Why I'm back living at home with my parents
It's thought that unless radical steps are taken to address the UK housing shortage more than half of young adults will end up living with their mum and dad. Kerry McKittrick talks to three people who are back in the family abode and why they have chosen to do so
Kerri Quinn (34) is an actress and lives in Belfast with her daughter Libby (5). She says:
My daughter Libby and I have been living with my parents for over two years. It all came about because there was a sectarian hate crime on the house I lived in with my partner. We didn't feel safe in the house anymore so we moved in with mum and dad. That put a lot of pressure on the relationship so my partner and I split up.
I'm still planning on what to do next.
I get on very well with my parents so I don't feel that there's pressure to move out. They've been a huge support and help me so much with Libby - I don't think I would be able to work without them.
They're the glue that holds the family together.
There are times that you want to come home, watch a DVD in your jammies and eat a lot of junk, but then my mum will be in cleaning mode. I have to acknowledge the fact that it's her home.
Mind you, I do love things to be clean but my mum is a fanatic. She takes it to another level.
I try to be supportive to them too. They come home from nine to five jobs every day and I try to have the dinner on, a couple of washes done and the shopping in if I can.
I want to help take the pressure of day to day chores off them too.
I can't really have people back to the house or have a dinner party just because it's not my house to invite people to. It's not my home.
It's never been a permanent thing - it was always just until we sold our old house.
Renting would cripple us so we're still working on it.
I would love to be down the line where I can get me and Libby a new start in a new home, but that might take a while. I'm in no hurry because I love living with my parents. There is no mad panic to settle down and people tend to have kids later in life so I think we do tend to linger with our parents now.
It's very normal to have a broken relationship so I know a lot of people who have kids and live with their parents so they can work and not have to worry about childcare."
Louise Martini (28) is a sales executive and lives in Belfast. She says:
I’ve been back with my parents for about four months. I had lived in shared accommodation for almost two years before that and I was wasting too much money to be able to save anything.
My parents were the ones pushing me to move home — they said I was too old to be living in shared accommodation and it was about time to think about buying somewhere myself.
They do take a bit of housekeeping money off me, but otherwise I’m now able to save.
I’ve just had a conversation with a mortgage adviser about buying somewhere myself, to find out what my options are.
I’m not at the point where I can do something yet — particularly with Christmas coming up.
What I’m hoping is that I’ll have what I need six months into 2018 to start looking.
It’s very daunting because I’m single. I have friends who are also about to start buying, but they’re doing it with a partner.
They have two salaries coming in and two opinions on everything. I think it’s a little harder to do the whole thing by yourself.
Moving back with mum and dad was surprisingly good. For the first three weeks or so there could be the odd argument, but we had a big sit-down to talk about how things have changed for all of us.
Since then we’ve been getting on really well.
They were never really strict parents anyway and having my washing done and dinner made is brilliant.
I come and go as I please and I don’t feel as if I have someone to answer to.
Two years wasn’t a long time for me to be out of the house, but I think I grew up over those two years. I was used to having my own space, so now we’re getting used to each other again.
People don’t think I’m strange for moving back with my parents at all — in fact they thought I was mad to live in shared accommodation with four others. It seemed like an awful waste of money.
I do miss having my own space and there was the social aspect — I was great friends with everyone in the house.
But at the same time it never felt like a home for me, it was always a bit like student accommodation.
I did become more independent over those two years, but the novelty wears off after a while.
I didn’t feel like I could move forward with my life while I was there, but next year I know I will be able to.”
Carl Elliott (26) is a hairdresser and currently lives with his parents near Lurgan. He says:
I made the move back home to my parents after renting for six years. It came about when I decided to buy a house, because renting a house in Belfast is so expensive. You can pay around £450 for a one-bedroom flat in Belfast, so there’s almost no chance to save for a deposit or furniture or any of the other things you need.
Things were a little easier for me before as I was living with my partner, but when that relationship ended I decided it was time to knuckle down and save so I could buy somewhere of my own. I’ve been at home since September — it was actually my parents’ suggestion that I move back. They would rather I spend some time with them so I can buy a nice property, than a below average one that I have to buy because I have less choice.
The plan is to stay for around six months, but there is no real time limit on it — my parents would let me stay for as long as I wanted.
I left home at 19, so returning at 26 means there’s an entirely different dynamic with my parents. I’m still their child, but I’m an adult child. But we’re close as a family anyway — although the dynamic has changed it’s still a good one.
I think that coming home as an adult you appreciate what your parents do for you a lot more.
It’s great, you get dinner made and laundry done — I want for nothing when I live with my parents, so it’s like living in the lap of luxury.
It’s nice to be looked after a bit — you’re a long time looking after yourself as an adult. I grew up in Belfast, but mum and dad have moved near Lurgan but the commute isn’t bad — there’s a park and ride service that’s quite quick. I’ve spent longer on a bus from the Lisburn Road to the city centre.
When I tell people I live with my parents, I get one of two reactions: the first is people tell me they’ve done the same thing or are considering it. The second is that people are distraught and look at me like I’m mad for doing such a thing. I think in this current climate it’s not an odd thing to do.
I’m certainly able to save now I’m at home — on average about £400 a month — so my deposit is growing.
The best thing about it though is that I’m able to take stock and look for the right next move. If I was renting I would have to take out a six month lease and at the end of that I would either have to move or make another six month commitment.
Now there is no timetable for me. I’m not going to pick the nearest property to me, I’m going to spend my time to do my research and find the right property. I find that the pressure being off is quite valuable.”