First of all I'm really sorry to hear about your redundancy, good luck and I hope you get a new job soon.
Me and my wife decided to make the jump and but our first house around autumn 2006. We were living in Belfast at the time. We only knew the basics about buying a home, like most people do. I had heard that house prices were getting a bit out of hand (we had just moved to NI) and was told by work colleagues/family to buy, buy, buy! We would soon miss the boat.
We went along to a mortgage advisor, with the intention of buying a basic two up two down. Ha, ha ha. An Interest Only mortgage was going to cost at least £750 - 800 per month. Our wages would not even cover for the smallest house in a crappy area of Belfast. It hit me, something was wrong. I took my wife by the hand stood up and walked out.
I realised I needed to educate myself and understand what the hell I was getting myself into. I new little but even my simple calculations I did when I got back home (rented of course) told me this NI housing boom could not continue. I earn an average wage, and wanted to buy a small house, but that was out of my reach, so something would have to give?
So I researched, learnt about mortgages, the economy and gasp! Looked back in time to see that there are property crashes in the past. But all that means nothing when you read headlines everyday claiming everyones getting rich - just buy a house, go on you fool its easy. Friends telling you they've made a fortune. If I heard the words" I bought at the right time" again I was going to go mad. So you doubt your self. Then I came across this website and my learning curve shot up. I felt empowered by having some knowledge - I felt in control of my own future again.
And it's happening. House prices are crashing. I'm still furious at being priced out a few years ago, but so so glad we never bought our home then.
And HOME is the key word isn't it? You are not buying an investment, you are not being clever by buying a house. Our culture of house buying has got so out of hand that people have lost sight of the fact that you are buying somewhere for you and your family to live - we are not all canny investors.
So I'm waiting. Saving for a big deposit is going to hurt - it won't be easy but we're willing to do it. And while I have sympathy for people who are in negative equity etc, as I was almost in that situation too, through lack of understanding, I am hoping and praying that these ridiculous prices come crashing down so I have the chance to afford a reasonable home for a reasonable price. Thats not too much to ask for is it?