What would you do ...

I'm going to talk about a choice, or  a decision, or a fork in the road ... and I'm going to ask you what you would do.
I am so happy to hear what you would do, where ever you live - I have lots of American friends, but if you are one of them, please hear what I say about land and property in *this* country because our decisions have to be made in our conditions.

this way or that?

We have lived in this house for five and a half years. We have rented the land on a farm business tenancy for somewhat longer. In this country to get hold of an fbt is quite something, and not to be lightly discarded. If  I move ten miles or a hundred miles down the road, I am not likely to just pick up another. Access to land in this country is woeful - shameful even - we were once a nation of free peasants, and now only the richest can dream of having real access to any kind of land at all.

We have been unable to look at buying property for several reasons, most to do with our financial history. We are both self employed and still very  would find it difficult to raise a mortgage.  In the five and a half years we have rented *this house alone* (and we have actually been renting in this county for 15 years)  we have paid out in rent (with at times some government support) around about a quarter of the average UK house price. There is no way we could buy anything - and yet in rent, we have paid out one fourth of a house. It seems a bit mad.

HOW much?

There may be a possibility for us to buy into a house. We would - initially - own 50% of it, and pay rent on the other 50%. It is in a nice village, and it is really, a nice house. It's semi detached, and surrounded by people but it would be (at least half) ours. It is 15 minutes from where we have our land (which is currently, lets say 5 minutes, but still requires a car journey) and everything we do, farm wise, would have to be concentrated onto that land. We'd have to have two homes. Living home - for weekdays and winters, school work and laundry - and Farming home (we have a caravan on the field and could make better use of it) - for weekends and summer evenings for lambing and growing and letting the inner farmer run riot.

Not the house in question, I might add. 

My soul is torn in two. I'm afraid of giving up my dream. I'm not sure I *want* to live in a little house in a line of other little houses - and yet the possibility that it will lend us greater freedom and in the end, we might have some kind of equity in that house and be able to think about some other future move to land of our own (where I would truly love to live in a simple roundhouse on my own land, with my own animals and my own crops) - and the end to the paying out of truly *vast* quantities of cash for no gain at all ...

We mustn't delude ourselves. Land in this country is so expensive that even living in a half owned house for a decade, frugally and with great economy, even if property prices picked up, and we saved like little squirrels,  would not enable us *ever* to buy a house of our own with land. There is just the slim hope we might be able to buy just a plot of land somewhere.

The alternative is to trust in the Lord and the Greater Good, stay where we are, safe and well provided for, surrounded by our big garden, with my polytunnel and my veg garden beside it - the goats around the corner and the field a five minute drive or a 20 minute summer walk away. And calmly pay out perhaps the next quarter of the value of the average UK home over the next five and a half years. And still have nothing solid to show for it.

my much loved sunny kitchen window sill

So I'm carding jacob wool ready for spinning and I'm thinking and troubling - no one knows how long they will be here for. I am ten years younger now than my mother was when she died - and barely seven younger than my brother was when he went - so I'm very aware that scarring the present to provide for a future that may never be, is a bitter kind of foolishness. Equally to live long on the earth in penury of your own stupid making must also be sorrowful. I try and try to be still, and just know that He is God - but life is a decision. Not moving on is a decision as much as moving on would be.

I want to seize the day, be positive, take the dream by the scruff of its throat and march on laughing into the sunset - if it ever stops raining! - but ... I don't know which one is the big positive ... which of the days to seize!

It's a family decision, obviously, not down just to me - but out of interest - what would you do?


PlainJane said...

Hi Jackie, Ah yes, the age old question of renting vs. ownership... Things are just so different over there from America that it would be impossible to say. I just googled some European real estate and almost fell off my chair, haha. I guess if it was me, I would save up my accorns and buy a couple acres (if that's possible) and live in the caravan, or perhaps build a boat in the middle of the plot with all the rain. I wouldn't have much, but I'd be debt free and clear in my old age. :)

Jackie said...

so would I Jane ... but the impossibility of it in this country is beyond the imagination of anyone who doesn't live here. And we would never be allowed to live in the caravan! Planning rules are very tight indeed.

Ellen, the Bluestocking Belle said...

I'm about as fond of change and the unknown as you are, Jackie. Which is to say, not at all. I wish I could help you out of your conundrum, but I can't tell which option is best, either.

Paula said...

I don't know either. I'm tempted to say never give up your dream for a financial stake of anything as £££ are so unreliable an investment. But that's a bit rich from me who's thinking of buying instead of renting just because I can.But it doesn't affect any dreams I have ( gave up dreaming a long time ago :-/ )
Whatever you decide, I pray the Lord's blessings on it. <3

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