I bet you’ve seen it all over the news that millennials are really struggling to get on the housing ladder. No matter how hard they try, they can’t save up the required amount in ordered to put down that deposit, let alone get a mortgage with the new stress tests that were in place.
I want to say, hold up!
For years it’s been the norm that you go to school until you’re 18 then you go to university until you’re 21 then you get into a career. The career allows you to save. Whilst you’re doing that, you then find a man, you settled down, you get married. Then you buy your first house together. By the time you’re 30 you are looking to have kids and those social norms are put on us as if we should be expected to constantly want to buy that house or want to have that family so that we can settle down and live our perfect lifestyle.
Hold up. Life is not like that any more.
I know there is so much pressure to buy a house and get on the housing ladder because that is the thing to do. But, let me tell you why it’s just not necessary.
In your twenties it is all about finding out who you are, what you enjoy and what career you want to do for now. Throughout your life you could switch, change, do whatever you want to do with your career. You’re not going to just have to be stuck in the same place.
Now, I’ve had mortgages since I was 22 but I have not always lived in the houses that I’ve owned. Usually I rent them out and then I rent a different place to live in. The reason for this is because of the flexibility that I have. I did not know where I was going to be by the time I was 25, let alone 30 – and I’m approaching 30 this year.
Renting a property has allowed me to be flexible, in that if I decide that I’m changing locations I can simply hand in my notice and move elsewhere.
Currently, I’m going through a situation where my partner and I bought a property in London back in 2014. It was a great property for us as we were in our late twenties or going into our late twenties. We had easy access to the center of London. We were able to get in and out of our jobs. We had beautiful outdoor space around us and so that one bedroom flat was ideal.
As you know, six months ago we found out that we were going to be relocated to New York. That all happened really quickly. Before I could even snap my fingers, we had to move. The removal men had arrived and off we went.
That meant that we had to do something with this flat that we bought.
Now, I looked at the rental values and I saw the actually if we’ve rented it out where you’re probably going to be making a loss on a monthly basis. So there was no way we were going to be able to get a buy to let mortgage on that property. The only thing that we could do was sell it.
Now, luckily, the value of the property had gone up over the four years so we were going to be making a profit. But, it’s taken four months for that property to go under offer and we weren’t able to rent it out because everything just happened so quickly.
We’re renting a flat in New York at the moment because we want that flexibility. We don’t have credit history to be able to buy over here, but that’s absolutely fine. However, it’s meant that we’ve had to pay for a flat in London for the past four months and a flat in New York.
These are two of the most expensive cities in the world.
As I said, we’re on our way out of the flat in London now. We’re under offering and it’s in solicitors hands. But it’s not being very flexible and thank gosh we have been in a situation where we earn enough that we can keep two properties going.
But if you’re in your 20s or even your early thirties (even your late thirties), if you are still in that transition period where you don’t know what you want to do, where you want to go, I would suggest that buying a house is not the thing that you need to do unless you want to rent it out.
You do not need to choose your forever home at that age. It’s perfectly fine to be footloose and fancy free. So what I want to encourage you to do with this blog is not think or feel shame for the fact that you haven’t bought a house yet. It’s okay if you’re not even thinking about saving or getting on the property ladder or the fact that “my gosh, how do I even get a mortgage”?
None of that should be important to you. Especially if you don’t quite know where you want to settle down for the longterm. And hey, that’s okay! I don’t know.
I don’t know where we’re going to be in two, three, four, five years time. I know we’re going to be here for the next couple of years and I’m going to be living backwards and forwards from the UK to the US. But, I don’t know what the future holds.
And so with that, I don’t need to buy a house that’s going to be for the longterm that we can live in. Yes, I’ll continue buying investment properties and if you want to buy a property, then do buy, that investment. But that also means that you can choose a cheaper place to buy! Maybe somewhere where you can afford a deposit for 5 to 10,000 pounds and then you can rent it out and you can still live in the city that you want to. You could have someone manage that property from afar.
You need to focus on you and what’s right for you, not what everybody else wants.
So if you are in the situation where you think, “oh, I need to get on the housing ladder, but you know what, I don’t have the money. It’s really expensive where I am. I’m panicking because that’s actually not what I want to do right now. I want that flexibility“.
You don’t need to buy your own home right now, and if you do want get on the housing ladder, why not save up to buy that rental in a location where you can actually afford? There is no rush to get on the housing ladder. You do not have to fit in with society’s norms. You do you, because that’s going to enable you to live your best life.
Comment below your thoughts on whether people are rushing into owning property! I want to hear from you!
P.S. As always, remember to press the red bell button in the bottom right corner to subscribe and see these blogs as soon as they’re posted!