I’m a renter. I’ve got a fairly good job with a slightly above average wage but I’d never been able to save quite enough for a deposit.
Every time I thought I was near, up popped an unexpected expense.. and more recently, the increase in interest rates has pushed owning my own home completely out of reach.
Although I was able to afford my extortionate rent, it seems the bank dismisses this and as a single person, with a single wage, I’m not a great bet as someone who can afford to be a homeowner.
So I continue to rent.
At least I did. I’m currently back home with my parents. I guess I’m fortunate but with 2 teenage sons, myself and my “should be enjoying retirement” parents living in a 2 bedroom bungalow, it’s hard to remain positive.
What should have been temporary, maybe a few months, is now knocking on for 2 years.
My last landlord decided to sell. They gave me the legal time frame to leave but it just wasn’t enough to find somewhere else. It’s a battlefield out there. One property attracting dozens of families.
And in the last few years, rental prices have shot up. For the same reason a mortgage for me is unobtainable, landlords have also found their outgoings increasing.
So what’s on offer in Torquay right now?
A 3 bed flat would be ideal, there’s one in St Marychurch for £1151. In today’s market, that seems reasonable. A 2 bed flat nearby is £1200. Maybe I could turf the kids out and opt for a £525 studio?
My last propery was a 3 bed flat for which I paid £850. Those days are long gone. It felt expensive at the time and now I’d be grateful for the opportunity to have a rental property for that price.
A colleague helpfully suggested I move away to somewhere more affordable. Being a single parent, I rely on my family for support, so I can go to work. Moving away removes all that support. It’s a catch22. No support, no job.
Sure I’ve got teenagers but one being disabled, he’s unable to be left home alone. He may never get to that point. Leaving my job and relying on benefits is not an option. Financially or for my own sanity.
So living with the parents has had an upside. 24/7 support and I’ve saved. So now, those savings either subsidise my wages as I pay above average for a property that I know I wont have to battle for because it’s out of a lot of peoples budgets or I wait until interest rates fall. Which is potentially years.
I know I’m in a fortunate position compared to some. I’m not homeless. I have savings. I have a job and yet like many, Im in limbo, unable to get that first step on the ladder and in my 40s, time seems to be slipping away. As a 50 year old first time buyer, closer to retirement age, a larger deposit will be needed.
So I’ll continue to be grateful to sleep on the sofa at my parents because we constantly have it drummed in to us that “it could be worse”.
There is a housing crisis and it needs to be addressed.
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