We want to buy a house. Not a mansion, just an average sized house with a garden. Dad2babyinsomniac wants a garage and a woodburner, and we want it to be in a nice quiet area, possibly in a village. That’s all.
It’s not that much to ask. A few decades ago it was standard procedure for families to buy a house, back then it was even possible to buy a house and live comfortably on just the mans wages. My parents bought their first house in 1984 when I was a baby, my dad was earning £25,000 and they paid £36,000 for it. Today the same houses are on the market for £750,000. The shocking thing is that although the house prices have gone up so drastically, the wages don’t seem to have changed at all – resulting in first-time buyers like myself being priced out of the market. At the peak of my Dads career he was earning nearly £100,000 which back in those days led to us having a fairly priviliged lifestyle although stupidly they didn’t invest any of this money - infact most of it went on living in holiday cottages, moving house and ten years of private school fees (which had I been to one school might have resulted in the outcome that they were expecting, but due to the disturbance of changing schools once a year and the fact that I stopped attending in year 11, I only ended up taking 5 GCSE’s). They would have been better off saving up the money they had spent on school fees for when I was grown up needed a deposit for a house! I am not complaining though, we did get to go on pretty amazing holidays twice a year – luckily, as this was the only time me and my sister used to get on!
We are currently renting in a not so great part of a Somerset town and although it’s cheap, it comes with drawbacks. We have a nutter who lives three doors down, he is known locally as a ‘nasty piece of work’ and has been in and out of prison for various reasons. On three occasions we have had every police car in Somerset turn up outside our house – two of which were in the middle of the night and resulted in me not getting any sleep. Within a month of moving in, I woke up to him smashing every window of his house before setting fire to all his girlfriends stuff in the garden. On Friday morning I got woken up at 3am by the sound of him smashing his house up and attacking his girlfriend. This was the view from my house a couple of months ago – there had been some kind of assault.
Living here was only ever going to be a short-term solution to enable us to sort our finances out so that we could buy somewhere. Dad2babyinsomniac is an electrician and has just started his own business and I am about to start a college course to enable me to teach baby massage, so it’s going to be one year before I am working and two years before his accounts are (hopefully) good enough to be considered for a mortgage.
I just don’t really want to stay here for that long. If I thought that we would definitely be able to buy somewhere after that time then I could handle it but based on the house prices today, you can’t really get anywhere worth buying for less then £200,000 and even if we managed to get a mortgage for that much which is highly unlikely, we would still have the problem of finding a 10% deposit which is completely impossible. We are both in debt, have no savings and no family that would be able to help us.
If it’s not going to be possible to buy after that time then we may as well just move somewhere nicer to rent and hope that one day the situation changes. Renting just isn’t ideal long-term though as you are paying a ridiculous amount of money for nothing, you will never have anything to show for it, you can’t decorate or make it your own and there is no point in getting too used to living there as you might have to move. Plus the fact that I had a quick look on Rightmove yesterday and all the houses in our price range are horrible, even the ones above our price range aren’t great.
And if the house situation wasn’t bad enough, the cost of living is even worse. I live opposite Sainsburys and have been in there every day for the last year and in that time I have watched the price of food rise almost monthly – not by a couple of pennies but by 50p or more. Newborn nappies have gone up by over a pound in less than a year. Fresh fruit is a rare luxury and passing my driving test a few months ago was pointless as I can’t afford to pay nearly a grand a year for my insurance, and if I could then I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay for petrol. We don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t really go out and yet we still never have enough money to be able to save for our future.
I know I am moaning and should just be grateful for what I do have but I just want to live in a house that Iyla can grow up in and will one day be ours, in an area that doesn’t have people causing disturbances that lead to the entire police force and half the fire brigade being called out on a regular basis. Is that really so much to ask?
In the meantime we are stuck living here. We know we need to move before Iyla becomes aware of what is going on – I don’t want her waking up to that kind of thing in the middle of the night. I just hope that once we are both working things might start to improve a bit, and I also hope that the neighbour from hell goes back to prison for a while.