Living in limbo

Yet again, I haven’t been around for a while. We’ve been living in a state of limbo, not being able to go backwards or forwards. I keep this blog anonymous for a variety of reasons and a lot of the things that have been going on I can’t really talk about (partly contractual, partly from wanting to stay anonymous). So the stuff we’ve been grappling with hasn’t been stuff I can blog about.

A set of circumstances have arisen that mean we aren’t realistically going to be able to sell our apartment for at least a couple of years. I can’t say why. You’re just going to have to trust me on it. The trouble is, we really can’t stand staying here. Mainly because:

  • We’ve been stuck here for years. It was great in our early 20s but now we’re in our mid and late 30s with a child it is a nightmare.
  • The walls are so paper thin that we often wake up our daughter if we attempt to do any of the following in the evening: run a bath, have a shower, flush the toilet (the water pipes all make a lot of noise), do any cooking. Talking too loudly. The phone or door bell ringing aren’t much fun either. This isn’t a problem for a single or a couple but for us now it just doesn’t work. We need to go.
  • The space issue and lack of storage and the number of stairs are a problem but then this was never meant to be a family home. It is an old convertion not a purpose build flat even.
  • There is no way we could have any more children here. No. Way. Our girl is now past her second birthday and while we’re not nearly ready yet, if we were going to have a go, we wouldn’t want too large an age gap.
  • On a purely personal level, we hate living here. We’ve had enough.
  • The garden is communal and backs straight on to a road which we can’t fence off so it is hard to use as a family. Also, it isn’t easily accessed from our apartment so we can’t sit outside in the evening while girlie sleeps (it would be like going out and leaving her on her own). Obviously being able to sit outside in the evening isn’t a critical thing but…

Due to all of this (and some other reasons) we’ve decided that the best option for us is to rent out our apartment, release a bit of equity and buy another place. I know this might seem like a crazy thing to do but we know plenty of other people that have done this successfully in our area. Obviously the main worry is that we’d be responsible for two mortgages so we’re putting enough savings back to cover 9 months mortgage and associated costs if the apartment is unlet. We would still have 25% equity in case property prices fall further or if we want to sell it at a silly price. The flip side is that we don’t have pensions etc and if it works we could eventually use rental income to pay off the capital and have an investment property. Or we could just sell it and make a profit (even a very small one would be fine) from having had the advtange of sitting on the property for enough years for the market to recover somewhat. The main advtange is that we could buy a decent size property while prices and interest rates are low.

As a side note, we did consider renting but over the last few months we’ve been checking what is available and all we’ve seen are one or two bed flats or huge, luxury properties we wouldn’t be able to afford. Not a single 3 bed house of any kind is currently available to rent in our town!

I debated about whether or not to write about this on here as I know there are plenty of people that would be really down on the idea and I don’t really need the criticism to be honest. The only thing I can say is that if I could tell the full circumstances behind this decision I bet any critics would understand.

We’re in the process of getting quotes and surveys done so we can look at the full picture. But this is basically why I’ve been quiet. Once the situation is resolved I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it all! I sincerely hope that sometime before Christmas you’ll be reading a post about 3 extremely happy people living in a proper family home with a tenant in their investment property…

Crossed fingers and good vibes will be much appreciated!

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Categories: Uncategorized | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Living in limbo

  1. Seems like a sensible plan to me, a way to get the life you want when circumstances are against you.
    A letting agent in our town offers to pay part of the rental income if they fail to find a tenant for you, perhaps one local to you does something similar to save worry about meeting two mortgage payments.
    Good luck! Jo

  2. It sounds reasonable to me, too. We also have a rental property as an investment. Good luck with it! It sounds like you live in an area with limited rental options, so maybe you’ll have no problems at all getting a good tenant.

  3. Linda

    Good to hear from you, shoestring. Hoping everything turns out fine for you.

  4. Sounds like a good plan to me – I hope it all works out for you.

  5. Lottie

    Children are only small once, the time flys by so quickly. If you want a family home with a garden why not go for it? You’re thinking through all the different scenarios and planning for them, I really hope it all works out for you, I don’t see why it wouldn’t.
    Someone has mentioned agents that can guarantee rents, there is one agent in my city that does this, however I do not think they vet their tenants well at all and I’ve seen homes destroyed by these problem tenants. They seem to have very high turnover of tenants too.
    Just sticking my two pennies worth in.
    Lottie x

  6. Hi there – I have really liked reading your blog over the last few months and have missed your posts. Sorry to hear of all your problems and frustrations – sometimes when things get so bad you feel you can’t cope something unexpected happens and the situation gradually begins to get better. We have had many ups and downs in our life and have lived to tell the tale so hang in there and wait for the storm to pass. We own two houses since 2004 (our little cottage by the sea in Scotland we own outright with the equity we released from our main house here in Yorkshire that is mortgaged) – it is not easy – and a little scary – actually a lot scary – and our friends think we are mad – but it is the best thing we ever did. My advice is to go with what you feel is right and never listen to criticism. All the best and keep us posted.

  7. Bexley Heath Towers

    All the very best to you. Can empathise with your situation in terms of “apartment frustration” as we find ourselves in an uncannily similar spot as regards a home we have outgrown and have come to very similar conclusions. Good Luck. Onwards and upwards

  8. thefrenchchick

    Having read your blog since pre-Baby time, I really feel that you think over your options and make very good plans. I do not doubt that this plan you’ve made will work out for you and within the time frame you’ve given it. Best wishes, good thoughts, lots of prayers and crossed fingers for you from across the pond.

  9. Alison B43

    You go for it – you have put so much work into the property and have done things the ‘proper and responsible’ way for so long you need to think about what is actually best for you. Do not worry what other people may think – we decided to do something far more radical – we actually sold the house and released equity so that we could travel before we go too old (we both brought up our children to their 20s first) You HAVE to do what is right for you all. Best of luck, you are so resourceful I am sure you will make it work out. x

  10. shoestringalley

    Ahh, bless you all for your lovely comments! I am really hoping it all works out. Our survey is next week and we have to check a potential issue with the house insurance. We should know if we are in a position to make an offer on the house we love in about 10 days time. Argghhhhhh!!!!!

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