How Good Is Waiting

How Good Is Waiting
Photo by Aleksandra Sapozhnikova / Unsplash

Hello Friends.

I don't understand Disneyland. Well actually I do - get some of the most creative people on earth to design a park based on some of the most loved entertainment content ever to be produced and you have a recipe for creating money.

But what I don't understand is the waiting. If I look at the Disneyland wait times calendar (yes there are websites that track all this data) just a few days ago on Saturday, you only had to wait 5 minutes..... for the monorail.  Then according to the max wait times, there were 7 things you had to wait less than 30 mins for, ranging from the tea cups to the carousel. Then 16 things you had to wait under an hour for, and the final 6 were over an hour long. The two new Star Wars rides had a wait of 2 hours for Millennium Falcon, and for the Rise of the Resistance it was 160 minutes.

160 minutes - that is almost 3 hours of standing still and shuffling forward every few minutes. How in the world do people do it?

I know you can say 'don't go on a Saturday' but so many people do, that you wait the entire length of the Return of the Jedi movie, plus 27 mins more.

As crazy as this type of waiting is, there is another type of waiting that is even worse. When waiting for a Disney ride you know there is a good time waiting for you at the front of the line, and even if it isn't, you can still tell all your friends how good it was to justify the crazy cost of your vacation/holiday. I actually think that is a part of Disney's strategy  - people bragging #blessed.

But there is a type of waiting where there is no guarantee of the outcome you were hoping for, in fact at the end of this waiting, there could be ..... more waiting.

This is the kind we are dealing with at the moment and I have not been dealing with it very well. So let's shine a light on it for my embarrassment and see if we can extract any learnings from it.

We bought a house!!!

Well, we bought a flat!!

Well, we put an offer on a flat and it was accepted!


Because it's England that means nothing, and it's been 2 months already and we still haven't paid a cent. The only thing we have is a contract with the listed seller who was not actually the owner.

Let me explain.

When you buy a property in the UK you are actually just shaking hands and getting in a line. Like the Disneyland lines, this may be a short line, or it may span for countless millennia. They call it the chain and it's the most English thing you can ever find. This is how it works.

You find a property that you want to buy and you make an offer. Once accepted you become a part of the chain. The next link in the chain could be the seller who will now go and find a place to buy to move into. So you wait till they find a place and make an offer. Once accepted they (and you) become a part of their chain. There is a chance that the owner of the property that the owner of the property that you are buying needs to also go find a place to buy. This could go on indefinitely. Plus this is just the forward chain, there could also be a backward chain as you may only be buying a place because you are selling yours. Plus there are other things in the chains such as banks providing mortgages, so all of these steps could be conditional on the banks lending the money for the purchases. Plus there could be any other random things in the chain such as one of the purchases needs a great uncle to die to give them the inheritance to buy the property. This is extreme but it is technically possible.

Now to make this even more strange, at no point does any money change hands until the purchase takes place. In Australia when you buy a property you have 5 days to organise everything then you exchange and pay 10%, then 6 weeks later rain, hail or shine you pay the rest of the money and you buy the place. If you have a chain, you sort it out yourself. No uncles need to die. The price is locked in when accepted and at exchange, there is no backing out. If someone does they lose 10% and the seller gets to sell the property again at full price.

Now I am about to say two words that I promise you are not made up. Because no money has exchanged hands a seller could go behind the buyers back and show their property to other parties. Then if they get a better offer than the one they get accepted they can legally take that, though this is very frowned upon. This process is called Gazumping, I believe taken from the Greek word 'naughty naughty bad person'. On the other hand, the buyer can do the opposite and at the last minute reduce their offer and that is called Gazundering.

Buying a property is hard enough, trust the English to make up new words to learn as well.

Luckily none of this has happened to us. We purchased a property that was chain free, but that was a little misleading. When we got the contract it showed the owners to be different from who was selling to us. It was a part exchange which is where an owner gives their house to a developer for no money, in exchange for a discount on their new house with the developer. This is something we were aware of, but we were not aware that there were two previous owners. I promise this is the last new word - Shared Ownership, where a company or charity buys with a member of the public to help them get into a place. They pay rent to the company for the portion that they don't own.

So this complicates things a lot and we couldn't get an answer for a month on how this was going to be solved. But finally, a solution was presented and it seemed to be going along. The family that was in the flat, bought out the shared ownership, transferred the property to the developer and have got their new house and moved out as of last Friday. All of our finances are in order and we are ready to go but they are taking forever to give us the updated paperwork. I called every contact I had and found out the solicitor team wasn't aware that they had even moved out. I have tried and tried to get people to talk to each other and stop ignoring our solicitor's emails. The answer is not that hard - I mean the house is empty, the money is ready, we agreed on what needs to be on the paperwork, I have furniture to be delivered next week and a handyman booked to paint and put together beds and furniture, and it's not that hard, come on, just do what you said you would do, why are you ignoring me, it's not that hard...



Look outside

Enjoy the wind on your face

This has been my last few days and only today I have stopped.

What we are trying to do is impossible. We moved 16,000 miles from our home, we established a life here, for the last 14 months we have been nomads moving from place to place, and now we have found a place to call our own. The entire journey has been impossible but we have walked it anyway, following the peace one step at a time. But now we are so close to the finish line we are running and tripping over constantly.

The thing that got us here, is going to be what gets us to where we need to go. Don't change the formula this close to the finish line.

I can't remember a time when I have doubted myself so much but that ends today. Either I am right about this journey I believe we are on, or I am completely off course and headed for a cliff. Only time will tell, but one thing I am not going to do is get out of the line this close to the front.