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  • FIRST POST
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 1st Jan 17, 4:24 PM
    • 395Posts
    • 1,483Thanks
    michelle09
    Plodding determinedly up a 300k mountain!
    • #1
    • 1st Jan 17, 4:24 PM
    Plodding determinedly up a 300k mountain! 1st Jan 17 at 4:24 PM
    Hi everyone! I have another thread on here but it is seriously out of date, so I figured I will start afresh. New year, new targets and all that.

    OH and I completed on our first house in May 2016. We had a sizeable deposit due to my ability to save and OH's inheritance. We could have afforded a decent flat but decided to buy a slightly rundown 3 bed end of terraced house and do it up while living in it. This seemed like a much better idea before we were living somewhere with a smashed in door, no hot water and only lighting in part of the house. So far we have plunged 20k into repairs (which sounds like a lot, but the doors, windows, bathroom, cloakroom, boiler, radiators, some of the wiring and floors are brand new). It's certainly been a character building experience, from turning up after completion to finding the old owner still living here, to getting the first batch of wiring fixed and discovering that every lightswitch in the house now turned on the kitchen light, but we are getting there slowly.

    The basic floorplan of the house we love, so once we are finished doing it up it will be brilliant. It's also in a great location, we are in London - hence the obscene price - but we are two minutes from the underground, can be in zone 1 in fifteen minutes from our front door, but can also be on the motorway out of London in the same time by car.

    We are now seeing the light at the end of the repairs, so in 2017 I want to start making a serious dent in our mortgage. I have taken on a second job and we have two friends renting our spare rooms - at mates rates - so it is a good time to start reducing the crazy interest rates!

    Figures -
    House Price: £440,000 *gulps*
    Mortgage: £259,700.00
    Student Loan: £19,103.29
    Repairs Estimate: £20k
    Monthly Mortgage Repayment: £940.87. 1.74% interest, lifetime tracker.


    I know that students loans are not a problem debt, but our aim is to try and clear the whole lot by the time OH is 40. Which gives us 13 years. This might be too much of a reach, but I would rather aim high and fall slightly low than not push. Though I may be relying on OH's lottery tickets actually paying off!

    Going to check out other diaries too, hopefully the support here will help.
    Last edited by michelle09; 01-01-2017 at 4:37 PM.
Page 3
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 23rd Jul 17, 1:53 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Some exciting news for us this week - I am finally getting an oven! My grandmother is moving closer to my parents (so I have the joys of helping deal with the EAs and solicitors and my mother now freaking out because she was certain she'd have 28 days between exchange and completion....) and has an oven that she's not taking and no-one else wants.

    I'm fairly certain it will fit in our car, and our local council will apparently take away the old one for £30 so all in all this is much cheaper than a new one. The old one we kept because 2 1/2 of the rings on the hob still work but the oven itself doesn't.

    The other major update for us, is that we have two people come round to measure up our kitchen for quotes! For most things in life, I am fairly tight and very MSE, but for my kitchen? I have a lot of feelings and want it to be good. So it isn't going to be cheap.

    That being said, we now have six months to save up for it (tentative fitting date is January 2018) and I think it will be good for us to have a set target to aim for as we have drifted a little recently. And I am already excited about all the wonderful things I am going to have in my new kitchen which I think will sustain me through the very serious saving months we have ahead.

    Today is a slightly rare treat - lodger #1 is on holiday and lodger #2 is away visiting family so I am going to cook for when OH wakes up (on nights this weekend) and we will have a lovely evening alone together.

    Figures (updated)-
    House Price: £440,000 *gulps*
    Mortgage: £251,900.00
    Student Loan: £17,894.12
    Repairs Estimate: £15k (kitchen, interior doors, rewiring and replastering)

    Total: £284,794.12
    : We are making some headway up our 300k mountain, maybe at the first pitstop!


    Current Balance: £251,900.00
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 29th Jul 17, 6:46 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    So, my grandmother attempted to exchange yesterday but it failed and they are trying again on Monday. It's been a really smooth process so far, I can't remember exactly when she put her place on the market but grandad's funeral was February and it was a while after that. Completion is pencilled in for the 8th which I can't get off work, but we are going up next weekend to help out with anything she needs before moving. And to say goodbye to the house that I spent so much of my childhood in - I think I'm sadder about it than she is.

    This morning we trudged (on foot because I didn't want to pay for the tube and we need the exercise) to finalise the details for our kitchen. I am so unbelievably excited and hope to use this to sustain us through all the saving we need to do.

    The final quote including moving the doors, rearranging the radiators and upgrading our fusebox (on top of the kitchen!) was 13k. Not cheap, but having done our bathrooms by sorting everything ourselves I wanted this done by professionals and not having to order the parts separately. (And it didn't work out much cheaper).

    When we got back I shifted £5k into an ISA which is now labelled "the kitchen fund". We are booked for February 2018 so we have six months to save.

    Having evaluated our finances - our take home pay minus all set essential bills / outgoings is around £2700. Both OH and I do shift work so it varies a little from month to month. I reckon that if we are careful we can put £2000 each month into savings and will have £1000 extra for inevitable extras that come up during the fitting process. For now I'm going to continue putting our £600/month rent on the mortgage as an OP but will stop later in the year if we need to.

    I have a big birthday coming up next summer and we are determined the last four repairs will be done by then. (From a list of 50 when we moved in. We are doing well!)

    Current Balance: £251,900.00
    • penny*pincher
    • By penny*pincher 29th Jul 17, 7:52 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    penny*pincher
    Hi Michelle!

    Just been reading through your diary, well done! - You have some sound plans and goals set which is brilliant!!

    Help to Buy ISA: July 2017 £1200.00, August 2017 £1400.00, September 2017 £1604.01
    Savings: July 2017 £13,312.56, August 2017 £14,312.56, September 2017 £17,513.71
    - And so you all know - I absolutely LOVE Christmas!!
    • pinkpixie274
    • By pinkpixie274 29th Jul 17, 9:05 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    pinkpixie274
    Hi
    Hi Michelle,

    Just read your diary, what an amazing job you are doing! Keep up the good work Currently starting to think about my new kitchen so fully appreciate how exciting it is! Very stressful here though as reconfiguring the whole house at the same time. Looking forward to seeing how it all goes & have subscribed x
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 12th Aug 17, 2:41 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Thanks penny*pincher! I am naturally a planner and it's the easiest way to keep OH and I on the straight and narrow.

    Hey pinkpixie. Kitchens are a big job on their own, adding a new house configuration sounds like a lot of stress. But I'm sure it will be worth it afterwards!

    So, another month and another mortgage payment. I rounded it to the nearest £100 and dropped the rent money into the mortgage lake.

    Three moneysaving positives for this week, so am feeling quite happy.

    #1. We have a free oven! My grandmother completed on her flat this week and so we collected her oven at the weekend. One of OH's coworkers helped take the old oven to the tip for free.

    #2 We bought some of the ASDA own brand cat food for our fluffball just to see if she would eat it. It's 16.7p/packet instead of the 22p we were paying and they're 4g bigger. It was a hit! She gobbled it down and we've switched to the cheaper brand. Chalk one up to the non-fussy cats.

    #3 I had a bad experience with my waxing salon last month so decided to have a go at waxing myself. It was far more successful than previous attempts and and has knocked my waxing costs down to £5/month instead of the previous £15. Now looking into epilators for when we have a bit of extra cash lying around. Every little helps, right?

    Current Balance: £250,700.00
    Kitchen Savings: £2,500/£13,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 19th Aug 17, 6:54 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    We put down our 10% kitchen deposit this week, so we're all set for February 2018. Even though it's a while in advance the company agreed to honour the quote despite normal price rises in November if we put down 10% now. It does mean we have a date agreed and are committed to this happening!

    It also means we've given our lodgers their notice. We've asked them to leave by 31st December and have agreed to refund any rent (less their share of the bills that month) not used if they go part way through a month. Was a little nervous as they're friends and this can be awkward but they both took it well and are going to stay until December as they are unlikely to find £300/month rent in London. It'll be a big change, but while I enjoy their company and the rental income certainly helps, we are looking forward to having the house back to ourselves and not having to pick up after other peoples. We may look at short term lets or maybe air bnb in the future, but I think we will avoid long term lodgers after this.

    This week I've been spending a lot of time at the gym. I've finally managed to get a physiotherapy appointment on the NHS and am working on muscles in my knee to get it back in shape. Have started the couch to 5k program and am on to week 2. Very happy. Have dropped 4lbs of the 2 1/2 stone that I've picked up since the knee started giving me issues 18 months ago too. Very happy to see that exercise is knocking the weight off so quickly!

    Current Balance: £250,700.00
    Kitchen Savings: £2,500/£13,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 24th Aug 17, 7:41 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    A new era has begun! One of our lodgers has given notice that they're moving out in a week. They had a friend who's flatmate needed to move and the landlord agreed to it if they could be replaced by mid-September. It would have been better for us both if it had been a couple of months down the line, but these things happen. Now that one is leaving, I am really hoping that the other lodger (who in all honesty I would rather had left first) will follow suit.

    This week we got an email from British Gas (along with a good portion of the MSE board I suspect) that our tarriff is ending and the new one is a 55% increase. So I will be taking them up on my option to change suppliers and have started investigating alternative options. I am hoping that MSE will pull another collective switch out of the bag though.

    Current Balance: £250,700.00
    Kitchen Savings: £2,500/£13,000
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 24th Aug 17, 10:35 PM
    • 5,868 Posts
    • 40,058 Thanks
    newgirly
    Hi Michelle, just spotted your dairy and thought I'd say hi

    Sounds like you have a good balance of overpaying, living and getting work done on the house. It's a long slog with a big mortgage but you will get there in the end!
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 £38,545 / £17,514.78 paid so far

    Mortgage £47,354 years 8 months left. Total owed £62,871.22 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weight loss target 37lb/22lb gone.
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 27th Aug 17, 7:33 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Hi Michelle, just spotted your dairy and thought I'd say hi

    Sounds like you have a good balance of overpaying, living and getting work done on the house. It's a long slog with a big mortgage but you will get there in the end!
    Originally posted by newgirly
    Thanks newgirly! I hope so - while I want to pay off ASAP, we're also a young married couple who need to try and enjoy life too. It's inspiring to see other people finally get to the end.

    As a goodwill MSE gesture, I picked up a few empty boxes at work at took them home for lodger #1. Lodger #2 has made some noises about looking for new places next week but I'll be surprised if they actually make a move before the winter.

    Bank Holiday and while I have managed to wangle the weekend off, OH is stuck on overtime due to Notting Hill (emergency service worker family issues) so I have headed back to my parents/grandmother. Spent yesterday helping my grandmother around her new home and taking her to Ikea (I know, on a Saturday) to get some new lights because she doesn't like the ones that came with her new place. She loved the ones that were there when she viewed it but the owners swapped them out for standard light bulbs when they left.

    She took me for lunch at a local place that does a bowl of soup, a panini (including gluten free!) and a non-alcoholic drink for £6. Then as a thank you for "letting her take me out to lunch" she sent me back with some treats from the local bakery, and a new bathmat she'd bought me in Ikea. A bit embarassing as I honestly don't mind helping her and thought her treating me to lunch was more than enough.

    Her cleaner phoned yesterday because my grandmother took her to the same place last week after she'd finished cleaning and insisted on paying for both of them. She wanted to reassure us that she wasn't taking advantage of my grandmother. Which was good of her, but I know my grandmother - she's not one to let someone walk all over her. And as long as the cleaner is happy to keep her company then it works out for everyone.

    Applied and paid for our holiday visas yesterday! Both the application and the money was easily accepted and we're good to go. Have been sorting out our clothes and siphoning things that are on their last legs into a pile to come with us for one last wear before they get chucked. OH was down to one pair of work socks and we managed to pick up 10 pairs for £10 so not a bad week spending wise.

    Current Balance: £250,700.00
    Kitchen Savings: £2,500/£13,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 30th Aug 17, 6:56 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Lovely three day weekend is over and back to work. Work is screwing with my sleeping pattern lately, last night I fell asleep at 8pm and was up at 4. But my movements woke the cat and she crawled under the covers for a cuddle/to abuse my warmth.

    Payslip came through today and 10 hours of my overtime last month was approved. So tomorrow's payslip should be quite nice!

    Did our shopping in Iceland on Monday - picked up a voucher in the Metro for £5 off if you spend £30. Bought some joints and other slightly more expensive bits and pieces that came to £31.

    Current Balance: £250,700.00
    Kitchen Savings: £2,500/£13,000
    Last edited by michelle09; 02-09-2017 at 9:33 AM.
    • Downshifterella
    • By Downshifterella 30th Aug 17, 7:16 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 322 Thanks
    Downshifterella
    You are going great guns at the Mortgage Michelle09 well done!!
    Good luck with the lodger situation bet it'll be great to have the house back even a little earlier than expected!
    MF planning for the simple life
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 30th Aug 17, 7:53 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    You are going great guns at the Mortgage Michelle09 well done!!
    Good luck with the lodger situation bet it'll be great to have the house back even a little earlier than expected!
    Originally posted by Downshifterella
    Thanks! I am weirdly excited ffor the next mortgage payment (will go out Monday) because when I round it up we will hit £250k exactly. After 18 months of telling people about our quarter of million pound mortgage, we will actually be down to that.

    It will be amazing to have our house back. (Lodger #1 moved in our second week here so we really haven't spent much time alone in this place). Originally I was a little disappointed because I had planned on OPing their rent until December, but now one is going I keep looking at the other one and hoping they will suddenly find somewhere. They have a week off next week, maybe I will ask if they've started looking.

    Current Balance: £250,700.00
    Kitchen Savings: £2,500/£13,000
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 31st Aug 17, 7:34 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 1,672 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Hi Michelle I have been enjoying reading your diary - I also have a big mortgage and agree it does feel like a mountain to climb. However you can make good in roads into it if you stick to the plan and keep plugging away. You have done brilliantly well and will be sub a quarter of a million soon.
    Good luck with the lodger !
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 31st Aug 17, 8:10 AM
    • 5,868 Posts
    • 40,058 Thanks
    newgirly
    Well done, passing a milestone does help with motivation a lot when it's a big mortgage. I still can't believe we have paid our own mortgage down so much since joining the mfw board in 2010 up to our eyes in debt as well! Sticking with it defiantly works
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 £38,545 / £17,514.78 paid so far

    Mortgage £47,354 years 8 months left. Total owed £62,871.22 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weight loss target 37lb/22lb gone.
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 2nd Sep 17, 10:03 AM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Hi Michelle I have been enjoying reading your diary - I also have a big mortgage and agree it does feel like a mountain to climb. However you can make good in roads into it if you stick to the plan and keep plugging away. You have done brilliantly well and will be sub a quarter of a million soon.
    Good luck with the lodger !
    Originally posted by Busy Mee1
    Thanks Busy Mee1! We will get there eventually, right? And an MFW diary seems to be a good way to keep on track with like minded people and get there much quicker.

    Well done, passing a milestone does help with motivation a lot when it's a big mortgage. I still can't believe we have paid our own mortgage down so much since joining the mfw board in 2010 up to our eyes in debt as well! Sticking with it defiantly works
    Originally posted by newgirly
    Thanks newgirly! It's great to see that people keep coming back for years, great incentive for those of us just starting out.
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 2nd Sep 17, 10:14 AM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    It was payday on Thursday, and as OH covered the bills from their payslip on the 20th, I dropped most of mine into the kitchen savings account. We also got the last payment from lodger #1 and so put it on the mortgage.

    Got to week 3 on my couch to 5k running app which means the app started asking for money. I was hesitant because it's £2.79 (not a huge amount, I know) for something I will hopefully not need again by Christmas. But in the end I decided that you can't really put that much of a price on your health. And I've dropped the first 1/2 stone of the 2 1/2 stone gain which is wonderful. It doesn't need to come off quickly, as long as it comes off!

    Physiotherapy next week again, the fallout from the original damage caused my kneecap to twist so I have loads of exercises and prodding to stick it back into the right place. Eventually the muscles should build up enough for it to stay of it's own accord.

    Since targets seem to be going around, here are my September targets.

    1. Break the £250,000 mark on the mortgage.
    2. Put £2000 into the kitchen fund.
    3. Move gas/electric supplier before the 50% BG increase on October 4th.
    4. Clear out lodger #1 room and encourage lodger #2 to leave quickly!
    5. Measure up spare rooms and decide on furniture/decoration.
    6. Lose 4lbs (the holiday make this a litle harder...)
    7. Complete weeks 3, 4 & 5 of the couch to 5k challenge.

    Current Balance: £250,600.00
    Kitchen Savings: £4,500/£13,000
    Last edited by michelle09; 03-09-2017 at 4:02 PM.
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 4th Sep 17, 6:12 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Target number 1 cleared already! Mortgage day and I rounded it up, so we are now at £250,000.00 exactly. Which is not only a lovely round figure, but also puts us passed the end of year two balance nine months early. Definitely a nice thing to focus on while I recalculate our budgets without the rent money in.

    This evening OH was off work and so cooked us a lovely roast gammon (with enough for bubble and squeak tomorrow and Wednesday!) and now we are off to Wembley for the England v Slovakia match. I'm guessing that the tickets didn't sell well because they offered them to emergency service workers at the weekend for £10 each instead of the planned £55. We're both into football but neither of us have seen England men's team play and we can get to Wembley on the bus so no extra expense.

    Current Balance: £250,000.00
    Kitchen Savings: £4,500/£13,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 6th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Been keeping busy, sorted out our bank accounts and dropped another £100 on the mortgage so it was under the £250k mark. Called the mortgage provider and had our monthly payments recalculated and another £6.50 has come off! I know it's better to reduce the term but as we have unlimited OP capacity and no-one knows what the future holds, I like to have the mandatory payment as low as possible.

    Have put in an application on the MSE big switch to move our gas and electric to EDF, hopefully it goes well. They're estimating an extra £200/year, which is £200 less than the BG renewal estimate and I'm hoping with the lodgers gone it should drop to about what it was last year.

    Dad had an office clearout and found the £10 premium bond that my grandmother bought in my name the day I was born, so it's been in quite a few draws! As £10 wouldn't make much of a difference to our budget, I've decided to leave it in there, so maybe one day it'll be a lovely surprise. And OH has always been keen on "investing".

    Knee is playing up quite a bit today - suspect the walk to Wembley didn't do it much good. So no gym tonight, icing it this evening and hoping to go tomorrow.

    September Goal Update
    1. Break the £250,000 mark on the mortgage.
    2. Put £2000 into the kitchen fund.
    3. Move gas/electric supplier before the 50% BG increase on October 4th.
    4. Clear out lodger #1 room and encourage lodger #2 to leave quickly!
    5. Measure up spare rooms and decide on furniture/decoration.
    6. Lose 4lbs (the holiday make this a little harder...)
    7. Complete weeks 3, 4 & 5 of the couch to 5k challenge.

    Current Balance: £249,900.00
    Kitchen Savings: £4,500/£13,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 9th Sep 17, 2:39 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    Another week gone! And another 1 1/2lbs, so happy with that. Ended up at work 3 hours after my shift yesterday so really hoping the overtime is approved for that one.

    Lodger #2 has asked for a reference so I think they'll be off soon. They're viewing other places today in case the first one falls through.

    Cooking today. One of our groups of friends tend to meet up at someone's house rather than go out. We've taken to assigning a "theme" and all bringing a dish that relates to that. Today is aubergines. Trying to be a bit different I have an aubergine chocolate cake in the oven. Pureed aubergine is not the most attractive looking thing in the world, but the cake smells all right. Fingers crossed it tastes good!

    Current Balance: £249,900.00
    Kitchen Savings: £4,500/£13,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 15th Sep 17, 3:02 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,483 Thanks
    michelle09
    The aubergine cake was a success! Probably won't do it again real soon because with aubergines, ground almonds, a lot of dark chocolate and most of a jar of honey, it wasn't the cheapest thing to make. But it was very moist and went very well with ice cream.

    Expensive week this week - my professional registration was up for renewal. Which is several hundred pounds paid out just to be allowed to go to work. On the bright side, I need to sort my tax return soon and I can offset the last three years against it which will make job #2 almost tax free.

    Both OH and I are off work today so having a lazy one. Been to the gym, watched some TV, made a lovely chicken and basil risotto with some leftover chicken from the roast earlier in the week. Bought some curtains with an Amazon voucher from TCB for lodger #1's old room so will put those up this evening if they turn up soon.

    Current Balance: £249,900.00
    Kitchen Savings: £4,500/£13,000
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