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The flat-white index is up

We did make our first-ever offer on a house. In the office, we were talking about the alarming way living costs are going up – my personal gauge for this is the price of a flat white. My reference point is around 2015 when the average price was £2.50, and it’s now almost a pound more in most cases. So it does occur to me that it may be a singularly bad time to be making a large, leveraged purchase.

I’ve been anti-mortgage for a long time, as I’m afraid of the stress and potential for tragedy that may come with it. People’s homes get repossessed all the time, and, maybe even more realistically, they cannot cope with the payments and have to sell under duress, uprooting children, memories and white goods.

But my greatest fear is to turn out to be a schmuck. I would hate to look back in a decade’s time and realise I bought just before a downturn in prices or accepted a bad interest rate fix that set me up for years of haemorrhaging money on interest. I’m trying to be a smart buyer, but houses are a market that is driven by asymmetries of information, and it seems more likely that I, a first-time buyer, am the party without information, rather than the estate agent.

The new Robert Galbraith book is out and I’m eager to read. It can be one of my two books to read in September… and October, and November, because it’s 1,272 pages. 🤯 The other book, if there indeed can be another one, will be the note-taking book as I’m not on course to finish it in what remains of August.

A good boy

The Baby-No-More had a cry-free drop-off and pick-up from nursery for the first time. I felt pretty heroic, too, after managing both children on my own with the bike trailer – though the new morning routine could use some work to reduce the chaos. Picking them up again was like one of those brainteasers about getting farm animals across a river – the baby couldn’t be left alone in the trailer while I got the other boy, but the other boy also couldn’t be left unattended while I got the first one into the trailer…

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