This is a question I think about more or less every single day.

Back in 2007 my sister, cousins, and I came into an inheritance when my Nan died.

She and my grandad had lived in the same house they raised my Mum and Uncle in for more or less their entire adult lives (my Nan died when she was 88).

So although Zoopla’s records don’t go back that far, I think it’s fair to say they stretched their budget at the time (for example they never owned a car, I think due to the cost), but were obviously able to keep up repayments on the mortgage until it was paid off.

It’s in a nice town in Surrey, and the sale gave the four of us grandkids a ready-made deposit for our own first homes.

Three of us used it for that purpose, and my sister and cousin are still in the houses they bought.

My then fiancé, now wife, and I bought a two-up two-down in Hertfordshire, which was a great starter home but was never going to be big enough for an expanding family – so we sold that and moved to Yorkshire in 2014. We bought our current three/four bed semi-detached house for £2,000 less than we sold our house in Hertfordshire for.

Five and a bit years later we’re in the situation where we need to do some work to the house, or we could look at climbing up the housing ladder.

I’m very anti the second option, mainly because the only data I have to look at is the experience of my grandparents, parents, my in-laws, and other older family members who are enjoying financially stable retirements.

Their defined benefit pensions help with this retirement, but so do their decisions to stay in the same house for 30 or so years (except in one case, and they’re the only ones who I know aren’t having an easy retirement).

This makes sense to me.

We have a sub £200,000 mortgage, which costs us £850 a month.

To rent a similar sized house in our town is about £1200.

And our mortgage is going down £10,000 or so a year, so I’m looking forward to that monthly payment decreasing in the future.

If we decided to move up to a four-bedroom detached house it would cost at least £15,000 in taxes and fees, just to move.

Then our mortgage would be higher, there would blatantly be things we would want to change, boilers to fix, roofs that need replacing etc etc.

The alternative is to rent, which is seen as a bad thing.

I’m actually quite a fan of renting, providing your income (especially from your investments) is enough to cover all your monthly costs. It works for some people, and gives you more flexibility than owning.

But obviously you’ll forever be at the mercy of rental increases, or the landlord deciding to sell your home.

One thing I do believe in is overseas property investment, for lots of reasons.

Some of which I’ll get into tomorrow, as I lead up to the launch of a brand new service for Guerrilla Investors telling you how to own a slice of what I think, is paradise.

All the best,

Stephen Wallis

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