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The House Trap

Piggy bank with budget sections

Everyone wants to live somewhere lovely and desirable. But if you over extend yourself in committing to a rental or even worse a mortgage that you can not support you are in real trouble.

In both America and the United Kingdom, your home is considered your castle.  How much should your castle costs? Not more than 28% of your income tops. It is easy to be tempted by a more expensive home than you can afford.  My first piece of advice, no make that a rule – when you are looking to relocate do not look at any property that is even the tiniest bit over your allotted budget.

It is guaranteed that you will fall in love with the one place that is out of your price range. Yes I can pretty much promise it. You will then have the talk, you will say you can cut corners, eat out less, don’t buy as many clothes just so you can live in this lovely place. Sorry but it just won’t work. Nope, there is no way you will want to cut back just to live somewhere. You will be able to do it for a few months. You will be happy having quiet nights in and enjoying your gorgeous new home but eventually you will want to have some sort of life.

Every time the rent is due you will feel like it is a millstone around your neck. You will become tired of eating rice and pasta just to support the roof over your head. The beautiful life you envisioned when you first laid eyes on the property has vanished. The fabulous dinner parties don’t happen anymore because your shelter is taking most of your income.

In the fifties, the rule of thumb was not to spend over one week’s salary on accommodation. Now it has risen to about 28% which is doable but in these modern times we have more expenses. In the 1950’s there was no need for wifi or cable television and dining out was a once a year event. Modern life is more expensive, plain and simple.

When you are looking to move into a new home make sure you fine tune your budget before you view any property. Seeing places that are out of your price range will immediately make you dissatisfied with what you can afford. If you go out or travel a lot try to get the cheapest place possible. Do not try to keep up with the Jones’, it never works.


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