Ah bedsit land, so fabulous that Soft Cell wrote a song about you...
Who am I kidding. The only joy in my teen bedsit was that I was free(ish) to do what I liked (within the confines of the landlords rules).
So I could
- play music (quietly,and before 10pm only).
- Watch what I liked on TV (on a tiny black and white portable and only quietly and before 10pm as with the music).
- Invite friends round (no parties, all guests to leave by 10pm - ABSOLUTELY NO SLEEPOVERS).
- Bathe when I liked (not at all true as I had to share a bathroom and while in the bath had to steal myself for the creepy guy from down the hall and his doorknob rattling antics, maybe he hoped that one day I'd forget to lock the door?)
- Go to bed when I liked (usually 10pm as it was so silent and felt like lights out time in a dormitory)
- Cook whatever I liked (actually whatever I could afford since the rent ate up most of my money) - bedsit recipes are a *whole* other post!
And there's the rub. I was spending all my cash on rent and my best mate had somehow wangled a mortgage and bought a small flat! She had more that one room! In fact she had an amazing 4 rooms and a hall! She didn't share a bathroom with a mixture of oddballs, she didn't have neighbours that would rat her out to a landlord if she listened to a movie after 10pm. She used to delight in ironing naked (something I never dared to do as my landlord often appeared at weird times to 'check the electricity meter'...) She had a whole kitchen! a Lounge and a bedroom too and more importantly she could choose her own wall colour and curtains. I cannot begin to tell you how envious I was and her mortgage was about the same as my rent but she was actually getting to keep something for the deal. And of course she was 'on the property ladder' a weird phrase but accurate as most people climb ever upwards.
Now I'm a grown up and we have our own house, my husband and I. I no longer have curfews, or worries that the electric meter will snarl up on a bent 50p (I think in this modern time they no longer take cash?), I can relax in the bath (not even locking the door!) and choose my own carpet. Of course I have to buy it too but that's a small price to pay compared to the freedom.
I know there are lots of times renting is best, but for me, feeling that the money I'm spending is actually buying something, something as substantial as a house, is a great feeling. Having done both I'd rather pay a mortgage than a rent. I guess it's the old 'an Englishman's home is his castle' or some such :-)
We have a teen (just!) daughter and I wonder what the future holds for her. I would love her to travel, to find her place in the world but I would like her to be grounded too. I know that she wants a family and she will probably be keen to settle down, but who knows. I just hope I will be there to support her in her decisions, a wise head? or a supporting arm, or just someone with a cup of tea to compare notes about being a teen and saving for that first time you can step through a door and think 'this will be mine'. So I need to be prepared. I need to read up on mortgages. I need to be ready to stand guarantor if necessary (that makes me feel terribly grown up) but more importantly I need to browse 'home' magazines, because when you own your own home the world is your oyster.
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This blog post is sponsored but the words and opinions are mine.