how far is it sane to stretch yourself?(11 Posts)
Sold our place in London. On the verge of exchanging on house in South West that ticks all the boxes (good area, lovely elegant period property, quiet roaad, next to good primary, edge of beautiful city yet can walk to lovely countryside). Pens poised.
BUT it was 2 flats and at the last min we find that living in it as a house triggers building regs. We will have to spend £20-30k to be compliant and to update the house. Council assure us there is no deadline for these works. Once we have paid fees and bought basics like fridge/sofa etc we left with £10k. Currently homeless and living with family, 2nd baby due in autumn. Do we go for it on the basis that we plan to live there for years so can do this work when we can finally afford to (banking on my going back to work one day and DH getting raise). Or do we bail?
At the moment, I would think that stretching is bad or at least requires very careful thought.
If it is the house of your dreams then it is worth whatever you are prepared to pay for it. If it is not, then I would thenk very carefully whether the way the market is moving means that it could soon be worth less than you are about to pay for it.
When you say you are stretching yourself what do you mean? If you are left with 10k does that mean you don't have a mortgage?
Is it livable as it is?
If so I would go for it. If it's a forever house it will be worthwhile.
Thanks for the responses.
No mortgage I wish. No £10k left in savings. Can manage the mortgage repayments on DH salary as its the same as our London mortgage was.
Depends on just how much you will be stretching. Now wouldn't be a great time to really push it - house prices are coming down, wage inflation is already very low and job security isn't looking great in the near future.
I would be very careful about pushing myself at the moment, however there is a lot to be said for being somewhere you can stay for years.
We bought a house split into two flats (also in southwest but in a crappy bit !) a few years ago and I have to say it has been an utter total money pit, but it was in a bad state in the first place.
It is now rented out as two flats so this months money is being spent on changing from Freehold to Leasehold (couldn't remortgage without doing it) and replacing the rotten wood in the window frames and replacing two windows which aren't reparable. £1k in legal fees for the leasehold, £660 for the windows. Knew about the legal fees, the window money has come out of the blue. Next month it will be something else, it always is.
Another idea, we did live in ours for a year or so before we moved out and lived in one flat as it was big enough to do this fairly comfortably. We rented out the top flat. Any chance you could do this for a bit to fund some of the work needed to comply with building regs in the future ?
If you are using the word stretch in this econmic climate it is too much.Agree re money pit esp if you have budgeted so tight you have 10k left i would think that will go too!
if it is the 'forever' house and your income is certain to increase I'd be tempted to go for it
but as a gamble it is not a great one, esp as (because it's a period house) it could end up costing a great deal more than £20-30k when you suddenly discover it needs a rewire / has lead pipes / deathwatch beetle etc
have you had a full survey?
If you have a house that's a money pit, then £10K can disappear in the blink of an eye without you having anything much to show for it -- think eg. new guttering, replacing incoming water pipe, removing some asbestos, emergency repairs to leaking bits of roof.
And that's without any of the planned stuff like rewiring, new heating, boiler, blahdiblah. If the house is livable but naff or rough round the edges, and you can cope with living there in its non-transformed state then don't be put off (says she, surrounded by swirly wallpaper, wobbly floorboards and dated kitchen). If you can't cope with rough surroundings and/or the house is actually not livable without major investment, then think again.
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