Simply put, I’ve spent the last 6 months getting to grips with a culture and a system that, as I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, pleads to be understood and the bottom line of it all is that the system works, it really does, you just need to be patient, flexible and… have a plan B.
Take buying a property for example. When a brother of mine recently called me a nomad it wasn’t being derogatory, and believe me, he’s called me some fun names before; it was simply stating a fact, a fact that got me thinking. What got me moving, though, was when another relative mentioned in passing that buying a property now before it was too late might not be a bad idea.
I’m not a person who responds favourably to coercion but I will listen to reason and my family knows this. I’ll willingly admit that on this point the feedback from my family fell on fertile ground but what really tipped the scales was the issue I was having finding rented accommodation, i.e. finding a nice flat that suited expectations and didn’t require selling my soul in the process.
After having read some of the terms and conditions private property owners demand I was finally starting to believe that if I was a property owner I would be just as cautious about who I rented my property to as well, especially if the laws of the land are heavily in favour of tenants. But all this empathy wasn’t helping me sign a rental contract. I was finally starting to understand that I stood a better chance of buying a flat than renting one. This got me weighing the pros and the cons of going to the bank and then, at an age when others are finishing paying back home loans, acquiring my own Keep and Castle.
Newsfeeds and the Katie Hopkins syndrome
Now, if you’ve been following the online newsfeeds you’ll have read that, in this day and age, finding your dream home isn’t an easy thing for the average wage-earner to do but like one famous personality once said, “You don’t know until you try” so after years of international experience of rented accommodation I felt that the time was, at last, finally ripe.
Anecdotally, a lot has also been written about the trials and tribulations of the lost generation, the Millennials, the Generation X & Co, the baby boomers and the post baby-boomers, etc. and so on (aren’t labels a wonderful thing). Painting a bleak picture (bad news sells) newsfeeds, such as the Daily Mail online will explain how, while virtually all the baby boomers had acquired their own properties, the outlook for the Millennials was bleak. So bleak, in fact, Millennials stand zero chance of buying a car, let alone buying a house. As for procuring a flat in a city centre, whatever or wherever the city-centre, well, that appears to be the privilege of traders, film stars, oligarchs and beneficiaries of a rather generous state welfare system, a subject that leaves most of the indigenous population bewildered and some TV personalities demanding that gunships be sent to patrol the Mediterranean.
As a side note all this labeling also got me wondering where I stood in the generational order of things. I’m not a baby boomer, neither am I a Millennial, even if I do have certain points in common with them, I’m not a generation X and I’m certainly not “Lost” so what am I? Well I’ll tell you, I’m an “Inbetweenie”, no seriously, I consider myself to be lucky to be where I am and with what I have. You see I’m of a generation who never knew war and because I realized the potential of a certain Europe early on I never knew the Thatcher years and, barring one occasion, avoided unemployment, because my career allowed me to travel to where the work was, so yes I re-vindicate being a nomad!
I’m diverging. Acquiring a property or buying a car is a project and sometimes it’s the biggest single investment most people will make in their lives. As far as I am concerned, if there’s one thing I’m quite good at its managing projects, especially big 6 or 7 figure dollar projects. OK so I was managing other people’s money and this concerns mine but like one banker I knew once said, “Manage your home budget the way you would a business”. That nailed it for me and since then I’ve managed my home affairs the way I would a business project, right down to renegotiating with suppliers and clients, (Service providers and employers to you and me). Never one to refuse a “Freebie” I found that advice inspiring, especially coming from someone who ultimately was out for every penny I was making at the time and I’ve never looked back since.
But I’m not Richard Branson and this isn’t one the 400 Virgin group ventures, it’s about me acquiring a property, even if, essentially, the challenge is the same. I want this venture to succeed and for that I will do what’s necessary to make it happen and if one option doesn’t work then I’ll show a bit of flexibility and free enterprise to get where I want to be, then finished with the Nomad’s life… at least for a couple of years!