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to own a property you have to work before children

(122 Posts)
oohlaalaa Wed 31-Aug-11 14:26:46

My cousin was bemoaning the fact her and her husband are still renting, my mum said to me after that's what happens when you have children young. She should have worked for a few years first, to get savings / mortgage.

My cousin did a degree in social work, and as soon as she graduated she and her now husband got engaged, travelled for six months, then married, and soon after that had two children. They had their first child at 23 and 24. He works full-time, but not in a very well paid job. Cousin has two lovely children and works part-time as a carer. They live in a sweet little cottage, and although they have to be frugal, always seem very happy.

Is my mum right? My mum feels that her niece should have worked and saved for a few years, before children. Mum's view is that her niece chose to have children young, and so has to accept renting for foreseable future.

My mum and Dad married at 21 and 22 respectively, but delayed children till they were 29 and 30. My parents reckon this was the best decision they ever made, as they paid off a large chunk of mortgage (my brothers the eldest and he was born in 1980).

I've been broody for years, but DH has kept delaying children due to finances. He has agreed to start TTC next year though (I'll be 29, and he'll be 34).

Do you agree with my mum, or is she being judgemental?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 31-Aug-11 14:31:52

It's only in the UK that people are so crazy for buying their homes, in Europe it's not the same. In France, most people seem to rent. I also understand that there are some with 'grandfather' mortgages, the mortgage goes on and on, passing to the next generation for the same property. That seems quite sensible to me actually.

I don't know OP, stop seeking your mother's approval, keep your own counsel and do what you want to do, it's your life. smile

MissPenteuth Wed 31-Aug-11 14:35:41

Owning property isn't the be-all and end-all. There are advantages and disadvantages to having children at any age. Your cousin and her DH may not have had time to save before having children, but they'll be younger when her children leave home and become independent.

It's really not any of your Mum's business though.

vickibee Wed 31-Aug-11 14:35:45

There is never a right time as such to have kids. You could always delay it for one reason or another and end up never having children. If you are in a stable relationship go for it if it is what you both want

oohlaalaa Wed 31-Aug-11 14:37:26

Not really seeking my mums approval. Just wondering if people agreed with her.

I'm thrilled that cousin has two gorgeous happy children, and don't really see the issue with renting. I think my cousin would like a new kitchen in cottage (it has a 1970s kitchen, but landlord won't pay for new one). She was telling us how she'd love to have her own property to do up. She doesnt like decorating or doing improvements to a property that is not her own

We're sticking with my mum's philosophy of not having children young, due to DH being so darn prudent (hes always been on cautious side).

oohlaalaa Wed 31-Aug-11 14:38:25

Vickibee - we will quite literally be going for it in 17 weeks.

jellybeans208 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:38:36

Depends I bought my first place at 18 in 2003 and then my husband and I had a child at 23. I wanted a place young so I could have children with my husband. I wouldnt want to be older than I was when I started having children as you can have longer gaps and enjoy your children more imo. No worries about biological clock etc but its not for everyone.

CailinDana Wed 31-Aug-11 14:38:48

It's purely a matter of opinion I think, there's no right or wrong about it. If you'd rather wait, then wait. If you'd rather not, then don't. I've only just bought my first house and DS is 8 months. Suits me fine.

MamaChocoholic Wed 31-Aug-11 14:41:43

I think if you want to own a home and pay off a good chunk of your mortgage, then yes, you probably should wait and have children a little later. most people can't buy a house when they're 23/24 so having children that young you are likely to need to rent. it's only an issue though if home ownership is more important than having children.

MamaChocoholic Wed 31-Aug-11 14:43:07

how on earth could you buy at 18 jelly?

AMumInScotland Wed 31-Aug-11 14:43:19

I think from a practical point of view, your mum is right - if you don't manage to have money saved up (or already paid into a mortgage) before DC, then your chances of managing while DC are small is pretty remote, as you have extra expenses and less chance to earn.

But whether that means people ought to delay is quite different - people will have different priorities, and/or pregnancies will happen without careful planning, meaning what's practical from a financial point of view isn't going to be what everyone ends up doing.

jellybeans208 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:44:18

Until very recently buying a house on a llow wage was very easy. It would only be difficult to buy a place at 23 if you were buyig after 2006 imo.

cat64 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:46:03

Message withdrawn

eurochick Wed 31-Aug-11 14:46:28

I agree with AMum completely.

jellybeans208 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:46:53

Bought a flat on a 12k wage with a 6k deposit it saved up from waitressing and shop work. Then in 2006 sold up and moved whilst I was earning minimum wage and my husband 6.50 an hour and then moved to a 2 bed. They didnt really care what they gave you pre 2006. I know a few friends who bought on minimum wage or near because at the times the banks didnt care how many multiples they lend you. Obviously changed now for future generations.

Takitezee Wed 31-Aug-11 14:48:01

It was right for us. We bought a flat then a small house, got married, had children and then bought a larger house. The way interest rates are we would be paying about three times as much in rent as we do in mortgage at the moment and able to put extra towards paying it off.

I know most other countries don't have this obsession with buying but it does give us a feeling of security knowing that in less than 10 years our mortgage should be paid off. I would hate to be at a landlord's whim.

I don't think your mum is being judgemental though, your cousin is moaning and your mum is giving her opinion.

justhe1 Wed 31-Aug-11 14:50:38

Thats what i did too, but i have to say that house prices were very low when i bought my 1st house at 23. (paid 36k for it)

We waited 7 years to start trying for children when we had almost finished doing up our house that we had bought together.

A mix of good planning and very good luck i think.

nocake Wed 31-Aug-11 14:52:22

It sounds like your mum is correct, your cousin could have chosen not had kids and bought a house but it hasn't always been that way. My parents bought their first house in 1969 just after my sister was born and just before I was born. It cost almost exactly three times dad's salary. Three times a good starting salary won't get you anywhere near the property ladder now.

Ormirian Wed 31-Aug-11 14:53:56

I suspect your mum is probably right. But so what? Children cost in lots of ways - we'd be rolling in it if we earned our current income and didn't have children, but that was a (more or less hmm) considered choice.

Ormirian Wed 31-Aug-11 14:55:33

Some older friends of ours (they are in their 60's now) were asked about their contraception when they applied for a mortgage. Children were seen as a major risk to income because by and large the mother was expected to give up work for a large period of time.

tabulahrasa Wed 31-Aug-11 15:01:49

I had DS at 17, (DP was19) we bought a flat when I was 19 and this house about ten years ago, so I must have been 22.

JodieHarsh Wed 31-Aug-11 15:04:01


Owning a property has FUCK ALL to do with working.

DH and I have been married for 11 years and have worked, without ceasing, since the age of 16 and 17 respectively, with not so much as a gap year/pause for breath during university finals.

We have both had professional careers for several years. We are TTC. We will never own our own home.

Not that I'm bitter.

JodieHarsh Wed 31-Aug-11 15:04:35


Sorry about the minor strop there! grin

tabulahrasa Wed 31-Aug-11 15:06:13

Oh we had DD 18 months before we moved in here as well - just in case it's relevant, lol

MillyR Wed 31-Aug-11 15:07:52

I had my first child in my early twenties. DH and I had been out of university a year and we had temping jobs. He got the mortgage on the basis of his wage temping with the same company for a year.

My neighbours are in their early twenties and have two children. They both have graduate jobs and bought their house with a mortgage as soon as they left university. She got pregnant pretty much straight away after starting work, took maternity leave and then went back to work.

My friend had her first child during A levels and the second during her degree. She bought her house straight after finishing her degree.

We all live in small houses.

It isn't impossible, although I imagine it is very difficult if you live in the South East.

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