Alice-Azania Jarvis: The pitfalls of being a property owner have taken their toll

In The Red

So I'm thinking of selling my flat. Madness, I know, especially after buying it approximately two weeks before the international property market crashed. But what can you do? As it happens, I managed to get a relatively good price (the seller was a friend of a friend, so we didn't need an agent) and, at the time, I was convinced that it was The Only One For Me.

I'm still semi-convinced of the matter; it really is a lovely place, and after a year of drip-drip spending, I've finally managed to get the sitting-room exactly the way I want it (the other rooms have yet to have a cent spent on them, and remain largely unfurnished).

Plus, there's the cosy little selection of restaurants across the road, most of which appear to be in some way linked to the London Buddhist Centre (also across the road): the vegetarian brunch spot, the pescatarian Thai place, and the art-gallery-cum-teashop. All terribly twee I know, though undeniably lovely.

Still, it's there lurking in the back of my mind: the prospect of selling. I'm so far along in the decision-making process as to have asked an estate agent to value the property (pleasingly, he doesn't seem to think I'm going to make an astronomical loss).

The thing is, I'm just not sure I want to own a flat. Obviously, I'm incredibly lucky to be even making that decision (though long-term readers will remember the agonising that went into getting to that particular point). And, obviously, I can see the benefits of owning (primarily, the great big piece of collateral you have waiting for you when you pay off your mortgage). But, as far as I'm concerned, there are a host of disadvantages, too.

Number one, really, is the fact that to lay my hands on that collateral, I'm going to have to do a awful lot of sacrificing along the way. At the moment, my mortgage payments consume the lion's share of my paycheck (when you throw in utilities, student loan repayments, and council tax, it doesn't leave very much to play with).

And I can't, for the life of me, see a time when that's likely to change. True, renting is, in many respects, money down the drain. But at least it would leave me with some money to spend on, uh, food. And, of course, there's the tempting lack of responsibility that comes with renting: the whole call-up-the-landlord-and-get-it fixed mentality.

As recent dealings with the plumbing have confirmed, getting things fixed is not my strong point. So there we have it: my case for getting off the property ladder. Now all I want to know is, anyone interested in buying my flat?

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at

Suggested Topics
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

    Laura Norton: Project Accountant

    £50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine