Wednesday

One small step for Sam...

Apologies for the lack of posting/commenting activity recently. I've been busy getting my foot on the property ladder. Yes, I've bought (well, had an offer accepted on) a house. I am now (nearly) a proud homeowner. No more shared rented accommodation, ambivalent landlords and magnolia woodchip. Hooray!

For a (relatively) small island, Britain is extremely densely populated. It lacks the space of North America and even parts of Europe and unlike many of it's European counterparts, the British are still clinging on to a home owning culture rather than the rented accommodation model that is popular in countries like France and Germany.

Despite government initiatives (part ownership, planned affordable new housing initiatives), many first time buyers are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder. Prices that soared between 2000 and 2003 and then plateau'd left the market deadlocked and many buyers frustrated. With average prices outside London (don't even think about buying in London unless you have some serious cash) hitting the £200,000+ mark for the first time will the ideal of owning your own house soon become out of reach for the under 30 generation?

[note - I didn't spend anywhere near £200,000]

4 Comments:

Anonymous Serge said...

Gee, Sam, this really has been quite a week, I guess: winning awards, buying houses... Well, in the singular, then. Anyway: many congrats on buying your house! It is great having a place of your own, even if it's not a £ 200,000 one. Even most globe trotters enjoy the idea of having a place called home. That place of your own, where you can do what you want (well, to some extent, of course ;-) ), which you can decorate the way you want, where you can put your own stuff, listen your own music, read your own books, ... Some people tell me I am being too materialistic about that, but it is not what you have that matters, but the fact of having something which (only partly, I know, but still) creates your own personal identity. I know I am sounding way too philosophical about this and you're probably just simply excited and thinking about odd jobs like painting and redecorating, but in the long run you'll tell me I'm right ;-D.

The Belgian situation, btw, is pretty similar: finding a house at an affordable price has become increasingly difficult over the last decade or so. We already had some difficulty 8 years ago (our house has now been renovated - well, we're still at it), but today it must be almost impossible, especially for younger people.

Anyway, keep posting about that place of yours: I am really curious to know the where, how, what of it and to see some pics on flickr perhaps? Unless, of course (and I would totally understand) you think that's not intended for 'the public domain' which the net, after all, still is. In that case: I'll hop over to come and have a look. I'm even prepared to help you paint! And all that in exchange for only a bite and a pint of beer from time to time...

BTW: you know what the next step is, don't you? In Dutch there is the expression: huisje, tuintje, boompje, kindje...

All the best!

9:38 am  
Blogger Pub said...

Thanks Serge, it really has been a whirlwind few days. I'm sure the house will provide fodder for posts until the foreseeable future. Will try and get some pics up in a Friends/Contacts gallery in Flickr so you can see them

12:25 pm  
Anonymous Andrea Weckerle said...

Will it also serve as a B&B for out-of-town visitors?

1:31 pm  
Blogger Pub said...

Absolutely Andrea, Bloggers' B&B. WiFi, broadband, tours of the local hostelries, the full package.

If you're making a stopover in the UK on your way to Yurp, Fortress Smith will always have a warm welcome for you.

And Serge, that of course goes for you too, bring your paintbrush ;-)

2:23 pm  

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