Not to be confused with the mile high club (which is infinitely more fun to join and unless you get caught/preggas, carries fairly minimal risk). The first time buyers club doesn’t come with a plush card, a suite of benefits, freebies or exclusive access to a posh bar.
It comes with approx a 35 year contract and the threat of rising interest rates and repossession should you fail to make your repayments….which leads many to ask…why the HELL do it then? Most of Europe don’t bother…
The average amount needed to gain entry to this club, is now £33,000 in the UK – which we can all agree is a sickening amount of money…
My desire for a ‘nest’ of my own kicked in about four years ago, when I was bored with renting and the amount of money effectively being flushed down the loo and I also wanted a space I could paint, shape and make my own with the person I love. However, the mountain we needed to climb to get there made it feel like an impossible dream, as it is for many.
We’re now on the cusp of getting that tippie toe on the ladder of our very own place, the excitement is mounting, but so is the reality of the situation.
Here are my first hand experiences of the changes you go through when buying your first place and how it’s all very normal (I hope)….
- Guilt – it’s an unspoken thing amongst most first time buyers that they had a s**t tonne of help funding that deposit pot, lots of couples glide over that fact when boasting about their new dream house. I’m under no such illusion, don’t get me wrong – I have made sacrifices’a’plenty to get to where I am now, as has my partner – we’ve worked our butts off for three years to get where we are – but we definitely had help. His parents put us up for a year whilst we saved, and my parents helped financially too. It shouldn’t make you feel bad, but I’ve certainly experienced a twinge of guilt when I talk about the upcoming move, despite being excited about it too
2. DIY dream-time – my and my partner have always dreamt of an older property, something we could work on, improve and make our own. Something with ‘character’ – don’t we all want that? However, it soon becomes apparent when you are about to buy that very thing, that ‘character’ comes with a price tag. Luckily the BF is an architect and we have some ‘handy’ mates, but I’m very aware that my mental picture of the house as I’d love it to look, is quite a long way off. Nevertheless I’m excited about the process and you should be too if you’re in the same boat – Rome wasn’t built in a day
3. FOMO on a whole new level – you tell yourself over and over ‘it’s all going to be worth it in the end’, but giving up holidays, date nights, weekends away, parties, dinners etc is hard. It’s not even about the cash, it’s about the opportunity to escape the house and do something different with your mates – rather than watching TV with the in-laws AGAIN…no matter how much you love them
4. Fear – it’s scary stuff signing a 35 year mortgage and I don’t care what anyone else says. No matter how secure you feel with your partner or the excitement that comes with it – you’re still bricking it that it might all go tits up (excuse the pun). What if you discover you hate the person? What if you get the sack? What if you get hit by a bus? I may be saying this as the child of divorced parents who’s seen that mess first hand, but fear like that can’t stop you from going forth into the unknown. You have to trust how you feel right now, try not to worry about how you’ll feel in 10 years time…or even 5 years. All you have is today
5. Feeling like a grown up – I still don’t really feel like a grown up, but dealing with solicitors, viewings, contracts and popping down to Curry’s to look at washing machines, soon makes you feel like you’re #adulting! It’s no bad thing but you can catch yourself dribbling over a John Lewis catalogue and wonder what happened to the care free 18-year-old who was the first to hit the dance floor of a Saturday night. Change is inevitable, but it doesn’t mean you need to become an old spinster. You still have friends, you can still go out out…and it’s also OK if actually you don’t want to thank you very much!
Once I’m in, I’ll update on what it feels like to actually be a homeowner, will it live up to the hype? I’ll be sure to tell you.
Are you a first time buyer? Hoping to be one? Never want to have a mortgage? I’d love to know you’re thoughts on the mountainous task and how best to confront your fears over commitment and being a grown up in the big wide world.