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Should I buy my dream house?

It takes a lot of time, effort and – increasingly these days – money to manoeuvre yourself into a position where you know you can buy a house. You’ve saved the deposit (finally), you’ve spoken to friends and family and – if you’re sensible – a mortgage advisor and you know roughly how much you can afford to spend.

And the next bit is where it starts to get exciting. You can make a list of the things your new home should have – a garden, a garage, a downstairs loo, a separate shower room, a conservatory or whatever – and you can start to trawl the portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla for properties which seem to match your criteria.

All fine and dandy up to now, right? After all, at the moment, everything you’re dealing with is theoretical. But even though life probably feels quite euphoric, believe it or not, you could be just a step away from a very bad decision – and, even harder to believe is that the bad decision could be to put on offer in on your ideal home.

It might be that your dream property has everything you wanted. It ticks every single box – and then some. But the only one it fails on is price. It’s just, say, £10,000 more than you were really willing to pay and, try as you might, the vendors won’t budge.

Of course, you’ll know somewhere inside that the sensible thing would be to shrug and keep looking. After all, there will be other houses that match your requirements. But something inside just won’t let go of the thought of someone else moving into the house that was so tantalisingly close to being yours – in fact so much so you’ve found yourself thinking how you can shave lumps off your monthly outgoings to bring the likely mortgage payments within range. You don’t need such a big car, right? Or maybe one holiday a year is good enough. What’s wrong with jogging rather than paying for that monthly gym membership or perhaps a couple more nights in front of the TV instead of living it up with friends will be worth it when you know that television is going to be in the living room of the property you’ve now sort of set your heart on?

The problem is that the calculations you’re making are based on the here and now. What if you lost your job and had to settle for lower salary for a while? Of course, we all tend to push those things away or dismiss them as unlikely – but you have to ask yourself how much of a millstone would the mortgage payments become if interest rates were to rise?

Resent research by Ocean Finance may have cheerily reported that over 75% of buyers would bust their budget to acquire the house of their dreams (https://www.propertywire.com/news/europe/uk-home-buyers-price-2017582212292.html) but what it doesn’t say is what the consequences can be…

Just one significant life change like redundancy, a significant illness or the recovery of the UK economy, and suddenly, that dream home may have to go back on the market after all.

Our advice? Dream by all means and we’ll do everything we can to help you make them a reality. However, we’d encourage everyone buying a house to ensure those dreams are realistic – or they can very quickly become nightmares.