Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Confession

We are looking to buy a flat. After lots of humming and harring, pipe dreams of leaving London and my hopes for property crash, we have decided to make tentative steps towards buying somewhere. I have been reluctant to mention it on here before as its rather embarrassing that at 31 we are still renting. However (and here comes an even more shocking confession)

We are poor

People feel very uncomfortable about this fact, but there it is out in the open now. We've never had particularly well paid jobs (me in particular with my insistence on working in a sector that interests me, rather than having become a lawyer like my parents wanted) and we don't have anyone who can help us. No parents to buy us a flat or give us £100k like most people I know have had. We've managed through saving and death to put together a modest deposit but really its a drop in the water compared with London prices.

So on Saturday we looked at two flats that fall within our meagre budget. They were both awful. One had an open plan kitchen - now some people don't mind these and I think they can work in certain properties, but this one was awful - the room had three doors in it too so was more like a hallway.

The next property, the man was clearly selling because his wife had left him - evidence the topless calendar in the bedroom, wedding photos in the hall. This one didn't have a bathroom and large cracks in the bedroom walls. Perhaps he had thrown the wife against it in anger when she announced she was leaving him for someone with a bath?

Maybe I'm being too fussy? But for a life-times committment, I think I want a kitchen and a bathroom. We have another one to look on Saturday - the owner of which has had a hernia (not sure what relevance this has yet).


Suz said...

Oh dear :-( Sorry you're having a struggle - I now what it's like having watched friends and relatives go through the rigmarole.

When you say it didn't have a bathroom, did it have a shower? I assume it had a toilet? Although maybe not, going on what some people try and sell!

SandDancer said...

It did have a shower, just not a bath, but the shower room was tiny - you wouldn't be able to get changed in the room unless you had the door open.

Suz said...

Ah, not so good if you had guests, I would imagine...

northern monkey said...

how frustrating but I understand totally where you are coming from...house prices in london are insane...have you thought about shared ownership? It's where you buy a % and rent the rest of a property from a housing association, then you can buy the rest of it as and when you have the cash - loads cheaper and good value and you often get the pick of new developments

Anonymous said...

I also wouldn't necessarily think that you'll be buying it forever. You know what they say about getting on the old "property ladder".

It is scary what happens to the prices though. We're about 40mins from London by train, and in the seven years we've lived in this house, the value of the house has more than doubled. It's just daft.
They really do go for such scary amounts of money, it's almost beyond imagination.

Natalie said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one finding finances hard! We have got a deposit together but only through my dad's generosity and P's hard saving. I personally dont have a single penny in savings after renting for 7 years. Can you not look slightly further out? Might give you that country feel you were after!

SandDancer said...

This is looking further out than we currently live and we are already in the sticks. Any further out and it would very difficult to get into work as we are kind of tied to working in central London.

Not that keen on shared ownership and most of them in our area you have to be a key worker or on a council housing list to qualify.

Jen said...

Sand Dancer -sorry to hear about your flat hunting not going so well.
I don't really have any advice I'm afraid, but sympathise entirely.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

Jen x