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5 Signs You Can No Longer Afford Your Home

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Many of us spend a lot of money on our homes. But at what point does it all become too expensive? And what should you do if you can no longer afford to live in your home? This post lists some of the signs that your home may be too expensive and what you should do to solve this.

You keep falling behind on payments

Missing the occasional rent payment or mortgage payment isn’t ideal, but it isn’t the end of the world. You should however start to get worried if you’re repeatedly falling behind on payments or struggling to catch up. The arrears will mount up, your credit score will fall and eventually you could be dealing with debt collectors or an eviction notice. Falling behind on payments may be due to poor budgeting. However, if you’re being careful with your spending and struggling to pay bills, it could be a sign your home is too expensive.

You keep borrowing more money for repairs

No homeowner wants to be constantly shelling out money on unplanned repairs. Such repairs may not be a problem if you have the cash to pay for them. However, if you’re having to constantly borrow money to pay for repairs, and the debts are mounting up, it could be a sign that you can no longer afford your home.

You’re ignoring problems because you can’t afford to fix them

Instead of taking out loans for repairs, some homeowners may simply ignore faults to save money. While there are some problems that you can put off, you shouldn’t be in a situation where you’re putting off fixing leaks or electrical problems because you can’t afford to fix them.

You’re sacrificing essentials to afford your bills

In times of need, many of us have to make cutbacks. However, if you’re not turning your heating on a freezing winter’s night to keep your bills low or skipping meals to pay your rent, this is a sign that your home is unaffordable.

Over 50% of your monthly income goes towards home bills

It’s recommended that no more than 50% of your income goes towards bills and essential costs. This includes rent/mortgage, energy bills, food, phone, internet and car costs. If 50% of your income is simply going towards home bills like rent and energy - not including other bills - this could be a sign that you’re financially stretching yourself too far.
What to do if you cannot afford your home…

When you can no longer afford your home, the most obvious solution is to move. If you own your home, consider whether it’s time to downsize or move to a home in a cheaper location. You may even want to visit a display home for a new build - many new builds are much cheaper than older properties. If you rent your home, you should consider looking into cheaper homes to rent.

What to do if you cannot afford your home…

Of course, moving can be costly itself and may not always be convenient. There may be ways to reduce your current bills by negotiating with your landlord/mortgage lender or energy provider. Refinancing a mortgage is always an option, as is switching suppliers.

If you can’t cut costs, consider ways to make extra money. Is it time you took on a side hustle? Is it time you asked your employer for a pay rise? Don’t be afraid to also explore forms of financial assistance if you’re on a low income - it’s always worth talking to someone at your local citizen’s advice bureau to see what you may be entitled to.

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