Tony Allen: And finally... There’s no place like it!

Feb 20 | 2024

We’ve been in our current house for longer than I care to remember and if I did care to remember it would run into decades.

Tony AllenIn fact we brought it from new. It cost way more than we could realistically afford at the time. If I told you how much it originally cost, you would think that it was almost laughably cheap, but we knew that we were really going to struggle to pay the mortgage. It took some time to decide whether we were doing the right thing or not, such as sneaking into the half-built loft of our potential new home late at night to listen to the sound of passing traffic – acceptable.

That’s the thing about property, it does tend to keep you in line with what’s going on in the market place; it hooks itself on to the laws of supply and demand and, let’s be honest, as proportionately less property is built and land becomes more scarce, housing prices are becoming less affordable.  Some owners move on to bigger and better properties, and for a whole host of reasons others do not. Some particularly good friends of ours seemed to have moved every five years or so as part of their grand financial plan, but for most of the time they have been worried about how they are going to pay their mortgage whilst living in half-developed properties. I think that they are on their eighth house by now. Of course this is good news for the moving industry, but I’m afraid that my own attitude towards property rather goes against the mover’s grain. 

I’m pretty sure that, if we’d have moved house more often, we would by now be in a much better place financially. But is that really important? To be quite honest we love and have always loved our home and so have our children – now adults – and their offspring. And as a matter of fact so have numerous dogs, cats, hamsters and a whole variety of other living beings.

One of the most desirable aspects of our loveable dwelling is that it is quite close to the centre of town and as a result tended to be the meeting place for friends of our son and daughter. We certainly didn’t mind, for at least we knew where they were for most of the time when they were younger. It was more often than not the venue for parties and we were still digging half-eaten chicken legs out of the gutters some months later. After this episode we always conspired to sneak back to surreptitiously keep an eye on proceedings.

Anyway, the whole point about this preamble is that we are now reaching the point where we should consider moving. Rather like ourselves things are starting to wear out and in some cases drop off, and really our familiar abode is too big for us. To indulge in modern parlance, ‘perhaps we need to downsize’.

Family response: “Oh Ma and Pa don’t do it; this house has so many memories; we love coming back and so does the rest of the family. It’s so homely!”

Parent’s response: “That’s fine, but who is going to pay for the new boiler?”

You see? And apart from anything else, we also need a new kitchen and that is going to cost a lot and it’s just not viable.

Anyway, and by way of comfort to the moving industry, we have decided that we are going to move on to maybe a smaller property and a more practicable proposition – thank goodness for downsizers.

STOP PRESS: As I normally do, I let Mrs A have a read of this latest epistle and it turns out that she really doesn’t actually want to move and certainly has no idea as to how I formed the impression that she did - all accompanied by some sort of a comment like listening with your elbows! She insists that she loves where we live - as do I -  and is quite happy to pay for a new boiler and who needs a new kitchen anyway? I certainly don’t.

As far as the rest of the family is concerned they are most happy with this decision - and so here we stay. Which is particularly good news for the cockerpoo even though it is not good news for the moving industry at large to whom I must apologise profusely … oh and also to Mrs A for my having entered into a (not unusal) flight of fancy!