I'm worried I'll never be able to afford my own second home

By Francesca Johnson

THE current cost of living crisis and impending hikes in energy bills are worrying for all of us, but especially people like me who are seeing their humble dreams of owning a second home crumble to dust.

I’ve been forced to live in a small, four-bedroom detached house in Sussex for the last five years while saving up, cutting my outgoings by doing things like ordering fish-farmed salmon from Ocado rather than the organic wild Sockeye variety. But now it looks like my sacrifices were for nothing as house prices are increasing faster than I can browse Rightmove.

When I look at Devon and Cornwall now, there’s barely anything I can afford. I’d be limited to a three-bed converted fisherman’s cottage with a sea view deck and only one space for an SUV. What use is that when I have four children, an au pair and a husband who needs a quiet study to run his law firm from?

The government claim they want to help home buyers, but when it comes to wanting to buy two, you find yourself on an equal footing with people who haven’t even bothered to buy their first one yet. It’s desperately unfair. Surely if you’ve proved yourself able to pay one mortgage, you should be able to jump the queue when you want a second?

And please don’t start about pricing local people out of the market. If they can’t afford to buy in what is essentially a very beautiful rural backwater, they should get a better job. Hard work is what really counts, as daddy said to me when he gave me my first job in his futures trading firm.

Ultimately it’s a question of how I’m supposed to feel I have a stake in society if I’m being prevented from achieving my goals. I, and others like me, have been dealt a tough hand, and it’s a hidden national crisis. We need help, before we’re forced to buy a second home somewhere awful, like Wales.


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Man judges foreign countries exclusively on cost of a pint

A MAN bases his opinion of every country he visits purely on how cheap it is to buy beer.

Having recently returned from the Croatian city of Split, renowned for its scenic views and ancient architecture, Stephen Malley could not stop raving about how cheap the bars were.

Malley said: “It was brilliant, you could get absolutely tanked for a tenner. It was like being back in the 90s, except I could also watch the football on my phone.

“My wife dragged me out to the beach, but honestly I didn’t understand why we needed to leave the hotel bar. The kids would’ve been just as happy sharing a plate of chips and watching me drink gallons of local lager as they were snorkelling.

“However it wasn’t as good as Spain. The beer is practically cheaper than water there, and you can get wine for less than a quid. It’s in a box, but I’m not fussy about how I get pissed.

“I’m currently pushing for our next family holiday to be to Caracas in Venezuela. It’s one of the most violent cities in the world, so the wife might take some persuading, but the beer is 52p a litre. It’s worth it just so I can see the look on my friends’ faces when I tell them.”