Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It'd Be Cheaper to Get the Kids a Chauffeur Than Move House

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It'd Be Cheaper to Get the Kids a Chauffeur Than Move House

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Whitlock

MY PARTNER and I are considering letting out the family home on a long-term basis to move closer to our children's secondary school. It's only a few miles from where we live, but the bus journey takes them almost an hour in each direction, which is especially grim in the winter.

Ideally, we'd like to sell our house and buy closer to the school, but we can't afford to do that because the stamp duty alone would cost us between [pounds sterling]27,000 and [pounds sterling]32,000. On top of that, we'd have estate agent's and solicitor's fees, so altogether the move would cost us well over [pounds sterling]40,000. It would be cheaper to stay put and pay for the kids to be chauffeured there and back every day.

A more sensible option, we believe, is to let our house and rent a similar property closer to the school. When I take a look at the rental ads in my neighbourhood, even I am surprised to find rents have risen about 25 per cent since we let the house three years ago when we moved temporarily to France. Undoubtedly, our little bit of south London has become more desirable -- posh even.

I didn't realise how posh until last week's Jubilee celebrations, when one of the neighbouring roads hired security for a street party.

Doing the maths, prices are on a par with the area we want to move to, but after we've deducted all the costs involved in letting our house, we'll only be left with enough to rent a much smaller house. If we use a letting agent to market our property, we'll have to pay about 10 per cent of the rent in commission -- and we'll have to pay a full year's commission up front, meaning we won't earn any rent for several weeks but we'll still have to pay the mortgage on our house plus rent on the new property.

We'll also have to pay tax on any profit we make letting our house (after deducting letting agency fees and mortgage interest charges). If we find a property through a letting agent, we'll have agency fees to pay, plus we'll have to pay a six-week deposit, which is likely to be about [pounds sterling]4,500. …

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