6 April 2011

Sex and negative equity

We are facing financial ruin thanks to having sex. A moment of passion about five years ago triggered a chain of events that ended with our membership of the exclusive negative equity club.

Oh, hang on – need to rethink yet another melodramatic opener.

Financial ruin? Well, we’re not exactly living in slumsville. And as for that moment of passion, it was the same one responsible for my first-born, Boy-Who-Asks-Questions. So the sex itself wasn’t a bad thing.  Well…not from memory.

Start again.

We are in a spot of financial difficulty thanks to pregnancy hormones, a result of having sex. Up the duff and living in Dublin during the reign of the Celtic Tiger, I was desperate to make my nest.

We were living in an apartment at the time, but that wasn’t enough for my hormones and me. Oh no, we needed to find somewhere bigger to roost. The housing market at the time was as overinflated as Jeremy Clarkson’s ego, and according to ‘experts’, prices were set to go higher.

I felt the same panic I get when a shopkeeper tells me there is only one size left in the shoes I’m still undecided on. Better buy now or miss out forever. So, we made our hormonally inspired purchase: a four-bedroom house in the south of Dublin.

About a year later, a great big hairy beast called the Global Financial Crisis came along to devour the Irish economy, sucking equity out of the property market like marrow from a bone.

I’ve never been one for financial matters (don’t mention that to the banks I’ve worked for, ok?) so the first time I heard of ‘negative equity’ it took me a while to get it. Perhaps I just couldn’t be bothered to understand something that would never happen to me? I mean, it only happens to idiots, right?

The penny dropped the day I opened our mortgage statement to see how much we owed the bank. I then did a property search online for houses for sale in our area. The number on our statement was much bigger than the numbers coming up on the property search. If we sold our house, no way would it cover the amount we owed the bank.

“Oh…so THAT’S what negative equity means…now I get it.


Those who read The fake expat would know that fate delivered a positive turn when my husband’s company decided to move us to Australia. So, our negative equity nightmare is ‘out of sight, out of mind’, and thankfully rented for now.

The only time it rears its ugly head is when I walk past for-sale signs in the leafy Sydney street we rent in. My dream to buy a home here will be on hold for a long time.

This week, Irish media suggested things could get even worse over there. We are now pondering our current strategy of ‘riding things out’, to possibly selling up and cutting our losses. Huge. Big. Losses. Need. Wine. Now.

So, if you know of any suckers, I mean, investors looking for a lovely little house in Dublin, can we do a deal for you!

But now, I must go to the newsagent for my weekly lotto ticket. Keep an eye out for my next post: Winning the lotto – I never thought it would ever happen to me!

Got to have some hope, right?


  1. Oh look I hear you!! Not about the expat thing, because quite frankly, I've lived in the same city all of my life - but money problems!! Alas, I'll have you know that I was watching "Real Housewives" last night and those women have all the money in the world. Although, their lives were not better than mine. Granted their houses were bigger, their jewellery wasn't made of plastic, their boobs were both bigger and made of plastic - but their lives were not better than mine. Turns out, money isn't everything. I'd like to know that first hand though...

  2. What a bummer of a situations. I hope that lotto ticket does the trick MM - finger crossed for you. Caz

  3. New to your blog came from Mrs Woog and well I kinda love it. Know how you mean about the financial bother due to sex. I had similar problems when I divorced my first husband five years ago and had to start again financially in my late thirties with three kids. Of course I didn't learn my lesson and moved to England (for a man) from good old NZ, and wept as my savings were reduced by two thirds. Sigh. Men eh, where'd we be without them? Millionares probably. I'll be back Vix xx