Anyone one massively down sized whilst the children are still very young?

(24 Posts)
Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 06-Nov-13 10:03:34

So 7 years ago we massively up sized and currently have a big house with a big mortgage. We over pay on our mortgage as much as we can but there is no sign that we will be mortgage free within 10-15 years as we would want to be. Plus it impacts a lot on what we can afford to do in every other aspect of our life.

I feel we have the balance all wrong and I'm not sure this house, which I've always viewed as a long term investment is worth the sacrifice anymore.

I've started looking at houses that would potentially half our current mortgage but it would be a massive down size. I just wonder if I will end up regretting losing all the living space we have?

We are restricted by area, moving away from our current location isn't an option so there is limited choices. If we waited another 5 years we could be more flexible but I'm not sure I want to continue our current lifestyle like this for another 5 years. HELP ME!

ShoeWhore England Wed 06-Nov-13 11:11:32

Totally understand where you are coming from OP, have been in that position myself. Lots of questions I would be asking in your position...

Can you stop overpaying so you have more cash to have fun?
How important is it to be mortgage-free in 10-15 years? Would it make more sense to live more for now?
Would you see yourself wanting to size up again at some point? It costs a lot to move house!
How much equity would you realistically free up by downsizing once you've paid for stamp duty, solicitor's fees, moving costs etc?
Is your current mortgage deal good value? Are there better deals out there?

How much space have you got now? How much would you be sacrificing to move? I think it's quite a different question if you're downsizing from 7 bedrooms or 3 or 4 grin

VanitasVanitatum Wed 06-Nov-13 11:17:13

I would keep the space and reduce the over payments, accepting that you won't be mortgage free as soon.. But that's because I like space! It depends what is more important to you, long term, either lots of space but longer mortgage, or less space but in ten years odd you will be mortgage free.

If you can find a home you will still love and be content to stay in then downsizing could be a good option, other wise as shoe says you will be off again soon..

Also, house prices apparently set to rise by a third soon..

Reduce your payments unless you're 55 plus.

You're trying to do too much smile

Can we have a teeny reality check - how old ARE you?

If you're 40 and want to pay you're mortgage off in ten years isn't that a bit unrealistic given you have young children?

Mutley77 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:25:19

Personally I have the view that it's better to make the most of time while the DC are little but then we are reasonably young parents so I am not worried about working to subsidise them at uni when that times comes for example.
Therefore I would enjoy the space in the big house in the area you want to live plus I would stop the overpaying and enjoy your hard-earned money as long as you are not reckless and racking up big debts.

fanjobiscuits Wed 06-Nov-13 11:37:33

Can you rent out house and rent somewhere to try it out without totally committing? Also if you haven't already check out the mse Martin mortgage free wannabe boards lots of surprising ways to save money and inspiring stories. Also the money mustache blog.

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 06-Nov-13 13:29:26

Thank you, lots of interesting views here. I'm surprised that general consensus is to stay put!

I'm not forty yet but DH is mid forties and tbh he is more bothered by the length of the mortgage than I am.

We can stop over paying for a while but even then it's still £1050 a month.

Hmm, not going to rush into any decisions it would have to be a a really lovely house to compensate for the size!

Could you rent a bedroom to a lodger? That would ease the pressure on the mortgage payments, so you could afford to do more other stuff and still keep the big home.

CreamyCooler Wed 06-Nov-13 13:56:52

I'd stay if you can as just over 1k a month sounds like a good deal for a really spacious house. If you stay put are you planning to sell up and downsize when DC have left home?

littlecrystal Wed 06-Nov-13 14:03:11

Not yet but thinking in similar lines. Currently in a spacious 2 bed house, thinking of buying a 2 bed apartment. There are 4 of us, including 2 boys under 6. Probably madness in other people’s view, but I keep fantasizing of a lovely tiny apartment, clever storage solutions, tiny flower baskets in the balcony, paying off my mortgage within the next 5 years, having more cash for holidays/ipads/robotic hoovers smile and of course moving to an excellent area with excellent schools. Possibly even sending my DS1 to a boarding school as all the money frees up from mortgage.

I hope I will have the courage to do this, as now I am stuck in not particularly lovely area in London, the house the I don’t love and needs constant upkeep and no good secondary school in sight.

Will it get easier financially when your kids are in school? Less childcare costs perhaps?

Otherwise I would look into downsizing although £1050 mortgage per month is not excessive..

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 06-Nov-13 14:13:01

We have no child are cost as children both in school.

My main problem with our current situation is the upkeep of a large house that is starting to need work doing to it, plus the general keeping the place clean. We have rooms that largely go unused which seems ridiculous.

Plus I want more opportunities to travel and do stuff with the children.

I couldn't face renting out a room, ds has autism it would upset our delicate Eco system too much!

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 06-Nov-13 14:13:48

Yes would definitely down size when the kids leave home.

littlecrystal Wed 06-Nov-13 14:15:50

Then I would start looking now without a rush, but with a perspective to downsize.

CreamyCooler Wed 06-Nov-13 14:19:38

Only you know if you would prefer holidays etc over extra space. Why the need to pay of the mortgage quickly if you are going to sell anyway?Couldn't you buy a smaller house with your equity and pay of the rest if the mortgage then?

lalalonglegs Wed 06-Nov-13 14:29:23

If you're really committed to the house then you should stay there but as both you and your husband are beginning to view it as a millstone, I would be tempted to move in your position. Are you an area where the house is likely to be worth much more than you paid in 2006? Have some (realistic) valuations done and see how that makes you feel about the possibility of putting it on the market. It could be a process of many months - you mention work needs doing and you may prefer to have that done before you try to sell (if you try to sell) so there's no rush.

oscarwilde Wed 06-Nov-13 15:08:06

when the kids leave home.... is that a given in this day and age?
What about ageing parents/inlaws....

bigTillyMint Wed 06-Nov-13 15:17:30

Just think ahead to when your DC are teens. They will want their own space and so will you.

We live in a 4 bed house. Not a big one with a huge garden, just a bog-standard London terraced. Just about OK space-wise with 2 teens!

CreamyCooler Wed 06-Nov-13 15:37:29

I've also got a 4 bedroom house ( a good size new build) and 2 teens at home and find it works really well. It's all about the layout of the house for us. We just moved from a 5 bedroom house to a slightly bigger one with 4 bedrooms but because we now how have 2 completely separate receptions rooms plus a really good sized kitchen diner we don't need any more rooms.

Not done that but when we were moving up property wise we bought something way below what we could have afforded. Our tiny mortgage was paid off when I was 45. We live in an area where property is cheap so never looked on it as an investment. It's a very big house in a rural, not very fancy area.

What are your priorities?
Do you care what other people think?
Do you like to run a new car?
It's true that teens take up the space that is vacated by the toys and clutter of little ones grin

doglover Wed 06-Nov-13 18:29:08

Well, we did this when our 2 dds were 12 and 13. Best thing we ever did. We went from a 5 rec / 4 bed house to a 2 rec / 3 bed house. We paid off half of the mortgage - still owe £!00k - and have completely renovated the property to our taste and specification. We are late 40s in age and intend to stay here for the very long term because, as a bungalow, it will be perfect for the future. We now have money for hols .treats etc and LOVE it!! HTH

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 06-Nov-13 19:06:09

Oh dog lover that's what I wanted to hear! We would also be moving from a very similar sized property to what you have and would be left with a similar sized mortgage.

How did you dd's feel about it?

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 06-Nov-13 19:12:12

Secretscwirels my main priorities are reducing dh's stress, having more money to travel and do things with the dc. I don't care about things like new cars as long as they are reliable. DS2 has autism and making sure he has a financially secure future is important too.

I don't care about what others think about where I live. I do care about the dc's growing up thinking big houses in nice areas with new cars is the norm and them not truely appreciating how fortunate they are.

doglover Wed 06-Nov-13 19:38:48

They were of an age where we could discuss it from all angles and we genuinely listened to their opinions. All four of us wanted to improve our quality of life - which we have - and they love our new home. We did ensure that their bedrooms are a great size and they love their 'own' shared bathroom ..................... We are not materialistic - both drive basic, oldish cars and don't earn mega bucks - but do value our precious family life, days out and shared memories.

It really has worked out brilliantly for us smile

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