It’s the talk of the town amongst my mummy mates since the beginning of September: school term starts, and for many it’s an exciting milestone for their kids – the first day in school.
You’ve probably all seen your Facebook timelines with little girls and boys stood against a wall in their oversized uniform. Too. Cute.
Whilst it feels like only yesterday that I gave birth, I’m currently planning Luna’s 2nd birthday party (already, waaaaaa) and we’ve also started looking at schools in our area.
When we bought our house it didn’t even factor into our decision making that we’d need to think about good schools. We were desperate to get onto the property ladder and we took a ‘project house’ in a good area as an unmarried couple with no kids. Schools just weren’t on our radar of criteria.
^^^Where it all began^^^
But things are different now. We’re at a really pivotal moment when we’ll have to make some big decisions within the next year, and here’s why.
All of the schools in our area are faith schools and we are a strict no-religion household. I’ve thought long and hard about whether I feel strongly enough about sending Luna to a non-secular school. Do I feel so strong about it that I would spend thousands of pounds moving home and saying goodbye to this little house that we’ve put blood, sweat and tears into? And the answer is yes.
Urgh, I don’t want to talk about it too much because I’m still upset with the result. BUT, no matter which way you feel about it, there is definitely going to be a knock on effect to house prices, and this will definitely affect how likely it is that we can afford to move. I’ve actually got quite a few friends who are already looking at houses for sale in Melbourne, and we are already losing some of our nearest and dearest to NZ or mainland Europe!
When is it time to move on? I don’t like to put the entire value of our house in monetary terms, but let’s face it, it’s a bonus if you’ve made money renovating a house. We actually remortgaged our house this summer and had it revalued to do so. We’ve actually increased its value by 67%. SIXTY-SEVEN PERCENT. Moving home is so expensive, but if we are going to do it, do we do it now whilst we’re in the plus?
Ultimately our long term dream is to keep this house. We’ve put SO much into it and emotionally, I wouldn’t feel ready to let it go. I know how ridiculous it sounds to be discussing retirement when I’m only just about to turn 30 and am unlikely to receive a pension until my late 70s but it’s always good to have a safety net. I’d love to keep our home and rent it out, and for it to one day be our little income as golden oldies. I’d love to buy a period property with high ceilings and original features and start the renovation process all over again and that be our home for living in and raising our family.
I know how bonkers that sounds. Most people don’t renovate for a second time, after being put off the first time around. But it’s a dream Joe and I share.
None of this might happen. We may never be in a position to do it. But we’re at a crossroads, and we need to decide which way we’re headed. How do you know when it’s time to move? Or should we just extend our current house?
Answers on a postcard.