Chance to buy house where we live, but possible move elsewhere, clueless about long term future(16 Posts)
Hello and thank you for reading. We are in our 2nd european country having been out of UK 8 yrs. children in bilingual school and very happy. have talked of staying long term and now have the chance to buy the house we are in. Then a week ago husband is asked how he would feel about a move to California - for 3-4yrs.
I like the house we are in very much and like where we live but I have no close friends and we have built up no social circle as a family here (husband works a lot). Feel caught between local language and english - could go to english club but then end up speaking a lot of english, local language not good enough to fluently talk to people, parents at school very often want to practice their English. have been busy taking language lessons and have exam in a couple of weeks - adding to my melancholy
Had been all set, buy the house, make a go of it here but now feel out of sorts.
i cannot envisage where we will end up. Having moved around in the UK we have no base there. i have no family and our only base in the UK is MIL.
It is mentally not good for one to do, but I look forward 20 yrs and have no clue where we will be and how are lives will look.
Not a cheer up, its Friday post, but welcome any thoughts.
How easy would it be to lease the house if you moved away? Long term tenants? Holiday let? How easy would it be to sell the house again in a few years if you wanted to buy elsewhere? Are you likely to gain any equity?
To be honest you don't sound like you love your life where you are living at the moment. Agree that you might be able to buy your place and let it out? This would give you a base as well as an investment. I would seriously think about California. How does your dh feel? Would it be a good career move?
It's pretty unsettling when y think you've got it planned for a while and then your partner comes home with a "how do you feel about moving to xxx?" question. It does make you feel unsettled and unsure and this is to be expected. It can also magnify the little niggly things about your current location that you just normally get on with. You'll feel better when you've made a decision and from the tone of your post, I don't think it's far off.
Thank you for your replies. I think the house would rent very well but clearly it would be easier to just walk away from it. There is no guarantee that the company would have a job here for dh to come back to. I do like it here but I have not made a life for myself though my language skills are not bad, far better than the would have been had I just mixed with expats. The job would be a promotion but would mean more travelling for dh. But it would disrupt a good life here for the children and if I made more effort I could find friends - I have just lost my confidence in doing so and hence moving is yet another chance for me to run away when the going gets tough. You are right myfriends when you say that the possibility ( and it is only a possibility) to move gets you to noticing the niggles you have where you are.
Have been in a very similar position to you. DH's job moves us all over. 15 years ago we did exactly what you are proposing to do - bought the place were living in because the opportunity arose. Like you didn't know where else we would buy otherwise. We then left the country for ten years and rented it out - not for any profit, but covered our costs. More importantly we've just come back and thank goodness we did buy. We have just sold our own place (tenants just moved out) for a fairly hefty profit which is enabling us to buy something else. So glad we bought when we did - we have seen colleagues come back, having bought nothing, now priced out out of the market and struggling to get a mortgage (having already had the mortgage for 15 years we are in a much better position to get another one). I think the fact that you say you like the house very much is a good start - you also know it (rather than randomly buying another property somewhere else).
Good advice from Liliangish! Holding property and a good credit history is always a winner in the long run.
As for disrupting life....well maybe it's time for the big talk. You have to be on the same page about wether you accept life as an expat or need to settle your family. We've all been there ( or keeping head in sand). It is an important discussion to safeguard your couple and Family!
Sorry don't mean to stir it up but it's better to lay thing on the table dispassionately then in the urgency of acceptin/refusing the next posting.
I have no answer so far. Our problem is we may have to leave without a job in the near future and have no idea where to and no place to call home.
How old are your children?
Have you given any thought to where you want to be during the 'critical' school years? (I'm thinking 15-18, but obv your idea of 'critical' might be different. A lot of people have secondary as their 'must be stable' period).
We stopped wandering five years ago (we had bought a house here earlier during a previous post and let it out a la Lilian. We returned much later and eventually sold it for a bigger place).
Dh is now being offered a job a four/ five hour flight away. If you had asked me a year ago where I would be in twenty years, I would have said here. Sigh. Life is never that simple.
What does your gut tell you? I think it's hard, because for so many years we have attuned ourselves to think of moves as positives, a new beginning, new opportunities, that to consider anything else is almost impossible! I know that my kids (eldest is two years to high school graduation) would be aghast if we were to move. But there is still a little piece of me that knows the schools are better there, yada yada yada....
I think when you are moving around it is very difficult to know where you'll "end up". I think because we are British there was a part of me that thought we ought to buy something in Britain - but it would have been almost impossible to decide where to buy if we weren't going to live in it. Much easier for all sorts of practical reasons to buy in the country where we were living (in our case France). Now we are back again and DCs are in secondary school I'm thinking maybe we should stay here for them to finish school hence our decision to buy a bigger place. We are going to buy something to live in and we are going to live in it - I can't wait. But I can't rule out another posting - it depends what we are offered! We have to look at each posting on its merits - can't rule anything in and can't rule anything out. If we do go somewhere though I know I'll be much happier going there knowing I've got something to come back to. And if we don't end up here (whatever ending up means - I think once you're a mover you realise nothing has to be forever) we can always sell up and move on. And whatever costs and complications that involves you'll always be better off than someone who never bought anything because they couldn't decide where to buy. So glad I found this thread because sometimes I feel as though it's just us that has this weird unpredictable life - nice to talk to some kindred spirits who know what it's like.
Thank you again. Broken modem meant I have been offline.
Laptop the place to call home is a big problem - where to see yourself at 70?
I am unsettled because of the possible, and it is only possible move, also my own lack of close friends here. A friend from another country is going back the UK, to the area near her mom and dad, friends etc. No such place for us exists - our only base is MIL and much as I would like pottering with her to National Trust gardens - we cannot throw everything up here - it is a good place for the children, they are happy here, DH enjoys work (though we all know that can change on a sixpence and suddenly work is gone or there are problems etc).
Lillian I cannot count the number of times we have talked about buying a house in the UK to "get on the ladder before it is too late" but cannot just randomly buy a house just to have one.
The children are still young so 6 and 8. As they are bilingual I do not want them to lose that.
I have a tendency in my thinking about life (as opposed to discussing political or moral questions) to be very concrete, I need a firm answer. So what if we buy the house - what is the worst that can happen, we can rent it out, we can sell it.
Having moved in the last 15 yrs 6 times in the UK and 2 european countries, you would think I could embrace change. FIL died suddenly not so long ago and I used to talk to him nearly every day. Now we only have MIL I feel we as a family are a little more alone and the (fantasy) of a lovely place with lots of friends where I feel secure and supported and everything we be ok, really appeals to me. But as I know with other times in my life when I have been sad at change, I would not want to be stuck in a rut, life is for living and experiencing.
I think I would be better off with a job but that is a whole new discussion.
It's the - "where will you be when you retire question" that frightens the life out of me.
Just to be clear, we haven't bought a house in the UK for the reason you give. We bought in France where we live at the moment and intend to buy again here. I still don't have the answer to the where will you be when you retire question - but when we retire we will have a home in Paris, whether we stay there is another question entirely, but lots of people move when they retire anyway. The point is we won't be able to get a mortgage then so having equity in something has to be a bonus. If you like the house you live in and you think you could rent it out if you lived elsewhere then that sounds like a good place to start. I always think if the worst comes to the worst and you can't sell can you live in it? And if the answer is yes then it is more than investment it is also a home. Much better that than randomly buying something in the UK that you might never live in.
I have read but don't have much time to reply at the moment. felt I had to say about the "where will you retire" question .... Does anyone know that, much less an expat? Where would you like to retire? It can be anywhere. Do you need to have a fixed idea now? Your dcs will be away by then, you can pick any country without worrying about bilingualism or schools. Dh and I have no idea......
If you are renting a house right now that is nice and rentable, I would buy it if you have the capital/can get the mortgage. It's a good nest egg and a place that will always fall back as home or even retirement home.
I would also take the move to America where you will be more likely to find a job and friends in your mother tongue. Is the language something easy to find communities in America like Spanish/Italian? If so have a Google to see what groups there are for them. Bottom line is, you can't plan your whole life on your kids being bilingual, it is way too limiting. They have already been exposed to two languages for a long period at the critical age so the main job is done. The language synapses will be well and truly connected, even if they don't keep a working use of the language. Well done.
I know how you feel about home. Country and place form a big part of identity and by extension family. It is normal to feel dislocated, I feel the same!
Ah, you need Canada! The dc's can use their French as well
My eldest is in her ninth school setting. Fortunately, because they have moved so often, the kids are extremely adaptable. But it would be nice to have the fantasy roots and settle properly.
apologies Lillian I misunderstood - thought you were living in the UK and had bought a house you like having previously thought of just buying a house to have something.
We will go ahead and buy - it is lovely where we are. I guess the "where will we be when we are 70" comes from the recent death of FIL. MIL is coping because of all of her friends - built up over 30 yrs.
I do not have a group of Close friends here which in itself is an issue to some extent (though one would say if I were that bothered I would have done something about it). I imagine lots of people having full and active social lives and therefore see myself as a bit of a failure in the expat lark.
Moving and needing to make friends again and again (which I am not so good at anyway) is hard.
Think the phrase It's lovely where we are speaks volumes. From the ages of your DCs I'm guessing retirement is some way off. Buy your house, enjoy living in it and see what happens. I think there is something to be said for living for the moment - you like it there now and your kids are happy, not everyone can say that! If you get the offer to move to the U.S. weigh it up on its merits and cross that bridge when you come to it. I just spent my first year back in France wondering if we would get posted to the States - in the end it didn't happen. It made me determined to get on with life anyway instead of constantly putting off decisions on the off chance we might move again. Sorry, probably repeating myself, but so identify with your posts!
It's really interesting reading this thread. I'm not in Europe, but in a place expats tend to move to and then stay in one place. We aren't like that due to the nature of DH's job (and itchy feet!). I have not made as many friends as I would have liked either as I find it really hard too, and those friends I do have tend to have lots of family here so spend a lot of time socializing with them or their old school friends, so it can be very tricky to break into social circles. To be honest I have stopped making as much effort since DH found out we may have to relocate elsewhere in the country for another project and I do feel a bit in limbo whilst we wait to find out if it will happen. In a way I quite like the idea of having a go at making friends again elsewhere, but I think also if we do find out we are staying I will put more effort in again here too. It's a strange position to be in, isn't it?
We are only renting, but I do miss owning our own property as I do worry about the future. Not owning makes it easier to move, but I do see the advantages of having an investment for the future.
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