Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Considering selling myself to buy a flat

Seriously. Well I guess not seriously. But semi seriously.

I mean I know it’s not really a viable option but I do keep thinking all I really want is a place of my own and that so much of life would be easier if that hurdle were crossed.

Of course I could have a studio flat in the outer limits so perhaps that isn’t totally true. But really I don’t see a studio as a long term home. I would have less room in one of those than I do now.

So in terms of a real space if I could just get enough money to get either a mortgage that wasn’t crippling (with an eye to the fact that interest rates may well end up going quite a long way up in years to come) I would feel more settled.

It shouldn’t be so but I do inevitably feel like I am being left behind by those who have their flats or houses. I can tell myself a thousand times but that parents or relatives buying or giving a substantial amount of money towards a home isn’t the same as buying your own place but in reality it doesn’t matter how it’s achieved. Those people have that feeling of being settled. I appreciate that if they have a mortgage of some kind there are new worries involved of course. I know I should embrace a bohemian attitude to no one really ever owning anything

So I do partly, in my more stressed moments, wonder if it would be so bad to resort to selling myself for the things I want most. I do check myself and say this is a kind of madness, although perhaps it isn’t as crazy as it seems.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Talking homes

I am a Londoner in my twenties. You would think from radio, tv and films that would mean when out and about at the weekend I would be talking about men, bars, fashion... those kind of sexy, rock n roll things. I do talk about those subjects but because this is London and England I'm afraid the conversations still somehow turn to property- as if we were out parents!

There are times when I am happy to talk about flats, houses, buying, renting and so on but there are times when it really can be quite awkward in a social situation. I'm afraid I think the property topic is a little like religion or politics, best kept away from the dinner table or bar stools.

The topic inevitably throws up differences in people but unlike religion or politics they tend to be differences we can't help.

Religion or politics are at least a choice we make. We can't necessarily choose whether we can afford to rent or buy, or indeed whether we can afford a house or a flat, or certain postcodes.

I am very lucky to even be able to look for properties. Most of the people I meet who are fortunate and are able to have houses or flats bought for them are very grateful and know they are lucky. However it doesn't seem to stop them saying things like people are stupid because they rent or to buy in a certain area. While I don't mind for myself so much(although if anyone would like to give me half a million pounds I would be most grateful!) but it can throw up quite an awkward feeling around the dinner table.

Equally it can throw up quite an awkward feeling if these things aren't mentioned, if someone just says oh I am buying a house in x and you can see everyone wondering how but not wanting to ask- and the purchaser being embarrassed to say.

So I think the three topics to possibly avoid at dinner parties are religion, politics and property.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Save or splurge?

So as January has crept on it has become clearer to me that the savings for my deposit are earning less and less while I don't buy a flat.

It seems the government would like the situation to be that we may as well spend...

I am equally increasingly concerned, like everyone else, about the economy. As time goes on I'm worrying more about finding myself tied into paying for a home that is worth far less than I bought it for and having less savings to fall back on if I needed them.

So I suppose I am asking myself if I trust the idea of there being nowhere as safe for my money as houses (or flats in my case).

This trepidation has caused a massive episode of procrastination on my part which I finally broke this morning e-mailing three agents asking for details on new properties.

I feel like I have to press on with looking but I can't deny a certain fear, which is different to the fear I always had of so much debt.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

2009: The first post (in which our heroine resumes her search)

Happy New Year!

For various reasons, including family issues, workload, sloth and the state of the economy the big property search was called off in December.

Having had a little time over Christmas I have decided that I do definitely want to keep looking for my own home. This wasn't a decision I reached all that easily. I know it must always feel like a risk to take the plunge into home ownership but at the moment it feels like jumping into wild waters rather than just the deep end.

Thinking it over though I am still frustrated by the idea of all my belongings and I suppose my like always being in a temporary home. Although I want to have a beautiful space to live in and look over interiors catalogues as much as the next person what I really want is a place to lay my hat that I can paint whatever colour I want and not worry about breaking the shower.

With that though comes worries, you are more dependant than ever on the job market, it will remove stress on the one hand but create stress on the other.

How much longer can I delay though. I guess there is never a good time and the time feels like now.

That said I still both want and need a bargain to be able to make this work and I want estate agents to understand that.