we held out, and when the first date passed they stopped calling and we kept going for the second date.
I really didn’t appreciate the way Cala handled us there, especially after the amount of money we had agreed to pay them.
So we moved in, and we wrote our first Snagging list…oh sorry, Cala like to call them Remedial lists, I think this is because they like to think nothing is wrong with them and the houses are built to a high standard. Well they are right, they are. In a brand new place we came away with about twenty to thirty items, with some of them being fixed before we handed the list in – we’d left it overnight in the flat before we moved in!
The deal for the remaining list is to hand it to the Sales staff on site who will then pass that to the Site Manager to get the work done. About a month went by and we had heard nothing, and before I went to complain I received a Cala customer satisfaction card. Brilliant. I completed it saying that I was not happy with the Sales staff and no one had been to see us about the Remedial list.
Two days later, the Site Manager appears and apologises for the Sales staff loosing our Remedial list. He now had it though and they began work. I have to say the workmen, including the Site Manager, have been fantastic, the Sales staff however are extremely poor and haven’t seen customer service in their life, just sales targets and bonuses.
We recently found scratches on twelve of our windows, we hadn’t really noticed them before and most of them seemed hardly noticeable, however the Site Manager decided to replace them all rather than polish them. That’s all happened now, and I have to say it’s been excellent service from the site team, not Sales.
Overall the house is amazing, there’s plenty of space inside and outside, with large roads, green areas, etc. The whole estate is really nice. The quality of work inside is very good, and in the end we absolutely adore our house. We’ll just never deal with Cala Sales staff again.