Getting back on the ladder (maybe)

Ah, the property ladder! I was on it once, you know. Had a lovely view from that first rung. Affordable monthly payments (even though I hadn’t been able to put down much of a deposit), falling interest rates and regular trips to B&Q. Good times.

Then I decided to step off it, move to London and change careers. The step off was easy, my estate agent was swamped with offers and the flat was sold for almost twice what I had paid for it. Deciding to get back on two years later is not proving so straightforward.

In theory, it should have been easier this time. We now have two salaries which combined are roughly three times what my single salary was first time around and thanks to the proceeds of the sale of my last flat have a reasonable deposit. Unfortunately, we’re fussy about where we live and the current object of our desires is (according to the market) worth around five times what I paid for my first flat. And it needs a lot of work done. And we’re getting married next year.

Taken altogether, this means that we need to hang on to most of our deposit for renovation work and to pay for the wedding, which means that we have a higher loan-to-value ratio (meaning lenders want to charge higher interest rates). Adding in the fact that two months ago I took a large pay-cut when I changed careers so we need to borrow a larger multiple of our combined salaries (higher interest rates again) things aren’t looking so appealing in terms of available mortgages.

We are carrying on regardless though. An offer has been submitted to the estate agent (which probably merits a post of its own), a lender has agreed in principle to lend us a ridiculous sum of money and now we’re just waiting for the axe to fall.

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