A retired photographer reveals how he pocketed £100k from selling his Manchester pad, freeing him up to enjoy life at his favourite holiday destination in Wales. 

Welcome to Home Truths, the tell-all series where homeowners and renters spill the beans on what really goes on behind the scenes when buying, moving or renting a property. 

Moving story at a glance:

Age: 73

Job: retired

Income: £18,000 from pension

House cost: £130,000

Deposit paid: total amount of value

Money spent on renovations: £2,000

Mortgage payments: none

Flying solo or buying together? solo

What’s your home like?

It’s an ordinary sort of terraced house with two bedrooms. It must be quite old, but the people who lived here before me modernised most things, so all the doors and windows are new and the inside is light with nice soft carpets.

It’s basically a two-up, two-down, but with a kitchen extension and a bathroom on top. Oh, and a downstairs loo, which is good for my knees as it means I’m not going up and down stairs all the time.

When did you move in? 

February 2020. I was lucky to get in before we went into the first Covid-19 lockdown, but it has meant getting to know the local area is a bit more complicated.

I used to do all my socialising down the pub, so it’s been a bit different. But it has meant I could keep up with my old friends via Zoom, even though I've moved away. 

Why Gower?

I've lived in Manchester all my life, but spent almost every summer since I was a boy fishing in the Gower.

Wales is so beautiful, I always thought I’d move here eventually I just didn’t realise it would take this long.

It has great walks, views, fishing spots and the people are kind and real, if you know what I mean.

My wife passed away five years ago after a long illness. I think it took me the past few years to get myself together to gear up to moving. She was better at that sort of thing than I am.

We’d been in the same house for a long time and Manchester is getting pretty popular these days, so I managed to sell the house for what seemed like an extraordinary amount of money.

It was a wrench to leave, of course, but now I can spend every day in the place I used to daydream about.

I can’t say I’ve done all that much fishing this year what with Covid-19, but I certainly plan to once things calm down.

Lockdown has been pretty grim but I’ve got to know my neighbours and I’m excited about making a new life for myself here.

How do you make your new home work financially?

We’d paid off our mortgage on the Manchester house a while back.

We bought it in 1975 for about £15,000. Seemed an awful lot of money to us at the time, I can tell you.

We obviously lived in it happily for a few decades and must have spent a fair bit keeping it going, sorting the roof out and putting in new kitchens and the like. But it still seemed crazy that I sold it last year for just under £250,000.

It meant I could buy the Gower house straight out and pocket more than £100,000, without having to faff around with mortgages.

While I can live off my pension, it has given me considerable financial security as I enter my later years and it means that I won’t mind blowing a bit of money here and there, so long as I’m careful.

I bought a new car, but that’s the only major extravagance so far, apart from a new fishing rod I haven’t managed to christen yet.

Any regrets?

It’s not been the best year to move to a new place because the social side of things is a bit lacking. But I’m optimistic that this will improve, especially when the pubs are open again.

I have no regrets otherwise, I’m just happy to have made it here and I’m thinking of getting a dog to keep me company. 

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