On Saturday we played an April Fool on ourselves by pretending we could afford to apply for a mortgage. It was merely a fancy, but we got quite into it and spent nearly an hour checking out information about house prices and mortgages.
Before moving we’d have to know where we were going, and then what we could afford there. The BBC has a page where you can check house prices in your area, but it’s only a rough guide- average prices from the past year across a fairly wide geographical area. There’s no way a terraced house in East Manchester is going to go for the same amount as one in Withington or Didsbury.
Probably more important is knowing how much we could afford. Based upon projected income we might just be able to buy a semi-detached somewhere in North Manchester.
And all that is before we add in my desire to buy somewhere that is, or can be made, low impact and eco-friendly. One of the things that’s beginning to get to me about renting is that you can only go so far with energy efficiency measures before you’re looking at changes to the structure or fittings, stuff you can’t or won’t replace when the house isn’t yours. We should probably look at a Green mortgage and buy a sound shell to insulate and solar power to our hearts’ content.
After a while reality kicked in. We’ll be renting for a few more years. Maybe house prices will stagnate, or even drop, in that time and we can get a more optimistic valuation in 2008.