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Buying a house and the games industry.


dux
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These are like the two most polar opposite things in existence. But... I'm 26 and I wan't to invest in buying a home here (and start doing a degree), the UK government is helping first time buyers and right now in my area it is a good time to buy, plus my credit rating is the best it is ever going to be. Most of you know where I live, in a remote seaside town in Wales, hardly gaming capital central but I've had steady work for many years now and I'm tired of renting and happy with what I'm doing in life.

 

Obviously my job could end (Unknown Worlds, etc), and there are solutions to that like renting the house out and getting a different job with a studio in the UK amongst other things, that's just one. I love where I live, I have lots of family and friends here and obviously that clashes with my job and why I've stayed put and not gone to a studio (I also suffer from very bad anxiety attacks from a messy childhood so that's never helped much), but it is always an option if I really have to. 

 

I've resisted this idea for a long time, but I am just pissing money into the wind with renting a flat.

 

So, is this the dumbest idea in the universe? (dux stop being a douche and go to a studio, etc, etc? Work really hard for 6 months and get laid off, woo!)

 

Growing up is hard. It was a lot easier when we were all 16 on here posting hl1 maps.

Edited by dux
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These days the answer is really dependent on the history of the property market moreso than before. It used to be pretty much a no-brainer to buy property but now it's shown that other types of investments can be more profitable and/or more secure. 

 

I would never buy in Vancouver, I personally believe it's a little volatile. Of course here houses start at 1000000$ so it's not like that will be a decision for me to make anyways :D

 

So definitely do a little research, it might show that there are other investments that might be more compatible for you. I havent been to Wales in about 8 years (I have a lot of family in Wales and spread across the UK), is there a large demand for property? 

Edited by AlexM
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Dude i don't know how you managed to stay in wales and do maps for a living, but you did for a very long time. If that continues, i would totally buy a house, especially if you have family and friends around who can get a look up over it in case you have to move anywhere. Plus you can rent it and pay a rent elsewhere if you need to

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I guess if you're sick of renting it makes sense. I couldn't ever even think of buying a house myself though, it seems like a bad investment: I also think that you (we) are still young, and it might be too early to get tied down for buying a house just yet. The world is huge, and should be explored. Be that through jobs or travels, it's all the same.

 

My personal advice would be to think it through and don't paint yourself into a corner with a huge investment. There's plenty of time to be old later.

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You should probably start off by buying a flat, and not a house. Both things requires a level of commitment that is a bit above what is required of you when you rent something and its better to go in easy. Because a house requires a lot more of you because you now you also have to take care of the outside of your building and the property. And you'd be surprised at how much time is spent keeping your property in a good shape once its yours.

 

I cant speak for how it is in England, but given that we're still in Europe you probably have a lot of the same expenditures as we do:

 

Morgage

Garbage and disposal (you'd be surprised at how much this costs)

Water

Power+heating

Internet+tv+phone

Insurance (furnitures, house, yourself, all separate here and very important)

 

And when buying a house you also have to consider the property and what the house is built upon. No one is going to help you if your house is built on cursed land (lol). If your house gets flooded, you're fucked, if your house starts moving because its built on mud, you're fucked. If your ceiling is leaking, you're fucked and so on.

 

Its a lot easier when dealing with an apartment because someone else has to care of everything regarding the exterior.

 

So yeah, if you think you can cover all the expenditures (and have enough saved up so that you can last at least 1 month without a job, preferably 3 months), then you should go for it.

 

Only real reason I can see for getting a house with a yard is if you have kids. Or a wife that absolutely requires a lawn she can plant stuff on. BBQ's and sun bathing can be done on a terrace. Plants can be planted in pots.

 

edit; sorry I started ranting about not getting a house when all you said was that you wanted a "home". I misread :)

edit2: Oh I see the thread title specifies a house, so I guess my rant is good after all :)

Edited by Skjalg
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I don't want to rain on your parade but buying a house, for me, was one of the dumbest things I ever did. I bought my home just before the crisis started (I didn't know it was coming of course). As you know, there's a baby on the way and I own a spacious apartment but with only one bedroom. This will become a problem in the future. We've been trying to sell it for 4 years now. Nobody is interested because almost nobody is buying. At the moment I've put it up with a 20.000 euro loss and still nothing. While not taking into account the money I invested in the house. If I ever get rid of it it will probably have cost around 30.0000 to do so (ex morgage over a 8 year period).

That's not calculating what Skalg mentioned. I don't know England but stuff like garbage disposal + water is around 500 a year here. Also, I pay 150 euro per month for the maintenancr of the building. This was much cheaper when I got here and there's nothing I can do about it. It's just really a bottomless money sucking pit I don't get rid of. The same goes for my friends who bought houses. They all have similar problems. I will not buy another house in this economy again. In comparison renting is way cheaper.

I would only reconsider if the economy returns to normal. So again, sorry for being negative, but I wouldn't buy even with a gun against my head. Especially in you're industry. Keep renting dude, seriously. But hey, that's just my opinion (since you asked).

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One thing about the first buy scheme is you're not allowed to rent it out (legally) until you've paid it all off and the house is yours. One thing you might want to consider.

 

I'm torn on what to do myself. If I do buy a house I'd probably not go with the first buy scheme so I could legally rent it out should I move studios or whatever. 

 

I'd love to buy my own house. Decorating and all that shit would be kinda fun if it was on your place. Kind of like level design in real life :P

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With such a volatile industry, there is no way I'm gonna be buying a house any time soon. I don't mind renting for the time being until I want to settle down, but I definitely don't want to do that in my 20s. If I buy a house, I'm tied down to that place for a long time, and I want to keep my options open.

 

Wales is definitely not the place for games, it's awesome that you've managed to keep up your contract at UWE for so long but I wonder how much longer they're gonna need LDs for? SN seems to be going the way of procedural generation, so I'd keep an eye out on that front dude.

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Why, you can always rent the house and have an income :) ?

 

There's a lot more to renting out a place than just collecting money man. You're looking at endless costs for insurance, maintenance, letting agents (unless you seek out and background check tenants yourself which probably isn't wise), and ultimately if they fuck up the property it's your ass on the line. I wouldn't do it unless I had more than enough cash to cover, for example, three months of no tenants because someone decided to damage the whole property with water and disappear abroad because they thought their landlord was a bit shit (true story).

 

Like Liam, I wouldn't consider buying a house until at least my 30s. Lifestyle and prospects can change completely at our age, and even though you might be happy now you could find yourself feeling very different if you're made redundant when you've barely settled into your house. Don't make the mistake that I made, and think that after being with a company for years they'll think twice about dropping you the moment you're financially inconvenient for them, no matter how well you get on with them.

 

And then what, back to renting and barely covering the mortgage payments on a house you don't need? That's assuming you get tenants in all the time, which often isn't the case. And if you're no longer living in the area, what about the practicalities of handling viewings, repairs, etc?

 

I'm perfectly happy to rent for the indefinite future, because while it means there are limitations on how much I can customise my home and I'm not going to make anything from it, I'm not losing an awful lot either. I have a lovely home to live in, and if I decide that my neighbours suck or I want a fresh start in another city or country, I can make the move fairly painlessly.

 

If you still want to do it with all this in mind, perhaps it's the right choice. I would seriously consider some of these possibilities, though. Take it from someone who's seen good friends get into some serious shit with unwise property decisions at too young an age, it's not something you want to get wrong.

 

If I were you, I'd just assume that you're going to lose your job in two years. Not that I'm trying to bring you bad fortune, but you need to consider things with that kind of mentality to figure out whether or not this is really a good idea. In any other industry it wouldn't be such a big deal, but it's not like the UK is oozing with games industry jobs at any given moment in time.

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Also, the whole renting thing, we've looked into that. Maybe it's different in England but here, if they don't pay, you can't simply evict them. They have a lot of rights. So even if you find someone to rent it to, you never have the guarantee you'll see you money. So there's a chance that somebody is living for free in your house until all the arrangements are made to get rid of them.

 

Secondly and this is a big problem here, somebody rents the place and uses it to grow weed. Lots of problems coming from that with the power company, legal stuff, damages, etc.

 

Last but not least, what Beck said. Depending on your mortgage you can't simply rent it out. I had to first put it up for sale and after it had been on sale for 2 years only then was I allowed to rent it to someone.

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Also, the whole renting thing, we've looked into that. Maybe it's different in England but here, if they don't pay, you can't simply evict them. They have a lot of rights. So even if you find someone to rent it to, you never have the guarantee you'll see you money. So there's a chance that somebody is living for free in your house until all the arrangements are made to get rid of them.

 

Secondly and this is a big problem here, somebody rents the place and uses it to grow weed. Lots of problems coming from that with the power company, legal stuff, damages, etc.

 

Last but not least, what Beck said. Depending on your mortgage you can't simply rent it out. I had to first put it up for sale and after it had been on sale for 2 years only then was I allowed to rent it to someone.

 

Yeah, it's similar here. The law is almost hilariously biased towards tenants, meaning that at best it takes like two or three months for a landlord to get someone evicted even if the tenant has absolutely no right to still be there. This is why renting should be left to professional investors with the money to absorb such costs IMO, otherwise both tenants and landlords end up fucked.

 

I actively avoid private landlords as opposed to portfolio investors because more often than not they simply don't have the funds to take care of the property to a high standard — they just want to get the most out of the place with minimum expenditure to cover their mortgage payments. You soon find out how important this kind of thing is when something like your washing machine or water boiler breaks down.

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i want to buy real-estate too

 

but having lived in my grandpas house for half a year (dealing with all the up keep and costs bullshit...  also retarded neighbors) a house is not an attractive prospect anymore for me.

 

start small buy a flat ! 

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