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From Flat to Farm

Ok... so not quite a farm, but a few chickens are the plan!

So the past
I bought my flat five days before Christmas 2014. I had been desperate to buy, having missed a few opportunities in the past and instead of feeling joyous I just sat on the floor of my new empty home and cried.

I was 27, had put in a deposit of 45k, borrowed an additional 10k from family and on my 22k salary was somehow able to borrow 102k.

The flat I bought was above my budget at 157k. I bought out of my desired city, and in retrospect, I should have moved further out and bought somewhere I would love more. A previously failed purchase, which I had put a lot of money into, had scared me into buying a structurally sound, but boring flat.

Since moving in I have now repaid the 10k I borrowed from family. I have overpaid the mortgage by 1k.

I have also done some cosmetic and structural work to the flat at under 5k. A new kitchen, new front door (swapping rotten wood with a pvc door), new flooring, removed an outdoor foundation breaching the damp course. I ummed and ahhed about doing a lot of this, as I couldn't take it with me, and I knew I wouldn't stay... but it has made it more livable and hopefully more sellable this year.

The present
My mortgage in Dec 18 was 92409.52k, I need to call for an update, but I think it will be around 91k at the fixed term end date.

My savings are £0, having now paid off the 10k debt loaned towards buying.

The plan
I bought alone, but my partner and I want to buy together now. We have done the sums and realised that we will never be able to afford the home we want here in the South East of England. We also realise that we cannot have it all. For her it is family, for me it is a big private garden, poly tunnel, chickens etc. As we do not want children, ideally it will be somewhere we will not ever have to move from to upscale again, so once the house is how we want it there is flexibility to live how we want.

So for us it is Ireland.

She is Irish, so this isn't a random move! But a big one for the pair of us.

Her plan is to keep saving her part of the deposit. She is at around 8k. This should be easier once she has found a teaching job in Ireland, as right now she is working freelance in England and pay is sporadic. Until I am over in Ireland she would be able to live at her parents and save a bit more.

My plan is to save to sell my flat. With my fixed term not allowing me to sell until October this year.... and Brexit... I have no idea what deposit I will have. A neighbour bought their flat for 195k two years ago, and the market was good before the B word, so I hope I will have around 100k.

In Ireland, we anticipate it will be hard to save as rent is so expensive. We also will need to orchestrate my selling, finding a job, moving the cat and belongings.

Once bought we plan on sorting out legalities for her to overpay the mortgage to eventually end up as 50/50 property owners. I decided early on that this would be fair, as otherwise my money would always be tied up in the house.

I'm hoping this journal will keep me in line for saving towards selling, and once in Ireland saving to buying. Then eventually us overpaying the mortgage, though with her overpaying, it may be that my money goes into setting up a business or allows me the freedom to invest instead. Or to buy chickens...
19/12/14: Spent 10 years of savings!!
:heart2: ..... to buy my first home. :heart2:
11K OP 31.03.19

Current goal: €151,000 deposit Ireland and counting, to buy Spring 2022 we hope!


  • Lois_ELois_E Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi a_silver_lining and welcome to MFW. :wave:
    Sounds as though you and your partner have a good plan in place there, and MFW is a great place to keep motivated to follow through. Here's hoping for a wonderful new life for you in an affordable house in Ireland with plenty of space for chickens.
    Starting again 13/4/19
    Home loan 1: £21,102.50 Home loan 2: £7,698.99
    Total owed: £28,801.49
  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
    14.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Have you considered Northern Ireland?

    House prices are so much cheaper up here

    We sold up in 2006 and moved over, swapped a two up two down terrace for a 5 bedroom detached. We have the chickens and the vegetable plot and are mortgage free
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    82.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Happy shiny new diary :)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • TallGirlTallGirl Forumite
    5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Someone else selling definitely going to follow your journey. Agree with moving out and having the space I'm escaping London although the jobs are great I'll never get the property I want. Miss my garden need a bigger garden greenhouse will do for me.

    Good luck with your dreams sounds like job hunting is first on the agenda
  • LeighofMarLeighofMar Forumite
    468 Posts
    Third Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Welcome. I've never been to the UK, but somehow a farm in Ireland sounds just magical. I wish you the best on your journey.
    Mortgage start date Dec 2015 - $64,655.00
    Mortgage end date Dec 2045 - NOT!!!!
    Mortgage balance end of Nov 2022 - $21,090.00
    Hope to be mortgage-free by 2023 
  • ChasingSunshineChasingSunshine Forumite
    237 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Happy new diary. I will be following your move with interest as am likely to follow the same move in a few years time. I'm assuming you are moving to a city given the comment on high rents so house prices are also high. Not sure it applies but you might not qualify for the smaller deposit requirements as you will not technically a first time buyer (but will be in Ireland) but something to look into when you are moved over and are saving to buy again.
  • Sorry for the late reply all, and thank you for such a warm welcome :)

    Suki1964, my partners family is south of Dublin and the move is for her. We are looking southern Wicklow as Northern is pricey!

    Tallgirl, YES to a greenhouse. I want to start with a polytunnel and bulk propagate plants for the eventual garden. MSE as I know I won't be able to fill an acre on the cheap :)

    Chasingsunshine, we are looking more countryside. Rent in the commuter towns to Dublin are very expensive. Here in Brighton you can get a cheapy flat for 800 in the city center, but we have friends not in Dublin paying 1200. Pounds to Euro and difference in wages and expenses might bring that closer to one another, but it seems surreal to me. Our rough calculations of partner's teaching salary and my own show that with the kind of places we have been looking to buy we would have 60% LTV. It is all a guess though.


    I overspent last month after clearing my debt. So this payday started with me sending some money to my partner as she had paid for a few things. Also started with £100ish flights to Ireland to go to an event I can job hunt at.

    On the plus

    First £43.35 / 5K sent to my selling home expenses!

    I'm planning on checking in here less than I used to on debtfreewannabe, but thought I would list some MSE actions.

    -Big one is that my payrise didn't appear, so I brought it up with management and will have it in next payslip. 1K rise, should equal about £40pm after taxes.
    -Have a once in a lifetime opportunity for paid overtime at work. It never happens, and may only be an hour, but I'm getting it!
    -Managed to bring in enough drinks and snacks to not spend money at work. Will continue this next week.
    -Relisted 4 EB adds with lower buy it now prices. I need to hunt out a few more bits to sell to start clearing more of what isn't coming with us to Ireland. One has already sold.
    -Traded in T vouchers for cinema tickets to use with partner next week.

    Need to this month:
    -Look through old info as I'm sure I overpaid student loan repayments last year.
    -Phone contract ends in June, so must call and cancel on the 10th and find a sim only.
    -When partners saver matures we are switching her to my bank account so we both get £100.
    -Waiting for £2.75 refund, will add to savings when done.


    I've also started doing three things to help me get excited about moving as it still feels unreal!

    One is to start buying some secondhand real wool clothes and throws and waterproofs to save to have in Ireland. The first item is a £25 (including P&P) Avoca wool coat. I am so chuffed with this and can't wait to wear it.

    Two is to start a Pinterest specifically for my new garden as I want to start planning in advance.

    Three is to get involved with the Irish horticultural community. So I have booked tickets to go to Bloom, their big horti show. I am getting their gardening magazines and thinking about ways to make contacts there.


    I still haven't found my exact mortgage balance. My rough calculation is that it stands at 91,642.48.
    19/12/14: Spent 10 years of savings!!
    :heart2: ..... to buy my first home. :heart2:
    11K OP 31.03.19

    Current goal: €151,000 deposit Ireland and counting, to buy Spring 2022 we hope!
  • MonieMonie Forumite
    69 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Have subscribed, next home for us is a big garden, its so sad to love to garden and plant but to only have a small garden, most of which gets ruined by a big dog! Need to pick up my very very neglected diary! Good luck on your adventure, will be reading :)
    Target roughly 75% LTV before Feb/March 2021 (20% LTV = £40,999) - OP'd so far 763.51 out of 5 yr goal - £40,235.49 to go!:rotfl:

  • Hi all :)

    Welcome Monie *waves* I completely know what you mean about leaving a garden. I keep pottering around umming and ahhing about what to put in pots to take with me. Sometimes I'm happy to leave it all for the new owners, but I think I will take cuttings.


    I went a bit quiet as I enjoyed a few weeks spending some money after paying off the debt.

    Payday has happened though, so back to being serious.

    I had just 61.73 by the end of payday in my savings account as I added my refund and a bit of ebay profit.

    In my current account I had 191.55 left when paid, so now popped that into the savings.

    The moment I was paid I popped 500 into the savings as that should be easy to save, but as I have been paid about £100 more this month due to my payrise (and backdated payrise from last month as they had forgotten to pay it) I popped 300 extra in there.

    so 1053.28/5K in selling home expenses!

    This should be a frugal month as only a mini trip and a birthday prezzie gift planned so I'm hoping to have a little spare to top up before next payday.


    Plans for the month:

    - Based off my three step plan I have a trip to Ireland next weekend to go to an event to job hunt! I have created a CV so need to print a load before I go.

    - Partner has two interviews in Ireland! She is going over first, so where she works will dictate a lot in our move. Will update here if she is successful.

    - I've been ebaying bits slowly and putting together some bags for a carboot sale before we go. I've pretty much gutted the shed so need to keep working on clearing bits.

    -I've been buying bits on ebay as per my last comment, to make a wooly comfort suitcase for Ireland.nI am chuffed with some of the bits I have bought, and despite cutting into my savings, it was well worth it for the bit of excitement it has given.

    -I'm off for a week in June so will keep clearing bits and maybe start the selling diy.

    - Need to sort out my partners bank switch now her savings have matured.

    - Need to cancel my phone contract to go pay as you go.

    - Keep bringing in my own coffee and food to work... and keep trying to not buy plants... two slipped into the garden last month, but in pots at least!
    19/12/14: Spent 10 years of savings!!
    :heart2: ..... to buy my first home. :heart2:
    11K OP 31.03.19

    Current goal: €151,000 deposit Ireland and counting, to buy Spring 2022 we hope!
  • Feeling very motivated this week, probably because I have most of a week off work!


    -Ireland job hunt trip went well. Had mixed info on the day, some positives for the future. It made me realise that I am going to hold out a bit until I start job hunting as I realised I would need to move over before my partner without knowing where she would be based. So despite my want to jib hunt now, I need to hold off.

    - Partner has 6 interviews now! We have done some real prep work for them and both feeling positive.

    - I have done well with slowly clearing items to sell, and have a large bin bag full. We still have a lot of the flat to think about... This week the plan is to sell two pieces of furniture, and some plants in plant pots I know will not come with me and would be good to be home as they will be collection only.

    -I've sold a few bits on the e of bay the past week or so... I lost a fair bit in postage and fees and so took off some adverts and am having a rethink about how to sell. I may try the tree of gum again.

    I did make a whole 23.70 profit, so this has been added to the fund.


    - All spent out on ebay. Have some lovely bits :) Going to be frugal for the rest of the month

    -Almost ready to switch banks, the bank is calculating her interest and then we will switch.

    -Still can cancel phone contract yet.

    -holding off on the coffee and food at work. Bougt some sachet coffees yesterday for £2 and should last me until payday.
    19/12/14: Spent 10 years of savings!!
    :heart2: ..... to buy my first home. :heart2:
    11K OP 31.03.19

    Current goal: €151,000 deposit Ireland and counting, to buy Spring 2022 we hope!
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