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Ultimatum given of buy a flat or live with DP, gutted and don't know what to do.

(58 Posts)
BackInTheGame Wed 10-Dec-14 11:45:02

Sorry this is so long - I am feeling very stressed about my current situation and was hoping for some advice from you excellent ladies (and men).

For background, my DP and I have been together for 3 years and I really want us to move in together (we are currently renting separately with friends). DP is happy to move in together but also happy with the status quo. I am also in a position to buy a flat, having saved a deposit and earning a relatively good salary. DP has not saved as much and does not earn as much so can’t currently buy somewhere on his own. We have agreed not to buy together unless we get married as we think it could get too messy if we broke up. We also think it would be a very big risk given we haven’t lived together before. I really want to change my job next year as I currently work very long hours and it is very stressful, however this would mean taking quite a salary cut. I therefore need to buy asap as I won’t be able to get a mortgage on my new salary (live in London so am only just able to afford somewhere on current salary, no chance of affording somewhere on new salary, and house prices constantly growing). DP has said he is happy for me to buy somewhere and would be happy to live in it for a while with me (and pay rent, so I would be able to afford to pay off monthly mortgage payments even after the drop in salary) but would want us to eventually sell it and buy our own place with his contributions if we got married, which I totally agree with.

So the problem now is that DP’s lease is coming to an end next month and he just told me yesterday that I have a choice that I have to make by the end of this week(!) – either I don’t buy a flat and we rent together from when his lease runs out (I can break my lease then to move in with him to a new rented property), or I go ahead and buy a flat but then he will re-sign his lease with his friend for another year, which would mean we couldn't live together (and he couldn’t live with me in my newly bought flat) until next January. The reason for this choice is that obviously it could take me a while to buy a flat – I have lots of viewings at the moment but you never know if you will see somewhere you like, if you will get an offer accepted, if the survey will be ok, how long it will take to sort out etc. And DP is worried that it could take me longer to buy somewhere than he has left on his lease, leaving him with nowhere to stay for a while. My flatmates however have said it would be ok for him to stay with us for a while and I will do everything I can to buy somewhere asap. DP says he wouldn’t feel comfortable moving into my rented flat for a while and that there’s not enough space (despite him doing so a couple of years ago for 3 weeks when he was between flats!)

It is DP’s flatmate who has set the one-week deadline as he apparently has an offer to live with other friends if DP won’t re-sign with him but he has to let these friends know asap. The deadline would still be in 3 weeks’ time though as DP’s landlord wants to know whether they are re-signing.

DP doesn’t see what the problem is, he seems to think it doesn’t matter if I don’t buy a flat now as we can buy together in a few years’ time and that it equally doesn't matter if we don’t live together for another year as everything is fine as it is. I however think he is being totally unrealistic about buying together in a few years. The London property market is growing out of control and given I am looking to take a salary cut, I think in a few years’ time we will have been priced out of the market. It seems crazy to me not to buy when you can, especially given I have worked so hard and saved so much and it would seem a total waste of that effort. On the other hand I am devastated at the thought of DP signing his lease for another year as I can’t imagine waiting a whole extra year to live with him – I feel like we’ve already waited long enough and I am at the stage where I just want to have a proper life together. We are late 20s/early 30s so it’s not like I’m rushing something in my early 20s. I also don’t want to move into the new flat on my own, which as well as making me sad that he wasn’t there would mean I would either have to struggle with the mortgage on my own or get a stranger to move in to help pay it.

If anyone has any ideas on how to solve this I would be so grateful for your advice and would equally be happy to hear people telling me I’m being stupid about either wanting desperately to get on the property ladder or wanting desperately to live with DP now instead of in a year’s time.

CogitOIOIO Wed 10-Dec-14 11:49:47

As your DP sounds decidedly lukewarm about the idea of living together, I would buy your own place and then have a think about the future of the relationship at your leisure. Don't be bounced into anything.

cestlavielife Wed 10-Dec-14 11:56:58

do what you want to do for you. don't rely on your dp. let him stay where he is. he isn't bothered about moving in with you is he?

you can decide for yourself to "get on the property ladder" and you can fund it with a lodger.
the fact that you desperately want to live with dp is out of your control as it is up to dp if he shares that view or not...he doesn't seem to be too bothered.
so do what is best for you alone. then give yourself a deadline - if he doesn't move in with you in six months accept or move on. if you want kids, will it be with him or not?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 10-Dec-14 12:00:10

I think your DP is being very unfair to try and force you into a decision but I have other concerns about your post

Why on earth are you considering rushing into getting a mortgage you know you will struggle to afford when your salary decreases ? That seems foolhardy to me. Just because you can get a mortgage and afford it now doesn't mean that you should

have we learned nothing from the crash of 2008 and taking on too much debt ? confused

Miggsie Wed 10-Dec-14 12:00:39

Together three years and still not living together and he making no real plans to do so - I think this shows that he really doesn't want to move in with you at all and he prefers the status quo.
I'd view this as a lack of commitment.

"agreed not to buy together unless we are married" - but no proposal either - hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

He's not serious.

Buy a place of your own.

Tyzer85 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:02:37

I have no advice but like others I'm concerned that you want to get a mortgage now when next year you may not be able to afford it.

RainbowMamaDarling Wed 10-Dec-14 12:02:43

After 3 years if you don't have the confidence in your DP to buy with him, then you know the answer!! Why don't you buy a place and let DP stay over a few nights a week? Keep your independence. Don't miss out on your chance to get on the ladder. Good luck.

JontyDoggle37 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:03:22

Ok simple solution here - buy your own flat, then rent it out straight away to someone else, who can pay the mortgage for you, and move in with DP to a flat you both rent together....

GoodKingQuintless Wed 10-Dec-14 12:05:19

Let him do what he wants to do, and you do what YOU need to do without considering him. You are not a unit. You are dating, and you live in different set ups.

Just tell him "Peter, go ahead and sign the lease if you want to, it will take longer to buy a flat. I will keep you out of my equation. Nice if it works, and no stress if it doesnt".

You could always take a "lodger", or let a friend of yours move in to the second bedroom and her rent will help with your mortgage.

Your boyfriends flatmates deadlines is the worst reason ever to go ahead and make such a big financial decision.

It does not sound like your boyfriend is too keen to live with you, and you sound very level headed, so lets not get the clouds of romance sway you.

AwakeCantSleep Wed 10-Dec-14 12:08:08

Just clarifying what you mean by your partner's lease coming to an end. Is he on an assured shorthold tenancy where the fixed term is coming to an end? That doesn't mean that the tenancy will end. It will simply roll over into a periodic tenancy. Your DP doesn't have to sign an extension if he prefers to stay on a rolling tenancy.

(Of course the landlord could serve an S21 notice and start eviction proceedings but that will take months.)

So it's not an actual deadline as such. He can't be evicted from one moment to the next if he doesn't sign a lease extension.

As a side note, be very very careful about taking on a mortgage that you know you won't be able to afford on your own in a few months time. Interest rates are at a historic low. If you are struggling without a lodger now, what will you do when rates rise by 2 percentage points or more?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 10-Dec-14 12:12:15

A lot of signs are pointing to an interest rate rise after the General Election. Anyone taking a mortgage they know they will struggle to pay is a fool.

cestlavielife Wed 10-Dec-14 12:14:03

why don't you want to live on your own?

dreamingbohemian Wed 10-Dec-14 12:16:04

I guess I'm not feeling as harshly about your DP -- it's his flatmate who is rushing him for a decision, which is why he's rushing you -- and he doesn't sound lukewarm about moving in with you, just about buying, he's saying he would be happy to rent with you right now.

I agree with AF about taking on too much debt if you are going to change jobs -- and really, this whole attitude of must get on the property ladder NOW before it's too late is what is fuelling the insane prices!

If it was me I would rent together for a year and use that time to try to save up a lot, change jobs, see if you enjoy living together and are going to get married, etc. -- then go ahead and buy if you want.

Otherwise, let him rent somewhere else and wait to move in together. You can almost always get out of leases early so it may not be a whole year if you buy someplace sooner.

Fudgeface123 Wed 10-Dec-14 12:18:21

OP hasn't said she won't be able to afford it on her lower salary, just that getting a mortgage on the lower salary will be more difficult

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Wed 10-Dec-14 12:19:49

There is a very good reason why "getting a mortgage on a lower salary will be difficult"

Sub prime mortgage selling anyone ? hello ?

BackInTheGame Wed 10-Dec-14 12:22:17

Thanks all for your replies so far. I think you are right and as he is not that fussed, I should not miss my chance to get on the property ladder when he may not be that serious over all. (I have put this to him by the way but he says is very serious, wants marriage etc, but is just happy to wait another year as is happy with the status quo).

For those of you who commented re not being able to pay the mortgage - thanks for your comments, I have given this a fair amount of thought and done calculations etc. I wouldn't struggle if I had a lodger, only if I'm on my own and even then only if/when my salary decreases. I figured at that point if I didn't want a lodger I could just move out and rent the flat out instead so wouldn't be living there but would at least be on the property ladder.

JontyDoggle37 thanks for your suggestion, but I thought it was illegal to rent your flat out if you haven't bought on a buy-to-let mortgage without first obtaining the mortgage provider's permission? I have heard that you need to wait at least 6 months before asking permission or else they investigate why you didn't get a buy-to-let mortgage in the first place?

Thanks so much everyone.

intlmanofmystery Wed 10-Dec-14 12:22:25

Umm, confused. You want to get on the property ladder and want to live with DP but you don't want to buy somewhere on your own and rent out a room. DP is happy to move in for a while but then would want you to sell up again when he is ready to commit? Plus you want to take on a mortgage based on a certain level of income and then voluntarily reduce said income without having a way of making up the difference? I'm not sure you're ready for either the huge financial commitment of property ownership or the huge commitment of having DP moving in with you... As with other posters, if you really want to buy somewhere then do so for yourself, take DP out of the equation. Also have a think about whether "D"P sees the relationship the same way that you do but take off the romantic glasses and do what is right for you.

dreamingbohemian Wed 10-Dec-14 12:23:34

No, she does say she would need him paying rent so she could afford the mortgage on the lower salary.

Can you downsize the kind of property/area you're looking at?

BackInTheGame Wed 10-Dec-14 12:25:34

Sorry cestlavielife , cross post. I guess I just think I'd be lonely and am having to buy fairly far out as can't afford in the area I've been renting, so wouldn't know anyone nearby or have friends a close journey away.

GoodKingQuintless Wed 10-Dec-14 12:25:37

Yes she did say that, but in reality she does not need HIM, only somebody to share with, if she finds it hard when she changes jobs.

plantsitter Wed 10-Dec-14 12:26:28

Can you buy 2 bed and get a lodger? Do that now if you can. You are right about London house prices.

Apart from anything else, that'd be a clear message to your p to shit or get off the pot - you're a grown woman who can fend for herself!

TendonQueen Wed 10-Dec-14 12:28:23

I echo the note of caution from other posters about signing up to a mortgage you will not be able to afford later. Can you see a financial advisor about this?

On the relationship front, sorry to say this but him 'being very serious, wants marriage' is contradicted by all his other signals. You've been together 3 years, surely you have done your fair share of staying over at one another's places by now for living together not to be such a scary step and a risk? Imagine if you want kids, how long it will take him to decide he's ready for that given that after 3 years he is still not ready to flat share.

GoodKingQuintless Wed 10-Dec-14 12:29:10

Dont listen to his words, look at his actions. He wants to live with his mates!

BackInTheGame Wed 10-Dec-14 12:32:53

Thanks all, yes I have spoken to a financial advisor and there are various options, including getting a lodger, moving out and renting it out, or remortgaging with a longer pay-off period. I guess I just always assumed the 'lodger' would be DP, so am having a hard time getting my head around it now being a stranger.

dreamingbohemian Wed 10-Dec-14 12:34:40

So basically your choice is:

To move in with your DP somewhere rented, presumably near where you are now, which you can afford even if you change jobs, with the eye toward buying together very soon, and which will let you find out if you really are suited.


For the sake of getting on the ladder now, buying somewhere far out, being isolated (I know London, no one ever travels far out to see you), still not living with DP, on a mortgage you can't pay for yourself, meaning you have to get a lodger or rent it out.

I guess it comes down to how important that ladder is to you. Personally I wouldn't do it but everyone else in London seems to agree with you.

Again, I would separate out how your DP feels about you vs how he feels about the housing situation. He may prefer the status quo because the alternative is helping buy someplace out in the sticks where he doesn't want to live.

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