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  • FIRST POST
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 7th Jul 16, 2:28 PM
    • 886Posts
    • 4,567Thanks
    MeandO
    Downshifting to a nicer life...
    • #1
    • 7th Jul 16, 2:28 PM
    Downshifting to a nicer life... 7th Jul 16 at 2:28 PM
    Hello.

    A DFW for many years (on and off) and now debt free, my thoughts have turned towards bettering my somewhat hectic and stressful life and paying down my mortgage.

    I live on my own, with DS with me for half the week, and own my own house after splitting up from my soon to be ex-husband a few years ago. All of my family live at least 200 miles away and I have very few close friends nearby too, with all of them being in the area I grew up in, so I am well and truly on my own here. I get on well with the ex, but he is the ex for a reason, so we only really see each other for reasons relating to our son. I do have a lovely boyfriend of 3 months, but due to our individual childcare setups, I only see him a couple of times a week. We also don't live very locally to one another.

    My mortage currently has £98,028 outstanding on a property valued at around £220k.
    Today I set up an overpayment of just over £100 a month, rounding the payments up to £600 a month. I'd love to be able to overpay by more, but on my single salary, this is the max I can afford for now.

    I also have savings of approximately £7K in the bank which I'd like to use to pay a chunk off the mortgage, but it needs to stay there for a while as my job is not the most secure.

    Now, this is where the 'downshifting' comes into it...

    Recently, I made the difficult decision to put my lovely house on the market. As nice as it is it's a 4 bed, which is too large for my needs, and not in a convenient location for my work. I seem to spend most of my time hurrying to work or home again, trying to beat the traffic and get from A to B as quickly as possible. My son is in childcare after school because I can't afford to cut my hours whilst still in this house, so the plan is to downsize, move closer to where I need to be, cut some hours at work so I am able to pick my son up and not pay childcare. Unfortunately this means moving schools for DS, but I'm hoping it will benefit him in the long run too.

    The house has been on the market for 24 hours and I have a viewing lined up for the weekend, with another party also interested.

    I can't say I'm feeling that positive about downsizing and moving to an older, less 'lovely' house atm, but I'm doing it for the right reasons and it will hopefully better our lives in the long term. I'm desperately concerned as to how this will affect DS, I just have my fingers crossed it will all turn out well.

    The new house will be cheaper, hopefully by at least 20K, so that will go someway to reducing my mortgage too.

    So, that's me in a nutshell. Right now, I'm taking a deep breath, putting my big girl pants on, continually telling myself I'm doing the right thing and trying to downshift towards a better life... all support and encouragement will be greatfully received and very welcomed!
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
Page 3
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 5th Sep 16, 9:50 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thanks everyone.

    I've booked a viewing on another house tonight. It's very close to where I used to live and it's not really what I wanted to move to (another modern 'boxy' type house), but I think the garden is quite big so it's worth a look. I'm not excited by it, but needs must now.

    There Is a Light - unfortunately renting is not an option at all, but happy it all worked out for you. Nice to hear your children settled well at the time too, I just hope mine little one does.

    Debating whether to book viewings on two properties in the area I'm living now - much cheaper which will mean I can go part time and pick my little one up from school etc, but still a fair distance from work and OH. It would mean DS wouldn't have to change schools though.
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 5th Sep 16, 8:52 PM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Viewing tonight was disappointing.
    House was in a state, roof been leaking for a while and black damp patches through the ceiling. Kitchen horrible, bathroom and ensuite need ripping out and the whole place ridiculously overpriced, even the EA said so!

    Has to go to the docs today too and it seems my blood pressure is through the roof. Laughed when she asked 'do you feel stressed?'.
    Understatement of the year...
    Have to go back on Monday, if it's no better then it looks like medication for me

    Throughly fed up.
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • copperjar
    • By copperjar 9th Oct 16, 5:36 PM
    • 821 Posts
    • 1,816 Thanks
    copperjar
    Hi MeandO. Was following you on the finding a house to buy thread - how you getting on?
    Total debt 1.11.10 £23,446
    Save £6k in 2015 #129 £6121.66/£6000
    Save £6k in 2016 #39 £5523.53/£6000
    • Dolly Rocker
    • By Dolly Rocker 9th Oct 16, 6:18 PM
    • 2,646 Posts
    • 7,045 Thanks
    Dolly Rocker
    Hi MandO,

    Just caught up with your diary.

    I'm gutted for you that you missed out on your dream home due to those issues.

    I have everything crossed that you will find a perfect home for you & your son.

    Will subscribe to keep up to date on your journey & to celebrate with you when that happens.

    Hope you are feeling better.

    Dxxx
    Debt Free by Xmas 2017 6,186.67/14,523.76
    Saving for Xmas 2017 0/365
    Goal Weight by August 2017 27lbs/84lbs
    Mortgage Savings 2020 0/25,000
    • Tropically
    • By Tropically 9th Oct 16, 10:37 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Tropically
    House buying is incredibly stressful. I wish you luck in your search and I hope your doc's appointment goes okay.
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 11th Oct 16, 9:45 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thanks everyone.

    Well, I am in the process of buying a house. It's not my dream house and I've had to make some hefty compromises on boxes it needed to tick (parking, for example may be a bit of a pain), but it got to the point where I had to buy somewhere and this was by far the best of the very small bunch that was on offer.
    I do like the house and am looking forward to making it ours. Most importantly, due to its location, it will hopefully make my life a lot less stressful and I can go PT at work and spend more time with DS.
    It is also £30K cheaper than my current house, so I will be able to pay a big chunk off the mortgage and have some money left for redecorating.

    The survey is due to be undertaken on Friday, I just have everything crossed there are no major issues as it is an old house.

    Will update with any news after Friday and then, as soon as we're in, I fully plan on keeping this diary up to date with my mortgage overpayment journey!

    How's the purchase going Copperjar?

    M
    x
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 4th Nov 16, 10:24 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Time for a quick update from me I guess.

    House sale and purchase both going through and just awaiting an exchange date within the next couple of weeks now. The survey on the house I'm buying brought up a few minor advisories, but nothing out of the oridinary considering the age of the house and nothing that actually needs doing imminently.

    I'm still struggling to find the enthusiasm for this move.
    Ironically, I have recently started to like being in my current house a lot more than ever and feel more settled there than I ever have since moving in. Ds is loving life too at the moment, is happy in his school and full of fun.

    But, as I keep trying to tell myself, this move isn't about the house we live in, it's about the quality of life we'll have and the fact I'll get to spend more time with my son and be less stressed with commuting, work and travel times to pick DS up from school. I'm just hoping it all works out that way.

    It's not helping that I now have had to appeal to get DS in the local school as the place he was given previously has now gone. I am waiting to hear of an appeals hearing date from the Education board.
    I feel so incredibly guilty at moving DS to a different school when he is happy at the one he attends now, but it's just not possible to keep him in the present one, distance wise. I am praying he settles well and quickly.

    Oh, and my car died. Big time. I just had to spend £5K on a reliable replacement. Thankfully, I had the money saved in the bank, thanks to an inheritance earlier this year, but it has all but wiped that large chunk of savings out which I was hoping to put towards some renovations and a little safety net.

    Nothing's easy is it.

    Hopefully I'll be back with some more positive news soon!
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 4th Nov 16, 8:59 PM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    I've been a busy bee tonight. Ds is at his Dad's and my OH is busy tonight, so I've been cleaning the house and attempted to start packing (with the two empty boxes I currently have!).

    My buyers are coming tomorrow to 'measure up' again, athough I'm a bit suspicious tbh as they've been evading the estate agent and delaying setting an exchange date all week, so I'm half expecting something to kick off next week.
    Anyway, I've cleaned and tidied the house for their visit. If it does all go **** up, at least I'll have a clean and de-cluttered house!

    I've sold a couple of bits locally this week, so that will be £45 heading my way next week when they collect, and a bit more space cleared. I have a couple more bits Ive listed on Gumtree, so I'm hoping they'll sell shortly too. If not, I will charity shop them rather than move stuff I no longer want/need.

    I took a car full to the charity shop on Thursday. I really don't know where it all comes from! I never thought I had a lot of 'stuff' as I can't stand clutter and am not a materialistic person, but since decluttering in anticipation of this move, I must have taken around 5-6 car loads of stuff to charity, not to mention the bits I've sold/thrown or given away!

    I have the removals company coming next week to quote for removals, so I'm hoping they can provide boxes too and I can really start packing properly then.

    I need to pop to the shop tomorrow and return a juper I bought last week that was too small, so that wil be £20 back in my account.
    I also had a refund on my old car tax, so I have a cheque for £43 that I need to put in the bank too.
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Kittenkirst
    • By Kittenkirst 5th Nov 16, 8:28 AM
    • 830 Posts
    • 3,727 Thanks
    Kittenkirst
    If you can do the removals yourself boxes are easy to get from any local shop if you chat nicely to them- I've moved twice now and crisp boxes are ideal sized as fit most things but not so big you overfill and can't carry.

    Good luck with the exchange. Fingers crossed for you
    Emergency savings- £701.54 /£1000
    Mortgage Oct '16- £170.995 LTV- 90%
    2016 OP target- £14.58/ £150 -
    Mortgage end date- Nov '41

    NST: 42
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 7th Nov 16, 9:58 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thanks KittenKirst,
    I have always moved myself too in the past - hired a van etc., but this time I'll be on my own with DS in tow, so I have elected to hire a removal company this time. I will be packing everything myself though, so I'm hoping they can provide the boxes.
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 7th Nov 16, 10:01 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    A(nother) stressful weekend, arguing with estate agent over buyers wanting personal items and effects not included in the sale (clearly stated not included from the listing), and now them wanting me out of the house within a week as they are 'going on holiday and want to be moved before then.'
    DS upset because he doesn't want to move schools or house.

    Seriously considering pulling out of the whole thing.

    So tired and stressed and fed up with it all.
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Dolly Rocker
    • By Dolly Rocker 13th Nov 16, 9:25 AM
    • 2,646 Posts
    • 7,045 Thanks
    Dolly Rocker
    Aw MeandO I am sorry to hear how stressed you are with all of this, I don't understand why people have to be so difficult with things like this.

    Hope you manage to get everything sorted out.

    Dxxx
    Debt Free by Xmas 2017 6,186.67/14,523.76
    Saving for Xmas 2017 0/365
    Goal Weight by August 2017 27lbs/84lbs
    Mortgage Savings 2020 0/25,000
    • copperjar
    • By copperjar 19th Nov 16, 8:55 AM
    • 821 Posts
    • 1,816 Thanks
    copperjar
    Hi MeandO. How's it going? Hope you're well and some of the stress has gone now.
    Last edited by copperjar; 22-11-2016 at 10:59 PM.
    Total debt 1.11.10 £23,446
    Save £6k in 2015 #129 £6121.66/£6000
    Save £6k in 2016 #39 £5523.53/£6000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 19th Nov 16, 4:08 PM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thank you both.


    Well, the buyers have been an absolute nightmare, but we've finally agreed on a date - this coming Thursday. We were supposed to exchange yesterday but it didn't happen as their solicitor was off work. What can I say...

    I have signed everything on my part though. Nearly burst into tears signing this house away in the solicitor's office. Still not sure if I'm doing the right thing, but it's done now. I just want us in the new place and settled.

    I was off work poorly last week (think the stress finally took its toll), but I have since managed to get most things sorted.
    I've booked removals, can't do it myself this time, but am packing everything myself. I've done most of the hard work now, just DS's room and toys in the lounge and a few bits in the kitchen to go.

    I've bought paint for the lounge (it's a vile colour currently!!!), so that will be done before the weekend, I'll make sure of it!

    Carpet people are booked to measure up; washing machine is being delivered the day after I move in, TV/internet should be ready to go straight away too, insurance paid for... just playing the waiting game now!

    How;s the house Copperjar? Have you settled in? xx
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • atypicalblonde
    • By atypicalblonde 20th Nov 16, 4:30 PM
    • 1,611 Posts
    • 8,439 Thanks
    atypicalblonde
    Hi MeandO,

    I read your diary last night and my heart goes out to you. You have had such a tough few months but I greatly admire your resilience and courage to get through this tricky time in order to ultimately create a better lifestyle for you and O.

    I'll be cheering you on x
    MFW
    Mortgage 8.2.15 - £171,064.64 Mortgage 3.11.16 - £139,251.40
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 21st Nov 16, 8:02 AM
    • 44,824 Posts
    • 155,248 Thanks
    beanielou
    Hope all goes well.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 21st Nov 16, 11:26 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Hi MeandO,

    I read your diary last night and my heart goes out to you. You have had such a tough few months but I greatly admire your resilience and courage to get through this tricky time in order to ultimately create a better lifestyle for you and O.

    I'll be cheering you on x
    Originally posted by atypicalblonde
    Thank you, that's very kind xx
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 21st Nov 16, 11:26 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Hope all goes well.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thank you beanielou xx
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • juststuff123
    • By juststuff123 21st Nov 16, 1:20 PM
    • 168 Posts
    • 476 Thanks
    juststuff123
    Crikey, i'm stressed just reading your diary. I hope it'll all be worth it in the end though! Good luck
    MFW & DFW - Goal - to be Debt Neutral by Dec 2016
    Mortgage to pay -£42616/£66445 (started Feb 2010)
    Parent Loan to pay - £3700/£15000 Student Loan to pay - £1241/£9479
    Stoozing Credit Cards -£3359
    Savings - £48474
    Debt Neutrality --£2342
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 23rd Nov 16, 9:28 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 4,567 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thanks juststuff xx

    Well, the exchange FINALLY happened yesterday. Moving day is tomorrow.
    I'm quite organised and have sorted most of the utilities/insurances etc that I can do before moving in. Just need to pack the final few bits tonight and that's it.
    Trying very hard to think positively about it and not be sad about leaving our lovely house, but it is proving tricky.

    X
    Debt Free
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000
    Mortgage now: £87,886.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
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