Politics

Try Being A Single Woman Finding A Home Of Her Own Right Now

Sam* did not imagine herself living in a house share with three young men at the age of 44, but the cost of rent in London made it a necessity if she was ever going to build up a nest egg.

Unlike her coupled up friends, Sam, who’s single, couldn’t afford to save while renting a space of her own. She lived in the house share for 11 months, and coped by getting out of the house most weeknights, and working in hospitality at weekends to supplement her writing career. She managed to save £5,000.

But when the pandemic hit, Sam realised she needed to move out for her safety and mental health. Her housemates – who were all furloughed while she was working from home – were “playing fast and loose” with the Covid guidance and tensions were mounting.

She chose Oxford – “more expensive than other non-London places, but I knew people” – and gave up on her dream of owning a home. She now rents alone, which eats up two thirds of her salary and leaves little room for social spending.

I still put £10 – ten pounds! – away a month as a token gesture, but it feels absolutely out of reach now,” she says. “I’ve decided to just be a tenant and enjoy the trees, the cycleways and my neighbourly magpies.”




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