As many of you already know, and for those who don’t, I have three of my best friends living in London.
One of them will move back to Italy in these days, and the reason is one: the prices of housing in the United Kingdom.
She and her husband were planning on buying a house in London.
More likely in the suburbs or the countryside.
But the prices were crazy.
We have been talking a lot about the prices of London.
The main issue is that while in the rest of the world, the prices decreased due to the pandemic situation, in the United Kingdom, the prices stayed, more or less, the same.
So for, instance, less money coming in, but same expenses, if not highers.
With the temporary duty stamp cutting of the past August, the prices have been on the rise, making no favor to people trying to afford a house.
The market of housing slowed down with a minus 18% since the year started, as you can read from the Guardian.
And for newly weeds or young families like one of my best friends, purchasing and investing in the bricks became a struggle.
Moving away from London to buy a house in Milan was not an easy decision for my friends.
Nya is a freelancer, just like me, and before the pandemic, she was also a music teacher in middle schools.
When the COVID-19 struck, around these times last year, she lost her job.
And her husband has been since then the main incoming for them.
He works in sales, and though keeping on working from remote, his company faced hard times, ending up cutting part of their monthly income.
Their rent in London was about 1000£ per month, plus bills for a total of almost 2000£.
With a baby on the way, the cost of living was going to hit the roof.
And with what we learned in 2020, to face a pandemic is better to have a bigger house with a garden like the BBC suggests in this article.
Croydon and purchasing a house.
My friend Rosa, who is also living in London, is more focused on buying a house for herself and her mother.
They moved to London back in 2014 and never left, building a happy life in Croydon.
I was having a video call with her when we started chatting about calculating the cost of buying a house without many struggles.
In the United Kingdom, it is no surprise that with the various lockdowns we had fair fewer houses have been sold.
On top of that, the government issued a guide on how to relocate during the lockdown.
Among the pieces of advice, there is also this one:
“Where possible, you should use virtual viewings before visiting properties in person to minimize public health risks. If any member of either the household being viewed or the household undertaking a viewing is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or is self-isolating, then an in-person viewing should be delayed”.
I have been reading the whole document, and I am glad they made it available to the public.
Though this guide it’s reasonable, I feel like it lacks in giving proper instruments to avoid having to get in touch with specialists so often.
But Google helps a lot, and we found a website called Mortgage Calculator UK.
This website is the fastest way we found to do the maths about mortgages, loans, how much time, years, and all the other things you need to calculate.
In the case of my friend, the most useful one has been how much she can borrow with her current financial situation, and we both had a laugh after using this tool.
We spent so much time trying to see the light in calculating this, while with this mortgage calculator, we just put the numbers in it and it did everything in a matter of seconds.
As you know I am based in Belgium but by being able to modify the data and numbers, I understood that I can use these calculators also for my own benefit.
Something that I will do shortly as we are thinking about buying the house we are currently renting.
It is always great to find financial solutions online amidst these times.
Especially if math was not your forte back at school, and still is not nowadays like to me!