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Worth leaving friends for home ownership?


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In a bit of a pickle. I'd like to hear your thuoghts on this, please.

We have been saving for a deposit for a house for years. Have attempted to buy a few places, it has never worked out. We live where we grew up and would like to stay.  Unfortunately the house prices in our city have risen to the point where they're just not delivering value. Especially if we're expecting to pay the higher interest rates too. (If you're interested, there's an ex-council house on the market in an area rough as sandpaper for £265K).

We decided to live here initially because my mother in law is disabled. She doesn't need a full-time carer yet, but when she has an accident, we're nearby. My MIL isn't old, so it's not like we can wait until she dies then find our freedom. My brother-in-law would still be nearby if we moved, but he's not reliable.

My husband now works a remote job and unless childcare costs reduce I'm likely to be a stay at home mum for the next five years.

We have friends here who we've known since childhood. We've made many more along the way and I know that I'll be dependent on them as my twins come into the world. Our daughter is due to start a school nearby in September.

We don't drive, as we've been putting all our money into saving for a house. If you live in a UK city, it's quite easy not to drive. In any case, moving to the nearby countryside won't get us better value.

So the obvious answer is to move to a completely new city which is cheaper. We're thinking the city where my sister lives, although we have no friends there, and I'm not best friends with my sister. We get on OK, but we're very different people.

Thanks, if you got to the end of this post. I really don't know what to do. I'd feel like a traitor moving away from all my favourite people, we're not poor (according to the government, my husband is classed as a 'high earner'), but it really feels like our city is for wealthy people now. I suppose our friends would understand our situation. They wouldn't want us to be screwed over.

Huge thanks x

Edited by Gracii Guns
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Personally, I would make the move.

I found myself in a similar position about 10yrs ago. I was renting with my wife in a city, near family and we had built a life for ourselves but we couldn't afford to buy. We moved 200miles away to Devon for the sole purpose of becoming homeowners. And you know what? I'm so glad we did it.

If the friendships you currently have with the people in your lives are truly meaningful, they will survive the move. And any that don't, weren't that meaningful in the first place.

Nothing beats being a homeowner. I hated renting. I've had my own 3 bedroom family home for nearly a decade now. This same property in London would cost well over a million. We are not high earners, infact, quite the opposite. We live paycheck to paycheck, but we can easily afford this home and I've never once looked back. I never felt a sense of belonging in a property before this one and that's purely because it's mine. I own it, I have capital behind me, I used it to pay off almost £10k debts a few years ago without even needing to extend my mortage agreement. There are so many benefits to owning your own property. It gives you security for your future and an inheritance for your children, should you choose to have them.

Also, city life sucks. I return back from time to time to see family and I think "thank God I don't live here anymore. What would I do with my kids in a city?"

My advice? Do what's best for you and your husbands future and security. You won't regret it. 

 

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I would also add, about your mother in law... I don't think you should let that hold you back. My wife had reservations about moving away from her family as her parents are both in their 70s and since we've been down here, her Dad has been diagnosed with dementia. It's not easy for her being away, especially as she would like to be able to help out more with her Dad, but she knows we made the right move. 

As harsh as it sounds, you can't let parents hold you back. It is not yours or your husbands responsibility to care for your mother in law. I don't mean to sound uncaring or cold about it, but you have your own family now and you owe it to your kids to put them first. They want to live in their own home - there's no greater security for your family than owning your own house. That has to come before your mother in law imho. You can still visit and help out when you're there, but you shouldn't feel guilty for doing what's right for your family.

Edited by Towelie
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I agree woth towlie. Make the move. If you hold back on something because of a few little things it will slowly grow into resentment. You may not think it will but over time it will. 

 

But if you do go to the country, make it somewhere that does have some form of public transport. My wife doesn't drive and because of bus times she has to take kids to school on a 20 min bus journey at 0730. When school starts at 9. Because there's no bus between 0730 and 0930. 

I'm sure towlie will aggree that the air is so much cleaner too. No smog, no fumes, no constant traffic noise just generally a quieter life. 

Another plus to the country is all the wide open spaces, great views and wildlife. My kids love the fact we get sheep and the occasional horse rider walk by our house. They're even more excited when the little lambs run by.

But at the end of the day it's what's right for your family. If you think your family would be better off in a City, go for a city location. If you think your family will be better in the country, go for the country. Just make sure the decisions are made for the right reasons

P.s. congrats on twins. And good luck! 

Edited by ssiscool
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@Towelie @ssiscool Thanks for your responses.

It's such a emotionally awkward situation. Ditching friends and family because it's easier to aquire a possession elsewhere. It is shelter though. 

Absolutely not moving to the country. Most suburbs have good enough air quality. I grew up in the countryside and was lonely. I missed out on so much with friends because I lived in the middle of nowhere. Sounds trivial, but I was 19 years old before I ate a delivered pizza. Horses and cows and country walks get boring really fast. 

I'm thinking realistically about the friends I have here. One lives in a council house. One lives with her parents. The rest are older so could buy when it wasn't as expensive, or bought with help from family. So if any of those people were in our shoes, they'd be looking at leaving too. I have two acquaintances who live in a camper van/caravan full time because of similar problems we're facing. 

Thanks for helping me think about this more clearly. I'm really sad that just at the point where we thought we'd have enough money, the target is raised again. It's a losing game. We'll stay here for another year, then go. 

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I'd say ask what's best to do for the kids and let that decision guide you.

I wouldn't base it around friends as such as they might make their own decision to move even if you decide to stay. You can only really do what's best for you.

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You need to do what's best for you and your immediate family. 

Home ownership is great if it's within reach.  Besides helping to build wealth, it also removes the potential of having to move because your land lord sells the property or simply chooses to no longer rent.

We moved to a city three years ago about an hour from the city I grew up on.  The reality is as you get older you see your friends less and less.  Some stop being your friends entirely.  We made some new friends in our neighbourhood.  Granted, covid-19 made the task much more difficult.  But I wouldn't worry about making a new network of friends, particularly if you put some effort behind it.  

One thing to consider is that borrowing costs are going up and will likely go up for awhile.  This will likely cool the market; with a dramatic drop an increasingly possibility.  You might be wise to hold off six months to a year to see what happens to the housing market.  If interest rates go up, values will go down.  While that might make your mortgage a bit more expensive, it also translates into having a bigger down payment, possibly helping to negate higher interest rates.  

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I agree with the posts above, your family comes first. You will make new friends easily, especially when your little one starts school. Make the move Gracii and be proud of yourselves for getting on the property ladder :)

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I agree with people saying make the move.

Me and my wife did something similar - we live miles (hundreds in my case, thousands in my wife’s) from our families. Initially it was a shock but over time you adjust, find new friends, build a circle of people etc. 

I also wouldn’t consider the move “permanent”. Use it as a solution to get on the ladder or move up the ladder with my your preferred endgame in sight. I know peoples financial situations differ so it may not always be possible, but if you can: overpay your mortgage - so if the mortgage payment is £750 for example set the direct debit to £1000 or £1250 for example, each month, every month. We did that in our new area, and as we didn’t know anyone we found we could afford to do that as we were going out less etc, and what that meant after 2 or 3 years was we had increased our equity and could afford to move. So this might be an option that in 3 or 4 years you could return to your town.

Hope this helps.

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