What to Do First???

Hi - I am a first time poster looking for advice.

I have 3 main priorities...

1. Become debt free (circa £12k debt)
2. Make urgent repairs to my house (Need circa £5k)
3. Save a deposit for a new house

My current house has been in negative equity for years. However, the market is showing signs that I may be able to sell and clear the mortgage without too much of a shortfall.
However, in order to get the full market value my house needs some work doing first as there are some damp problems which are only getting worse.

I have desperately wanted to get out of my current home for a long time now and this is my main goal. However, I would also like to be debt free with a good sized deposit before looking to move.

I recognise that saving the deposit is the lowest priority but I'm unsure on points one and two.

If I plough all of my disposable income into paying off debts, this will free up much more cash to repair the house and save a deposit. So this makes sense to me and would be my preferred option.

However, the damp problems have been getting significantly worse recently and I don't have the £5k needed for the renovations right now. So, this means taking out more credit to do this first and then focus on paying back the debt and then saving for a deposit.

I'm unsure what to do as it doesn't seem right to create additional debt when I'm trying to clear what I have (plus it won't help my credit score). But I'm also worried that if I leave the house problems, they will cost me much more in the long term.

Sorry for the long winded post - any advice most welcome. Should I prioritise fixing the house or paying off debts in order to get me into a new property asap?


  • I am so sorry you haven't had an answer yet. Really you need EnthusiasticSaver or Beanie to give advice.

    In my view if you could sell the house and pay off your debts AND have enough for a deposit that would be good. Probably not likely??

    Whatever you decide you need savings AND you need to pay off the debts so for me I would divide the wages up in to bills, spending money, and what remains divided in half between savings and debt?

    I think at some point you will get clear on what you want to do. it sounds like you want to leave your house?

    Nevertheless she persisted.
  • Also, can you get quotes for the work and see what you are definitely dealing with? Are there any small jobs you could get done to feel like you are making progress?
    Nevertheless she persisted.
  • Hi, thank you for replying and for the advice.

    I've had 2 quotes this week and getting one more tomorrow so I have a rough idea of what I'm dealing with. Looks to be around £4k which I don't currently have.

    I do have the disposable income to save it, but it will take me a good few months and I'm worried that the damp problem will get worse while I'm saving and will cost me more in the long run. But on the other hand I really don't want more credit.

    I am going to find out if I can do the more vital outside work now and then leave the cosmetics until later. Hopefully that might help.

    Also really trying to do some of the smaller jobs and feel like I'm doing something.

  • Hey Lau2710,

    It sounds like you've got a plan and I know how much it sucks to need to take on extra debt when you just want it gone. However it does sound like the damp problem could get worse if not sorted. Plus it's your health & home so it's pretty important.

    What kind of interest rate is your £12k on? If this has room for improvement could it all be rolled up together with the costs for the damp repairs too? There maybe an opportunity to save on interest here.

    If you're already on a good rate with the £12k I would look at any additional earnings you could make to cover the damp repairs to avoid taking more debt on. :)
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 89,313
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    I think in a way it comes down to a variety of things.
    Why dont you get a couple of estate agents out to value the propery,
    i Without work being done
    ii With work being done.
    Then take it from there.
    Would it be fesible to sell & rent short term & hammer down debts?
    Anything you can sell to help with debt/work on house?
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 2021****
    "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.
    ***Keep plodding*** Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
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