Andy Wang and Jessica Chan are a Hong Kong couple in their early 30’s. Married five years ago, they now have two children, aged 3 years and 18 months. Andy is a successful IT engineer and Jessica a nurse with a combined annual income of HKD1.1m.
Looking to the future, they made the decision in early 2020 to migrate to the UK and buy a property in London. They will lease out the 2-bedroom flat they are buying in Sha Tin. Andy is excited by the job opportunities in the London IT market and Jessica wants a safe environment in which to raise their children. They have friends who live in South Croydon, in the London borough of Croydon, so they focused their property search there.
They commenced their property search in February 2020 but haven’t been able to travel to London because of COVID related restrictions. They have been relying upon a combination of online searches, marketing from local estate agents and asking their friends to conduct viewings. After much searching, and worried that they would miss out on the government’s stamp duty holiday, they purchased a 2-bedroom flat in South Croydon for £300,000 in March 2021.
Their sale didn’t complete before the 30 June deadline to take advantage of the full tax savings, so the maximum benefit they will receive is £2,500. In the 12 months that they spent on the property search prices in Croydon increased by 10%, meaning that if they had purchased 12 months earlier, they could have saved up to £30,000. Obviously, this dwarfs the £2,500 benefit they gained from the stamp duty holiday.
What went Wrong?
In summary, they failed to do their homework concerning:
On the biggest financial decision in their married life together, they relied upon advice from estate agents representing home sellers and well-meaning but unqualified friends. Finally, they made a hasty purchase decision based upon the fear of missing out. Sadly, they are destined to experience buyer's remorse.
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