Saturday, 10 September 2011

Housing update

Well it is a sad fact that until I got first hand involvement, I didn't really appreciate the state of the housing market. My flat has now been up for sale for 13 weeks and the truth is that there have not been any viewers at all, not a one! Now I am faced with a bit of a dilemma. In 2008 before the property crash, the flat above mine (which is identical in every way) sold for £8000 more than mine is even on the market for. Now I am also prepared to take another loss when it comes to negotiating, but where is the cut off point? Should I reduce the price to get rid? When I consider that every month I stay here costs me £450 in mortgage payments (most of which is interest) it makes me wonder if it is important to get the highest price possible if it means 6 months of mortgage paying for a flat I don't want to be in.
Anyway, I am going to take the weekend to think about this and next week go and talk to my estate agent and see what is what.

Meanwhile I now have to pull my socks up and find a way to save a bit more money, I have to work out where more cuts can be made. I have been through my direct debits as a start and there is one decision there which I can't quite get my head around. 5 years ago I (perhaps misguidedly) took out British Gas home plan insurance for my boiler. I say perhaps misguided because my boiler was only about 5 years old at the time, so truly, in the last 5 years I have just paid out and never had anything for my money. I now realise that far more financially sound an idea would have been to put that money into a separate account every month which by my reckoning would have come to approximately £1200, more than enough money to cover any boiler costs. I suppose it is like any insurance, you get worried about not having it, it prays on your fear of something going wrong. Now in the future I would not bother with this boiler insurance, but I would, indeed, put some money into an account every month. My dilemma now is whether or not to stop this insurance for the rest of my time here, it really would be sods law if something happened to it now and I have to sell my flat with the boiler in perfect shape. What would you do?

Another way I can cut back further is my mobile phone. I need a phone for work, but I certainly don't need a new one and I certainly don't need the package I have. I have 1000 minutes a month and I recently checked with them and the most I have ever used in one month is 450 minutes. So for 2 years I have had a minimum of 550 unused minutes which I guess I am paying for. So it is time to change - my contract is up in the next 2 months, so need to start checking out new deals that don't provide a new phone, but do provide value for money.

Where else can I cut back? Any suggestions?

Times are hard, especially for a single man who has no-one else to rely on when things get tough financially. London is a drain on the finances and coupled with how much I loathe being in this city, I am finding it tough to not get very frustrated with my present housing predicament.


  1. No offence but you seem to spend a lot of money on non essentials and even fripperies. Buying books - libraries are free. Nights out. Buying gifts etc.Perhsps look to make cuts there??

  2. Go for a pay as you go phone. Contract phones drain your finances far too much. Scrap this boiler payment. Put £5-10 a week to one side for any eventualities of it causing a problem. If you don`t need to grab into that money by the end of your stay in the flat you will have saved a fair amount already.
    If I would be in your shoes, I`d reduce the asking price of your flat and get out as soon as possible.

  3. No offence taken. Books are my weakness, but I don't spend like that on books regularly, they are a luxury and one that will have to take a back seat for a while, they are mostly read over and over and if not I sell them again on ebay or amazon and make a largish part of the money back. July was a one off because I have 5 nephews and neices who were all born 3 weeks apart. I have a night out once every 2 or 3 months, so I am not so worried about that as it is really not a regular spend and time spent with good friends.

    Sarina, I think you are right, I need a phone for work, but I don't need so many minutes. The problem with mobile contracts is that you sign up and then are stuck with it when circumstances change, especially now that contracts last 2 years. I like the idea of pay as you go and when my contract runs out in November I will be seeing what is available.
    I have an appointment with my estate agent next week so hopefully will get somewhere with it.
    Kind regards


  4. How many bedrooms does your flat have? Surely, you could make money if there's space? I had a lodger for quite a while and it kept me a float. get the best energy, phone etc deals you can. get another job, if you are single your time is your own, do what you like with it - love froogs xxxx

  5. Hi Dan:) I was only thinking the other day you haven't mentioned the sale of your flat for a while. I'm sorry to hear you haven't had any joy whatsoever:( The housing market is pretty slow here on the Gold Coast, like you if we had to sell our house now it is worth a great deal less, probably around $50,000. There are some great bargains to be had if you have money, sadly most folks are struggling. I am sure you can trim a little bit here and there from your monthly budget. Your flat will sell at the right price. I would do my maths and work out the lowest price I could possibly sell the flat for and still make my move back to the North feasible. Good luck and fingers crossed things turn around for you:) Linda

  6. Hi Froogs, I only have a 1 bedroom flat so lodger is not an option, but anyway, were the flat to sell tomorrow that would end the lodger idea anyway. Things are not that desperate, I was just having a moan because it is so frustrating waiting for a buyer.

    Hi Linda, yeah, the housing market is struggling the world over. The good news is that once I do sell, there are bargains to be had in the north, great bargains. I think you are right, I will do my maths and work out how much I can afford to knock off the price here to make things happen, without selling myself short.

    Kind regards to everyone,


  7. i would try and reduce it, you could sit and wait forever and may not get any interest at the higher price. i feel for you being 'stuck' there, we are like that with our house. its off the market at the moment but when it was up for sale, no interest. its so frustrating :-(