I’ve hesitated to post this for many reasons, but it’s time to come clean and just say it out loud.
Our Move to Portugal is on hold indefinitely – perhaps forever. We still love the country, and will perhaps move there one day, but for now, it’s not in our immediate plans.
There are several reasons for this and the job issues last month bought everything to a head. We could easily with the redundancy offer have just upped sticks and moved abroad. But we didn’t. And that said a lot to us. We didn’t feel like it was the right time to leave our family, or a secure (ish) job, behind.
That said, we are making a few changes. Big changes. We’re moving to the seaside in the New Year! Woot!
It’s going to be a big lifestyle change for us – one that we’re both really looking forward to – but it does come with a financial downside as we are putting our mortgage over payment plans on hold for the next 18 months. This makes me a little sad, but this is too good an opportunity to miss out on
PS. I know the title of this blog is a little moot now, and I’ve considered closing this site down, but I love having somewhere to blog about non financial things, so I’m keeping it for now.
When I go a little quiet over here it’s generally because I’ve lost a little direction and I’m doing a lot of
too much thinking.
I’ll let you in on a secret: some mornings I wake up and I’m not even sure that I want to live in Portugal (and then the questions start!). I mean I love Portugal and would live there tomorrow if money was no object*. But money is an object, and a BIG one at that! I’ve lost count of the amount of times M and I have discussed our options.
But we feel extremely grateful that we even have options.
And the options are there because we live frugally and have no consumer debt. And there is the crux of it all : No debt gives you options.
And that’s pretty much sums up our financial plans for now: pay off the mortgage debt and then think about everything else.
What do you think? Is this too simple a financial plan?
*I mean if money was no object I would have an apartment in Soho, NY and a place near the beach in Portugal
Since making the decision to sell five weeks ago (and so far I haven’t changed my mind again, which may be the longest I’ve ever latest!), I’ve started to monitor house prices a little more so than previously.
Here in the UK I’ve been registered with Zoopla for years – Zillow is similar in the US – and the site gives you a rough idea of how the housing market is moving in your area. Up or down.
Here’s a snapshot of how our house has changed value over the last 12 months (ish).
As you can see our house has gone down in value over the last twelve months. However confidence level in our local market is quite high right now – I noticed that a lot of houses seem to be selling – and prices have risen back up in the last 6 months. We bought at £154k so at least we’re still ahead……if you ignore the £1,000′s spent on renovation!!
It feels a little like our house is the third party in our move abroad - so much depends on what we eventually end up doing with it. All we can do for now though is keep working on the renovations and keep saving money.
I have no idea how this is all going to pan out, but for now I’m just concentrating on getting our home ready to sell – if it doesn’t sell then at least it’ll be ready to rent out. Either way we’re moving to a smaller home, somewhere
I’ve started with a complete list of house to do’s. Some major, some just small snagging items. The updated list can also be found here.
- Empty shed
- Remove shed and replace with storage unit
- Clear garden
- Replace back door step
- Box in meter
- Box in pipes breakfast room
- Replace under stairs cupboard door frame
- Re grout kitchen tiles around hob
- Replace small window dining room
- Replace breakfast room window
- Clean hall tiles
- Repair under bedroom window
Repair bay ceiling
- Paint throughout (except lounge)
- Replace upstairs carpet
- Replace pantry (scheduled for August)
- Replace back door
- Replace dishwasher (this week)
- Replace light fittings bathroom
- Cement wall post back on
- Remove large bushes x 2
- Tidy up front and side (kerb appeal)
This morning I’ve taken out the broken dishwasher ready for the new one to be installed, and yesterday I started the repair to the lounge bay window. We had new window treatments installed when we bought our new sofa’s and the old fittings had left a mess – you can’t see it now but the bay was full of holes and bright red rawlplugs. It wasn’t a big job, just one of those things I kept putting off. A bit of sanding and a new coat of paint tomorrow and that’s one room completely ready
Our main focus for the next 2 months will be the garden and the building work. August is looking quite busy already (2 weddings and 2 family visits), so we’re allowing ourselves until the end of September to get everything completed. I’m to afraid to show you photos of our garden for now (there’s a reason an apartment may be a good thing for us!), but suffice to say it’s a little overgrown!
That’s it for now. There’s still a lot to do before we can even think about selling – I’ll try not to bore you with too many house repair posts – but it feels good to get started.
For the last few weeks, perhaps even months, something has not felt right (I hinted at it here). It’s hard to explain what that ‘something’ is, but I feel a little like we’re just ticking boxes.
Ticking boxes is something that I used to do at work (lets be honest, sometimes it’s all companies want you to do!), and is not something that I want to be doing in my home life. Added to that there are things happening on the job front again – which I can’t discuss just yet – but it may be time to finally take the leap.
Back in November 2009 I wrote a post - Brainstorming Our Future – and all the things listed on my wish list today still hold true today.
- Live near to the sea
- Live somewhere we can walk everywhere
- Shop local
- Live small and low maintenance
- Live on less than £1k per month
- Live easily on one salary, save or travel with any other
- Live frugally
- Be non consumers
- Cook from scratch
- Do it ourselves
- Live well on less
- Recycle and reduce
- Retire early
- Stay healthy
- Quality of life
- Live debt free including mortgage
- Live in the sun
Have you ever taken a huge leap of faith?
Staying focused on this…
leads to this….
leads to living here…hopefully!
I’m feeling very under the weather today but wanted to blog, so I’m saying it with pictures. Further budget posts to follow