Housing Dilemma – What would you do?

Miss FFBF and I have a housing dilemma. You could also view it as an opportunity. Don’t worry we didn’t buy a Zoo and we’re not planning on that (just yet), I’ll come onto the picture later. 

We had a long chat about what we should do and we couldn’t come up with a definitive answer. We’re just going to sit on it for now, ponder away and wait for a time when the perfect answer pops into our heads. That’s how problem solving works right?!

Yesterday Miss FFBF said “Why don’t you write about it on your Blog and see what people think?” 

So here I am!

What’s the Dilemma?

Miss FBFF owns a house in Cambridgeshire. It was given to her from her mother when her grandad passed away a few years ago. Her grandad lived there most of his life. It’s a relatively small bungalow that needs a bit of care and attention. The house is sat in the middle of two other bungalows either side. Miss FFBF’s two aunties live either side. The three houses are set in a very big plot of land, with huge gardens. There’s even a substantial lake in back. It’s in the middle of nowhere, right out in the sticks (which we love!). The house has no mortgage and currently Miss FFBF is paying (with the help of her mum) for the upkeep of the house. 

Due to the set up of the house, which I’ll discuss in more detail shortly, she’s unable to rent it out or sell it. 

So, she’s paying for a house she doesn’t live in and is unable to get any money for it. 

Why don’t we ditch our house and move there?!

So far the dilemma seems easy to overcome. Sell or rent our current house out and move down there. This is still an option, but it’s not so clear cut for me.

The house is set in between the other two houses. Imagine three houses on one plot of land. For example, the one auntie is a keen gardener and she has taken over the garden that sits on Miss FFBF’s land. There are no fences separating the three houses. The dogs from either side of the bungalow walk in between the gardens as they wish, and so do the relatives. 

It doesn’t really feel like a house in it’s own right, more like a block or a wing within a bigger house. Now Miss FFBF believes if we lived there, we would have our privacy and her relatives would respect that. I think she’s right, they would, but it wouldn’t be as private as my home life is currently and I love my house!

The Bungalow is essentially her grandads house and it might always feel that way. It’s filled with all of his belongings, and there’s a lot of stuff. It’s a lovely little place, but it’s a bit outdated. I think it might be difficult for it to ever become our house, and if we wanted to make any changes to the house, especially externally, we would need to consult with her relatives. To put things in perspective, her two aunties are in their 60’s and they’ve lived in this plot their entire life. I think they would be accommodating but I imagine it would be difficult for them to adjust to a young couple living in between them and making decisions that would impact their houses. I haven’t discussed this before on my Blog, but I HATE impacting on other people. The thought of being an inconvenience is almost a fear for me. 

I love my current home. It was built in 2002. It’s modern, comfortable, lovable and it’s ours. I’ve had a large say in what it looks and feels like. I’m not sure I’ll have that same freedom. 

I’m also very happy in my job. I work for a fantastic company, and although I feel like I want a new challenge now and again, I could do a lot worse! If we moved to Cambridge, I would not be able to work in my current role or for the company. This sets it’s own challenge too. 
I think I would struggle to find another job that’s as good and enjoyable as mine. 

I sell Outdoor Education Holidays, it’s a beautiful thing to sell. The company I work for embrace the fact they’re a ‘family’ company, although they’re huge. The directors know everyone by first name and are so down to earth. I have one of the most caring bosses you could ever wish to work for, and I adore my team. The job allows me to work 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. There’s zero pressure to stay late and I live a 10 minute bike ride away from work. My job allows me a lot of free time (more than most full time jobs), which in turn allows me to write for this Blog and explore other interests. My boss and other people believe I have a lot of potential to succeed within the company if I stay. I would score my current job 9 out of 10. It would become a 10 with a new refreshing challenge and a higher salary. 

I don’t know this for sure, but If I leave I’m very unlikely to work for such a supportive and caring company, sell a product or service that I love and believe in to this level, allows me (guilt-free) time outside of work, that is a short commute away from where I live, that gives me that much freedom to manage how I want to manage, to be led by such an inspiring and supportive team and make as much money as I do. I’ll have to sacrifice something, maybe a few things, perhaps a lot of things – who knows! This may seem pessimistic to some, but I believe I’m just being realistic. If I class my job 9 out of 10, I would put myself in a rare percentage of this country. There’s a small chance I’ll match or improve my current position, and a larger chance that I’ll walk into something I don’t like. 

I am fearful of leaving my current situation, which is very comfortable and satisfying, to walk into another life that’s much cheaper to live, but might not be as enjoyable. 

There is of course the chance that I could get a similar job satisfaction in Cambridge which is a more affluent area, earn more money, and have lower expenses. I could be FI in years 3-5 years!

This is my dilemma – Current happiness and satisfaction vs increased disposable income and an early FI date. 

Extra details and thoughts

  • We’re on a 5 yr fixed term mortgage currently, we’d receive some heavy fees for leaving early if we sold it. We haven’t researched if it’s possible to rent our house out without re mortgaging for a set period whilst we live in Cambridge. That could be an option.
  • I know I mentioned this but I need to clarify it. We cannot sell the Bungalow or rent the it out. 
  • Miss FFBF would love to make this move. She’s a nurse so work is much easier to find and she’d happily live with her family. It hinges more on me. 
  • I’m chasing FI, but I do believe in enjoying the ride. You only live once and I’m not prepared to have a job that I hate to get to FI quicker. I want to at least find one that’s 7 or 8 out of 10. I would like spare time to do hobbies and write, and I want to work for a company I believe in and respect. I’m aware that limits my options. 
  • It would make a brilliant piece for this Blog. I can remember when Dividend Mantra wrote his post on leaving his life in Florida for Michigan. I was totally gripped with this story. I think people would be interested in how I get on? Would that be right?
  • I left a previous job after University due to money alone, and I regretted it. I loved the previous company and I didn’t want to leave, but I couldn’t handle being on £14k a year with a degree. I went to a tough sales job, which I hated, and left within a year to join my current company. I’ve been here for 8 years now!
  • I’m uncomfortable with handouts. I like to earn my keep. It feels like a gift, and although it would take me closer to FI, it would feel like I’ve cheated (just a little bit). This is just my mentality though, and I’ll probably be able to shake it. I wouldn’t be 100% comfortable with it though.  
  • My expenses would reduce from £813 pm to around £450-£500 pm. If I took £500 pm as an example – £125,000 would allow me to be FI on a 4% return. I would have approx £45,000 in my Freedom Fund, and I’d be receiving over £2,000 a year from dividends. 

We bought a Zoo

I watched the film ‘We bought a zoo’ yesterday, after I had been recommended to do so. My initial impression was, that looks awful. I’m a Matt Damon fan, but “come on!”. I took their word, and gave it a go, and I have to say I loved it. I’m not going to do a film review don’t worry. It’s a life affirming film that makes you think about stuff. 

There were a couple of quotes and clear message from the film, which I valued and wanted to share: 
  1. 20 seconds of Courage – You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” Matt Damon’s character
  2. Why Not? – In response to: “Why did you buy this place” and “Why’d you do it” Matt Damon’s character says “Why not.”
This type of attitude is firmly in my brain right now. ‘Be brave’ and ‘why not?’. 

I’m a cautious person by nature, I like a challenge, but I’m not stupid. Where does our dilemma sit with you guys?

Would this be an easy decision for you, or do you sympathise with my predicament? 

I mean this question more than normal when I ask – What do you think?


  • mistersquirrel

    Reply Reply 8th December 2014

    I couldn't quite see it in the post… are there legal/technical reasons why you couldn't sell the bungalow? It may be one of the "cleaner" options, no living in someone's shadow etc?

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 8th December 2014

    Hi Mr Squirrel,

    There aren't any legal/technical reasons why she can't sell or rent it, it's more of a family agreement that Miss FFBF feels strongly about. To the extent that it isn't negotiable currently. In 15-20 years things might change but not now.

    I agree with you completely though. If she could sell it and pay off our current mortgage life would be awesome!


  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply 8th December 2014

    Hi Huw,

    I can tell you what my gut feel says – its certainly not an answer but just my way of looking at it.

    The job side of things is important. I've been chasing salary for years and am resigned to the fact I've been unable to find something I truly love doing. I've just always figured I may as well be earning more and not enjoying it than earning less and not enjoying it. If you've found something you truly enjoy doing that's an amazing thing and you are so fortunate. Doing something you dont enjoy is just soul destroying and for me its a real challenge everyday. Plus you're living in a house you like. And you're on the way to FI with a solid plan. Maybe I'm simplifying this a bit but in my eyes you've got it set!

    Can you see the money that's being spent on maintaining the bungalow as in investment as presumably there will be a time in a number of years (be it 10-15-20..) that you could sell? Could you ever see yourself in possession of the other properties on the lot eventually and feel like you could move there when you've retired or even in later life?

    Good luck with your decision!


  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 8th December 2014

    Hi Simon,

    Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

    I hear you loud and clear on the job front. I've experienced that soul destroying feeling with a previous employer and it was horrible. I took a pay cut to work where I am now, and I would do it again in an instant. It feels like I am on a good path right now. My mind is fighting that comfortable feeling with "what if it could be even better".

    I believe money spent on the Bungalow would be an investment, and you're right, I think in time Miss FFBF might consider selling but it's going to be in 20 odd years. The other properties will be left to Miss FFBF's cousins, so she won't own the whole plot.

    It's a tough one! I'm still confused to be honest, even with your smart observations on the matter.

    I guess I would like to try the life out to see if it could work, and have the option of moving back if possible. We estimate that I would save at least £285 per month (£3,420 pa), possibly more. There'a also the chance to earn more money with a new job. Arggh!

    Thank you for the well wishes, I think I'm going to need it!


  • weenie

    Reply Reply 8th December 2014

    Ooh, that is a dilemma!

    Perhaps perspective is needed here – I take it there is no rush to go and live in Cambridge or for you to look for a new job? In that case, you have time to think things through and to plan.

    The only costs are the upkeep but as Simon has already said, any money that you pump into the property is an investment. Perhaps it's possible to take this opportunity to start making it your own, little by little, so as not to antagonise family? You say you can't really change the property externally (I guess to do so would mean it doesn't look like the other properties) but at least you could change the inside so it will ultimately be more home to you.

    To me, in the middle of nowhere, it sounds like the sort of place people would want to stay for a weekend to get away from the city! No long term renting but how about part-time holiday home for friends?

    From what you have described, I think your work is very important to you, something you are passionate about, so if I were you, I would probably stay with what you have. The good thing is that as soon as this changes or you become unhappy or want to move on, you already have an option to consider, a plan B as it were! What a great place to be!

    I do have a feeling that at some point, you will move to Cambridge to live but not just yet.

    Do however consider that what family say they will or won't do (regarding privacy etc) may not actually happen in real life! Plus, older people often forget what they say or agree to lol!

    Also, if you are to rent your current house, you would have to convert your mortgage from a residential one to a buy-to-let which will attract an arrangement fee and also a higher interest rate but hey, you'll be living mortgage free and receiving rent so worth it, in the scheme of things!

    This is a great piece for your blog and I for one would love to see how this turns out! 🙂

    Good luck in making your decision!

  • Cerridwen

    Reply Reply 8th December 2014

    Hi Huw, I must admit that my overriding feeling about living in the bungalow would be much the same as yours – too close to the aunties, however lovely they are. This alone would make me very reluctant to go there. Coupled with the fact that you would be leaving a job that you so obviously love I personally feel that moving could potentially turn out to be a mighty big risk to your overall happiness.

    Do you use the cottage as a holiday home/weekend bolt hole? Is there any other way of making money (getting value) out of it without living there yourselves given that renting out isn't an option?

    Good luck with your decision. You're right to just sit on it for a while – the right answer will probably just make itself known to you when your unconscious has finished mulling it all over.

  • Tawcan

    Reply Reply 8th December 2014

    If you're comfortable with your current situation it'd be quite difficult to move. Can you may rent out the bungalow a few weeks at the time? Or renting of any time is a big no no?

  • Dividend Life

    Reply Reply 9th December 2014

    If you could do your current job but in Cambridge, would you move? The impression I get from your post is that this your main obstacle compared to the other points against the move.

    1) One of your points seemed to imply that a reason to move would be to blog about the experience. That's not a reason.

    2) You could try taking a longer vacation there to see if you like the house / lifestyle / area. Maybe as others suggest, visit a few times each year (long weekends) and update the house a little each time.

    3) You can always stick with the status quo knowing that the house is likely appreciating in value even if there is some expense in maintaining it – what's the likely return (capital growth) on your investment (maintenance fees) even if it's not rented? I would say pretty it's a pretty high ROI considering the house was inherited.

    4) Or, since there's no mortgage on the new house, if you moved and sold your current house, could Miss FFBF's income support the two of you so you could spend all your time on generating side income / writing etc?

    5) Don't be too set against 'help' vs. 'going it alone' – e.g. you're currently getting 'help' from your employer in terms of free money matching from your pension yet that's okay. As someone older and wiser than I said, 'never look a gift horse in the mouth' or something like that 🙂

    I hope you're able to find a good solution for both of you!

    Best wishes,

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 9th December 2014

    Hi Weenie,

    Thank you for your well thought out suggestions. To start with you're right, there's no rush, I don't 'need' to do anything now. I can sit it out and see how things go.

    Making the Bungalow into 'our home' is less of an argument for me stay to be honest. I know that we'll be able to make changes to the house and I'm not worried about doing that. Miss FFBF has already updated certain parts of the house. I don't think it would ever be like my home here, but I don't see why I couldn't in time get to love that place too.

    Your suggestion for having people stop there for a long weekend is closer to the mark. Miss FFBF has allowed this to happen within the few years she's owned it. I'm not sure we'd make a money making venture, but you're right it's still an option that we could expand.

    My job is important to me. The company I work for are fantastic and rare. My boss is amazing! The work itself has good days and bad days as it involves managing people. There are far more good days and bad days, but the job itself isn't perfect. It has it's frustrations (like a lot of jobs), and I have looked for other jobs over the last 3-5 years at various stages. I like your suggestion here – If I change my mind about my job, it's nice to have another option. I'm very lucky!

    I think you're right with the family too, they might say that will and won't do certain things and that doesn't mean they'll stick to it.

    I'm glad you clarified that with the mortgage. I want to talk to our mortgage company about that. I guessed that we would need to change if we chose to rent it out, and that would involve fees. We could sell the place, which would result in us both having a nice capital sum. My share (smaller than my partners) would be approx £20,000, which would double the size of my current portfolio! This would put me at least a year ahead on the FI ladder.

    My expenses would reduce from £813 pm to around £450-£500 pm. If I took £500 pm as an example – £125,000 would allow me to be FI on a 4% return. I would have approx £45,000 in my Freedom Fund, and I'd be receiving over £2,000 a year from dividends. I find this hugely exciting, and this is why the Bungalow is so tempting for me.

    Thank you again for your thoughts Weenie, they're been very useful!

    Wish me luck!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 9th December 2014

    Hi Cerridwen,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

    There are some concerns about the living arrangement and bigger concerned with finding a job that I like. If I were 'in charge' of the situation, I would be looking at money making opportunities. Miss FFBF's priority is her family. She's also a lot less driven than me, so although she could make a little bit of money on the side, I don't think this option will go particularly far – financially anyway.

    Like Weenie said, my situation at work may change and and it's nice to have a realistic option like this. Most people don't so I'm very lucky.


  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 9th December 2014

    Hi Tawcan,

    This situation is difficult because I am so comfortable here. If I didn't like my life here, it would be an easy decision for me. If I could guarantee a decent job (7 or 8 out of 10), I would probably move.

    Unfortunately, renting long term isn't an option. If she was able to do so, or even better sell it, we would go for that, and live here without a mortgage.

    A lot to ponder!


  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 9th December 2014

    Hi DL,

    Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing these quality points.

    To answer your first question, it's a yes. If I could keep my job with moving, I would move.

    You're right, making a cool couple of posts would NOT be the reason to do this. I think this would be an added bonus to moving. I would love to write this Blog and make a living from it, similar to Dividend Mantra and many others. I'm perhaps romanticising about the possibility that this step could take me closer to that in the Blogging world too. I think it would be more interesting to write about than my current world.

    I like point 2. I think we should stop down there for a weekend and get a feel for the place. I would like to talk to her family about their thoughts on us making the move down and seeing their reaction to it. How could it work for us? etc.

    Point 3, is what we've been doing for the last few years. The house isn't going anywhere, but time is. Things will be very different in 20 years time, and you're right, even though it's costing her to run it now, she could get a huge ROI later down the line.

    Suggestion 4 is a working possibility, and it would take a big adjustment for me. We talked about it, and one of the problems I'm uncomfortable with is not investing £1,000+ each month into investments. I'm unlikely to be able to do that doing this method (perhaps initially). I have to be honest and accept that this step scares me a little bit. It's a big step out of my comfort zone. This doesn't mean it won't happen, but I would need a bit more than 20 secs of courage. 🙂

    Thank you for point 5. I needed to hear that. This is an ego thing, and I take great pride in digging myself out of a whole. I shouldn't begrudge help if it's readily available like this for the sake of pride.

    Thank you once again for your thoughts. They've really helped!

    All the best

  • Starla

    Reply Reply 9th December 2014

    You need a "Starla"! Your story resonated a little with me due to my current situation. No, I am never going to be lucky enough to inherit anything, but I've helped someone that has. Friend of mine was left a house by her Mum 7 years ago. It was her childhood home. She didn't want to sell it or rent it for that reason. It makes no financial sense whatsoever, but I respect it was an emotional one. She was paying all the bills and maintenance on a house standing empty and it wasn't until she met me, that she trusted someone enough to look after it. So that's what I do, a professional house sitter if you like. Back to your situation;

    * I understand why you can't sell the house, even with family blessing it's an "awkward" setup. While it could be seen as an investment to pay the maintenance on an asset, you may well find the maths add up that to sell it, invest the cash and lose the maintenance payments is a better one. Certainly would have been in my friends case, and this is Zone 5 London. Lost opportunity costs etc. A non starter for Miss FFBF anyway.

    * I also understand why you can't rent it, without putting up boundaries (physically) and spending money getting the place in line with laws and regs.

    * I'm with Cerridwen, I just don't think I'd be comfortable living there, no matter how wonderful the Aunties are, they're used to their way of life, fair enough and you won't be changing that.

    * I'm with Simons comments about your job. To enjoy your job, to be happy in your job is never to be underestimated. I'd be really hesitant in that situation to give it up. At least not until you had something else lined up that you were confident you would enjoy.

    * Renting your place out. Weenie touched on a few points, and it's never as simple as "the rent covers the mortgage", you need to remortgage at a higher BTL rate, get the place rental compliant, lose a % chunk to an agent if you can't self manage it, prepare for voids, repairs etc and I'd prob recommend a good read of "Landlord Zone Forums" so you know what you're entering into. It's a business.

    So I'm guessing the house in Cambridgeshire represents Miss FFBF's pension/FI fund, while she's not able to maximise on it's full potential, I'd be inclined to think in your shoes, I'd leave the situation exactly as it is for now. It's a terribly safe option I know, but you did ask 🙂

  • Hi Huw

    The following are only my opinions, but hey I am a Yorkshireman, so I am bound to have an opinion!

    As you really enjoy your job, unless you can live without working, I wouldn't move as I am in the position where I really do not enjoy mine (as someone recently said about the culture of where I work "it sucks all the enthusiasm out of you"), and I have found that this does impact on your life outside work as once you are de-motivated at work it can de-motivate you at home too.

    I would look at it as a great place to spend breaks from home as Cambridge is convenient for getting out to the fens, great for cycling, and you can easily get into London from there if you want to.

    The other thought that could be considered is that if the three houses are on a large plot, it could make a great development opportunity for the future (this of course depends on everyones sentimental attachment to the properties).

    I would probably take my time over the decision and something will probably pop up from "left field".

    Also, don't be too concerned about "handouts", as you see it, as it hasn't come from ill gotten gains, so I would enjoy the benefit of it, and feel fortunate that I had the opportunity.

    Best Wishes
    FI UK

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 9th December 2014

    Hi Starla,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one. t seems like you and your friend were able to help each other out there. It's nice that you've been able to do that.

    Miss FFBF is in a difficult position. She can't sell or rent it due to several factors unfortunately. She values her relationship with her only UK based family above any financial gain. This decision does cost her money, but she's happy with it and wouldn't have it any other way.

    I think you're right, her aunties will find it difficult to adjust to a couple living in between them. They're lovely and I'm sure we'd all get a long but there would be a bit of a transition to make.

    My job is a big factor and I really enjoy it. I was thinking that I might speak to my employers about taking a sabbatical and try living down their. This could give me a feel of hat it's like and I won't have to cut ties. I have a feeling that they won't grant it as my presence in the office is important to my team. It might be worth a shot though.

    The more I think about it, renting doesn't sound great, especially being 3+ hours away from here. I think that idea is a non starter. I think if we did go for it we would probably sell up and go for it.

    You're absolutely right. The Bungalow is Miss FFBF's pension fund. I'm sure whatever we choose to do it will serve her very well in the end.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts as it's a tough one for me, and hearing other peoples opinion has been really useful.

    I'll keep you all updated with how I get on too!


  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 11th December 2014

    Hi FIUK,

    Thank you for sharing your opinions. I really appreciate it!

    I've been in that position before with work and it's not nice. My job is important to me and I wouldn't want to walk into a job I don't enjoy, not even for more money.

    There is potential on the site. The plot is very big, but any 'developments' would need to be well in the future. It would also hinge on Miss FFBF's cousins agreeing with it.

    Weenie made a comment about not rushing a decision, and it being a nice plan b in case my feelings towards work change. I think that's sound advice. It's a big call to make and I don't want or need to rush it.

    Thanks for the reminder on hand outs. I've never been comfortable with 'gifts', but it's something I've been working on. It's a great opportunity, and if we do decide to go for it, I'll be very grateful for it.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I'll keep you all posted!


  • Jenny

    Reply Reply 11th December 2014

    Hi Huw,

    As someone who lives in Cambridgeshire, I would say it is one of few regions in the country which is growing with a lot of new opportunities and up and follow that you wouldn't find something you enjoy just as much or even more in Cambridge. You have the luxury of time, so why not take some time to investigate what opportunities are open to you? If you come across something of interest, go to an interview and take it from there.
    There may be nothing to tempt you, or there might be the perfect job for you just waiting to be found……You have nothing to lose doing a bit of research and no pressure of time forcing a decision.

  • Jenny

    Reply Reply 11th December 2014

    Hmm something went a bit odd with that post. The first sentence should have read: As someone who lives in Cambridgeshire, I would say it is one of few regions in the country which is growing with a lot of new opportunities and up and coming businesses and it doesn't necessarily follow that you wouldn't find something you enjoy just as much or even more in Cambridge.

  • thefirestarter.co.uk

    Reply Reply 11th December 2014

    Hi Huw,

    What a conundrum! I've read all the comments and haven't really got much to add that hasn't already said so I will just say good luck with whatever you finally decide to do, and I will enjoy reading about it one way or the other.

    I don't think there is anything less exciting about staying put and continuing posts in the fashion that you have been already writing by the way. It is fun to read about people upping sticks and going on new life adventures, but for most people out there that doesn't happen, so reading about people going about their everyday business, optimising, planning, building, and growing while coping with the daily grind is also very (if not more) interesting.



  • M

    Reply Reply 12th December 2014

    I also live in Cambridgeshire. I'm a short commute from Cambridge by train. If your bungalow isn't near a trainline, getting into Cambridge is likely to be a nightmare by car though, as the roads aren't exactly great… unless it's bikeable, then you're onto a winner. The housing prices in Cambridge are disgustingly high. That's why we don't live there! There are also no cheap shops, no cheap parking, the traffic is terrible, and it's full of tourists.

    But it is picturesque, and the wages tend to be higher than the surrounding areas, due to the high cost of living. It's also sunny almost all the time, we have exceptionally low rainfall, and there are some stunningly beautiful, if a little flat, surroundings.

    Unfortunately, despite there being some very high quality jobs here, salaries are not generally high enough to buy one's own home, so if you did move down here and like it, having the bungalow would be a MAJOR asset. The only reason we were able to buy within a short commute was due to unexpectedly receiving inheritance. Compare that to back home in the Midlands where you can still buy houses for less than £100k.

    I think maybe you'd have to take a few weekend trips to see what the likelihood of being a disturbance to the aunties would be. Then you'd know if moving in could be a viable option. It may be that it's something for the next ten years or so… When the aunties have moved perhaps?

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th December 2014

    Hi Jenny,

    Thank you for sharing your experience of living in Cambridge. I'm not sure what happened in your first comment, but I got the gist of it.

    You're right, there is no rush here. I've checked Total Jobs on a couple of occasions. There hasn't been anything I've found exciting or enticing, but that's not to say there isn't a great opportunity there. I don't have to move there to take an interview, so if I really want to review taking the next steps, I could go about finding a job before sorting out a house move.

    I also agree that I have nothing to lose at this point. I'm sure there would be jobs that would suit me down to the ground, and equally I'm sure there would be jobs that would suck that life out of me. I can take my time and review those employment options and go from there.

    Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th December 2014

    Hi TFS,

    Thanks for offering your thoughts. There have been a lot of interesting comments from various people, and most of the opinions have been in line with each other.

    Thanks for the support on the Blog writing front. Dividend Life made a good point that I should not be making any move because of how exciting the writing would be. I believe it would make good material, but he's right and so are you. I get a lot of enjoyment out of reading peoples Blogs that discuss those same topics.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 12th December 2014

    Hi M,

    Thank you for sharing your experience of the area. I was aware of the roads the A14 in particular is a terrible road, and I wouldn't look forward to a daily commute into Cambridge that's for sure. The Bungalow is about 13 miles by car from central Cambridge, I could bike in but it would take just under an hour each way. The house isn't too far away from the tram, and I just checked the times, and it said it would take an 1 hour 9 mins!!! I might as well bike in.

    It's interesting to hear what someone that lives in the area makes of it all. I think your advice is sound too. I want to spend some time down there imagining living there and what life would be like. Perhaps a 2-3 night stop over. I would like to talk to her aunties about it too. I don't foresee her aunties ever moving away. Miss FFBF's grandad lived out his life there, and I believe the rest of her family will as well. It's a lovely isolated area.

    Thank you for the detail on Cambridge. I want to take the next step to experiencing myself now!


  • Pulling Myself Up

    Reply Reply 14th December 2014

    Well this certainly isnt your run of the mill "I have an extra house what do I do with it" type of article.
    The answer is both easy in that you cannot rent or sell the other home so you either move in and make economic use of your existing home or you leave it vacant.
    Now all the emotional advantages and disadvantages make this a very hard decision.

    I believe Benjamin Franklin (or maybe Thomas Jefferson) did the following for determining a difficult question. Right down the pros and cons, ALL of them, for a decision. Then cross off 1 pro and 1 con that are of equal importance to you. That will whittle this decision down to perhaps a more manageable size. Either way… good luck.

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 15th December 2014

    Hi PMU,

    You're right, this isn't your everyday problem. Thank you for your input, it's very useful.

    The decision is a simple one in theory. We move or we stay. The repercussions of the move are large, and they are emotive. I like your suggestion on making a list and crossing them off. I'm going to suggest it to Miss FFBF and we can work through it together.

    Thank you for stopping by!

  • Journey to Total Freedom

    Reply Reply 16th December 2014

    Hi Huw:

    I understand your dilemma. This would be a tough decision for me also.

    I would start looking for a job in Cambridge while you still have your current job, maybe take a couple weeks of vacation to do your job search if necessary. I know you said you love your current job and would be hard-pressed to find another one at least equally satisfying. My question is: are you happy enough to do your job for free? Or would you rather continue in your job than be financially free to do whatever you want? Even if you can answer yes to both, there is always a risk of burn out, a risk that goes up proportionally to the time and energy you put into your job. Too many people, myself included, are very passionate about their jobs at first, but the fire gradually peters out as the years go by.

    Cutting your expenses from £813 pm to around £450-£500 pm is worth £93900-£108900 at 4% interest rate. You also need to factor in the difference in income between your current job and potential new job.

    Finally, happiness is not a matter of circumstances but rather our own state of mind. It is far easier to change within us than without. There is nothing wrong with living in a house that someone else gave you, and privacy is overrated.

    Take care.


  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 17th December 2014

    Hi DW,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    I certainly wouldn't do my job free of charge, and I would prefer to FI and do what I want. There's always the possibility that things will change, I have to accept that. I do crave a change now and again though too.

    Your figures are exactly why I'm considering this. They average out about £100k saving on my total FI figure. I'm currently working towards £250k portfolio, but the move would allow me to be FI with a portfolio value of £150k. That changes my circumstances significantly.

    I couldn't agree with you more on happiness, it is a state of mind. I think if we did decide to move down there, it would be down to me to find happiness. There are a lot of factors that contribute towards it, but it would ultimately be down to me and my mindset.

    I've talked to Miss FFBF about it recently and I'll update everyone on the next steps we're planning to take soon.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it!


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