I’m probably crazy doing this, but since I’m not actually superstitious I’m going to update you on our house situation. Why crazy? Because the last two times I’ve done this, our house has fallen through; most recently within two hours of the post going live.
Surely – surely – it can’t happen a third time?
The last I updated you (unless you’ve seen a little snippet over on IG), we were buying the house we’d wanted from the start. Serendipity played a hand and what had first been impossible, and then feasible, but quickly snatched away from us again – finally came to be: an offer on our dream home was accepted.
Losing Our Forever Home
Except we subsequently discovered that it hadn’t, not really – nearly three weeks later the vendors pulled put of their purchase. By itself that may not be too worrying, but when we reacted by putting the imminent survey on hold, we discovered that we’d not lost (much) money because the vendors had still not instructed their solicitors. In other words, we had every reason to suspect they were not motivated to move. And so we made the difficult decision to pull out.
Of course, we could have continued to sit tight, but because the vendors were looking for something very specific we could have been waiting for months before the right property came on the market for them. With their circumstances making it impractical for them to vacate, the only sensible option was for us to continue looking ourselves. We quickly found yet another house we liked the look of and made an offer – our fifth! And here we are.
This house is beautiful and perfectly located within walking distance of Pixie’s new preschool; we should be thoroughly excited.
Why aren’t we? Partly because after so much to-ing and fro-ing we’ve lost all enthusiasm. But also because of the huuuuge potential that came with the house we’ve walked away from… We’ve not only let go of that property, we’ve also let go of future plans and a lifestyle we believed it would have afforded us. I found this tool which shows how much properties have increased in value over time, and while we’ve been extremely fortunate over the last few years, prices today are a different world to when our parents’ generation purchased their homes.
There are a lot of great things about retirement, but decreased income is obviously not one of them! Even if you have a nest egg set aside, you may consider taking out a home mortgage. A reverse mortgage may be more beneficial for retirees than a standard home loan, because it will provide ongoing payments for as long as there’s a balance to borrow. Due to government regulations, you can only borrow up to a certain amount, and a reverse mortgage calculator can be used to determine that amount up front. Once you get a reverse mortgage, you’ll keep your home for as long as you want. However, when you leave it, you have to pay back the loan fully. If you cannot or choose not to, the lender can get some or all of the money back by selling your house.
Retirement Without a Private Pension
Both my husband and I are self-employed and so buying a house that had an astounding degree of potential was very appealing: with neither of us having a private pension, it could have benefited us massively in the future.
The plan had been to renovate over the next five to ten years, because it would have been our ‘forever home’. Well, almost. The idea was to stay put for the duration of our family growing up and a little beyond, with a view to downsizing at a later date.
The main reason we were so excited by that particular house was not only the fact that it needed updating throughout, but also because it had a detached double garage with land behind it. Essentially we felt their was a possibility in the future of creating an annexe for our girls, to help them overcome the housing-ladder obstacle currently facing Millenials.
Once we’d maxed out the potential of the house and helped get our girls on their feet, we’d have liked to find something smaller, clear our mortgage, and go travelling. But that’s no longer on the cards with this newest property.
We’re still hoping to use our home as a nest egg for our future, only we’re one step behind where we’d have been with the other house. This one is a family home for the next decade hopefully, and then we’ll be looking for the next step up.
In the meantime we’ll be saving hard to chip away at our gargantuan mortgage, because with our move being into something that requires no work (a blessed relief, let me tell you!), we’ve naturally had to pay a premium for the privilege. Gulp. So, I’m trying to focus on the positives rather than fixating on what we feel we’ve lost.
The most frustrating thing is that if we’d never had that carrot dangled in front of us then I think we’d have fallen in love with this house in its own right.
First world problems and all that though, right? Excuse me while I nip out for a lottery ticket…