Buy house abroad | Megaphone

We could be real estate agents. Time, today more of a pastime, spent in websites of real estate in the United Kingdom made us experts in sales or we didn’t know the slang of agencies where terms like leafyliterally translated as foliage but referring to green areas, or vintagedenomination attributed to houses over 100 years old, are the delights of the house.

But it wasn’t always like this. Nor could it be. In 2008, newly arrived in London, there were two of us in a single room sharing a house with the landlady, drunk at night and an angel by day, which Dr. Jekyll and Mr. hydeand respective son-in-law.

In these conditions, and paying 600 pounds a month, with the stability that teaching gives us abroad, in a few weeks we rented a T1 for 900 pounds a month and ran away at seven feet never to come back.

A T1 that accommodated visiting family, friends looking for a job, more visiting friends and new friends. A T1 filled like an egg just over a year later and the move to a T2 in Wimbledon, also leased, this time for £1400 a month.

And if we were happy at Wimbledon for the next three years between cinema, supermarket and transport at the door, the income indexed to inflation that never goes down reached 1700 pounds a month, the equivalent of a hotel room, thus opening the doors, literally, the decision to buy a house.

It was 2013 and between their salary, a year’s savings for the down payment and the bank loan we had a budget of 250 thousand pounds and the certainty of not staying in Wimbledon where a T2 cost an average of 600 thousand pounds. It still costs.

The decision to buy a house in London, a house where you can spend the rest of your life, is made in 15 minutes, the time to view a property together with 20 other people in a blind auction system where the highest bidder wins .

Not sure of anything and looking for houses priced around £200,000, we ended up offering the maximum so that we could be where we are today, 10 kilometers south of Wimbledon, where a T1 today costs more than this T2 cost us.

In London, house values ​​have not stopped, nor have they stopped for the last nine years, to increase. And don’t be fooled about the drop in prices if it only happens in areas where a house costs, on average, 1 million pounds and a decrease of 60 thousand pounds is not significant for those who always have money.

Conclusion: in a market that privileges properties lined with carpet and wallpaper, the same carpets and wallpaper that gave us a lot of work to remove the decrepit bathroom waiting for us and now renovated from scratch, the desire to move house , maybe closer to the center or for a bigger house, it’s less than little.

And with a 25-year loan at 1% interest, we are now reducing the debt and expect to have the house paid off within three years. So that we don’t fall into the prohibitive interest rate of 6% after Liz Truss and average monthly installments of 1700 pounds for those who buy a T2.

In the United Kingdom we are the exception when four out of five people don’t own a home. The “Thatcherian” revolution of private property led to the loss of 1.5 million social housing houses, ergo the privatization of housing with the accompanying financial speculation and the widening gap between rich and poor.

A social habitation it is now an illusion that pushes entire families towards a rental market far from the big cities, a market where landlords already demand a year’s rent in advance.

For all this, we are fully aware of our luck. And how much it cost to leave the country to be “lucky”. And with no return in sight, when a T1 in the center of Lisbon hardly costs less than half a million euros. Therefore, and oddly enough, it is preferable to live in London. And it’s easier to live in London.

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