I saw the estate agent manager today and discussed what to do about my stalled house sale.
This is not the house I presently live in (which I inherited from Mum and Dad), but my former home. I put a lot of money into buying it in 2007. There was an even larger private loan. It was supposed to be an investment. But it's turned sour. The UK property market collapsed soon after purchase, and ever since then I've tried to sell this house. I've tried each year. This is the third attempt.
The sale has stalled because my buyer's buyer (it's a chain of three) has done nothing. So my buyer has done nothing.
That's no good to me. The house has been costing me over £7,000 a year in running costs and loan repayments, a heavy burden when I have my inherited home to run too. It's gradually diminished my remaining capital. One year from now all my ready cash will be gone. But I dare not simply rent the place out to cover costs, because that won't touch the underlying debt. My monthly repayments have been keeping the interest in check, but a small upward twitch in rates would see the loan start to snowball. Just now this huge personal loan is my biggest worry, dominating my life.
I want my life back.
I want it back so much that I have come round to accepting that, if necessary, I will lose everything I put into that property, just to be free of it. That's a very heavy financial price: £202,000 in capital alone. Plus another £22,000 in running costs and loan repayments since purchase, which is just money down the drain in the circumstances. The loss of all that money will in theory severely limit what I might do in the years ahead. But if I gain freedom from worry, and full control over my life, it's a price worth paying. And, relieved of the costs of ownership, I could gradually rebuild my capital.
So I have now dropped the asking price to a level that should quickly attract a serious buyer. It's £170,000 less than we started at. But what the hell. I want to repay that personal loan without delay, and I want to have everything settled before I have my operation on 1 March. So it's pitched at a price that cash buyers looking for a bargain should find very hard to ignore.