Where to focus - mortgage, renovations etc?

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  • edinburgher
    edinburgher Posts: 13,462 Forumite
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    You can get IVF for £5k? Friends have been advised it could potentially be 5x that once they've exhausted their free NHS rounds!
  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
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    I'm not an IVF expert, but my experience so far tells me it's incredibly individual and depends on what's wrong, what treatment is needed etc. It's much, much cheaper to go abroad, and they have good success rates. However there are different rules in place, and for us it's not the right option. 
  • killerpeaty
    killerpeaty Posts: 2,646 Forumite
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    shellstar said:
    I'm not sure it's that safe to save your EF into shares, if you do have an emergency you would need to get the cash out quickly. Sometimes this is not possible with shares. Additionally if your shares have fallen then you are crystallising your losses.

    Can Now TV cover the sports? I'm not sure, just asking.

    As for entertaining, ask your friends to bring pot luck! No issues at all! Most reasonable people recognise that hosting costs money.
    I've definitely thought about whether or not the emergency fund should be in the shares, especially given that at the moment, the shares are struggling a little. I guess at the moment, give our current savings it's more of a nest egg, and if there really was an emergency I'd cover from the instant access accounts we have. If/when those savings get spent I probably need to re-evaluate that and consider moving some funds out to be more accessible. 

    Good idea on the pot luck. I'm an ok cook but some of our friends are much better than me! I'll look into whether or not Now TV will give him the matches he likes. One of his friends has an illegal route in but I feel very funny about that and have vetoed the idea. 
    That seems very reasonable to me! Investing is also a good move for your future self

    I'm with you on the no illegal! You can afford the sky package, so why risk the potential legal headache?

    Have you had any more thoughts regarding your headline question of renovation versus other areas?
  • kiwi77
    kiwi77 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Hello - we also live in Oxfordshire. We'd planned to do a big extension to be able to stay in our house ... the quotes were coming in at £2400 per square metre for the new build component and £1600 for refurbishment of existing so it worked out about 40% cheaper to buy the space. Build costs and materials are just through the roof - and that was before the war in Ukraine has impacted supply chains even further. So I would temper your house plans - do what you need to to make it liveable. As you say, the years are ticking so fertility treatment is the priority and having personal experience with that the last thing you need is house stress! I hope you're successful with having a baby ... and then anticipate (if you are both going to be working full time after a years maternity leave) to spend £40K for nursery fees in this County. We finished with nursery mid-2020 and prices have gone up about about 10% since then. That was for a full time place from 13 months old through til starting school. It is like having a second mortgage - - the most expensive month cost us £1350 - this is a pricey part of the country to live in! Once they go to school there's more room to breathe! In short - be careful not to bite off more than you can choose. Make a plan with baby coming first ... everything else can follow in good time :)
  • kiwi77
    kiwi77 Posts: 15 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    When I say 'buy the space' we ended up withdrawing our planning application, selling and buying a house not far from here. Reakon overall we've got a mortgage about £100K cheaper than we would have done if we had done the build and could easily have ended up overcapitalising on our old house. Not a sensible financial move. Think about what the ceiling value is for your current house and work out how much it is worth spending on it ... a bit over is worth it if its your forever home but there's got to be a limit ... good luck!


  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Thanks for all the food for thought from everyone, it's been really helpful! We've spent most of the jubilee weekend continuing our loft renovations. It's taking an age but we're saving a lot of money by doing it ourselves. I got a discount on some really nice paint at the weekend, and will do 2nd coat of that tonight. We're then all set for our flooring to arrive on Friday (feeling smug about that, as I ordered it over Easter and got the Easter sale price, which I can see is 10% more than the Jubilee sale price they currently have). 

    In terms of the original question we were pondering, we've come to the following conclusion on priority order:

    1 - Fertility treatment. I'm just waiting for the consultant to review all our paper work and hoping to hear this week about when we can start treatment. We have half the funds for this in savings already, and I'm due a bonus within the next 2-3 weeks (possibly even this week) which I know will cover the rest. Fingers crossed it leads to a baby. We've got a package that will cover several cycles, and 50% refund if we don't have a live baby at the end, but it's still a lot of money and I don't think we'll be doing it again if it doesn't work. The package does contain two HFEA amber rated treatments, but no red so I do think it is the right root for us. We're out of pocket by about £5k if it works first time, but the stats say it doesn't for most people, and it will save money in the long run if that is the case for us as well. 

    2 - Finish the loft. We began this renovation before we really understood just how much everything had gone up. We're turning two tiny bedrooms and a tiny bathroom into a good size master bedroom and en-suite. Once this is done, we'll then pause renovations (bar buying me a cheap new oven because the one we inherited when we bought the place is dreadful and the thought of cooking on it for the next however many years is not appealing). 

    3 - Once the loft is finished, we'll focus on the mortgage. We'll still put a small amount by for renovations/maintenance but will aim to put most of our savings towards paying down the mortgage as quick as we can. We think this is the best focus for now. Hoping for at least 70/30 split in favour of the mortgage, savings wise. 

    4 - We still hope to do the renovations, but we've realised that if we plan carefully, we may be better off getting this all done in a one go, in however many years it takes to save the money. Might make the job more attractive for a builder, as it will be a larger project and hopefully that would save money in the long run. 

    That plan will need adjusting a bit if we do have a baby, as I don't think we'll be able to save for the mortgage AND renovations if we have nursery fees to pay, but instead we'll have to see what is left over after anything the baby needs and that will all go to the mortgage. 

    On the plus side, we've worked out that we can both spare an extra £60 per month against the mortgage each month, and so I've just asked our lender to set-up a regular overpayment of £120 per month. So we've actually started the overpayment journey today! Whoop whoop! 
  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    So, having been quoted £7,700 to replace three existing Velux windows, I managed to find a quote for £5,200 (I've only managed to get 2 companies to take my call/agree to quote. Everyone else either ignores the request or says they don't do velux or equivalent). Just had a message to say prices are going up 9%, so we won't be going ahead. I realise prices won't be coming down, but it's not cash we have spare for just 3 windows. The survey said they need doing, but from what I can tell, it's because the glass has blown. We're going to paint the frame (which is wood, scuffed but otherwise seems ok) and get some window blinds as it will be our bedroom, and leave it at that for now. 

    Crazy what prices are doing right now. I heard fewer people are giving to food banks at the moment because they can't afford to do so, so I'm going to look at upping our donations. My mum is also starting to struggle because of the cost of energy (she wasn't fixed, cos when her company went bust British Gas told her she couldn't. I wasn't aware of any of this at the time), and she has my disabled brother living at home with her (he's older, but can't work), so I'm going to start helping her out with some bills as well. Just awful what is happening at the moment. We had tough times as a kid and no help, so I'm so grateful I'm able to help my mum now, but this shouldn't be happening like this. My mum is lucky I can help, but so many others won't have that safety net of family if all are in the same boat. It's awful. 
  • South_coast
    South_coast Posts: 4,916 Forumite
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    If the sealed units have blown, you should be able to just get them changed and keep the existing frames for a lot less money. Speak to a local glass and glazing (rather than window) company for a quote. 
    Mortgage start: £65,495 (March 2016)
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    Finally earning interest instead of paying it!!!
  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    If the sealed units have blown, you should be able to just get them changed and keep the existing frames for a lot less money. Speak to a local glass and glazing (rather than window) company for a quote. 
    Thanks for the suggestion South_Coast. I had a similar thought, and I've contacted about 6 different companies to ask about this now and either get no response, or told they don't do it. It's a wooden frame so I don't know if that makes a difference. Either way, I'm a bit sick of trying to sort it tbh. I think we'll put up with it for now and review when supply chains are a lot less challenged. I don't know what it's like in other parts, but round here (Oxfordshire) it seems impossible to get anywhere. Even those who quoted us for full window replacement said it would be estimated 20 weeks and 12 weeks respectively before they could do the work! Not a good time for home improvement at the moment I don't think. 
  • powerspowers
    powerspowers Posts: 1,115 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    shellstar said:
    So, having been quoted £7,700 to replace three existing Velux windows, I managed to find a quote for £5,200 (I've only managed to get 2 companies to take my call/agree to quote. Everyone else either ignores the request or says they don't do velux or equivalent). Just had a message to say prices are going up 9%, so we won't be going ahead. I realise prices won't be coming down, but it's not cash we have spare for just 3 windows. The survey said they need doing, but from what I can tell, it's because the glass has blown. We're going to paint the frame (which is wood, scuffed but otherwise seems ok) and get some window blinds as it will be our bedroom, and leave it at that for now. 

    Crazy what prices are doing right now. I heard fewer people are giving to food banks at the moment because they can't afford to do so, so I'm going to look at upping our donations. My mum is also starting to struggle because of the cost of energy (she wasn't fixed, cos when her company went bust British Gas told her she couldn't. I wasn't aware of any of this at the time), and she has my disabled brother living at home with her (he's older, but can't work), so I'm going to start helping her out with some bills as well. Just awful what is happening at the moment. We had tough times as a kid and no help, so I'm so grateful I'm able to help my mum now, but this shouldn't be happening like this. My mum is lucky I can help, but so many others won't have that safety net of family if all are in the same boat. It's awful. 
    Have your mum and brother had a benefit check at all? So many people are struggling but not in receipt of everything they are entitled to and a lot of the help measures are tied to benefits. Sorry if you’ve been down that road already 
    MFW 2021 #76 £5,145
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