Friday 5 December 2014

Moving House

Twice now, I have moved house whilst pregnant.  Neither time was avoidable, but both were utterly exhausting, and I ignored the warning signs from my body telling me that I was over doing it.

The bloke and I found ourselves pregnant so early on in a new relationship, but we knew we wanted to become a family, and so set about finding somewhere to live.  I was back with my parents at the time, and he was renting a furnished room in a house, so not only was it a big step for us, it was an expensive one too! We knew we had a baby on the way, but we had no real idea at this stage what a baby would entail.  We guessed at things, opting for somewhere with a bath rather than a shower for washing him, and making sure the master bedroom could comfortably fit a cot in for the first few months. Ultimately time wasn't on our side, but we found a place to make our own and moved in shortly after.

When I was pregnant with Archie, we came to the conclusion that whilst we loved our house, it simply wasn't big enough for our growing family, and that we needed to move.  We put things off until it was really a necessity, and I was 6 months pregnant when we moved.  I wanted time to settle in, and help our toddler adapt before everything changed again, and we knew we would want to decorate a few bits too.  With a third little guy on the way, we would love to move again and find a bigger house where the boys can have their own rooms, but for several reasons it just isn't an option.

Our plan now is to stay where we are for a few years.  We like our house, we are making it our own and there are definite benefits to renting.  We don't want to move unless it is a step forward, and for us that means buying.  I always imagined owning my own home, but as I learnt a while ago, things don't always go to plan.  We have a lot of saving to do, and that isn't easy with three children under 4, but once they are all at school, and I am working more, I know that it is completely achievable. 

I know that the process will be long, even after we have saved, but I know that once we have a 'forever home', one that is all ours, we will have something to pass down to our children, we won't be paying someone else's retirement fund, but will have an asset as we age.  We already know what we want, and after waiting this many years, I think we would be prepared as first time buyers to wait until the market is right, and until the house we want and need becomes available.  We know that if there is a chain, things can take longer, but as first time buyers we will have an advantage.  We know that we will make offers that may be declined, that there will be contracts and legal proceedings, that there will be surveys, possibly work to do and usually redecoration, but that will all be part of the fun of making the biggest purchase we ever will.

Saving up is slow, especially at the moment, but my advice would be:

  • Set up a separate bank account or savings account that you don't have easy access to, that way you won't get as tempted to dip in.
  • Try starting small, saving something you won't miss, and gradually increasing the amount each month, so it doesn't ever feel like you are losing a massive chunk of your income.
  • Try selling unwanted or not needed things, if you can wait until early December then everyone is looking to buy, whether you are using ebay or local bootfairs.
  • Why not make a pledge, if you buy coffee on the way to work every day, then take a thermos Monday to Thursday and just buy as a treat on a Friday - put the price of a coffee every day into your savings.
  • Head down to your local bank and discuss mortgages with them, ask any questions you may have and find out how much houses in your area are, and how much you would need as a deposit early on, so that you have a set goal and a timeline. You can also seek help from a mortgage advisor or broker.
  • If it works for your family, see if you can move  back in with parents for a few months to save on rent and help save up.
Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with TSB

1 comment:

  1. Great post and great advice. I am lucky now to be in our forever home but did all the steps you said before we got to this point x


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