So we are almost ALMOST within sight of moving house. We found a house that we all liked and that wasn't too far away from our current house, and it all seemed rosy. Then proceedings got started. These are the lessons I have learnt thus far:
1) When you make an offer on a house, don't worry about asking rude questions like "are you bankrupt and being made to sell the house?" Otherwise you'll find out when you're too far down the line to turn back. We didn't ask being silly like that. Turns out the lovely lady and her 2 kids who live in the house are being thrown out by her ex-husband who has been made bankrupt. They aren't very happy about it.
2) When the estate agent says "it's a perfect house, needs absolutely nothing doing to it" don't be surprised when the survey comes back and says otherwise.
3) Expect stress for weeks and weeks and weeks, until you start to appreciate your current house and wonder if you're doing the wrong thing. Get used to living with the stress that it could all fall apart any day. We started this journey back in September and it's still going...
4) If you want a nice peaceful afternoon, don't check your emails.
5) The one good thing about it is that you will finally get rid of all the junk you have kept in cupboards and never looked at for years. If it does all go tits up, at least you've minimised a bit!