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Ftb - Mid 30S. Should I Buy?

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Potential first time buyer seeking opinions (not just validation or confirmation):

- Mid 30’s.

- First time buyer

- Engaged to be married.

- Joint income 100k (70/30 split)

- Work in London (no option to move)

I’m on a pretty good individual salary, but have only been so for 1 year. Prior to that (and since leaving Uni) I had a string of £25K jobs, with a 25k student debt (thanks to interest accumulating even when not in work - thanks government / student loans company)). I’ve finally paid my student debt (as of about 6 months ago), and as I say, have a pretty good salary.

Right now, between my partner and I, we can pay ~£30k deposit and ~£10k stamp duty to buy our first home. But I just can’t bring myself to spend a total of £40k on a place that is a small 2 bedroom terraced or semi. I have to work in London, so does my partner. It’s not that there aren’t places available for 350k (around our budget), it’s just that they’re awful. Abjectively, they’re simply not worth it for the quality of life I’d have. They weren’t worth it in 2010, and they’re certainly not worth it now.

My partner is very keen to buy, she wants us to start our lives and have our own place and looks only to monthly repayments being manageable. I understand this, but stretching to a 35 year mortgage, wiping out any savings, just kitting monthly repayments, and getting a less than ideal home in return just seems craziness to me.

But then, I’ve lived in the London rent trap for almost a decade (my mother has never let me live at home since leaving Uni) - and I’m scared to stay in it for too much longer. I’m also missing have a home since it’s never been something I’ve had in my adult life. I desperately want a place that is mine. I have zero interest in flipping it. I just want some stability.

The only ‘plan’ I have right now is to somehow wait until end of 2016 and see if interest rates look like they may increase, or the housing market ‘cools’ (whatever that means). Compounding the issue is that I have a chronic health problem which, while I can work now, it’s unlikely I’ll make it to retirement.

I need to somehow convince my partner that holding on for 1 year is the best thing right now (but, in reality I don’t think there’ll be a HPC until 2018), so even if she agrees to 6-12 months, I have a feeling we’ll just be in a worse situation.

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I feel your angst. Similar situation to me RE age and attitude of your partner. I'm having similar conversations about how much longer she is prepared to wait for this fabled thing called a HPC. What hurts is the benefit of hindsight about how reasonable the prices seem now when we were first considering buying. Regret can turn things a bit sour if you're not careful. I'm just more wary of the regret I would have if we buy at the peak of the bubble and then it all crashes.

You don't mention whether kids might be part of your plan? That would change my attitude to your question (I personally wouldn't want to raise my kids in a tiny house in a not particularly nice part of London).

The indices for London are now showing drops (esp. for PCL), so that should be a big reassurance. My feeling is that London is on its way to some decent falls, and this will hopefully ripple out to the rest of the UK. But nobody knows for sure when we might see decent value again.

Based on what some people on here think, there won't be any significant IR cuts for a decade or more, so I've given up holding my breath for that, but who knows? Again, nobody has a crystal ball.

You pays your money and takes your chance!

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Thanks for your post. Children simply cannot be an option right now - buying a house is difficult enough. House prices have pretty much ruled out children, so for the sake of this thread, assume no children.

Also, to be clear, living in London is out of the question. I just can't see there being enough of an adjustment. I work in London, but that means I'm looking anywhere that's <= 40 minute by train into Central London. But even outside London, £300 with a 30 minute commute, means a pretty tiny house or flat.

I'm keen to wait. As you say, house price increase has slowed, and while this is not a crash, it does mean the money we save increases faster.

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Thanks for your post. Children simply cannot be an option right now - buying a house is difficult enough. House prices have pretty much ruled out children, so for the sake of this thread, assume no children.

What a situation, cant have children cant afford due to HPI. What a sorry state of affairs this country is in.

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I'm turning 30, got married 5 years ago, I have a 9 month old baby.

I'm currently renting a flat but would like to live in my own house. I'm in a similar position to you with regards to my household income and even though I can get a mortgage I would still need a hefty deposit which would wipe out my savings and then there is a huge amount of money to repay back over the next 25 years. I my financial circumstances change it will be difficult to service such a large mortgage.

Eventually I think if nothing changes with regards to HPC I will just have to suck it up and buy, I can't really move out of London due to all my family being here otherwise I would have considered moving to another town and buying outright.

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Thanks for your post. Children simply cannot be an option right now - buying a house is difficult enough. House prices have pretty much ruled out children, so for the sake of this thread, assume no children.

Also, to be clear, living in London is out of the question. I just can't see there being enough of an adjustment. I work in London, but that means I'm looking anywhere that's <= 40 minute by train into Central London. But even outside London, £300 with a 30 minute commute, means a pretty tiny house or flat.

I'm keen to wait. As you say, house price increase has slowed, and while this is not a crash, it does mean the money we save increases faster.

Hello,

I have two loveley children, both in their teens and brought up for their whole lives in rental properties. I might add, spacious rental properties with big gardens. Don't let house prices put your life on hold mate please!

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I'm mid 30s and renting in London as well (increase in travel costs from going further out outweighed reduction in rents plus commuting starts taking ages). In order to get a mortgage on the flat I'm currently renting (worth about £400k) with monthly payments the same as the rent (£1400) I'd need to put down a £100k deposit, which is a big chunk of change to get rid of just to have the same monthly expenditure. If I put down a £25k deposit monthly payments would be ~£500 per month higher than renting.

I suspect the further away from London one goes the less this is true, but it would be worth running the sums and seeing what you could get for your monthly rent vs a mortgage payment with the deposit you have. I used to semi-agonize about not having somewhere I could paint anything-but-beige but in my situation the maths shows renting is significantly better value. I stopped agonizing about getting a house when I decided to stop saving for one and started investing elsewhere.

Horses for courses though, ultimately only you can decide what is right for you.

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You won't get anywhere decent within 40 mins commutting of Central London. What is it you do exactly that can't be done by moving to another job elsewhere outside London?

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You won't get anywhere decent within 40 mins commutting of Central London. What is it you do exactly that can't be done by moving to another job elsewhere outside London?

I don't do anything special - IT consultancy. However, the company I do it for have no offices outside of London. I could take a chance on a small consultancy, perhaps somewhere in the North or Midlands - but there aren't many. Even fewer when I take into account the chronic health condition I have - which means I need the support of a large company (health insurance, days off for appointments, and the ability to weather global financial downturns).

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Thanks for your post. Children simply cannot be an option right now - buying a house is difficult enough. House prices have pretty much ruled out children, so for the sake of this thread, assume no children.

Also, to be clear, living in London is out of the question. I just can't see there being enough of an adjustment. I work in London, but that means I'm looking anywhere that's <= 40 minute by train into Central London. But even outside London, £300 with a 30 minute commute, means a pretty tiny house or flat.

I'm keen to wait. As you say, house price increase has slowed, and while this is not a crash, it does mean the money we save increases faster.

If you want children and your parent is also in her mid-30s, do not put off having children just to buy a house! Esp, if it means neither of you can not afford to stop working!

My parter and I did a similar thing, now we are in our early 40s and oh dear can't have kids (IVF is not easy!).

I ask what is the point of paying a mortgage for most (or all) of your life, to buy a house which you will (with luck) own for a few years before you die? (inter-generational mortgages, yeah :rolleyes: ) Better off finding somewhere cheap to rent (yep, London is not a good option here!) and working less.

Edited by renting til I die

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Potential first time buyer seeking opinions (not just validation or confirmation):

- Mid 30’s.

- First time buyer

- Engaged to be married.

- Joint income 100k (70/30 split)

- Work in London (no option to move)

I’m on a pretty good individual salary, but have only been so for 1 year. Prior to that (and since leaving Uni) I had a string of £25K jobs, with a 25k student debt (thanks to interest accumulating even when not in work - thanks government / student loans company)). I’ve finally paid my student debt (as of about 6 months ago), and as I say, have a pretty good salary.

Right now, between my partner and I, we can pay ~£30k deposit and ~£10k stamp duty to buy our first home. But I just can’t bring myself to spend a total of £40k on a place that is a small 2 bedroom terraced or semi. I have to work in London, so does my partner. It’s not that there aren’t places available for 350k (around our budget), it’s just that they’re awful. Abjectively, they’re simply not worth it for the quality of life I’d have. They weren’t worth it in 2010, and they’re certainly not worth it now.

My partner is very keen to buy, she wants us to start our lives and have our own place and looks only to monthly repayments being manageable. I understand this, but stretching to a 35 year mortgage, wiping out any savings, just kitting monthly repayments, and getting a less than ideal home in return just seems craziness to me.

But then, I’ve lived in the London rent trap for almost a decade (my mother has never let me live at home since leaving Uni) - and I’m scared to stay in it for too much longer. I’m also missing have a home since it’s never been something I’ve had in my adult life. I desperately want a place that is mine. I have zero interest in flipping it. I just want some stability.

The only ‘plan’ I have right now is to somehow wait until end of 2016 and see if interest rates look like they may increase, or the housing market ‘cools’ (whatever that means). Compounding the issue is that I have a chronic health problem which, while I can work now, it’s unlikely I’ll make it to retirement.

I need to somehow convince my partner that holding on for 1 year is the best thing right now (but, in reality I don’t think there’ll be a HPC until 2018), so even if she agrees to 6-12 months, I have a feeling we’ll just be in a worse situation.

Indeed. I still get it in the ear for poo-pooing buying back in 2010-3. Its not that I couldn't find places that I could afford, it was that all these places were in sh*tholes! Now they are +100k but still in sh*itholes!

The price is what you pay, value is what you get. There is little value anywhere in the Southeast.

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If you want to have a kid just have a kid. My partner and I are from a very similar demographic and geographical area to you and our first was born 3 weeks ago. We took him home to our privately rented house a couple of days later. He's lovely. It can be done.

This crisis will not last forever, don't let the politicians/landlords/estate agents/bankers dictate your life.

Edited by Dorkins

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If you are both in your mid 30's the baby clock is running out and probably needs to be the one and only priority if it is something you want.

I would be tempted to stay renting with buying being significantly more expensive. Just make sure you keep saving.

Regarding places being sh1t holes don't worry about it too much, think of it being better value. When renting a house, it looks its best when you move in and only gets worse over time. If you buy a house it really doesn't cost a lot relatively to make it a hell of a lot better to live in. For 20 - 30k you can pretty much gut a small to medium size house and bring it up to a very respectable standard.

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If the country votes remain then personally I would pull the trigger and buy. Nobody has a crystal ball. You could be waiting forever for a crash that never comes. Every year that goes by while prices rise 10% is another 10% that they have to fall in the crash to make waiting worthwhile, plus in the meantime you are paying off someone else's mortgage instead of your own. Look at it this way, if you buy now then you can pay off the mortgage and build up some equity and then maybe you can buy someplace nicer in a few years.

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I'd honestly say move away from London, I'm sure there are similar jobs in other cities. I work in software, Bristol seems to have quite a few jobs as does Yorkshire. London is such a sh-thole and so overpriced, the quality of life just cannot be had there now imo.

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I've pretty much been in a similar boat for the last few years.. and even so is difficult to say exactly what to do as the silly **** London market makes this kind of decision amazingly hard, but..

I'd look at what you really want from life, if you want kids, then buying is a good idea but don't let it out you off - if you want kids then you will regret it if you are left thinking I would have do it if not for house prices.. And you ultimately house prices in the Uk will eventually crash, even if it is in 2018 or 2020 or whenever.. If you have kids then you will have other priorities and so any proper correction will come round quicker than you realise anyhow..

If you don't want kids, then look at what makes you happy.. If it's owning, then you'll likely bite the bullet and go for it.. But if it's anything else than do that instead, as otherwise you'll be chained to a mortgage for almost ever that become a burden rather than a benefit.. Everyone expects prices to carry on rising forever, but I'm not sure they will and so extending yourself to buy now is a big ask and so only really worth it if it is really what you want. (no one knows, but I have a suspicion that the buy now and profit later from the equity model that has been our property market over the last 30 years is not going to be the same model for todays buyers)

Career wise, health-permitting, IT is still a big draw and so you could likely go anywhere and do anything within reason - if you have the right skills, you could work anywhere in the world.. And if you don't have the right skills, you probably know how to get them if you are in the right place.. If not kids, then I would be tempted to exploit this and live the life you want to live and not worry about UK Property - it's built for the previous generation and not anyone born later than 1980.. Is just about workable in some parts of the UK, but almost completely broken down in London and the SE for people without inheritance or something else to power a huge deposit.

Disclaimer - Am 33 (as the name suggests!) and have rented in London for the last decade building up a career in IT Consultancy, am really to settle down with the missus and buy a place and so have spent the last 3 / 4 years working my monkey nuts off (ultimately ending up taking it too far and starting a whole flipping company) to save up for a deposit.. But most advice is that a 100k to 150k deposit is not enough to afford a 2 bedroom place in Zone 3 London at today's (admittedly currently decreasing) prices; which is just crazy if you are working to build the money up instead of having it gifted.. I would quite like kids one day and so am slogging through it, but if I didn't, then get me out of here.. There is more to the world and to living in my opinion..

That's my 50 cents..

(typed on a phone so excuse dodgy typo's, but is a topic close to my heart so thought I would wade in)

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Thanks for your post. Children simply cannot be an option right now - buying a house is difficult enough. House prices have pretty much ruled out children, so for the sake of this thread, assume no children.

Also, to be clear, living in London is out of the question. I just can't see there being enough of an adjustment. I work in London, but that means I'm looking anywhere that's <= 40 minute by train into Central London. But even outside London, £300 with a 30 minute commute, means a pretty tiny house or flat.

I'm keen to wait. As you say, house price increase has slowed, and while this is not a crash, it does mean the money we save increases faster.

Very sad to hear - and I wonder if your missus agrees. I can't stress enough that if you want kids at all, then now is the time to have them (assuming you are both in your mid 30s).

I grew up in rented housing - and frankly never gave it a second's thought as a child. They do not need much space in the early years either.

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If you want children and your parent is also in her mid-30s, do not put off having children just to buy a house! Esp, if it means neither of you can not afford to stop working!

My parter and I did a similar thing, now we are in our early 40s and oh dear can't have kids (IVF is not easy!).

I ask what is the point of paying a mortgage for most (or all) of your life, to buy a house which you will (with luck) own for a few years before you die? (inter-generational mortgages, yeah :rolleyes: ) Better off finding somewhere cheap to rent (yep, London is not a good option here!) and working less.

Sadly that is a common story, thanks Tony, Gordon and Dave.

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If you are both in your mid 30's the baby clock is running out and probably needs to be the one and only priority if it is something you want.

I would be tempted to stay renting with buying being significantly more expensive. Just make sure you keep saving.

Regarding places being sh1t holes don't worry about it too much, think of it being better value. When renting a house, it looks its best when you move in and only gets worse over time. If you buy a house it really doesn't cost a lot relatively to make it a hell of a lot better to live in. For 20 - 30k you can pretty much gut a small to medium size house and bring it up to a very respectable standard.

Errr... I think they mean are areas where cheaper houses are, are sh*tholes. You could have the best house in the worst area. Spending 30k on a house will not improve the surrounding area?

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I live near durrington which has a station with regular trains to London. 2 miles from the beach, 3 bed semi for about 275k. Personally I wouldnt buy now, and currently rent (have done since leaving uni in 98). Have two kids (2 and 4). I wouldn't shape your life just to buy an overpriced house... rent, have kids, enjoy life.

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All the 'sh!tholes' in London are likely to go through gentrification so l wouldn't necessarily rule them out if you can see potential.

At your age l wouldn't put off having kids either if that's what you want.

No one knows how this thing is going to blow. But the current house prices in London are mad. 3 beds in my area in London start at £500k and they're pretty average.

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This.

Thanks. :) I'm in a minority amongst family and friends, and a lot of boomers sneer at my life decisions and suggest I'd be much happier if I had an insane mortgage and the risk of bankruptcy should our fragile job situation take a turn for the worse.

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Thanks. :) I'm in a minority amongst family and friends, and a lot of boomers sneer at my life decisions and suggest I'd be much happier if I had an insane mortgage and the risk of bankruptcy should our fragile job situation take a turn for the worse.

Likewise. I have two small kids myself now, and they are thriving in rented accommodation - crazy but true! :)

In retrospect, we sometimes feel that we should have bought 5 years ago, but we made our decision in good faith at the time, looking at the HPI madness and thinking it couldn't continue. I still think it won't/can't continue for much longer, but who knows? I can't see us buying until some kind of value is restored, but my wife is losing patience.

Fragile job situation is right, we have that too. The days of job security are long gone for most, yet people seem happy to chain themselves to a lifetime of debt to secure a bog standard house in a crappy area. Our rent isn't cheap, but the house is nice and we could potentially find cheaper if we had to. Much easier/cheaper than selling up would be!

Renting isn't that bad, and has its advantages.

To the OP, if you are the type to want kids, I'll bet they'd bring you much more joy than a massive mortgage on a crumbly old

house. But you've got to decide on your priorities in life, nobody can do that for you. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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