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  • FIRST POST
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 12th Jan 16, 5:38 PM
    • 225Posts
    • 288Thanks
    McTaggus
    The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done....
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 16, 5:38 PM
    The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done.... 12th Jan 16 at 5:38 PM
    So, I'm being a little premature by signing up here. I am on the verge of exchange as a FTB, and while I know that I still have many hurdles to cross before I actually start paying the mortgage, I have already made the decision that I want to be mortgage free as soon as is humanly possible - even if the powers that be are against me and this property falls through, I know that when we are in place I need to reduce my debt as soon as possible.


    I have been reading through all of your threads, and I'm amazed and inspired by all of your stories and its given me a huge kick to think how much I can save in interest alone (let alone building my equity faster) simply through overpayments. I have, however, set myself what feels like a pretty scary task ahead for my new home when it comes to aiming to become mortgage free in as little time as possible.


    Mortgage Value: £532,000
    LTV: 95%
    Monthly repayments: £2,600 per month for the first two years until fixed rate expires - then, it will all come down to where interest rates are
    Term: 31 Years


    Mortgage is solely in my name, but husband will be making contributions (he's still named on an ex's mortgage, and its complicated ). This is my house, for us to live in, and I'm going to pay for it without asking anyone else for a penny - aside from an equal contribution to the bills of course!


    I have worked out my budget, but my first year projections for overpayment are all going to come down to the actual completion date. If its ahead of March, I'll need to pay my interest free bridging loan back before I can make substantial overpayments, if its after March I should be able to start with OP's immediately.....


    My planned OP's right now are varying in projection between £500 a month and £1,000 a month - with some additional lump sum payments alongside helping my savings build up again having decimated them with the planned deposit.


    I have been reading all of your tips with interest, and will be posting more information and hoping for your help and support as I start this journey. I'm still deciding on my planned timeframe - I think my stretch target will be 15 years early, but its more likely to be 10 early (i.e. 20 years from now!!!!!!!). I could be around here for some time


    Updates to come as soon as we get our exchange and completion dates sorted.... and then planning can commence in full!


    Wish me luck.............!
Page 5
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 11th Jan 17, 1:43 PM
    • 225 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    McTaggus
    Happy New Year my fellow MFW's!

    November and December last year, hubby and I decided to spend the month laying the groundwork to help us get 2017 off to a flying start as far as our MF journey was concerned. Now Christmas, historically, has always been a very spendy time for us - particularly also given Mr McTaggus has his birthday precisely one week before Christmas (double-whammy) - but we decided that this year it was going to be different and that we didn't want to hit January with our pockets more than empty and our overdrafts / credit cards battered and bruised to the extent it would take us months to recover our financial footing. As a result, we decided to have a very MMM chat with our close family members about Christmas presents - in that there wouldn't be any and that we didn't want any. The only people we would be buying presents for would be Mini-McTaggi, and even they would have a limit set on how much would be spent on them. Mr McTaggus would still have a birthday present, of course, but the agreement was that party attached to it would be approached in a more MMM way this year.

    The first chat was with my Mum and my spendy sister, which was actually received with open-arms. The second chat was with the MIL, which was a slightly more difficult one as she insisted we had to have SOMETHING and refused the plan. Hubby decided to send her and the FIL the MMM article about Christmas presents, which they read, and then promptly emailed out to all four of their own children (hubby included) to say they had decided that presents would only be bought for grandchildren and no other presents would either be bought or expected. WIN! The final conversation was with the Mini-McTaggi, where it was explained that as we had bought the house this year and had to spend a lot of money getting their rooms sorted and still had a lot of work to do on the house, then they would be getting smaller presents this year. Bless them, all of them instantly responded saying that the most important thing about Christmas was spending time together, not presents. Maybe it makes it easier that we aren't ever allowed them on Christmas Day and they get a tonne of stuff at home, so Boxing Day presents from us are just bonus top ups, or maybe all the work we have been trying to do about educating them about the value of money has actually sunk in more than we realised. Regardless, bless them, they were angels!

    Fast forward and can you believe it, 10th of January, and it looks like both Mr McTaggus and I will be inside our overdrafts at this time of year for the first time ever and without having to spend a penny on credit cards during the festive season In fact, I'm not just within my overdraft, but somehow seem to be likely to net out at the end of the month with over £1,300 left as a result of my resolute "changing of my ways" throughout December .... Half of the left over will go against the renovation of the room we have planned for tackling next month, and the other half will be paid off the mortgage in a lump sum.

    Hubby has also set up his first overpayment direct debit to the mortgage of £200 We are now set to make fixed monthly OP's of £700, in addition to the standard mortgage payment of £2,500. Having run the numbers through the Overpayment Calculator, that knocks another 2 years and 4 months off our payment terms, and gives us a grand total of a 10 year 4 month saving on our total mortgage term (down from 30 years and 3 months to 19 years and 11 months - can't believe it!). Clearly we still have a way to go to reach the 10 year goal we're aiming for, but if I can continue my non-spendy ways (and prove to myself that the December - January leftovers in my account haven't been an odd fluke!), then I think we can improve that position significantly! It's great to know that every incremental £200 added to our monthly OP knocks 2 years off our term...! It's a great way to feel like you're making progress, even if the total goal feels such a long way away.

    Next step is to check my Council Tax and see if I have my direct debit spread over 10 months or 12. If its 10, then I'm also going to add that money (it automatically gets set aside for bills on a monthly basis because of how I have set my money to move between different accounts) to the mortgage as overpayments - that would be an additional £290 I can OP from Feb and March pay checks!

    So, starting this year with some numbers to reflect on...

    Current outstanding mortgage balance: £519,653
    Minimum Goal for 2017: Get below the magic £500,000 mark and into the £400,000 brackets (this will also get us below 90% LTV and might open up some more deals for us when our fix comes to an end in April 2018)
    Minimum Monthly OP Commitment: £700
    Stretch Target OP Commitment: £1,000

    Wishing you all the very best with your goals this year!
    McTaggus
    Last edited by McTaggus; 11-01-2017 at 1:45 PM.
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 7th Feb 17, 11:18 AM
    • 225 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    McTaggus
    Goodness, where did January go??!! Is it just me, or has the start to the year absolutely flown by?

    Well, thankfully January was a success - the first OP of £700 was made! Hurrah! I have also managed to squirrel away the savings from Jan (and also hopefully on track for the same in Feb). I love seeing the OP's coming off the mortgage balance - though I have to admit I HATE it when the interest is added again at the close of every month! Every payment step forward, at the end of the month, feels like half a step back but I'm so happy to see the balance coming down towards the magic 400K's - that will feel like a HUGE achievement when we get there!

    I was planning on instantly throwing the extra I have saved off the mortgage, but we have just entered "unprecedented cost cutting pressure from shareholders" at work, and swathes of redundancies seem to be hitting our business around the world. By all accounts, two of the management team I work on are on the drafted hit-list for "cost removal" - such a dehumanising term for what they are doing - and so I'm a little reluctant to part with saved funds right now as I might well be in need of them if the worst does come to bear on our part of the organisation.

    However, I'm always one to make sure I have a plan B and C in the event of a "break glass in case of emergency" situation, so making sure I reconnect with old parts of my network and explore potential new opportunities with them. Let's see what happens - I think we'll know by the end of Q1 / start of Q2 if we're safe for the rest of the year or not.

    Sadly, the company performance issues that have led to cost controls also substantially impacted bonus pools this year. I'm so glad I wised up to the fact that bonuses are never guaranteed at a very early stage of my career as, unlike a number of my colleagues, I haven't stacked up credit card debt that I was depending on my bonus to be able to clear. However, it is a bit of a downer as far as the mortgage OP is concerned - I was hoping to be able to pay down a fairly substantial sum against the mortgage in addition to trying to fund another room being renovated in our lovely old house. Sadly, neither of those things are going to be possible but - hey - life is what it is, and it's not something to be down about, just a small slip up to be navigated with the usual grit and determination!

    Have also kicked off my new diet and exercise regime since mid-Jan, I have upped my steps to 12,500 a day (a killer on the running machine I have at home after a day strapped to a laptop) and my calories allowance (before exercise) is now down to 1,200 again after what was basically a year of excess! It's been almost a month, and have already managed to drop 9lbs - which has been ahead of my 1.5lb a week target. Still quite a way to go, but I'm feeling better for it aside from the fact that I need to kick the evening bottle of wine to a) speed up progress, b) not be consuming empty calories, and c) help my health and my sleep some more. That said, it's not easy after a massively stressful day where you feel like you're fighting for your job on all fronts to just switch off - the "relax with wine" generational mindset certainly kicks in as soon as the laptop switches off, just to stop my brain buzzing. Clearly need to find a new stress relieving outlet!

    So, now January is out of the way, the monthly progress report:
    Current outstanding mortgage balance: £518,263.44

    I may have to make a one off payment of £3.44 to stop the lack of roundness of number bugging me quite as much as it does right now looking at my app!

    Wishing you all well!
    McTaggus
    Last edited by McTaggus; 07-02-2017 at 11:20 AM.
    • try harder
    • By try harder 7th Feb 17, 9:14 PM
    • 466 Posts
    • 1,490 Thanks
    try harder
    Well done on the great overpayment and the 9lb weight loss ,what a fantastic start to the new year .
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 4th May 17, 12:17 PM
    • 225 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    McTaggus
    We have officially passed the first anniversary of living in our gorgeous old house! And goodness what a year it has been!

    Sadly, I have abjectly failed in meeting my stretch target every month so far this year. In the end, we decided to go for the renovation of one more room, and I made some pretty major monthly cut backs so I could afford to do it within my monthly salary plus contribution from my small bonus pool this year - particularly important given the job situation remains a little less than stable.

    It's been well worth it though, despite the OP downside (you can't have everything I guess!), and such a transformation, with some surprising finds too! Underneath the SEVEN layers of wallpaper, we found messages from the owners of the house written on the bare plaster dating back to the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's. We added our own names to it, and asked our plasterer not to replaster that section - instead we're going to hang a picture over it, so we don't lose that little bit of the house's history. Not sure whether the next owners some time down the line will thank us for that small unplastered square, but it felt important to me to try to capture some of the 150 year history of this crazy, crazy house!

    We have, however, successfully managed to make a £700 OP each month this year, and this months numbers are just in!

    Current Outstanding Mortgage Balance: £513,832

    Its so gratifying to see that number slowly but surely coming down. If we keep on track with the OP's we should hit the magic 90% LTV ratio just as our fixed rate comes to an end, and also get out of that scary £500K mortgage bracket which should also open up more deals for us (as lots seem to be capped at a maximum of £500K when it comes to lending).

    I need to start figuring out what the best plan is for remortgaging.... Look for a better deal, yes, but what should I be aiming to do? Just cut the interest rate but keep the mortgage term and current payment level? Or should I also be looking to reduce the mortgage term in addition to the rate and maintain my payment level, as I'm assuming interest is calculated over the full term of the mortgage? Research needed I think, but I quite enjoy that - though I'd love to hear any recommendations!!!!

    On the plus side, I have now managed to almost completely rebuild my emergency savings fund. I'm hopeful, given I think we have had enough of workmen and renovations to last us a good few months, that it may mean I can start working towards my stretch target in the remaining six months of the year. Aside from renovation months, my new non-spendy habits are netting me left-over salary at the end of each month, so I'm actually thinking perhaps I should just up the repayment an extra £100 or £200 when it hits next payday so I'm not tempted to ever just spend a bit more than necessary and get that little step closer to the stretch goal. I think I'll see how this month nets out, given the May payment has just been taken, and then make a decision before the next repayment is due.....

    Anyway, that's it from the McTaggus clan for now.... hope you're all well and enjoying your MFW journeys, no matter how big or small!
    Last edited by McTaggus; 04-05-2017 at 12:27 PM.
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 4th May 17, 2:13 PM
    • 225 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    McTaggus
    Ok, so I said that was all from the McTaggus clan for now, and I lied. I sat here after posting my last post feeling a little conflicted..... why am I waiting another month just to see if I can net out in a substantially cash positive scenario before I commit to upping my overpayments next month? That would simply be a wasted month.

    Having sat here and argued with myself about it for a good 30 minutes, hubby came home and I shared my angstiness / self-guiltiness about how un-MMM it felt to not commit to bloody well doing it when the goal is to get to the magic 10 year mark... Within 10 minutes, and a bit of playing with the overpayment calculator, we had decided to collectively increase our over-payments and commit to making it work rather than going "soft" on ourselves given our goal. Hubby therefore increased his contributions by another £200 a month, and I have increased my contributions by another £400 a month.

    Committed OP's from June 1 2017: £1,300

    Stretch target for the year therefore will be accrued through the OP of the Stretch OP. BOOM! Cue a significantly less guilty / angsty / bad moustachian-feeling McTaggus Clan all round. I may have to go and pour myself a cheeky G&T to celebrate

    Will keep you posted, hopefully we can make this happen for the remaining 6 months of the year, and get another step closer to our goal!

    McTaggus Clan (honestly this time) signing off for the day!

    Edited just to add - OMG, that just knocked 5 years off our mortgage!
    Last edited by McTaggus; 04-05-2017 at 3:52 PM.
    • chumpy45
    • By chumpy45 5th May 17, 3:07 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    chumpy45
    Hi McTaggus, have just found and read all of your diary. Wowzer, I am totally in awe of your determined and focused efforts. Really inspirational stuff. I also have four children so know only too well the impact this has on life I can imagine going from having no children to step-mum of 4 has been something of an adventure. Looking forward to following your journey to MFW
    Starting Mortgage 01.08.08 £171,209.24. Mortgage as at 01.09.15 - £54,780.04; 01.11.15 £49,577.04;01.03.16 £45,799.32; 01.08.16 £42,418.93; 01.10.16 £40,119.5 01.02.17 £36,584.00; 01.04.17 £34,694.71 09.06.17 £32,828.89 MFW Target date Sept 2017;
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 5th May 17, 4:10 PM
    • 225 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    McTaggus
    Thank you so much for the kind words Chumpy! Have also just found your own diary, and shall similarly be looking forward to following your journey!

    And yes, from zero to 4 overnight was a little bit of a shock to the system at first, but the last eight years has certainly be an adventure that has far more fond and happy memories than otherwise - and an adventure I will never regret being on! (I say that now, I might change my mind when all four of them are possessed by the terrible teens, rather than just the eldest!!!)

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!
    • Dogbooks
    • By Dogbooks 5th May 17, 11:09 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 80 Thanks
    Dogbooks
    This has to be one of the first threads I read all the way through and didn't just read the first and last page haha!
    Looking forward to reading future posts- love how your family are fully committed! Like your first post, we've nearly completed as FTB in the SE (a much cheaper area luckily) and cannot wait to target our OP too!

    Best of luck, Dogbooks
    Goals for 2017:
    • Complete purchase of house
    • Save emergency fund- £1200/ £9300
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 12th May 17, 10:41 AM
    • 225 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    McTaggus
    Thanks Dogbooks! Wishing you all of the best on your own journey!!
    • McTaggus
    • By McTaggus 6th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 225 Posts
    • 288 Thanks
    McTaggus
    Happy Wednesday Folks! We have officially passed midday, which means its officially more than half way through the working week! Hurrah!

    So it's been a bit of a torrid time here at McTaggus Towers. The "cost cutting" initiatives at work stepped up a gear during Q2 and again in Q3, but for now the dust is finally starting to settle a little bit around us. Sadly, we have seen some good friends be placed into difficult situations, and it's all been quite an emotional last three months in particular. Thankfully, for now, it would seem that Mr. McTaggus and I have survived for now - though I think at this company, you can only ever feel safe for 12 months maximum at a time, before it decides to go through another restructuring initiative.

    Work aside, we have been continuing to make steady progress on our OP's. Our first 2-year fixed rate is due to come to an end on the 28th February 2018 (a month earlier than I had realised, doh!), so we have been desperately working to get our minimum likely LTV ratio down to below 90%. We also set ourselves a goal that by the end of the year we'll be below the magic psychological half a million mark.

    Today, I pulled my spreadsheets out, and worked out precisely where we would net out by the time our fixed rate came to an end, based on our original valuation and our accelerated OP's. I'm DELIGHTED to report that on 1st December we are going to hit our target of getting under out of the £500,000's and into the £400,000's! Cue two very happy McTaggus celebrating the first milestone!

    I also then took a look at what that would mean for our LTV when it came to the end of the fixed rate, and another jump for joy - we would hit 89% LTV when our fixed rate ended!

    Now, I have to be completely open and honest here, I have never remortgaged a house before, so quite frankly didn't know how things worked at the point of remortgage. I did a bit of research (MSE, thank you), and there were a lot of pointers around how much your house value had changed. Well, we know it's changed, on the basis of the scale of renovation we have been doing and we had considered requesting a revaluation on this basis, but I had no idea what the base level change in our house value would be just through house price inflation alone.

    Cue a call to the mortgage company today to ask questions about when we can start discussing our next fix etc., as well as how they assess the house value right now, and what their current valuation of our property would be. Beyond belief, was the report that the house had (as a result of house price inflation alone) increased in value by £40,000!!!

    Quite honestly, my jaw hit the floor in astonishment when he told me their revised estimate - I still haven't gotten over the shock now. What that means for the remortgage is that, with a combination or price inflation and our OP's, we're now at a whopping 83% LTV! I can't believe it! It moves us out of the 85%-95% interest rate bracket (3.3% would be the next move down from our current 4.29%), and into the 75%-85% bracket (1.79%!!!!!)

    I am so happy, and so super excited! Having run through the projections, if we can fix at that level and then continue our payments (i.e. OP's accelerate without us having to increase the value of the OP's) then by the close of the next fixed rate in 2020, we should be in an even better position (fingers crossed).

    I guess the only question I still have, is whether it's worth asking for a revaluation. I don't think we've added enough to get us below the 75% LTV ratio, and there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of difference in rate if we get below 80%, so I'm beginning to think it probably isn't worth requesting at this stage - maybe in two years, when we'll have completed most of the renovation work, before the major restructuring to the other half of the house begins... appreciate your thoughts though!

    Wishing you all well, and good luck on your MFW journeys!

    McTaggus
    Last edited by McTaggus; 06-09-2017 at 1:28 PM.
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