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Thread: To travel or to buy a house? What would you do?

  1. #1

    To travel or to buy a house? What would you do?

    Hi all!

    I'll keep this brief. I'm 32, my partner is 30. We both come from under-privileged backgrounds, with my partner's parents now retired in council housing and my parents deceased and not in the picture. My point is we have worked hard to get ourselves into respectable jobs and we are on good track with saving - we can't help but be jealous of friends that get a lot of family financial help but we know we are lucky to have what we do. Due to my lack of parents I find myself with questions like the below with nobody to quiz, so I thought I'd try here.

    We are both going to be moving jobs this time next year - me towards moving up in my career and my partner wanting a change of career. This will leave us a window of opportunity to do some travelling for a few months, which we both really want to do, but calculations show that we will have enough for a 10% deposit to buy a house in the UK for the first time ever if we continue with our saving throughout 2019.

    We are absolutely not having kids and we have both always wanted to travel through Asia for a few months. We travel modestly so would not come back with nothing, but I'd anticipate going from the 10% house deposit we have to 5% when we return, accounting for the rent etc we'd need to pay when we get back. The nature of my work means I should be able to find a new role fairly easily.

    What would you do. Would you travel or would you buy a property and invest as soon as possible?

    Thank you for any wisdom.

  2. #2
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    Iím not in the UK but in Canada - but the rules are often quite similar. Keep in mind that usually, to get a mortgage, you need to be employed at your job a certain length of time (2+ years?) - so you would either need to buy the house before you change jobs or wait a bit to buy a house.

    Also - what are the plans for the relationship? Buying a house together is a big deal. Are you thinking marriage? Weddings cost money.

    My vote would be to travel to Asia but not for months and months. Once you are older and settled and have a ton of bills, that will be less appealing. Do it now.

    ... but spending 5% of the cost of a house on travel is a lot - and you arenít in your 20s anymore.

    Balance. Do both - but more modestly, IMO.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Live life when so you don't regret it.

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    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    "The nature of my work means I should be able to find a new role fairly easily." - I'm rather concerned about this. You are basically both gambling on your ability to find a new position and even better than the current jobs you have. That can easily end in financial disaster. You can't predict economy, job market, etc. On top of that, RedDress is correct that to qualify for a mortgage, you have to show job stability. No bank will loan to you if you both have recently changed jobs and had a months long gap in employment.

    Also, spending 5% of your savings on travel, yeah rethink that. That's quite a lot of money to spend on travel and pretty far from a modest budget. I also agree with above poster that you need to compromise and think much more modestly. Better to travel for a few weeks and spend less than to travel for months and end up regretting the expenditure if you encounter delays in getting a job. Remember that you will have time off and funds again for another vacation without breaking your savings accounts.

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  6. #5
    Thank you for the reply. Good point about the mortgage - I would think, logistically, that waiting a couple of years after returning to signing the dotted line would be fair. I'd be 35 then which I also feel is a fair age for me personally.

    We are not getting married so luckily no wedding costs! We have a rock solid 5.5 year relationship and have lived together for three, both totally opposed to having children so luckily on the same page.

    I like your point about more modest travelling and will consider it. I will continue to cost it in the coming weeks and test out multiple scenarios. Thank you for your time, I really appreciate it!

  7. #6
    Gold Member maew's Avatar
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    If I had your window and the means to travel to places I always wanted to go, I most definitely would. You can always save more money for a house when you return, however this travel window might not happen again.

  8. #7
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    60-years-old here.

    I busted my hump for decades, always putting off travel.

    I would call it a mistake.

    I finally did a two-week "tour" of England and France. However, I am old, out of shape, and have a cancer (stabilized, but still..)

    You are never going to be in better shape physically than now. You have no guarantees that the economy won't tank even if you have a good job.

    You have time to repair poor economics regardless of traveling or not.

    What you will not have is your relative youthfulness.

    No responsibilities?

    I'd go if I were you.

  9. #8
    Bronze Member Case_1983's Avatar
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    Go go go! Don't wait. Most people i know who have waited have ended up getting pregnant, getting jobs they love and don't want to leave or other things. Life! I did it in 2015 and went for 8 months and don't have a single regret despite spending a lot of money.

    Do it while you can. The house won't go anywhere. Buying a house can always be delayed, travel can't.

    I now have a great job and don't have the itch to go travelling like i used to. I am so happy in my cozy home and take smaller trips every now and again and am completely satisfied.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member indea08's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jimthzz
    60-years-old here.

    I busted my hump for decades, always putting off travel.

    I would call it a mistake.

    I finally did a two-week "tour" of England and France. However, I am old, out of shape, and have a cancer (stabilized, but still..)

    You are never going to be in better shape physically than now. You have no guarantees that the economy won't tank even if you have a good job.

    You have time to repair poor economics regardless of traveling or not.

    What you will not have is your relative youthfulness.

    No responsibilities?

    I'd go if I were you.
    This is essentially exactly what I was going to say. If you put off traveling, you will never find the right time. Go see the world.

    You get roughly 70-80 great years on this Earth. Youíve already spent 30 of that in the location youíre at. Youíve seen what there is to see there. Youíve experienced what life consists of there. Seek new experiences!

  11. #10
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    Buying a house can always be delayed, travel can't.
    It's interesting, reading through this thread - I'd be willing to bet that those who consider that house purchase is something that can happen whenever you feel like it, houses won't go anywhere, all that - DO NOT live in the UK!

    The housing market here is ludicrous; even though house price inflation is slowing down (depending on where you are in the country) it's still ahead of general inflation and certainly ahead of wage rises. Even waiting for a few months can put the cost of a property out of reach. Meanwhile, the housing shortage means rental properties are becoming more and more expensive, too.

    There is a bit of uncertainty as to what will happen post-Brexit, so you need to look at the likely scenarios in your local area before making your decision. Of course travel can be delayed, especially if you don't intend having children.

    I used to have a relatively high-powered managerial job, which enabled me to buy my house. I worked very hard to pay off the mortgage early, so that I could afford to take a much lower-paid, more rewarding, less stressful job without taking a huge financial hit. It's a decision I've never regretted.

    I come from a very poor background, too, so no parental input - but there's the satisfaction of knowing that everything I've got, I got for myself.

    So my advice to you is to look at what's happening in the housing market near you. If the prices are falling, then hang on for a bit. If not, dive in as soon as you can and stake your claim; generally speaking, owning a house is something which is getting increasingly out of reach for first time buyers.

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