"In order to buy the boat, we had to use everything we had, so there is no cushion if we have an emergency."
Following up on an anonymous interview from last year.
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I really love doing follow up interviews (you can read some more here). I hope you enjoy reading them.
I got in touch with K because I know her lifestyle has changed entirely since last year and she is now living on a boat.
Read the original anonymous interview from 18 months ago first:
When my son got the chance to come to London to do drama BTEC at a college that only accepts thirty new students a year, and he was excited about it, we decided we needed to at least look into the possibility that we could do it. He’s had a brutal few years and it’s still tough for him, so we thought a fresh start might be what was needed.
My husband has spent the last three years building a company, and a lot of the work he does is virtual, so there was no longer a huge need to be tied to a specific place. I was working at Waterstones and they are everywhere. Also it’s a minimum wage job, so it’s not like there aren’t other minimum wage jobs around regardless. We felt that we had flexibility for the first time in a long time and that if we could do this, we should.
My son was offered the place in January and we started looking at our options as soon as he decided to say yes. It was, frankly a bloody nightmare.
We had savings from when we sold our house, and we were in rental, so we were good in theory. In practice it was a slog.
We didn’t want to rent again. It was so incredibly expensive and over the months we have watched rental prices here rise and rise. And I have heard about people being pitted against each other in interviews for rental houses. We had already been in rental in Leicester for two years and we wanted something where we wouldn’t sit and watch what money we had ebb away.
My husband has always earned good money but for nearly all the years we have been together he has been a contractor working three or six month contracts. This means that mortgage companies don’t like the risk. Every time we wanted a mortgage we ended up with a rough deal because of it.
This time, because he was growing his business, there wasn’t enough solid profit in the years of accounts the banks wanted. We should have hung on twelve more months apparently, but life doesn’t work like that. So when we came to look at mortgages we were struggling again, and this time, because we are ‘old’, they wouldn’t lend on a 25 year mortgage, which made everything harder and more expensive.
Then there was the price of houses in London.