AIBU to be really scared of buying a house?(31 Posts)
Apologies to anybody who is not in the financial position to be about to buy a house and would like to be. I do realise that I am fortunate in this regard, have been very skint in the past and do realise the circumstances many people are in.
However, I am on the verge of buying a house with DH. He has previously owned his own house but we have rented for the past few years, partly because we couldn't afford to buy and partly because we moved areas several times due to work. We now have a reasonable deposit saved, are earning decent salaries and in the area we are living in can buy a fairly decent house based on the mortgage we can get. Our children are in very good local schools.
BUT- I am terrified. I have got well into my 30s without ever owning my own home. It feels like such a massive financial commitment. It will mean clearing out our entire savings, which have taken years to accumulate, overnight. It means committing ourselves to this area for a substantial amount of time. Am I mad to feel this way? I was much less nervous about other major commitments like getting married and having children, I'm not sure what is wrong with me. Can someone reassure me that these kinds of nerves are normal? It seems like most people are excited and really pleased to be on the verge of buying their own home and I feel nothing but anxiety and dread.
Have you found a house to buy yet?
Once you finally take the plunge you'll be saying to yourself why oh why didn't I do this earlier!! Go for it!!
Once you finally take the plunge you'll be saying to yourself why oh why didn't I do this earlier!! Go for it!!
We are looking at houses and have narrowed it down but have not made an offer yet as have a few more to view.
Don't worry you'll be fine
You can always sell it again.
YANBU to be concerned - it's a big thing, but it will be fine. I bought my first house in 1989 and I've had various ups and downs since - I still have a mortgage much bigger than I'd like and many years left to go, but on the whole, it's been a good thing.
I still look out of the window and have a minor panic some days - but so far it's been OK>
I understand. I was the same when we bought our house 3 years ago. I had nightmares and started sleepwalking! It's a lot of money.
But I'm so glad we did. We pay less each month to our mortgage than we did in rent. And of course it's going towards paying it off rather than just disappearing like rent. It's nice to have a house to make our own too. And we now have a 3 bed with garden, rather than a 2 bed without.
Just imagine yourself at retirement age if you do not take the plunge and buy a house now when you can afford it.......how will you continue to pay rent when you are old and cannot work and are living on a pension...now THAT is scary!
Hopefully if you buy sensibly now you can own your home by the time you retire. Often mortgages are cheaper than renting and don't increase like rents, more importantly you are in control of your future. If you make a major move in the future you have choices... of selling or renting your house.
My advice would be don't buy a new build as you pay a premium of about 15%- 20%, don't over stretch your finances, allow for a couple of percent interest rate increase, allow yourself enough leeway to start saving monthly again to build up an emergency fund.
Strangely l was far more terrified of the commitments of marriage and children! I had my first mortgage at 21 on my own and worked 70+ hours a week to pay it on a tiny grotty flat, by 30 it was down to less than a quarter the going rent in my area and I was able to move to a better home with a still very affordable mortgage.
It was the best decision l ever made and l will be encouraging my children to start buying a property as early as possible.
Good luck and enjoy your new home!
Don't clear absolutely every penny of your savings if possible.
Visit the street any house you are seriously considering buying at different times of the day and night. Look up crime stats on the police website and if you have the balls knock on prospective neighbours doors to ask if it's a quite area whilst surreptitiously checking them out. Look at any prospective development in the area you are looking at. If it needs any work at all then get a builder in to have a look, don't trust estate agents.
unless you have people who will put you up rent free, then there's nothing to be scared of. I only bought for the first time 2 years ago.
What I found terrifying was the amount of money I needed to just GIVE AWAY every month when I was renting. And it wasn't even a part payment, or an instalment, just paying for a roof over your head for the shortest term!
Thank you all for your comments. Its very helpful to be reminded of the benefits of owning my own home and to hear that others have also been nervous! cornishglos you are making me feel less of a freak with my huge anxiety about this! Piernator that is solid advice about not clearing all the savings, its just tempting to do it so that we borrow less, but we should try to keep something back. Dragongirl10 I think it is normal to be more scared of marriage and children as commitments and I am the strange one here! I think if I had bought when younger it would have taken the fear out of it. I have left it really late to take the plunge so there has been this build up of literally years and years.
The other thing I have realised is that over the past few years we have made big changes in terms of our spending habits. We have become much more frugal and through making small savings in lots of areas have been able to save up for the deposit. I follow a lot of frugal blogs and threads online. A lot of people on there have paid off a lot of their mortgage or downsized and have built up a lot of savings. I feel I am taking this big step in the opposite direction of clearing out my savings and taking on a massive debt. And I have got into the habit of shopping around for the cheapest brand of toothpaste, only buying my favourite shampoo when it is on offer etc. And I am about to spend a quarter of a million pounds, four fifths of which is debt! It terrifies me.
After reading mumsnet about the problems that happen on completion day I would advise a pre completion inspection as part of the deal.
its worth remembering that the debt that feels so scary is on a house that could always be sold to repay it, you are clearly very sensible with money and possibly have never had a debt, but it is not unsecured like a credit card or personal loan.
The only important thing is to do your research and really know values in your area, so you do not pay over the odds because you fall in love with a house.
Beware houses that need lots of work to be habitable, as it is often difficult to accurately know major refurbishment costs, and buy in the best area you can find.Better for increasing value.
For added peace of mind you could find a trusted experienced builder, and pay him to thoroughly check over any house you are thinking of offering on,think roof, heating, foundations, guttering, electrics etc. If you are paying him he will be completely objective and it will lessen the chance of any potential nasty financial shocks, also he can guide you on costs of anything that does need to be done if needed.
If you buy carefully you should be able to build up equity quite steadily which will make you feel hugely better!
I remember thinking like this aged 25 and part owner of a scary £40k mortgage.
Now it scares me thinking about what if we hadn't have bought then.
We're hoping to buy about June time and it petrifies me as well. More than marriage and kids too.
However looking at friends around me I do wish we'd maybe tried earlier, but it wasn't really an option and DS was somewhat of a surprise!
I keep telling myself that we have to do it, and the chances are it'll be fine.
Your lucky that your in a much better situation than us, we can only afford a 10% deposit and are really going to be stretching ourselves to afford a small house in a not so desirable area. But we're in the se and prices are rediculous in our area.
Hopefully it'll work out fine for both of us!
I would advise a trusted person to view with you and just get the cheapest survey. The secondary survey doesn't tell you everything and you can still get stung with no come back on them because the small print says nothing is their fault.
We ended up with a complete rewire (£3k!!) because the survey said electrics were fine and they really weren't.
And also that mortgages don't have to be for 20/30/40 years. Ours started at 27 years, we looked at 30 and came down with a repayment we were happy with. By not having those extra three years we saved £15k in interest over the life of the mortgage.
Its so fun being a homeowner though, even though its big and scary to take the plunge, its so worth it
I agree with both DragonGirl and YaySirNaySir.
You aren't blowing all your savings on a massive holiday, or experience, or even a gamble such as starting a business - you are buying something that, if it doesn't work out for whatever reason, you will be able to sell.
When you retire, you will have your own home that you own, and won't have the prospect of paying rent for a further 25 years+ without any salary coming in.
You will love having your own house!!
Paint it plan it change it - all yours!!
Security wise you don't have any with renting - at least if you buy you have some security -
It is not at all unreasonable to be wary of large transactions such as house buying, but really, it is better to have the security of owning your own home a little more each month than just paying over dead money in rent.
With regard to the debt question, there is good and bad debt. If you have carefully chosen your property and done your sums properly then your mortgage is a good debt because it is helping you towards your ultimate investment goal of owning your house. In many cases the monthly mortgage payments can also work out cheaper than renting.
Go for it. I highly doubt that you will regret it, but you might well regret not doing it.
I felt like this buying a house for the first time in my 30's. I even cried when we got the keys and looked at the empty house. I couldn't believe we'd bought an old (100 year plus) house that needed lots of decorative up-dating and we had no DIY skills.
BUT 8 years on, I'm glad we've spent our money on buying not rent - even though we bought at height of market and have been through negative equity (house still only worth the price we bought it for).
I'm still a bit nervous about it all but I'm glad we have a house that will be owned by us and not renting
I have just bought my first house and had the same feelings. We could never afford to buy. We were renting for 10 years while saving what we could. We have 2 DDs so it wasnt easy. In the end we were able to put down a sizeable deposit. For that mpney to disappear was scary and buying in general seemed like such a big deal, even now I think more of a commitment than hetting married. But now when I look around at the house I own I am prpud, ot has all been worth it. If I want to do something I can do it and I have. Ive been making up for lost time not being able to touch rented properties and paying drad money to greedy landlords. It will be the best thing you ever do! Good luck
Damn phone with a cracked screen.
Willow, I was you a few years ago, except I left it even later to buy - I was in my late 40s.
It took me years to pluck up the courage to buy but I kick myself that it took me so long.
I found a great place about three years ago that I could have bought but didn't as I had anxiety issues of the kind that you're having, plus I had reservations (which, looking back, were really stupid) about the flat itself.
Because I dithered, a year later prices went up and I could no longer afford this type of flat - it had a garden, no service charges, a super-long lease and was in a nice, clean, quiet residential street.
I ended up with a smaller, more expensive flat (high service charges and lease that will need extending soon) in a worse area (fly tipping is a problem). I love my little flat but still kick myself thinking about that first place.
Having said that, if I hadn't bought when I did I wouldn't be able to afford to buy now in my area and the flat has increased in value by £60k in less than two years (London).
Wish I'd done it years ago and not wasted tens of thousands of pounds in rent. I do understand how you feel though. It might help to remember this: "Everything you want is on the other side of fear" and "The fear is always worse than the reality".
It has certainly been true for me and I had exactly the same conversations with friends who had mortgages: I was terrified of the commitment and of wiping out my life savings overnight with the down payment.
I always remember one estate agent who told me she hadn't bought and regretted it. She said: "I never liked anything enough, but now I am priced out and still renting. Being fussy got me nowhere."
Take a deep breath and do it - good luck!
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