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Living in an expensive area and feeling really down about it(26 Posts)
We live in an expensive part of the country. Not London or the outer fringes so not earning any more. We are both in jobs where salaries are higher in those areas for doing the exact same thing. I feel so down about the cost of houses where we are. I can't help but compare to what my friends are buying back where I am from in the Midlands and its making me so sad. We could have our absolute dream house back up there. And sometimes I wonder what benefits are there to living here. There are more affordable areas but they are away from the good schools and the local facilities. Will it ever pay off? Moving back isn't an option. Kids and careers to think of now. Part of me thinks the expensive property will benefit our kids in the long run when they come to inherit from us but then I also think if we weren't here we could just be saving the money. I don't know if I'm over thinking this. Does anyone feel this way? How do you console yourself that you are spending mad money to live in a certain area?
Why would you be consoling yourself? Why don’t you just look for somewhere more reasonable? By the time your children come to inherit, they’re likely to be over 50 so hopefully long established themselves.
You really need to state the area you are in
We live in a cheap area, I just cant comprehend how much some people are having to pay for housing in the south. Cheaper areas do have good and bad schools, its also not just about schools its life experiences for the kids too
I agree...there are lovely schools where I'm from. We moved here for my husbands job ten years ago. And house prices in that time have become insane. But now life feels pretty set here...relocating would be be a huge huge change for our kids and our careers. But now we are trying to move I am honestly in shock at how much we are having to spend when I know our quality of life is no better than that of people living in the area where I'm from.
I get what you mean, OP! We live in outer London as DH commutes into London - we're tied to expensive commuter towns and being close to a train station as we don't want DH to face ridiculous commutes every day.
It can be frustrating to see friends and colleagues buying houses twice the size for half the price as ours because they're deeper in Kent, but I just think of the benefits our location brings - I get to spend more time with DH, he has a better work-life balance, we get to nip into central London for fun days/nights out, our home will hold its value because of its location, we have better career prospects/job availability, and if we want to move further out, we'll have a good pot to play with.
Is there anything like that which makes you feel better about your location?
I wonder if you might live in a similar place to use (we are in a very nice city in the South West). It is beautiful, has great schools, culture and - in many neighbourhoods - a real middle class bubble. BUT house prices are expensive.
Was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, they bought their big standard, post war, 3 bedroom, in need of complete renovation semi 8 years ago for about £350k. Now that would cost about £550k/£600k+ - the same unmodernised semi! Of course friend has extended in several directions and now has a much bigger, really gorgeous house which would be worth a lot more...
House prices are hugely out of step with salaries now: a really good job will not buy you a really good house here. You would need an amazing job and / or substantial inheritance there days.
However, moving out a bit does lower prices: neighbouring villages and market towns could be significantly cheaper. Friend and I both agree that the lifestyle of the (ridiculously expensive) city is worth the trade-off for a potentially nicer house further out though. Horses for courses.
Maybe it’s just about owning the choice you’ve made to live where you do. And like a PP suggested, remembering why you’d chosen that place and not another.
Agree with this, it really is hard not to look at what other people have and want the same, I'm a single parent so my terraced house is much smaller than my friends £500k odd detached houses because they have 2 incomes and I don't.
But I also love the city I'm in (same one? Bristol!) and you can't have everything in life so I try and be grateful for what I have and that my family are happy here
I hear you OP. We live in a very expensive part of the world and were incredibly lucky to have been able to get a foot on the ladder at all. We could get 3-4 times the size of property for the same price back where I'm from, but at this stage the idea of such a dramatic move is almost unthinkable.
I just try and remind myself that my equity will keep going up here (property prices are more variable back 'home') and we have a great quality of life in a very safe area, with a fantastic social circle around us.
Agree! In in z2 London and sometimes play the game of "what could I buy in Devon" (my dream location) and immediately want to move!
Ive just been in the “how to be content and positive” thread and this isa perfect example. You could move OP but you don’t want to. Or do you? It’s your choice, you have the power here.
Either you want to be where you are in which case focus on why and the benefits and just accept the property prices. Or choose to move. If it’s really worth it to you.
There’s no point in wishing for something that doesn’t exist (cheap property prices in an expensive location).
For what it’s worth we’re in an expensive city in a not particularly attractive mid century 3 bed but we don’t want to live where houses are cheaper.
About 12 years ago both I were made redundant at the same time - his company relocated from the south to the north and he was offered the chance to be relocated. For the same price as our 2 bed mid terrace in a market town in the south we could have got a huge 4 bed detached in the area the company moved to. But that wasn't enough of an incentive to move. We could also have chosen a cheaper area here only a few miles away - or stretched to a more expensive property a few miles in the other direction. I agree with the person who said own your choices. And certainly don't think about your children inheriting your property. Unless you intend to die young or you expect your children to become your carers in old age that isn't going to happen anyway.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
And I suppose part of my underlying issue is that I was very reluctant to move here in the first place. But I couldn't ask my husband to turn down the job he was offered. And his job still means relocating isn't an option.
Not sure of your area, but it can’t be as bad as London....
Unless people are on six figures, normal people pay through the nose to live in London & salaries don’t compensate !
I read the message and the prices sounded similar to my (cheap) part of London. Still high eaarnings needed for a decent house.
Expensive cities are expensive for a reason - there are more high paying jobs there. So yes you can move somewhere cheaper but as you acknowledge then your careers will take a hit and if you lose your job it will be harder to get another good one.
Expensive and wealthy cities are able to support more nice amenities like restaurants, bars and cultural events. So they become appealing on that basis too.
Every area has it good points and bad points. The nice places to live and the shit holes. I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that schools are better in the SE than anywhere else in the country. Or that the standard of living is necessarily any better.
You don't sound like you're particularly happy with the decision to move OP. Are you genuinely happy? Is there scope at the moment for DH to work from home
I think, we always wonder if we are making the right big life decisions like this no matter what we do. Some of us that are more indecisive overthink it a bit more. I'm currently in the process of trying to buy my first house but I have school age children already. I've been racked with indecision, should we be maxing out a mortgage with the most we have been offered to borrow, which would mean moving the kids school, but finally being in a desirable area? But then we'd have zero money for holidays, cars, disposable income very low. Or should we buy in the less desirable area we are in now meaning we will be under less pressure with bills, can afford holidays, home improvements etc, but have people look down their noses on where we have chosen to live, wonder if the schools would have been better elsewhere or if we would be uprooting them just to be skint. It really works both ways, it's hard trying to decide what is the best decision for your lifestyle and for your children's future. But more often than not the grass really isn't greener. Once we achieve what we set out for, we still wonder and yearn for more/better/different. It sounds like you are happy with your lifestyle and your careers and school, all huge things to not have to worry about, I don't think I'd uproot for a fancier house if I were you.
@DespairingHomeowner even those on six-figures find London extortionate because they are in higher tax brackets and usually have a lifestyle to go with their salary/profession. There are, however, a lot of people on six-figures in London so that's part the reason it's so expensive and competitive to get decent properties within budgets.
We're in "most expensive part of the country outside the SE" but we chose to move here for the schools, sense of community etc. It is depressing to see what we'd get for the same value in other parts of the country and how much our mortgage payments are, but it was our choice. We do enjoy living here other than the cost, just have to remember that!
If you've been unhappy for 10 years I don't see why relocating isn't an option - no point earning a higher salary if its all eaten up by higher costs and you are miserable. Unless the kids are in exam years its doable though there are advantages and disadvantages to all locations. In cheaper areas its generally lack of employment opportunities.
You have 2 choices to be happy. Move, or accept where you are living. We did the former, we could get a much bigger house moving to a less naice area, it's come with some compromises but lockdown in particular showed us what was important and we just couldn't justify living in a smaller house because of a postcode. I mostly work from home, my DH now has a longer commute but was worth it for him.
Kids are flexible, can move and be happy especially if the move is in their benefit in the long term, most areas have a mix of good and bad schools. I wouldn't let that stop you.
If your DH really has to be where he is, can't work anywhere else and can't extend his commute then I guess you just have to accept that you HAVE to live where you do, and it's no good saying you could afford the dream house in the Midlands because if your DH couldn't do his job there and had to have a different job, chances are you couldn't afford the dream house there anyway?
I get the frustration I do, it's why we acted upon it, but if you can't, you have to learn to accept it or it'll eat you up.
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