Last year we sold our family house. It was the right decision for us because as a family we were becoming increasingly unhappy. The girls desperately wanted a garden, and I was fed-up of looking directly into flats. As I work from home, I found the view less than inspiring. The only reason we bought it in the first place, was that for Jersey it was incredibly good value for money. It allowed us to get on the property ladder and it provided a stepping stone for our next home.
Gazumping and Gazundering
However, regular readers will realise that the Jersey property market is a quirky one and the whole house selling experience was extremely stressful. We were victims of gazundering and gazumping and then the house we were buying fell through, thanks to a completely flawed surveyor’s report. Therefore, it was decided that we would move into rented so that we could ponder our next step.
How Renting Helped
Renting gave us the space to determine what we really wanted to do and, after much research, we decided that Jersey was where we would be staying and that we needed to get back on the property ladder. We love where we live, it is a gorgeous 3 bed cottage but we can’t afford to buy it. Now that we are looking, we have realised that we can’t really afford to buy anything. The average price of a 3 bed house in Jersey was around the £570,000 mark. Now that we are looking I am realising that for the 2018, the average price of a three bed house is much higher.
Are We Too Late?
We have been told by well-meaning friends and estate agents that we need to jump back on the property ladder quickly or we will find ourselves priced out of the market. I fear that we have already missed the boat. The market is moving at a ferocious rate at the moment and in our price range there are still serious compromises to be made. It’s about weighing up the compromises you are prepared to make. We have arrived at houses to find people queuing out of the door. We have looked around houses that you couldn’t swing a cat in, to see that they have sold the next day. We have been in houses where the windows are all rotten and there are ants crawling out of them, for that house to go over the asking price and to sealed bids.
The whole house hunting process is proving to be dispiriting and rather depressing. We could stay in rented; that was the plan for a while. However, having now decided that Jersey is where we want to call home, paying over £2,000 a month in rent to someone else is insane. We need to get back on the property ladder so that we can provide a stable home for our two children and financially prepare for our future.
Why Is Property So Expensive?
Property here is hugely expensive and, having come from Yorkshire, I still find it impossible to get my head around the fact that over half a million pounds on Jersey does not buy you a decent house. But then this is Jersey. An island that is already expensive and has an extremely low stock of houses. It is only set to get worse with the States of Jersey policy being to build flats. Land is at a premium here and that is why you will get houses that are very overlooked. That’s why our first house was nose to nose with flats.
Hitting An All Time Low
Our property hunt hit an all-time low this week when we went to look around a house. It had no garden, just a strip of shingle. I looked out of the upstairs bedroom to realise that I could see straight into the house next to us. It was so close that I could clearly see that a man was sat on the loo, taking a poo. Then, when we came to leave we couldn’t get the front door open and the door handle came off in Mr C’s hand. Was this house on for a bargain price? No, it was on for an insane amount of money. It was not worth the asking price. It was not a family home, yet some desperate person will buy that house. A house is only worth what someone will pay for it, and at the moment it seems that people are well prepared to pay over the odds.
Where does that leave us? It leaves me pushing Mr C towards New Zealand again.