My expat story began many moons ago, in 2012 to be precise. And ever since then I have been lucky and blessed to see and experience so much of these wonderful British Isles. In particular, so much of England. I’ve always felt at home in England and knew from the get-go that this would be where our forever home would be.
Usually, people don’t question where their home base will be, but as an international family, it’s something for us to always consider. After years of contemplation, we have gone full circle and decided that England is the perfect place for us to have a home base. For family reasons, we do split our time between England, the USA, and Gibraltar. But overall England is where our plans to buy a place have led us.
Cambridge, Manchester, Preston, Lincoln, Northampton and the list goes on. For years we spent most of our time splitting our days between a hotel room and our house as my other half worked as a locum in all these cities. And we’ve moved home 3 times in 6 years!
What it meant more than anything was that we ended up shelving our plan to buy our own home for a number of years while we worked out where we eventually wanted to settle.
We’ve had a few difficulties with landlords along the way. But then who hasn’t? And each time we’ve renewed our tenancy agreement or entered into a new one, the desire to buy has grown and grown.
Where we are now
Earlier this year, James decided to give up office-based work and come on board with My Dreamality. Our business is growing quite nicely and it was a choice between the 2 of us working on it together or me scrounging to find enough spare cash to take someone on.
But it’s still early days. There are big decisions to make which see us either progress or regress. And buying a home isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. Deposits are bigger than ever and Loan to Value mortgage offers have come down significantly as the economy has worsened.
There’s still not too much left over at the end of the month, but trying to save as much as much of it as we can is now quite a priority. The home deposit pot is slowly filling.
One of the perks of being self-employed, of course, is being able to work from anywhere. Laptop, phone, broadband and off you go. So at the moment, we are fortunate to spending time with family in Gibraltar. Beautiful Lancashire is always going to be our base however and house prices are still very reasonable in the North West, so this is where we want to own our first home.
Our current plan is to buy a fixer-upper home. Not one that’s crumbling of course, but one that we can tailor to our taste. And doing this would also give us the opportunity to increase the value of our home. I love challenging projects and making things grow with my own labour, so I’m super excited.
My mother-in-law recently used this handy calculator to work out how her property had increased in value and the results were surprisingly healthy. So our plan looks really promising!
Life has its ups and downs but it always has a way of working out as it should. Of course, you still have to do your homework and make the right choices. If you’re financially savvy, especially with a big purchase, like a property, then you’ll be making a sound investment that you can reap the benefits from in the future.