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AIBU?

To be constantly anxious about my home

99 replies

Frazzld · 02/10/2022 08:19

I can't sell my 1 bed flat (long story) and won't be able to for 3-4+ years. The flat is small, 3rd storey, no outdoor space, and in a built up area with nothing to escape to (eg. library is 30 mins away, requiring 2 buses). Neighbours are noisy and difficult, and the building regularly gets vandalised/broken into. I moved here as it was all I could afford (shared ownership) and since my job went mostly remote, I spend every day/night and every weekend here as I don't have the money to do anything else. My relationship is strained as we've been squished together 24/7 for the past 2 and a half years.

I'm 35 and have accepted I won't be having kids now because of this situation and it's quite sad.

Being stuck here is all consuming and I feel stressed all the time. I wish I'd never bought it. Trouble is, I can't stop thinking about it. I wake up in the night panicking that I'm never going to be able to move on with my life and will be stuck here forever. Or I'll die in an accident before I get the chance to leave. I've tried all the usual things to stop being anxious, but I'm in the flat all day every day so it's hard. Any coping advice?

Also I do appreciate I'm lucky to have a roof over my head right now.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

88 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
17%
You are NOT being unreasonable
83%
inheritanceshiteagain · 02/10/2022 09:26

No help I'm afraid, but if you are sure the problems will be resolved in a few years, maybe look at having a baby now and struggle with space (if financially viable with job) or have some eggs frozen just in case you have difficulties in the future? Just try to find something to look forward to.

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NoSquirrels · 02/10/2022 09:27

You can’t change the flat situation.

Focus on your job prospects/career. Earn more and your options will improve. How can you do that?

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donttellmehesalive · 02/10/2022 09:28

Is the maintenance work all that's stopping you from moving?

Do you have the means too move, if it was magically done overnight?

If not, you've got a couple of years to get yourself into a better position.

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Tabbouleh · 02/10/2022 09:28

I live in a small Central London flat too with no outside space and 3 of us in it. I don't have and don't want a car.

We are all urban animals though. We get away by going to parks or museums or cafes. My library is about 20 minutes away on a bus.

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WonderingWanda · 02/10/2022 09:30

@Frazzld that's a valid concern and I guess you might want to take some time to try and feel better with life first. What if you had a plan to try in year as long as yku were feeling more positive and back in control of life, meanwhile try work on all the things you can control, learning to drive could be one of them. Having a plan will help you feel like you are moving forward. And if you have a baby they won't start school for 5 years so you have a lot of control over what they are exposed to and you could be happily moved elsewhere by that point. It would also be an excuse to get out of the house every day, go to groups, parks etc.

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NCHammer2022 · 02/10/2022 09:31

RandomMess · 02/10/2022 08:52

I would focus on getting a job that isn't WFH, or perhaps a 2nd job in a bar or restaurant just to be out of there as much as possible.

I read your previous posts (unless someone else is stuck in incredibly similar circumstances) and it's truly awful for you Flowers

This is what I’d do too. WFH all the time even in a lovely home can be really hard, your situation sounds really difficult and if the housing part can’t be fixed it’s the working part that needs to change.

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Noteverybodylives · 02/10/2022 09:34

Get a job that isn’t WFH.

I would honestly go mad if I WFH.
I need to get out and see people and then enjoy coming home.

Get a job in the nearest town and then you can do a hobby straight after work.

Or see if you can rent a cheap office space or ask your employer to find you one.

You’ll barely be home and when you are you’ll appreciate it much more.

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MrsLargeEmbodied · 02/10/2022 09:37

rent it out and although you wont get somewhere bigger or better you say, you can get somewhere different

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Meadowsalways · 02/10/2022 09:38

This reply has been withdrawn

Withdrawn at poster's request

LovelyChicken · 02/10/2022 09:42

If you really want to have children, I would consider having a baby. Small children don't care how much space they have, they just want to be close to their adults. You said you may be in a position to move in 3-4 years? Well that's fine - DC can have it's own room then. I know it's not ideal, but as you say, you've made the flat nice inside and it would do in the short term.

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Hercisback · 02/10/2022 09:44

There's a lot about your situation you can change.
Change your mindset.
Change your job.
Change to going out to free places.
Change to have a baby.
The flat cannot change yet.

Small positive changes will help. Try one and see.

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OhMaria2 · 02/10/2022 09:45

Just have the kids if you want them. Your housing situation will change in time but you can't rewind the clock on this

I understand your anxiety

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BitOutOfPractice · 02/10/2022 09:45

Op I am genuinely shocked at how few people here know about the absolute misery to millions of peoples lives caused by the cladding scandal - including why you can’t “just sell” or “just rent it out” If you have said that to the OP or worse “you’ve obviously decided you don’t want to change”, then you need to educate yourselves and wake up to the utter mess that this government has made in the aftermath of Grenfell. Honestly, do you go around with your eyes and ears closed?

OP I’m so sorry you are stuck like this. I don’t know what to suggest because if I knew the answer then millions of others would have done it too.

if it’s an consolation, we just got our EWS1 certificate and flats are starting to sell now, at decent prices.

good luck I genuinely feel for you.

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HTH1 · 02/10/2022 09:47

Fearnecuptea · 02/10/2022 09:25

This is really good advice, running is such a great escape, free and genuinely improves mental health.

OP, we are in shared ownership also. As you know, but others have suggested otherwise, there's no way you can rent the flat out- it's absolutely tied into the contract for all shared ownership properties so there's just no point exploring that (imo).

As you have around 4 years in the flat, how can you improve your living conditions? Noisy neighbours sound annoying but are they keeping you up at night? (If so, ear plugs etc or can you complain to HA?)
Can you redecorate via eBay or other second hand sites, make your home somewhere you love spending time?

As you WFH -and just assuming you can't get another role outside the home- can you take up some hobbies, getting you outside from the flat more?

But what happens if you let it out anyway in breach of the lease? Surely this is just a breach of contract (not criminal) so would be worth checking what the HA could do in those circumstances.

Suggest speaking to HA first to see if they would release you as flat is unsellable to others (which I’m sure you weren’t told when buying the flat).

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HTH1 · 02/10/2022 09:48

In breach of the shared ownership agreement, even.

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BitOutOfPractice · 02/10/2022 09:49

@Tabbouleh @OnaBegonia you’ve read this multiple times because millions of people are in this situation.

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Tabbouleh · 02/10/2022 09:50

BitOutOfPractice · 02/10/2022 09:45

Op I am genuinely shocked at how few people here know about the absolute misery to millions of peoples lives caused by the cladding scandal - including why you can’t “just sell” or “just rent it out” If you have said that to the OP or worse “you’ve obviously decided you don’t want to change”, then you need to educate yourselves and wake up to the utter mess that this government has made in the aftermath of Grenfell. Honestly, do you go around with your eyes and ears closed?

OP I’m so sorry you are stuck like this. I don’t know what to suggest because if I knew the answer then millions of others would have done it too.

if it’s an consolation, we just got our EWS1 certificate and flats are starting to sell now, at decent prices.

good luck I genuinely feel for you.

If this is the same OP, she was considering living apart from her DP to stay sane because she has the means. I recall urging her to do just that.

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Champagneforeveryone · 02/10/2022 09:51

frazzld your current situation sounds horrible, but I'm your shoes I would be trying to frame it positively.

You have a time scale to work to (however far away that seems now) Your flat itself is in good condition and likely to attract attention (we are recent shared ownership buyers and the competition was horrendous - with things as they are I imagine SO properties will only become more in demand) You have time to save for a deposit, change jobs (I would definitely look to do this to move away from WFH) and sort your finances out to give you the best chance with your mortgage offer.

I hope that doesn't sound trite but you are where you are and as you've said, there's no way to speed things up. I would look to be changing what I could in the interim 💐

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GuyGomasWife · 02/10/2022 09:53

I feel for you OP. I think there are several separate issues you need to tackle:

  1. Your flat. Have you explored every option for renting it out? I think PP advice re speaking to HA / council is good.
  2. Also your flat. I believe you buy additional shares in the shared ownership part at market rate. If that is currently very low, consider whether staircasing / buying more is a good option to set you up when you can eventually sell. Work this shitty situation to your advantage.
  3. Your MH. Explore everything you can to make you better, speak to GP, local MH service (which are often self referral), charity / community groups, any benefits you get through work, occupational health through work, counselling, Mindfulness courses. I have had similar issues and found what works for others doesn't work for me, it's hard to keep trying new things but you will find something that helps.
  4. Your work. If you hate wfh ask your current employer if you can go to the office, explaining your circumstances means they have a duty to support you. If that isn't an option, find another job. Despite the hype, wfh doesn't work for everyone, be honest with yourself and your employer if that is you.
  5. Ttc. Personally I'd put this on hold but that is a very personal decision.


Chin up though OP. You will get through this.
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RedHelenB · 02/10/2022 09:58

Frazzld · 02/10/2022 08:51

When I say I can't sell, I cannot sell. Its not a bit run down or anything - my flat is genuinely lovely! Ive put a lot of time into making it nice.

The entire building is faulty and needs work. Nobody will touch it with a barge pole. Even those 'we buy any house' people, because of the maintenance and insurance costs involved. Mortgage lenders will not lend. The end.

So go bankrupt. Not ideal but sometimes you have to choose the least worst option.

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CasaDelSoot · 02/10/2022 10:04

You need to get another job. Even people who are perfectly happy where they live struggle to work from home in a small flat. It becomes living at your work.

You sound socially isolated OP so a new job out of the home will help you have contact with other people every day. Make getting a new job which is not working from home a priority.

Make sure you get out ever day, walk, shops, exercise class, meet a friend. Running mentioned before is a great idea. Maybe join a running or exercise group, very good for improving mental health.

You absolutely can have a family in a small flat. People have done it for centuries. It's just in recent times we feel we need more space. My Dad was one of 4 and they lived in a one bedroom flat. Yes it wasn't easy but he had a loving, close family which is the most important thing.
A child could sleep in your for a couple of years easily by which time you'd hopefully be able to move.

Ask yourself where you want to be in 10 years time and start working on the bits you can at the moment.

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Poptart4 · 02/10/2022 10:06

OP you have written multiple posts about this and you reject any advice given to you in each one. I'm sorry to be harsh but you seem to be focusing on the negative and wallowing in it rather than looking for solutions.

I strongly recommend getting a new job where you don't work from home. That will at least get you out of the flat for a few hours a day. Sitting in a flat you hate all day long is probably making you feel worse about the situation .

Not having a baby because your in a one bed flat is ridiculous. I know people stuck in one bedroom in their parents house with 2 children (I.e 4 people in a bedroom). Is it ideal? No.. Will it be forever? No

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in the short term to have what you want in the long term. If you really want a baby, living in a one bedroom flat is not a reason not to have one.

Correct me if I'm wrong but you've spoken about not being happy in your relationship before. Is this the real problem? Trapped in a flat with a person you don't love/are not happy with will magnify your bad feelings. It would also explain why your making excuses not to have a baby.

Bottom line, there are solutions to some of your problems, you just have to WANT to find them. Give yourself a shake and start being proactive about your life.

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BitOutOfPractice · 02/10/2022 10:08

@Tabbouleh and if it is, so what?

but the chances of there being two, a dozen, a hundred women in this situation are very high. I know of at least one person in my block who has suffered massively with her mental health as a result of this horrible situation and that’s just in one block in one town. How about showing some empathy instead of trying to make the op feel worse.

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Tabbouleh · 02/10/2022 10:11

BitOutOfPractice · 02/10/2022 10:08

@Tabbouleh and if it is, so what?

but the chances of there being two, a dozen, a hundred women in this situation are very high. I know of at least one person in my block who has suffered massively with her mental health as a result of this horrible situation and that’s just in one block in one town. How about showing some empathy instead of trying to make the op feel worse.

Ok. I just asked if it was the same OP because as I recall, she had the means to move out. If not, OP can say so.

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BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz · 02/10/2022 10:14

Can you sell your share back to whoever owns the rest?

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