Reflect and Introspect Blog | The Decision to Move House

The Decision to Move House

Our Situation

My husband bought our house when we were very young. We had only been together about 18 months, and for 12 of those, I had been living abroad in Seville, Spain as part of my Erasmus year abroad at university. It was too soon to buy a house together, but he wanted to get onto the property ladder and so he bought a property with his family, and acquired his first home. I moved into the house with him and 10 years, a marriage and a dog later, we’re still living in the house that he bought all those years ago.

Despite the house not officially being mine, it has been my home for the last 10 years and I have grown attached to it. We’ve spent our entire adult lives here and have an abundance of fond memories. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, but for the most part, this house has served us wonderfully, and I’ll be incredibly sad to leave it when the time comes.

Planting the Seed of Moving House

Back at the end of 2020, we visited a family member’s house and both come away thinking how lovely it would be to have more space. We live in a 2 bedroom end-terrace, and while we have always had ample space for the two of us, adding a dog to the mix and me now working from home forever suddenly made the house feel smaller.

We could benefit from an extra bedroom or at least a space for my office, having gotten rid of the bed from the spare bedroom to make room for my desk and office storage. When friends and family come to stay, they slept (and still sleep!) on an inflatable bed. It was starting to take its toll and we considered an option that we’d never yet considered: to move house.

The decision to move house came after months of deliberation about what we could do with our current home to gain more space. We could extend, but it would mean we lose what we like to call “the car park” on the side of the house. We would also lose some of my beloved garden, which I just wasn’t willing to part with. We could build a garden office for me, but again, it would mean losing some of my beloved garden. And really, if I had a garden office I know my brat of a dog would just stand at the door constantly dropping balls for me to throw, and I’d never get any work done anyway.

So really, after much discussion and contemplation, we realised there were no viable options. And also, we realised we quite liked the idea of a change, so we made the decision to move house. Bring on the days of endless searching on Rightmove (oh how my excitement was shortlived!)

Getting the Ball Rolling to Move House

We intended to put the house on the market in January 2021, and we actually began the process. We had our first valuation and I subsequently met with a mortgage advisor who dropped the bombshell that I wasn’t eligible for a mortgage because I’m self-employed and at that point didn’t yet have a tax return. For those that don’t know, when you are self-employed you have to complete self-assessment tax returns to ensure you pay the correct amount of tax and national insurance each year. When you are employed, it’s all sorted for you before you get your monthly pay packet. As it turns out, you need at least 2-3 tax returns before lenders will even consider giving you a mortgage. Quitting your job is all fun and games until you decide to make a huge life change and are rendered ineligible for the one thing you need to make said change! At that point, we couldn’t rely on James’s salary only for the mortgage, so I drowned my sorrows in wine, counted my blessings that we had a roof above our heads, and we decided that we would have to stay put for a little while longer.

Fast Forward to 2022

Fast forward a year, our circumstances changed and it is now possible for us to obtain a mortgage in James’s name only (that I would obviously contribute to – I don’t get off that lightly, unfortunately!) The plan is when the fixed-rate period ends in a couple of years, I’ll have at least three tax returns done (one submitted so far – and counting!) and I can finally join the mortgage club. Woohoo! I’m so excited to get into a shit ton of debt and spend the next 50 years of my life paying huge amounts of interest. Living the dream!

So we started the ball rolling and began considering agents, which I’ll feature in an upcoming post. EXCITING TIMES!

Previous Instalments in the series:

We’re Moving House!

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