The final move

This is a paid collaborative post. 

Getting on the housing ladder these days is tough. Back in the early 2000s, it seemed easier. You could self-certify for a mortgage through a broker and that’s exactly what I did. As a first time buyer, I purchased a relatively large, detached house in a nice area. If Instagram had been around then, you’d have seen a strong young woman doing well for herself. But things are not always as they seem.

Moving day

I moved into my first home on my 23rd birthday. On the same day, I was accepted into a job that wasn’t due to start for six months. This gave me the incentive to quit the job I was in, which I hated. So I was single, unemployed and completely skint. Everything I owned was transported from my mum’s house to mine in one carload. Eventually, kind friends and relatives turned up with their second hand furniture. I’ve still got some of it.

Financially, it was a difficult time. The house wasn’t perfect, it needed quite a bit of work. But I was 23, so other things seemed more important. I found a temporary job the following week, and stuck at it until I got a start date for my ‘proper job’. At that point, the reality of starting a ‘career’ hit home. And with six weeks to go, I booked flights to Los Angeles, New Zealand and Australia. I came home with a few hours to spare before work started. Tanned, happy and completely skint.

A long term home

I never really thought of my first home as somewhere I’d stay long term. I’d bought it because I knew I’d get planning permission to put another house in the garden and make some money on it. But, despite selling a building plot with planning permission, I’ve always struggled financially since over stretching myself on the mortgage.

Fifteen years on, I’m still here. Now with a family in tow, and still with work to do on the house. The area is lovely and I feel lucky to have got a foot on the housing ladder. But soon, it will be time to move on. Over the next couple of years, we’ll be doing the house up and getting it ready to sell. We’re by no means in a strong financial position, but I’m a lot more savvy about these things than I used to be.

I know that when I remortgaged a couple of years after buying this house, I was probably mis-sold my mortgage by a broker. It was interest only, self-certified and definitely not affordable. Thankfully, it’s now easy to make mortgage claims against the company that mis-sold them. Even if that company is no longer trading.

Finding our forever home

If I’m able to reclaim on my mis-sold mortgage, I’ll be putting the money towards our next home. We want to move closer to the girls’ school and realistically, we could probably move now. But I know we need to wait, do up our house and ensure that we don’t overstretch ourselves again. And I want this to be our last move, to our forever home.

The past 15 years since buying my house have been difficult. I’ve been in debt, living hand to mouth and worrying about paying the bills. I never want to be in that position again, but most of all, I want to make sure that the girls never have to live like this.

In my mind, our forever home has plenty of space for now, but more importantly enough space for the future. Because getting on the housing ladder seems to be increasingly difficult. I’d love to buy somewhere with room to build a small annex. Somewhere for the girls to live in their own space while they save up for their own home without getting into debt. We’ll never be in a position to buy a house for them, but if we can help them to avoid debt in some other way, we’ll make sure we do it.

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  1. Time flies, eh? It’s a good job those walls can’t talk!

    It’s a lovely house – great views and nice and quiet. A perfect family home (minus the swimming pool).

    I look forward to the house warming!

  2. That’s great that you managed to buy a house so early in life! We struggled after having our first to buy somewhere as deposits required were so high! 🙂 x

  3. Wow, I’m amazed you’re still living in the house you bought at 23. No wonder you were stretched! I bought a one-bed flat with my husband when we were 25, two years later we bought a three-bed terrace, four years later, we bought a three-bed semi-detached and we finally bought our five-bed detached forever home nine years after that! I know my kids will find it so much harder to get on the property ladder, so it’s a good job we’ve got lots of space for our adult children to live at home for as long as they need to.

  4. I’m in awe of you for being able to get on the housing ladder so young. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment. I’m in my 30s and have nothing saved towards a mortgage, which constantly worries me. I’m sorry you were mis-sold your mortgage, fingers crossed you get compensation and it’s enough for your annex and maybe a pool too!

    1. Thank you. It is such a difficult thing to get right, I feel like I got on the housing ladder too soon but maybe if I hadn’t I’d never have bought a house at all.

  5. Hi Nat, I’ve never been a homeowner. The money we’ve spent paying rent over the years is something I’d rather not think about, but when we first moved here we weren’t able to and now I really wouldn’t want to. When the crisis hit homeowners were and still are heavily taxed, which is totally wrong! I hope you don’t leave the area you live in now, it looks so lovely and you will miss it. Wouldn’t you want to stay in your present house if you get it just as you would like?


    1. Oh I had never thought of how different it must be in different countries. We love the area we live in and will stay nearby but I can’t stand the driving to school every day.