Is there actually light at the end of the tunnel?
Now we’re approaching what feels like the end of COVID (although by the time you drop in monkeypox and all sorts of other stuff that seems to be happening, I guess we never quite know!).
But it’s definitely time to start thinking about not just surviving and getting by, but actually looking at planning for the things that we really WANT to do and have in our life.
Now, I do appreciate that the cost of things is going up and that yes, there are issues with fuel supply. It’s undeniable that household bills are increasing and that things this year are costing more than last year, with inflation being at the highest it’s been in years and years.
But this is what I mean about opting out of all the financial doom-mongering. Because ultimately, it does NOT mean we need to put our dreams on hold! So what are the things that you’ve been wanting to do, that you haven’t quite got around to or you’ve been waiting to make happen? And how can we actually start moving forward again?
Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting married. Maybe it’s planning a dream holiday, going on that gorgeous retreat or taking the kids to Disney. Maybe it’s moving house or buying a bolthole by the sea or otherwise embarking on a new adventure.
I think for most of us, there’s something that we’ve put on hold or let drift to the back of our minds, thanks to everything that’s happened in the last couple of years.
And NOW is the time to pick the plan back up, dust off the ideas that you had and really start to take action. To get things moving and put some concrete plans in place now, so that 2023 can be the year that it actually happens!
Because things don’t just happen overnight.
We’ve been in our dream home for nearly 5 years now and we love it – 4 ½ acres of glorious Kent countryside, eight alpacas playing in the garden and a house you can’t see the neighbours from (honestly – when there’s a power cut and you look outside to see if it’s just us, you really can’t tell!).
We’re just 10 minutes away from town, but we really could be in the middle of nowhere. This house gives us that headspace and calm that allows us to escape from the craziness of life – running a business and juggling a family and caring for all the alpacas and other animals and land.
But of course, we didn’t just end up in this house by accident. And neither will you, if you want your dream home too!
Back in 2009, I walked the Inca Trail in Peru to raise money for the Kent Air Ambulance and while I was there, I first met and fell in love with alpacas and llamas (although llamas aren’t quite as cute!).
I didn’t think much more of it until a few years later, when I was browsing my phone one evening in front of the telly (as you do) and I found an alpaca trekking experience for two on Groupon, which I booked for my husband Phil’s birthday. You know how they always say book a gift that you’d like to receive yourself? Well, that was it! He was very surprised to open it in his birthday card but was open-minded enough to give it a go and try something new.
So we did! And we had an amazing day. The alpacas were just so lovely to be around – such gentle and funny creatures, real characters with such distinct personalities.
I honestly thought it was just me that was besotted. But the following year, Phil announced that he’d booked a husbandry day for us to go and visit an alpaca breeder, to learn how to handle them and interact with them more (with a free lunch thrown in). So we headed down to Sussex and had such an amazing day, we both couldn’t stop grinning.
All the way home, we talked about why we couldn’t have alpacas. Normal people don’t have alpacas. We didn’t live in a house with a big enough garden to do it (nowhere close!).
But in the 90 minutes it took to drive home, the conversation went from when why we couldn’t, to what would we need to do if we wanted to get alpacas. Before we knew it, we had it all planned out and started the search for our dream house.
The wish list was substantial. At least a couple of acres for a small herd of alpacas; detached (Phil really didn’t want near neighbours); rural but also close to town, to get our daughter to school; and not a million miles from our friends, family and church, because we didn’t want to upheave our whole lives.
We found this house and fell totally in love with it. But then we had to get everything in place and juggle SO much around financially, to make sure that getting the house would actually happen!
Dealing with all the money stuff wasn’t easy. We had to sell our old house, which turned out to be pretty challenging because it was on a main road. We had some inheritance coming from the sale of a parent’s house but that too was taking a long time. And we had some money in a pension that we couldn’t get to, because Phil wasn’t going to be 55 until December.
Alongside all of that, we had to make sure the paperwork for the mortgage was going to be sufficient to borrow the amount we needed.
Because that’s the thing about getting a mortgage. When you’re employed with payslips and a P60, it’s pretty straightforward for a lender to work out how much you can borrow. But when you’re a business owner – and your income changes from month to month and year to year – demonstrating to a lender that you can borrow the amount you want AND that it’s sustainable for you to pay it back can be the difference between you buying your dream home…or not!
Which of course, can all feel incredibly stressful. Especially when it is your dream house, you really don’t want to lose it and the stakes just feel so high.
Anyway – while we were pulling everything together, the house we’d fallen in love with sold twice. Both sets of buyers ended up pulling out and we finally moved in here on Valentine’s Day 2018. And we love it now more than ever!
I’m sharing this with you today because getting into a dream home is something that SO many of my clients want to do. And maybe you’re the same.
Most of the time, they’ve got a nice house that’s fine, but it’s not their dream. It doesn’t light their spark.
And once they’ve decided that now is the time to buy the house they really want, sitting down with an expert to plan what you want to do – making sure the numbers stack up and you’ve got everything in place – can be the difference between borrowing the amount of money you need, and walking away disappointed.
This is all what I do with my 1:1 clients. But I know that it’s super, super important for people to do and many more people need and want that support, than I could ever fit into my diary!
Because there is nothing worse than setting your heart on something, finding the perfect house and then having it slip through your fingers, when you just can’t get the money side sorted out in time.
It’s full of incredibly valuable tips and everything you need to consider, so do go and check it out now (while you think of it).
And here’s to getting the keys to the place you’ve always dreamed of!
Until next time,