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  • FIRST POST
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 31st Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    • 84Posts
    • 358Thanks
    rawr_
    Rawr_'s Saving Diary
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    Rawr_'s Saving Diary 31st Dec 17 at 4:50 PM
    Tomorrow is the start of a new year, and I'm looking to save a lot of money over 2018!

    A bit about me... I live in a fairly rural area of Norfolk, currently living with my husband in his Mum & Dad's house (which they will be selling when we move out) whilst they are living in Scotland. This has been a big help for us while we save for our own house. We got married in October 2016, and have been saving for a house since then, and with a lot of scrimping and some extra help from family, we now have a deposit for our first home.

    Initially, I though "Yes! The scrimping is over!". Oh how I am wrong. My husband will be going back to Uni (won't be going until Sep 2019) part-time for 4 years, which means there will be some parts of it where we may be living on just my wage, as he will have to do some placements. I'm also 25 (DH is 29) and would like to start a family. I'm the higher wage earner of us both, so would like some money behind me before we start having a family so that I could have some decent maternity leave and not have to worry about going back to work too soon.

    I've started this thread to keep tracking of my spending, and hopefully make myself accountable for the things I do spend money on. I go through phases of splurging and having an "oh well you only live once" attitude, which I need to stop if I want to money proof for future plans!

    I'd also welcome any tips from anyone that may be going through a similar thing, with more than one thing that they need to save for!

    Happy saving!
    #77 Save 12k in 2018 [Savings Pot for 2018]: £880.73 / £6000

    Current House fund (buying in 2018?!): £17,262.02
Page 3
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 3rd Feb 18, 9:17 PM
    • 1,670 Posts
    • 1,136 Thanks
    Alexland
    I know right. I kind of hope it does backfire on them. They have an open house today, and I'm guessing the estate agent will ring me again next week so I'll be interested to know whether they do actually get any better offers on it. I think maybe some people that don't do their research on houses previously sold down that road may pay more, but I hope they don't get blindsided. It does make me think though that I probably wouldn't want to deal with them now, even if they did accept a lower offer in the future...
    Originally posted by rawr_
    Yeah if a seller isn't committed to a transaction and is still on the lookout for a better offer you don't want to get too involved. There are plenty more properties out there to find. I have always asked if the seller or buyer is happy before instructing our solicitors to start work.
    Last edited by Alexland; 03-02-2018 at 9:21 PM.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 4th Feb 18, 12:35 AM
    • 858 Posts
    • 695 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    I know right. I kind of hope it does backfire on them. They have an open house today, and I'm guessing the estate agent will ring me again next week so I'll be interested to know whether they do actually get any better offers on it. I think maybe some people that don't do their research on houses previously sold down that road may pay more, but I hope they don't get blindsided. It does make me think though that I probably wouldn't want to deal with them now, even if they did accept a lower offer in the future...
    Originally posted by rawr_
    That's how I'd feel. If this is how they have behaved at such an early stage what else won't you be able to trust them over? You will find the right house, and in the meantime plenty of opportunity to build the finances to not only pay for it, but enjoy it too!
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 5th Feb 18, 9:15 AM
    • 84 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    rawr_
    Yeah if a seller isn't committed to a transaction and is still on the lookout for a better offer you don't want to get too involved. There are plenty more properties out there to find. I have always asked if the seller or buyer is happy before instructing our solicitors to start work.
    Originally posted by Alexland
    That's how I'd feel. If this is how they have behaved at such an early stage what else won't you be able to trust them over? You will find the right house, and in the meantime plenty of opportunity to build the finances to not only pay for it, but enjoy it too!
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    Thank you both - I'm glad I'm not sounding silly by feeling like this! Definitely feel like I wouldn't be able to trust them, and to be honest I'm a little angry at the estate agent for letting them act this way. Oh well, onwards and upwards - and yes, more opportunity to save save save!
    #77 Save 12k in 2018 [Savings Pot for 2018]: £880.73 / £6000

    Current House fund (buying in 2018?!): £17,262.02
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 5th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
    • 1,670 Posts
    • 1,136 Thanks
    Alexland
    Thank you both - I'm glad I'm not sounding silly by feeling like this! Definitely feel like I wouldn't be able to trust them, and to be honest I'm a little angry at the estate agent for letting them act this way. Oh well, onwards and upwards - and yes, more opportunity to save save save!
    Originally posted by rawr_
    With estate agents it helps to have low expectations and then you never feel disappointed in them.

    Some are good at their jobs and they still have the opportunity to delight you but remember they are working for the seller not you. However they aren't really working for the seller either as they are happy to sell a property for a bit less than it's really worth as they get most of their commission anyway. They are most interested that the deal goes through and you are a credible buyer.

    Also remember that they are often seeking to profit from the buyer too by introducing you to their mortgage broker, solicitor, etc. I have found with their brokers they will just want to charge you a high fee or maybe try and sell you some unattractive insurance product. With the solicitors I understand the estate agent takes a circa 40% referral commission and then connects you to a primitive call center operation where they have low proportions of qualified people to uninterested worker bees. Always go direct to a good local solicitor (checking they are approved for HTB ISA or LISA transactions if required) as they cost about the same as they don't have to pay referral fees.

    Alex.
    Last edited by Alexland; 05-02-2018 at 4:56 PM. Reason: Added detail
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 7th Feb 18, 12:33 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    rawr_
    With estate agents it helps to have low expectations and then you never feel disappointed in them.

    Some are good at their jobs and they still have the opportunity to delight you but remember they are working for the seller not you. However they aren't really working for the seller either as they are happy to sell a property for a bit less than it's really worth as they get most of their commission anyway. They are most interested that the deal goes through and you are a credible buyer.

    Also remember that they are often seeking to profit from the buyer too by introducing you to their mortgage broker, solicitor, etc. I have found with their brokers they will just want to charge you a high fee or maybe try and sell you some unattractive insurance product. With the solicitors I understand the estate agent takes a circa 40% referral commission and then connects you to a primitive call center operation where they have low proportions of qualified people to uninterested worker bees. Always go direct to a good local solicitor (checking they are approved for HTB ISA or LISA transactions if required) as they cost about the same as they don't have to pay referral fees.

    Alex.
    Originally posted by Alexland
    No wonder is is so stressful buying a house. We were going to go with a mortgage broker, but have already been warned about all the extra insurance that they'll try and sell us. I have noticed that since we put an offer in, they have kept me in the loop with properties coming in, so I think I have proved I am a credible buyer now which is good as it sounds like I'm one of the first to know about certain properties.

    I think as it's our first house, we wanted to go through a mortgage broker so it would hopefully take some of the stress out of it. It was put to me that they'll do the chasing with the solicitor etc as that's art of what we'd be paying for. I'm open to hearing suggestions of not going with one though. Is it true you get access to better interest rates or is it all myth?
    #77 Save 12k in 2018 [Savings Pot for 2018]: £880.73 / £6000

    Current House fund (buying in 2018?!): £17,262.02
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 7th Feb 18, 12:53 PM
    • 858 Posts
    • 695 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    No wonder is is so stressful buying a house. We were going to go with a mortgage broker, but have already been warned about all the extra insurance that they'll try and sell us. I have noticed that since we put an offer in, they have kept me in the loop with properties coming in, so I think I have proved I am a credible buyer now which is good as it sounds like I'm one of the first to know about certain properties.

    I think as it's our first house, we wanted to go through a mortgage broker so it would hopefully take some of the stress out of it. It was put to me that they'll do the chasing with the solicitor etc as that's art of what we'd be paying for. I'm open to hearing suggestions of not going with one though. Is it true you get access to better interest rates or is it all myth?
    Originally posted by rawr_
    Using a broker can be worth it, particularly with regards to them knowing which lenders are best to apply to in your position. Have a look at the information about brokers on this site.

    You don't have to take any of the insurances they may try to sell. Just refuse and if they continue trying tell them that you aren't interested and it isn't up for discussion.
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 7th Feb 18, 9:17 PM
    • 1,670 Posts
    • 1,136 Thanks
    Alexland
    There is no harm listening to the broker but be lukewarm and don't let them put you under any pressure. Take time to reflect before you verbally agree or sign anything. They can put you under a lot of pressure and you might regret it later.

    I have listened several times but for our situations it has always been cheaper to arrange the mortgage direct with a high street lender. At one time the broker was only £500 more expensive but that was the best it ever got.

    One provided me a copy of their contact and it was deliberately over-complicated - and part of my job is managing lengthy contracts have been amended many times over multiple decades.

    Buying a property is a life event and its worth considering if you have enough protection - life insurance, critical illness cover, etc but you can usually get better deals direct.

    Finally in terms of the broker chasing your completion, who knows if they will bother or have any positive input, but in my experience it's better to reduce the number of involved parties to reduce the relaying of messages which is what causes the delay.

    You shouldn't need to chase a good local solicitor. It's a bit backward to pay a broker in the hope they do unrelated work chasing someone else you are paying who should be doing a good job anyway.

    Alex
    Last edited by Alexland; 07-02-2018 at 9:25 PM.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 7th Feb 18, 9:39 PM
    • 858 Posts
    • 695 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    I don't necessarily disagree with any of what Alex says, but the broker can be helpful in getting the mortgage agreed. Their services aren't really about chasing the solicitor or trying to get to exchange of contracts. They can be beneficial in getting the mortgage offer.

    Applying direct is fine, but not all mortgage deals are available direct and you don't now exactly what the different companies are looking for in their customers and their key lending criteria (which a broker should do). I'm not saying don't apply directly, but compare what the broker is offering with what is available directly. Find good deals online using the Mortgage Best Buys part of this site https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/best-buys/ and then see what the broker comes up with.

    Make sure the broker you use will actually check all lenders as many won't. Ask them if they can get you a mortgage from any UK lender to be sure of this. An option that is often recommended is London & Country Mortgages (I have never used them so can't comment) as they search all lenders except those who won't pay a commission to them. Because they work off the lender's commission they won't search direct only deals, but you will have this information from your search already. You don't pay a fee with London & Country.
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 7th Feb 18, 10:02 PM
    • 1,670 Posts
    • 1,136 Thanks
    Alexland
    I guess if you are looking for a high LTV, income multiplier, BTL, have a patchy income or credit history, etc then a broker might add some value introducing you to a specialist lender but even then the type of guy that sits at the back of an estate agents in a dank room with hard sell tactics might not be your best bet.

    I've been there and it wasn't pretty. The scumy estate agent did their best to hint that I wouldn't be able to buy the property if I didn't use their broker. I stayed cool, declined the broker's assistance and it was fine - they didn't want to lose their sale commission.

    Personally, as a mainstream customer, I have always found the high street lenders to be very competitive on mortgage rates. It's a lot easier just entering into one mortgage deal than a broker contact and a mortgage deal. Less T&C's to keep track of.

    Alex
    Last edited by Alexland; 07-02-2018 at 10:15 PM.
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 8th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    rawr_
    Thank you both Alexland and ValiantSon for your replies

    After your comments, me and my husband spoke at great lengths about our options, and we have decided that going with a broker will still be the best option for us as we feel we will be walked through it a bit. As you say it's a big investment, and I think for the first time I'd like someone to go through. We were also thinking that we might go with a broker that is independent from an estate agent - I haven't enjoyed the 'hard sell' tactics of the estate agent brokers (I still have one calling me every few weeks to see how we are getting on, which I have recently been ignoring because it's so frustrating).
    #77 Save 12k in 2018 [Savings Pot for 2018]: £880.73 / £6000

    Current House fund (buying in 2018?!): £17,262.02
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 9th Feb 18, 4:52 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    rawr_
    So, house stuff aside I'm still saving for the 'other' pot. I had been a bit naughty last weekend though, and bought a cross trainer (with Christmas money I had put into my savings pot) as I need to start doing some exercise. This is a cheaper option to having a gym membership that I won't have time to use. I used to go to the gym, but it's just so difficult when I have to pick the husband up from work and bring him home, I then don't want to drive back to the town where we work (15 miles) to go to the gym, I'd be using a lot more fuel.

    The idea is I'll use the cross trainer 3/4 times a week instead - so far I've been strict with myself and it's working. I have an office job so am sat down most of the day, and have been feeling a little better the last few days.

    Fridays are shopping days, so will be going to do the weekly shop soon. We don't need too much, although I thought that last week but still managed to spend £50. I did an Ocado shop last week, so freezer is full of lots of good mock meats so for some of the meals I just need little bits to go with them

    I've worked from home today working on a presentation I have to do next Thursday at work, so I've been stress eating as I hate doing things like that. Hope everyone has good weekends!
    #77 Save 12k in 2018 [Savings Pot for 2018]: £880.73 / £6000

    Current House fund (buying in 2018?!): £17,262.02
    • Fatbritabroad
    • By Fatbritabroad 10th Feb 18, 8:06 AM
    • 283 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Fatbritabroad
    Using a broker can be worth it, particularly with regards to them knowing which lenders are best to apply to in your position. Have a look at the information about brokers on this site.

    You don't have to take any of the insurances they may try to sell. Just refuse and if they continue trying tell them that you aren't interested and it isn't up for discussion.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    Depends which broker you use mine has never even mentioned insurance. 200 fee plus whatever commission they get is worth it not to have to fill in most of the paperwork tbh (accepting that's not very mse. Also last time I remortgaged a better deal came up just before we started the remortgage process. He contacted me to tell me and saved me 100quid a month. I'd have never have bothered to check again once I had a promise
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