I was born in the nineteen-eighties which, according to some, makes me a Millennial. We get a bad rap, what with being responsible for the downfall of napkins, and diamonds, and the answering of phones. Oh, we also eat too much avocado toast…which is, apparently, why we can’t afford homes.
Yup, avocado toast is expensive but then so is property. Where I live the average house-price is well over a quarter of a million pounds. Let me repeat that: a quarter of a million pounds. And I’m super lucky, I live in one of the cheaper areas of the UK, a place where you can get something almost half decent for that price. If I’d followed my youthful fantasy to live in London, or even my recent fancy to head south and get closer to the dolphins, I would not be writing this article until at least my fiftieth birthday or a best-selling book – whichever came first.
Unsurprisingly, at no point in my life have I ever had a quarter of million pounds going spare. No one I know has a quarter of a million pounds going spare. There are no quarter million-pound people in my life.
There is, however, the bank, and like almost all my peers, I soon came to understand that was the only place I was getting that money – or at least the only place where a finely tuned algorithm would decide if I could have it. And people say computers don’t like us, but really, they don’t ask for much from us humans! Just a gold star credit rating and a deposit (that’s a down payment to my American friends).
At between 10% and 20% THE DAMN DEPOSIT as it soon became known in our household was my goal. It was time to open a savings account and start building that bad boy up. In the spirit of full disclosure, I wasn’t super committed in the beginning. And by ‘super committed’ I mean ‘sacrificing my morning latte committed’.
That level of commitment lasted about as long as my next tenancy. You know, the one where you’re evicted because your landlord wants to increase your rent, or sell up, or just because. It’s usually at that point that you do some sums and realize that over the years you have spent tens of thousands of pounds on rent!
So, time to become super committed and save, save hard. You are going to buy a house!
The weeks…the months…the years…they go by and as they do you become super obsessed with watching property shows or browsing property sales websites. Ignoring the fact that you are never going to be able to afford the properties on those shows, you can’t even afford half a property on those shows, you binge watch until even Netflix becomes concerned. It’s all good though, you can afford something, you tell yourself that a lot, if you keep saving you’ll be able to buy something.
And you’re working hard, and you’re watching that money grow.
And then there’s an emergency, the washing machine breaks, the engine on your car falls out, there’s a vintage clothing sale just around the corner…it’s always something, and your savings, your precious savings, you have no choice but to break into them.
You load up your spreadsheets, where can you save more, where can you make more? Is it even possible to live in a shipping container like those people on TV? What about that couple who live in a Yurt? Could you do that? Or do you keep saving, but how many years are even left? The answer is many, many years…but eventually you get there…and it is time to start looking for a house!
Pretty soon you realize that the property shows were right all along. Location, location, location. You can either have the worst house in the best street or the best house in the worst street…though more likely it will be something in between. You start arranging viewings and the excitement is beyond even finding a bar of chocolate in the bottom of your bag on a day when you’ve missed lunch. This is finally happening! You’re going to buy a house. No more landlords. No more inspections. No more packing up your whole life with a month’s notice.
And then you’re not. Because you put in offers, you stretch your budget to the limit, even as the bank’s computer is all like:
And then, finally, you find somewhere that’s in the right area and the right budget, and you’re in there like:
You walk around, and you start thinking, so what if the plaster is crumbling, so what if there’s not an actual kitchen, is it really that big a deal that there’s the odd rotting floorboard? The rest of the family is questioning your sanity but you’re on this. It’s offer time. All those years of saving…all those latte-less mornings…and the moment it’s accepted…the moment you get that yes…pure relief, right? Except not, because this is where the fun really starts. This where you learn exactly what buying a house involves. It is months of this:
Months that include things like a horribly difficult seller, a worrisome structural survey, a decreased mortgage valuation, mistakes on the paperwork again and again and again, something called a chancel tax, a party wall agreement, and what seems like forever between exchange and completion. But then, finally…
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When millionaire bad boy Will Thornton tries to buy computer-geek Kate Kelly’s building out from under her, she refuses to sell. Will might be uber rich, but she won’t be bullied. Trouble is, she doesn’t expect Will to look like one of her fantasy heroes, or to make her heart beat way too fast. Fine. She can control herself long enough to wait him out. Hopefully.
There may be millions of dollars on the line, but Will is confident he can make Kate sell. ‘Charming’ is his middle name, and he plays the game better than anybody. Problem is, the snarky little computer-wiz is nothing like he imagined. She’s impossibly cute…and a match for him in every way. It’s game on. But in a seductive battle of the sexes, only one can come out on top…
As a kid Emma wanted to be an astronaut, or maybe Captain Janeway. Because she didn’t really think her career choices through very well she ended up in an everyday geek job, crunching numbers and sighing over syntax. It seemed a long way from the stars and in an effort to escape Emma decided to get serious about her other passion. Writing. Several years later and Emma has yet to walk on the moon or sit in the Captain’s chair, but she is still writing. She scribbles stories in all sorts of genres, contemporary, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi…if she hasn’t tried it yet she will before long. The only common theme is the romance. A hopeless romantic everything Emma writes has a love story in there somewhere.