Stressed to the limit

Where do I start firstly I am a daily follower of this site and just wish I found it earlier. I am one of the fools that has overextended themselves during the property bubble. I am now in the position of being in huge negative equity and find myself lying awake at night and suffering anxiety attacks (natural born worrier). Myself and my partner bought in the early 2000 a starter home in SWords we then went on to have 2 children and really hated living there. Neighbours were an issue and our eldest child was seriously unhappy. We made the decision to move to a more established area with good schools. Unfortunately for us there was a problem with our house and could not be sold we have an ongoing litigation case with the builder. We were offered a loan from kbc through a broker which allowed us to keep the house in swords as buy to let and to purchase our new family home.

Well we all know what has happened since property prices have plummeted and we know find ourselves in negative equity of approximate 80k. We are lucky that we can afford to pay our mortgage and have never had a problem renting out the house in swords we pay capital off both mortgages. But I am dreading the budget our wages have been cut mine by 10% plus levy and my partners by 40% My job is very secure and there are alot of vacancies in my field. My partner has been put on a 3 day week with no signs of going back full-time anytime soon. They are actively looking for work and have a number of job interviews lined up over the next couple of weeks.

I don’t know why I am writing this maybejust to say it out loud as I don’t want to stress my family out by discussing it with them. We have done up a budget and if interest rates stay the same for a while we will be able to save over a grand a month on current wage levels.

I know I am a fool and am probably one of those people that most pinsters blame for this mess. But other than mortgage debt we are very sensible credit card debt paid off every month and if we want something we save for it.

Just wish I could turn back the clock but hindsight is a wonderful thing. So here I a
In my early 30’s lying awake since 4am this morning stressing about it all and it is all my own fault for believing the property hype.

Hi BF,

Nice post.

Try not to beat yourself up too much. Not everyone who got caught up in this mess by overextending themselves was motivated by greed. Nor were they uniformly stupid.

A lot of posters here forget sometimes how all pervasive the the propaganda was. Its not that people didnt listen- its that they did, to people who they thought they could trust.

Make a plan and stick to it. Things will improve. Be grateful for the blessings you have and remember it could be an awful lot worse. That should help you stave off the sleeplessness and bouts of worry which, ultimately, will only do you harm.

Probably not too much point worrying or obsessing about things you cannot control. Best thing you can do is probably put it to one side and focus your energy into other (positive) aspects of your life.

You are not a fool, many, many people got caught up in the property hubris.

Right, you need to take a step back from your financial predicament and prioritise the things that are important to you. Now i know illget hammered for this from the zealots on here, but you need to focus on the important things in your life right now.Your family and your mental health are more important than worrying yourself about fiscal matters.

Have you spoken to MABS? They are non-judgemental and will help you to deal with this predicament.

Maybe you need to face reality, speak to your partner and the bank along with MABS. Keeping it all to yourself will only lead to more stress.

PM me if you want and i can put you in touch with your local MABS office. And remember, if you have your health and your family are healthy then to fuck with debts. These are relatively simple things to deal with.

Look, please, please speakto someone about this. Keeping it all to yourself will only result in more stress and mental pressure.


It may not seem like it right now but there are more important things in life than debts. If you need to skip the jurisdiction, for example, to make a fresh break then so be it. There are always options. I’ve seen too many good men go to a dark place over situations that are resolvable. At least one who was abused by banks as a pawn in the end game of the property bubble.

I’d hardly call being able to service your debts and put away €1,000 a month being “stressed to the limit”.

The most important thing is not to get stressed out. To take the long view. Apart from bad timing and some bad luck you are taking all the right steps to ride out the crash and to look after your family.

As long as you are living somewhere you will be happy with for the next 10 years you have nothing to worry you. Negative equity will only ever become a problem if you have a forced sale, which sounds very unlikely. And even then there are ways of ameliorating its effects. The only thing that will hurt you and your family by this stage is needless worry and the stress it causes and the effect it will have on your health and family. Manage your worry and stress and the rest will take care of itself.

The next year or two will be pretty rough for Ireland. It will get a lot bleaker before it starts getting better. But as long as you look after yourself and take the long view you and your family will be OK. I’ve lived through a bunch of property bubbles (and crashes) , in the US as well as the UK, plus I’ve lived through Ireland in the 80’s so I’ve seen it all before.

I didnt expect any sort of compassion from you.

Still, you are clearly still suffering from the percussion complex that you have been labouring under.

Your compassion and empathy is outstanding.

Blasted maracas. :wink:

I think Fingers is pretty young and does not have the responsibility of a family. That responsibility changes everything. Gives one perspective, and an appreciation for just how complicated and precarious being an adult really is. I think those of us who do know what this is like will only have empathy and compassion for the OP.

The point Fingers makes is a good one though… one the OP should look to focus on.
We all have a choice between the positives and negatives of our situation.
While Fingers may or may not be looking to convey this message, I think the OP should remind themselves that while they feel they made a mistake, they are now in a position to save and to address the risks associated with this. A fool is someone who repeats the same mistakes… the OP is clearly not a fool and shouldn’t feel like one.

A sentiment I completely agree with.

dont usually think to respond to these post’s as they are a bit sensitive…

OP - if you can do it in an anonymous way i’d post up some concrete figures , income, debts, outgoings - you really have to deal in concrete figures and plans with this sort of thing and i’ve found that pinsters can be quite helpful with concrete suggestions if enough information is provided.

If you dont do this then you will just get generalist responses of compassion but you may also be trying to form or tease out different options/plans.

Just a suggestion to help you maybe get the most out of the forum - best of luck either way.

Thanks for everyones kind words and there was me thinking I would have to face the wrath of the pinsters. It is a valid point that we service our debts and are now in a position to save. I think I’m am worried about our exposure to different elements such as the budget raise in interest rates not being able to find tenants the list goes on. I am being proactive and both banks have said that we can drop to interest only for a while. Thanks again feel so much better after putting my fears down on paper

Sometimes that is all it takes :slight_smile:

Good luck BF… and hope you manage to get a good nights sleep tonight!

FFS: a person who owns two properties, can service all debts and still have €1,000 left over at the end of the month is in no need of my compassion or anyone else’s. That person is in an enviable position. I wish I were in that position. Instead, after a cut in my take home of around 20%, my wife and I have trouble keeping our spending below our income every month. We don’t need any compassion, though (not that anyone here is inclined to give me any because we all know that no cuts are too excessive for those in the PS). We’re renting, have a certain amount put away from the sale of the 2-BR apartment we lived in until 2009 (a nest egg that we’ve had to dip into repeatedly in the last year, alas) and we’re better off than most.

But the speculation that I don’t have the responsibility of a family is dead wrong: I’m in my 40s, wife and child. But I’m not going to give my compassion to someone who is arguably better off than I am and not in need of it. People here like to tell me about the “real world” and a need to “get real.” Here’s the sort of real situation that is worthy of compassion: a friend, sole breadwinner, just got made redundant at the same moment that his second child is on the way. Another friend and his wife have both taken pay cuts and the stress means they are not getting along. Ordinarily, they’d be splitting up but they can’t leave because the house is in negative equity.

These people have my compassion, not someone whose only problem is what “might” happen or that they are in a negative equity on a property for which they have no difficulty paying the mortgage.

Sounds like more of an issue of mental health for the OP than a financial issue.

You need to work on managing your stress. You worry about things that haven’t happened yet, may not happen, and/or are completely outside of your control. You need to work on that, you’re financially healthy.

Sounds like you’re saving for a rainy day. Keep it up, but don’t forget about the important things. Don’t forget to look after yourself and your family. Take a break with the kids in Ireland, or book a trip on the ferry to France or something. It’ll keep your family from picking up on your worries, give you all something to look forward to, and it might help you unwind a bit yourself. Might sound a bit paradoxical, but spending a little bit (if you’ve savings, not on a credit card like) can help ease your money worries. You’ve no reason to reign it all in unless you’ve definite information about losing a job.

Go see your doctor. Lots of people stress about money and work in the way you’re doing, and they have practical ideas. Sounds like you’re not the take a week off and feel sorry for yourself type, so don’t let them prescribe stress leave, it’ll make you feel like you’re not doing anything about it. If you’re not already doing it, zero any caffeine intake in the evenings and get that 5 a day into you.

Welcome to the party, boomfool. As others have said, don’t stress about it.

I don’t think you need to worry too much about posting details, you seem to have your financial head screwed on.

Some tips which may or may not be good:

  • work out where you could cut spending, even if you don’t do it. The comfort of having a plan B does work.
  • prioritise your PPR - try and keep up capital payments on it as in the worst case, you will be looking to let the other house go first.
  • if there is a problem with your first house (I hesitate to call it an investment property), have you looked at an insurance fix on it? (I’m sure you have, but just in case).

I am aware that there are other people much worse than us and I feel for them. I have many friends and family in similar if not worse situations. I suppose I have just let it all get in on top of me. We have cut back to the bare minimum to save the last few months and if we can keep going at the same rate the little nest egg will give me a sense of security. Again thanks for everyones comments hopefully the next couple of years won’t be as bad as they are predicting (wishful thinking I know)

The only thing I couldn’t give up is my caffeine intake I suppose one has to have some vices