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How to prioritise living life and property

(19 Posts)
baggysoobs Mon 07-Nov-16 21:05:34

I was wondering what your advice would be on this. I have managed to increase my hours at work and so should have about 400 pounds extra per month. Before this gets swallowed up by general living I feel I need to plan for what I will do with it.
I am a lowish earner and a lone parent. Am lucky in that I have a smallish.mortgage which is affordable. However due to my income I am at my max in terms of borrowing.looking into what my increased salary will bring I could possibly borrow an extra 10k.
I am in a nice enough area but in a small 2/3 bedroom mid terrace. The jump up to the next rung of the ladder would be approx 20k plus fees to get something bigger and in as nice a location.
There is not much scope to extend really as the house is mid terrace and has a small garden. There would be possibility of doing a loft conversion to make it a proper 3 bed and a bit of a rejig could mean an en suite. To do an en suite on 1St floor would be about 8k from my workings. Loft conversion with en suite would be about 35k and one without about 20k. So could save by having the ensuite elsewhere and could then do as 2 separate projects.
So while this is possible, cost would be about the same as moving anyway. So then I think may just save for longer, overpay the mortgage and move in a few years.
Another part of me thinks, enjoy the extra money.and live life with it. It could mean not having to be really frugal any more and do.maybe one decent holiday per year plus a couple of European breaks . But I know this is not sensible and may look back wishing I had saved more to move up the ladder.
I suppose my question is,how do you decide what is the most imuportant priority when funds are limited. And what conclusions have you reached in your lives?
Sorry this has been a bit of an incoherent ramble!

user1471549018 Mon 07-Nov-16 21:58:17

Are you happy in your current home? How many children do you have and how old are they? My initial thought was stay where you are and save some of your extra money for your/kids future then enjoy spending the rest.

RandomMess Mon 07-Nov-16 21:58:55

How many children do you have and what ages?

What difference would it make having a proper 3rd bedroom?

baggysoobs Mon 07-Nov-16 22:15:25

Thanks for your replies. I have 2 kids who are 10 and 7. The current 3rd bedroom is absolutely tiny, 6ft by 7ft max so only space for a 2 ft 6 bed with storage underneath and shelving above then a tall boy wardrobe. There is hardly any floor space and certainly no space for a desk or a friend to sleep over. It would be ok as a tiny nursery or a study but doesn't really work as a bedroom.

baggysoobs Mon 07-Nov-16 22:16:54

And we are happy. In fact the child who has the tiny room says he doesn't want to ever leave. Despite moaning every now and then about the size of his room!

RandomMess Mon 07-Nov-16 22:21:05

Can you configure your bedrooms to make the smallest a little larger? Quite often you can steal space from the room next to it? Would be much cheaper!

baggysoobs Mon 07-Nov-16 22:42:45

That would be possible random, but 3rd bedroom was thr result of a split already. Would be possible to move 2 internal walls to even them out a bit more even but would then mean no possibility of an en suite. The third bedroom would still be quite small though, maybe only 8ft x 6ft due to where the windows and hallway are.

InfiniteSheldon Tue 08-Nov-16 07:01:13

Overpay your mortgage and perhaps have nice days out. Fifteen/twenty years ago I was a single parent in exactly the same position and now I'm mortgage free. We never moved house as my teenagers loved living there I just kept increasing my overpayments and I've moved now they have left home sad. I can now help them with uni/weddings/first house purchase and as a family we all agree it's better than a few holidays we'd have forgotten by now.

shovetheholly Tue 08-Nov-16 07:53:43

I think this question depends to a large extent on your definition of "happiness". For some people, happiness is lived in the eyes of others. They can't be happy if they don't have the right house in the right area, the right car, the right objects, and they don't feel like themselves without them. For others, happiness is more experiential - it's about how you use time, whether that's travelling, having quality time with family, or being able to afford something that you couldn't otherwise pay for (e.g. a club, activity, hobby).

I also think that there is a kind of self-created misery. Some people make their own hell by trying to live according to standards they don't really buy into, or by overstretching themselves to afford something that just isn't worth the level of sacrifice they are putting in.

I think this is really a question about who you are and how you see value. Sorry for not having an answer - I've just created a load more questions, haven't I?! grin

baggysoobs Tue 08-Nov-16 09:10:55

Haha shove the! I know think that is very true and I need to give that some thought. I would say I am naturally an experiential person and value experience by far. I am pretty non materialistic and hardly ever go shopping and buy a lot of stuff second hand if needed. My wider family are similar but have a lot more money than me so their natural baseline is higher and they all have bigger nicer houses, more holidays etc so I guess I struggle against being the poor relation! I think maybe I need to go for a middle ground, save some, spend a little extra than would have and maybe put some towards improving where we are so it's as nice as can be but without going overboard . Cos I am in the south East I guess in time could move somewhere nicer but in a less expensive area.
Infinite -it is interesting to hear your experience and its lovely to hear you are in such a good place now

namechangedtoday15 Tue 08-Nov-16 09:19:27

I think the middle ground is a good idea - also experience over possessions here due to having health issues in the family. I want to make memories with my children rather than having the newest car or the latest iphone. I think it would be nice for your DC to have a room big enough to have friends to sleep over / do homework at a later date, but don't push yourself trying to keep up with the Jones' of this world!

YelloDraw Tue 08-Nov-16 09:39:21

Ah I don't think I would spend the money on putting in an ensuite or moving. I would try and overpay the mortgage, build up savings and have some nice times with the children.

As a LP with two children you are financially more vulnerable to 2 working adult families nad need to be more cautions as a result.

So one child can't have friends to sleep over in his room? Not the end of the world - you can give him the living room for sleepovers. Have a desk in your room for him so he has somewhere quiet to do homework.

Do you have high ceilings? Could you spend some money having a mezzanine bed level put in the small room with storage and desk space below?

RandomMess Tue 08-Nov-16 12:47:36

I would make do with the house. If you have a family bathroom you could split it into a separate WC with handbasin and bath/shower room with handbasin. It is so nice being able to bath/shower where no one has just had a sh*t or no banging on the door to use the loo mid soak...

Lots of people have 2 DC sharing the whole time, live in cramped flats etc in the SE - they don't have it so bad... you can always do a 6 monthly room swap to even things out in the future!

baggysoobs Tue 08-Nov-16 16:39:26

random, I know my situation is good compared to many, but want to have the nicest house possible to live in, and enjoy nice things with my dc's. I guess everyone else is always trying tread this balance too. I want to come up with a long term plan that I stick to with the knowledge I am taking our best interests into account long term .
It's a modern house so bathroom as small as they could get away with so no way to split off the toilet.

RandomMess Tue 08-Nov-16 21:31:39

How frustrating!!!

When we were still in the SE the gap just kept getting bigger and bigger tbh. it's pretty grim isn't it sad

flownthecoopkiwi Wed 09-Nov-16 16:29:50

We have grappled with this question. We have/had a 3 bed semi with two small children that has been increasingly feeling smaller, but been overpaying our mortgage and not had any financial pressures...

Then our friends bought a huge house and I stupidly decided to get ours valued and talk to a mortgage broker....... well, we are now hopefully a month away from moving into a 4 bed, 3 reception room house that will mean a huge mortgage and a fair bit of belt tightening for a while at least.

We have always thought we would go small and have 'experiences' but to be honest day to day living will be better with more space, and a couple less holidays a year will be an ok compromise. Now, if only I could stop stressing over the size of our new mortgage!!!

Artandco Wed 09-Nov-16 16:38:35

I would stay where you are TBH. But you can do things so make changes maybe.

1) allow living room to be used for sleepovers. You can say once every 2-3 months each so they aren't weekly!

2) add desk area in living room for kids or a basket with supplies and they can use dining table. Nicer as you can help them and they are more likely to do homework if not shut away. It's not like you will have a teen and tiny baby so it's peaceful enough

3) could you fit a 'den' in the garden. Basically an insulated summer house. Get electric put down there and can be place for tv/ games console when older, beanbag teen hang out when friends over

baggysoobs Wed 09-Nov-16 18:05:38

Flown -Good luck with the move. Extra space will be worth it I am sure.
Art- I think an outdoor den would be great and would have space down the bottom of my garden for one. I think that would be great for teenagers and could double up as an office for me too

Somerville Wed 09-Nov-16 18:15:31

I'd use the bulk of your increased earnings to overpay mortgage or just build up savings for a while, if I were you. Settle into your longer hours, see how the small bedroom works out as the kids get a bit bigger and what the property market does, and then decide about extension or moving house. You'll have kept your options open and checked the longer hours are sustainable and if you end up not moving well then you can have foreign holidays and lots of extras from that point.

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