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Forever Home Fund

I have been lurking here for a few weeks and decided it was time to stick my head above the parapet :)

I'm a bit of a fraud TBH, I don't even have a mortgage, but OH and I are saving to buy a house so it's kinda the same thing - will you let me join in?

OH and I are both mid (ahem, okay getting less mid by the day) 30s and currently rent a lovely house on a farm with no passing traffic and about a quarter of an acre garden. And there lies the problem... we can't find anything similar in the Thames Valley for a price we can even look at without smelling salts :eek:

So. we're saving and looking but as we don't have a target in mind we can lose out way a bit... that's where the diary comes in. I shall use this as a way of staying on track and keeping a record of where I am, it's good to be accountable.

I'd love to buy a place but it has to be the right place so we might be in for a long wait.

Why the forever home now? It's us, 3 cats, 18 ducks, 4 cars, 5 motorbikes, a tankful of tropical fish, a garden full of plants, a 3-bed semi filled to bursting, a garage, two outhouses, a greenhouse and a shed to find a new home for :cool:


  • Goldiegirl
    Goldiegirl Posts: 8,805 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
    Hello, you are very welcome.

    I don't have a mortgage either, but I think that a MFW lifestyle helps to achieve other life goals as well.

    Good luck with your plans
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
  • katep23
    katep23 Posts: 1,406 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks Goldie, just been reading your diary funnily enough! It's lovely to get a view from the other side of the MFW spectrum.
  • FloppyDisk
    FloppyDisk Posts: 864 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Oooh I think you'll find yourself very much at home here! Look forward to joining you on your journey.
    Mortgage Apr 18 £417,894 BTL Mar 18 £162,857
    Mortgage now -- £350,085 BTL now --- £162,668
  • katep23
    katep23 Posts: 1,406 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks FD!

    I find it hard not having a target so I think I need to set myself mini-goals to keep me on the straight and narrow. I tend to be pretty good with the pennies but as for those pounds... they have a habit of slipping the net.

    First plan is to have a bath with a glass of wine and a kit kat chunky to ponder on what objectives to set :rotfl:
  • littlegreenpeas
    Welcome, you will find lots of tips on here on how to reduce your outgoings. It's a real eye opener of how people make there budgets large or small go as far as possible.

    Look forward to following your progress.

    Mortgage value was £135,000 now £43,218
    TCB total £1200
  • katep23
    katep23 Posts: 1,406 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Sooo, been at college both days this weekend and am exhausted - was so tempted to get a takeaway on the way home but resisted :D We had chicken burger /kiev (OH had kiev) with home made chips and beans instead, not really good for us but easy and cheap!

    Friday was pay day but I haven't really stopped because of studying this weekend so my plan is to shuffle money tomorrow and see where I am; my head hurts too much tonight to have a chance of getting it right :o

    Hmm, should probably fess up here, I have a bit of a thing about making sure I have enough food in, which has lead to, let's say, rather full cupboards and freezer.

    So a big part of my plan is to use up what we have a. to reduce grocery costs (which will also look good when applying for a mortgage ;)) and b. so we don't have to move all this stuff when we eventually find somewhere.

    So my objectives to be completed by end of next weekend:
    • Shuffle money (I have a "spare" current account which I will move money into so I can see how much I have - and not dip into it - then it will go into my regular saver ISA when I have saved as much as I can)
    • Inventory freezer
    • Inventory larder
    • Meal plan for June - I can't get my head around a set meal plan but I will work out a month's worth of meals and each evening we can pick what we want for the next day
    Hmm, feel better for having a list.

    Will be back tomorrow after I have moved money about.
  • Goldiegirl
    Goldiegirl Posts: 8,805 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
    I did a freezer inventory in April and attempt to keep it up to date, every time something goes in or out. I feel a lot more in control now!

    I also started meal planning as well. I usually do it for about two weeks ahead, and it's all quite fluid, days can be swopped around as required

    It does seem to work quite well
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
  • lulabelle1
    lulabelle1 Posts: 2,693 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    The place you rent sounds wonderful..... Do you have the option to continue to rent long term?

    Perhaps you could save a deposit and use it to fund a Buy to Let and continue to live where you are if you're happy?

    That way at lest you have some sort of investment in bricks and mortar but you get to live somewhere you love without having to compromise.

    Just a crazy thought to start the day with!!
  • edinburgher
    edinburgher Posts: 13,479 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 3 June 2014 at 9:18AM
    Welcome to Buy To Let Wannabe :D (just kidding Lula)

    What sort of fish do you keep? I have a tank myself and either love them or hate them (depending on how many plants they dig up overnight).

    Have you considered something along the lines of Help To Buy? A headline in the T3legraph yesterday suggested that the average FTB using the scheme in London earned £80k, so it may be of some use even for expensive houses in the SE. We'd quite like to buy a house at some point in the not too distant future and there would seem to be a lot of pros (and a few cons) to it.
  • katep23
    katep23 Posts: 1,406 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 3 June 2014 at 8:48PM
    Ooh, lost my post!

    Lots of visitors - hello!

    Lulabelle, where we are is lovely. We have been here 6 years and the house is held in Trust and can't be sold so we could conceivably stay here for the longer term.

    We have actually considered a buy to let as we are near a large university town with lots of companies and excellent transport links so it hs a very buoyant rental market. We would also then be able to have a foot on the ladder when house prices continue to rise.

    We are however starting to have a few issues here and they are about to build a new bypass and several thousand new homes on the doorstep so it is the right time to consider the future.

    That said, we have been very spoilt living here so finding the right place will be difficult and we need to carefully consider where our future lies.

    Edinburgher, we have tropical fish. After some shockingly bad advice from our local aquatic "expert" along with several diseased fish we have finally arrived at a tank with small community fish such as copper harlequins and tetras and two catfish. I love sitting and watching them and now the tank has settled down they all get along very nicely.

    If we found a house now, we would have to use HTB as we have enough (just) for a 5% deposit, stamp duty, solicitors fees, moving costs and a small cushion in case anything goes wrong. My hope is to build up our savings for a 10% deposit as the rates are so much better but we are ready to go now if the right place came up!

    I know HTB mortgages are quite strict in terms of credit history so I recently checked all my files and am very glad I did as all my files were incorrect in some way! Noddle had a 6-month overdue payment (which was an error on the company's part - now corrected), Experian had no accounts linked to my file so it looked as if I had no credit and Equifax does not have me linked to OH. All sorted now though!

    So last month I managed to save £50 :D which actually was very good considering it was an expensive month - £300 on a new laptop (I may have dropped the last one, apparently they don't appreciate that :o), £470 for the first unit of my course and £160 for professional membership. I am pretty happy to have saved anything :D and this month should be much less expensive.

    Money shuffled, I need to find my chequebook for the previously unused current account I am funnelling savings into so I can pay that money into my regular saver ISA. Then anything else I make or save this month can go into that account ready to be moved to the ISA next month.

    Good news is we have come in under budget for the last two months so we have built up a surplus in the joint account to pay for the oil tank to be filled before the end of July, instead of OH and I paying half each from our bank accounts.
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