Help me to decide our future (sorry for length)(13 Posts)
Have name changed too…embarrassed...
Due to various redundancies, business failure etc, we have managed to acquire debts of around £70K. We both work (DH f/t, me p/t) and joint income is around £58K. We pay the mortgage no problem but the debts are starting to become a problem (cc's etc) and we are finding it harder and harder to live every month. House worth £390K, mortgage £190K. Options are:
1) me increase my hours to full time (currently work 2 days and earn a good salary of £14K).. Would mean I earn £35K (commute to London) but would increase my fares to around £400 per month, also would have a problem with childcare (dds are 12 and 10, so too old for c/m or nursery but not old enough to be left alone from 8-6 in the summer holidays. MIL currently comes after school and does the 2 days in the holidays but don’t think she would do that full time. Also, we have a dog – can pay for a dog walker but I don’t think it’s fair to leave him alone for such a long day. And if I did work full time my increase in money would just go on paying the minimum on the cc debts, so we wouldn’t really “benefit” in having a nicer lifestyle. Also, I am realising that it is probably easier to work f/t when kids are small, when they are coming into the teenage years it is better to be around for them. I am like a taxi service at the moment and not sure who would do that in my absence (DH also works in London). Think this would affect everyone far too much.
2) I have tried to get evening jobs for kind of the same money (£30K). This works for me personally and is less disruptive for everyone as I am around in the day to walk dog etc, but means I would leave for work before dds got home from school. From that point of view they would be fine to be left until DH got home (6.30ish) and even in the holidays but means we would never have any time together as a family and I still have the problem of who takes them to various activities. But needs must…although unfortunately these jobs are few and far between and I am not getting any second interviews on them! This could be a possibility, but might take ages to get anywhere.
3) Very drastic but sell up! Reasoning is, both girls at a GS which is 10 miles away and commute 2 hours a day on the bus themselves. They would both rather be in the town where the school is – it is a thriving place where they could walk into town and meet friends, means we would not be taxi-ing them all the time, and save £1000 a year on fares for them. We are both happy to move. Problem is, we cannot get the equivalent house there – we live in a 4 bed, detached house with good size bedrooms, ensuite, lounge, family room, separate dining room, study, utility room. To afford that in this town or even the outskirts (think naice villages) would be £500K. The most we can get after paying off debts and mortgage would be a 3 bed terraced with lounge, dining/kitchen, one bathroom and 3 beds (3rd bedroom being tiny). I am not being a princess but we would probably end up with the same mortgage but in a lot less space.
DH thinks we should sell, and rent. We can rent for maybe a couple of hundred pounds more than our current mortgage, be completely debt and mortgage free, have at least £100K in the bank, be in the town where our dd’s go to school (saving on their time) and we can commute easily from there too. We would have money each month, and it’s a thriving town where we can easily walk to places etc, dds can too as they become more independent, and we can afford to rent somewhere that we could never afford to buy (think £600K properties). On paper it seems like the answer, but I keep reading that if you are on the property ladder you should never get off etc! DH’s parents have a big property and he thinks that as an only child that is his nest egg for the future but I really don’t know what is the best decision. We have a healthy budget to rent so could get something good, but everything I have looked at says no pets as well! And I do feel like it is wasting money, although part of me likes the fact that we are not responsible for maintaining anything and we can live in a lovely area that we could not afford and do the best for our dds NOW, rather than scrimp and save to pay for a house that we won’t pay off until we are really old, then we will just croak it and leave them the money when they wont have had the best of “us” when we were alive!
I know I should probably suck it up and work f/t or downsize but I really don’t think that is the best option for my family with dds commitments to things after school etc, and I really don’t think we will ever pay off those debts despite a radical change in lifestyle for all of us (DH would have to do more, dds left home alone). And downsizing would mean dd2 in a tiny box room, I know she won’t die from that but…she is used a fairly nice size room. But getting off the property ladder scares me… I can only see prices going up and I don’t think we will ever be able to afford anything decent…he thinks we would just rent until dds are old enough to leave home etc and then we always have his inheritance as back up (not being morbid or horrible just factual). But my DPs died long ago, hence why we could get our current property with me being a SAHM at the time!
Be gentle with me…there is a real culture of owning your own house in this country but is that really the best thing when you think of the here and now - thoughts?
I would rent and in a few years when your DCs are old enough to not need looking after so much you can go full time and save up to buy again.
Hope you make a decision that works for you all x
Honestly? Life is too short to miss out on these last years of your children. I feel sure that when you sit in your large house at age 80, it will be regret that you feel over missing out on your family time rather than the potential regret over not owning a huge house.
In your position I would certainly consider renting, you never know what's round the corner and I would grasp these coming years with both hands and worry about the future later!
It's not like you would be leaving yourselves destitute, you are doing the responsible thing by paying off your debts and the weight off your minds will be worth it.
I would move to the thriving place and get the small house. No debt, so much better for the DC etc. If you buy with a bit of land you can extend.
I hated renting, being at the behest of a landlord, so that is my bias.
I would do whatever I had to to get that debt paid off asap. Fees will end up making it even bigger and more unmanageable the longer you dither around trying to decide what to do and its already far more than you afford to pay off without taking drastic steps.
IMO you DH is right. Sell the house, rent in the nice town near your DDs school, remove this need for you to be a taxi service, free yourelf up to take on more work in future if you want/need it, and know that one day your DH will inherit a nice big house (or lump sum) that will allow you to get back on the property ladder.
Some rental places do take pets, but if you simply cannot find anything I'm afraid I'd re-home the dog. Having a time-consuming pet is something of a luxury for most people and with £70k in debt you can ill afford luxuries right now. You need to get rid of that debt.
Move and clear your debts, you will have to make sacrifices to redress the position you are in now, sorry to sound harsh but you seem to want everything to remain the same and the debts to disappear, that won't happen.
You are clearly overstretched. You cannot afford the house you live in. Sell up and rent. Sounds like it will be a weight off your minds.
Thanks for the replies, I really thought people would discourage renting due to the obsession with owning. Agree that I can work f/t again in a couple of years, and the thriving town means I could work locally and be around for dds and dog. NOT an option rehoming our dog - he's part of our family!
Thanks - we're going for it and got an estate agent coming round today!
I'd rent too. I totally agree with you not going full time. Rent for 8 years and then move somewhere much cheaper or into a much smaller property when your children go to uni.
With the caveat that you must NOT touch that 100k. You need that for your property in 8 years.
I'd sell up and rent for a few years too, make sure the £100k stays in the bank for your deposit when/if you decide to buy.
I would caution your DH about assuming he will get an inheritance - his parents' house may need to be sold to pay for care (as has happened with my mum's house). So you could end up in a smaller house anyway. Also, if you are within commuting distance of London, I would assume prices are likely to continue to increase (unless there is a dramatic property crash). It might be better to buy a smaller house now rather than waiting a few years.
Sell up & buy in new area. Seems pretty obvious to me.
Just a quick one to say that when we were looking to rent and had a dog we had the same problem regarding landlords not accepting pets. However we found that by offering a six week deposit instead of the normal four weeks, landlords were more than happy to let to us - dog included!
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