Today we went to have a look around the property we love so much, and because the academic year has started the rooms were full of students. We could only look around two of the eight bedrooms, and the students have signed contracts to stay in the property until June 2011. Not ideal, as tenants must be members of the co-op, so we couldn't let them stay there and pay us rent until June either.
So what we've learned is, before we view a house, to ask the estate agent to confirm with the vendor that the house is empty or can be empty right away. Twice now we've arrived at a house to have a look around, only to be told by the estate agent that the house is occupied!
We're not ruling it out right away, but it certainly looks like we won't be moving house any time soon.