Sunday, October 26, 2008

The M Word

If I have one regret in my life and I try not to live life with too many regrets, is that I wish I had bought real estate when I was younger. Instead, I spent it on big nights out and clothes.

Then again, in my 20's, I didn't really earn serious money. It was only when I moved to London and got my career sorted out and came back to Australia that I started to earn half way decent money.

Even now, I wish I just earnt $5-10K more. It would make a huge difference. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy and have trouble sticking things out. I started a counselling course in 2007 and have only completed one unit. I loved the course but it was so expensive and we were in savings mode for the baby. But, in order for one to progress, money needs to be spent doesn't it?

But, I know I am a hard worker. I've worked for the same recruitment company in Sydney for four years now and in that time I've had two promotions. Now I work in their HR department and my boss is telling me that I will be really missed when I go on maternity leave this Friday. I know that I am relied upon, that my colleagues can trust me to meet deadlines and that I am quick to complete all my work. I am complimented on my efficiency almost weekly which makes me feel really good. In HR, I like to get back to people quickly when it affects their working life or salary.

I've made the role my own and my boss said if it wasn't for the economy right now, he could give me that extra $10K.

If I hadn't have met Richard, I reckon I'd still be shit with my finances. But Richard is brilliant with money, even though, like me he regrets not buying a place with his brother in London. Had he have gone half in the maisonette his brother bought in West London and consequently sold last year, he would have made a tidy sum. But like me, boys nights out and the lure of travel beckoned.

Now we watch all those home shows on the Lifestyle channel with Phil and Kirsty and Sarah Beeney and quite frankly its depressing. We want our own home, but are basically scared of getting into so much debt and being tired to a mortgage. Then again, paying $490 a week for a two bedroom flat in the eastern suburbs of Sydney is just silly too.

Anyway, this year, Rich and I have worked hard to save. We have saved enough for me to have six months off work, its all spreadsheeted and accounted for in the excel spreadsheet I put together. We also managed to save a nice sum for a house deposit too.

This morning over breakfast, we talked about the first home buyers grant. Its now $14K for an existing house or $21K to build your own house. We love Sydney, but our hearts aren't here. If we had family here it might be a different story, but we don't. So that leaves Perth or London. And Richard's love affair with London ended a long time ago. Its still home for him and he misses his family desperately, but knows we can have a good life in Perth. And my family are from there and we are all really close. It just makes sense to go there, especially now with a baby on the way.

The plan is to move over there in July next year. Richard bought up the possibility of getting our pre-approval from the mortgage broker that we know in January and taking a holiday over to Perth before his parents arrive in March to scout possible buys. We'd rent it out for 6 months and then when we move over, stay with my parents for a few months and then move in. I think its a good idea, but its scary too. Do we get something small that we can add a bit value too, live in it for a year or so and then sell? Or do we get a big mortgage and have room to grow? And what about me not earning any money in those six months? Richard suggested I could go back to work for 2 days a week when his parents are here for 6 weeks and they can help out with childcare. Hmmmm......so much to think of.

It seems like this is a good opportunity and maybe its a case of jumping in quickly. But I am scared that one of us will be made redundant or we have difficulty finding work in Perth. Too many variables to think of. And don't they say that in the first year of your baby's life its a good idea to not have too many drastic life changes? Argghhhhh...but I do want our own place though.

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