Hey there. Can we talk about house prices in London for a sec? Yeah? Okay, cool.
WHAT THE £$%& IS UP WITH THE HOUSE PRICES IN LONDON????!!!! I'm sorry, did I say house? Hollow laugh. I meant house prices but I kind of lump apartments into that too.
You see, I'm at that age. You know, the age where, if you're a woman, you're typically asked the extremely intrusive/rude/insensitive/generally-stupid-thing-to-ask question of, "So! Are you planning to have kids? Do you want to have kids? When will you have kids? Are you trying to get pregnant? Are you pregnant now? Really? Why not?" And then after that, or before that, you're asked, "So! Are you looking to buy a house? Are you trying to get on the 'property ladder'? *wink wink jostle jostle* It's like, sooooooo hard, isn't it? Do you have a deposit saved up? How much have you saved up? Where are you looking? Why aren't you looking?" These questions make me want to cover my eyes with my sleeve and run away and/or puke. Instead, I smile like a glassy-eyed robot and say things like, "Yes, yes, no. I mean, yes, but no. I mean, sure, yes, someday, but no, but yes."
And ... breathe.
Okay, so can we really talk about house prices in London? They are insane. Insane. We have officially missed the boat on nearly every "up and coming area" in Zone 2 and are now looking more at areas in Zones 3-4, with train lines. For example, most of the 2.5-bed flats in Hackney we looked at (around 700 sq. ft. or so) started at - started at - around £575,000. And that's just the asking price, so by the time they sell, they're likely to go a couple £10k over that. Yeah, definitely missed that one. Oh, I know, I'll look in East Greenwich. There are houses there - actual houses. Put a bid in. Put a "best and final" bid in at nearly £50k over the asking price. GET OUTBID BY SEVEN OTHER BIDDERS. Yours is the lowest. YOU LOSE. (The "you" is "me", in case you're wondering).
So today I present to you ... *drumroll please* ... properties we COULD purchase elsewhere in the world with our London budget. Yes, you heard right. When I was home with John last summer, we stopped for a bathroom break at a gas station. When I got in the car, my mom tossed a couple of property brochures at us through the backseat. "Just have a look," she said brightly. "Just for fun!"
Readers, I wish I never picked up that damned brochure.
On the first page, I saw a rather attractive 4-bed/3-bath house situated a few miles outside of Seattle at around the same price as the flats we'd been looking at in Bow and Hackney. It also came with its own airplane hanger and private runway. I'm not even kidding.
For the price of a London flat (under 1,000 sq ft) in our budget, we could buy ...
This 11-bedroom mansion house in Brechin, Scotland.
It only comes with a COURTYARD, EDWARDIAN CAST IRON FIREPLACES, and A WALLED GARDEN. YOU KNOW, NO BIG DEAL.
In Seattle, we can buy this waterfront home with, oh, a "180-degree unobstructed view of the Puget Sound and Vashon Island":
It's a 4-bed/2.5 bath that's a 20-minute drive to downtown Seattle. Plus, I could stuff my parents in there if I wanted to since it comes with a "mother-in-law" basement. Here in London, I could maybe stick them in a potting shed the size of a Honeybucket (that's a "port-a-loo" for you British folk).
What's that wet stuff on my cheeks? Am I ... crying? Oh yes, I'm crying at this beautiful view that I'll never have. Plus that rug.
I'm thisclose to moving back to Washington. Or Brechin, Scotland.
Image reproduced from Savills and Zillow