Fix Up, Look Sharp

Hi Everyone! I'm venturing over to MFW after a number of years on the DFW boards :) 

My husband and I bought our first house a few months ago. It is the kind of house that EA's would describe as "full of potential" - which means that it needs a lot of fixing up! - but we love it and are hopeful that with a bit a lot of work, we can make it into our dream house.

I want to carry over the habits I learnt from the DFW boards while hopefully learning more good habits here :) And have somewhere to keep all my thoughts about the refurbishing together! 

My main goals are : 
  • Get the first stage of work done within budget, minimising borrowing and without getting into bad habits
  • Get mortgage down as much as possible within the 5 year fix. We're on 2.49% now, but I think its going to be unlikely that these rates will be around when we remortgage, so I want to put us in as strong a position as possible.
We're doing as much of the refurb ourselves but there are some big ticket things that we've got to pay professionals for (rewiring; a new plumbing and central heating system; roof repairs).We're going to have to borrow some of the money for the plumbing/central heating, and I don't want that to tip me back into old mindsets and habits. I also want to make sure that we're minimising the borrowing as much as possible and that it is all repaid as soon as possible. 



  • I think you're right about the future mortgage rates.

    Try and pay some extra, this will help you when you come out of the fix & search the latest deals.

    Lower LTV gives the best rates.
    £52,365 owing December 2017.Now for the final countdown..1st Jan 2021 - £29,316 -- 1st Feb 2021 - £28,809 -- 1st Mar 2021 - £27,309 -- 1st Apr 2021 - £26,811 -- 1st May 2021 - £26,315 -- 1st Jun 2021 - £25,811 -- 1st Jul 2021 - £24,311 -- 1st Aug 2021 - £23,809 -- 1st Sep 2021 - £22,305 -- 1st Oct 2021 - £21,798 -- 1st Nov 2021 - £20,292 -- 1st Dec 2021 - £19,783 -- 1st Jan 2022 - £18,276 -- 1st Feb 2022 - £17,762 -- 1st Mar 2022 -£17,248 -- 1st Apr 2022 -£15,713 -- 1st May 2022 - £15,202 --1st Jun 2022 - £13,703 -- 1st Jul 2022 - £13,184 -- 1st Aug 2022 - £11,665 -- 1st Sep 2022 - £11,144 -- 1st Oct 2022 - £9,822 -- 1st Nov 2022 - £9,298 -- 1st Dec 2022 - £7,572 --1st Jan 2023 - £7,045 -- 1st Feb 2023 - £5,516 -- 10th Feb 2023 - £5,518 Overpayment Pot @ 10th Feb 23 = £5,518 / Primed = £0 / Actual debt = £0!!!! "Yes, the medicine is harsh, but the patient requires it in order to live, should we withhold the medicine?" Hopefully at zero mortgage debt by December 2022 or very close to it. Determined for freedom! 🍻🥂🍸🍹.
  • Thank you Thriftmaster :) 

    To start with I've set up a standing order for £85 each month, that rounds up the monthly payment to the nearest £100. 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 26,812
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Good luck on your journey 
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26% (lower post move compensated by EF)
    2) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £7,613/£127,466 AVC target 5.97%
    3) FI Age 60 annual income target £12,500/30,000 41.66%
    Achievements: CC free since April 22. 1 year EF from Jan 24 & dedicated pot for home improvements
  • Thank you @savingholmes :) 
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,742
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    That's me subscribed! Happy new diary! 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
  • Thank you @EssexHebridean - glad to have you along for the ride :) 
  • Squirrelz92
    Squirrelz92 Posts: 712
    Debt-free and Proud! First Anniversary First Post Photogenic
    Oooooh yay! Your continuation from debt free to mortgage free! Have subscribed!! x
    Debt Free Date: 24th October 2023! £7402.10 Paid Off In 6 Months!
    3 Month Emergency Fund: £3500 / £3500
    #60 2024 Mortgage-Free Wannabes: £200/£2500
  • Thank you @Squirrelz92 :) I've got a long way to go to mortgage freedom but hope I can get there :) 
  • I'm self-plagiarising from my old diary ... I try to do a round-up each month of savings, extra income, credit card debt etc. Goal for the next couple of months is to boost savings as much as possible before the really big work starts in the Autumn, and minimise any additional borrowing.

    June 2022 Round Up 


    House Repairs Fund - 34.32%

    Extra Income 

    Prolific Academic - £68.03
    Ipsos I-Say - £10 (Amazon Voucher)
    TopCashBack - £2.13
    YouGov - £50
    Shoppix - £10
    Bank Acc Switch Bonus - £125
    Tax Refund - £1240.72
    Interest on Savings - £31.75 (includes interest paid quarterly on sole and joint accounts)

    No Spend Days

    20/15 for June
    Target for July - 16
  • All extra income goes straight into the "house repairs pot". It varies from month-to-month, but I try to keep up with a couple of survey sites, receipt apps, and using cashback sites for online purchases. I also apply for focus groups and although it has been good so far this year, in usual times I only manage 1-2 a year. 

    June was pretty good for extra income mainly because I had a tax refund relating to pension contributions for 3 of the last 4 tax years. I will be able to put in a claim for last year once my employer sort out the P11D / P60 for the 2021/2022 year later this month so I hope that there will be another £500 to come. I also switched bank account to Nationwide and got their £125 bonus through. 

    On the financial to-do list for July is DH doing his own bank account switch to Nationwide. He's going to switch to one their premium accounts so we can get the packaged "free" international breakdown cover ahead of our holiday to France in August. Our car is over 20 years old, so breakdown cover is very expensive usually. We checked the T&Cs to make sure that the car will be covered by NW - and it is a relief that it is! There is also no minimum term that he has to keep the premium account open, so he can close once we get back from holiday. Even if he ends up paying the premium fees for 3 months, he should still make around £80 from the switching bonus - but hopefully we can get it down to 2 months. 

    Work on the house is going well. We used the Jubilee weekend to get a lot of grunt work done like ripping out things and garden clearance. We also paid out for a few things (asbestos survey, skip hire etc) so our house savings pot up and down a bit.  
    We're spending every weekend working on the house. We've got a shared spreadsheet with the to-do list, so we can check off each task as we go. Although we've got quite a bit that needs to be done by professionals, there are also lots of things that we can sort out ourselves so it is nice to see the to-do list getting shorter. 

    The big thing happening in July is a visit from a structural engineer to assess whether we can remove an internal wall in our bathroom. Our house has been extended a lot over the years which has resulted in a couple of weird rooms that created strange unusable spaces. I'm not 100% sure that we will extend the bathroom, but we'd like to know if it is possible and what the cost will be. We've spoken to a couple of builders, so assuming that the engineer says it is possible, we can get a better quote for removal of the wall and an idea of when they might be able to do it. 

    The smaller professional July job is getting the chimneys swept and cowls put on the top of the chimney pots; hopefully the sweep can fit us in the next few weeks. A big expense looming is filling up the oil tank. We've been putting aside money for this but it is a bit of an unknown - like all energy bills really! I've got no idea about consumption either, so will be monitoring this very closely. 

    We bought half a Howdens kitchen on ebay lol  We needed to replace the sink in our kitchen, and we got that and the cabinets & oak worksurfaces for the sink-side of our long galley kitchen for £200. When we turned up to collect, the seller gave us another 3 cabinets for free!
    I'm going to set up some alerts for units to replace the remaining units on the other side of the kitchen - we're in no rush, but it seems like there are a lot of people selling units on ebay and marketplace, either when having their kitchen redone or fitters selling extra stock, so perhaps we can gradually get the whole kitchen done. If not, we can either live with it being mismatched for a bit or we can probably find something from B&Q or Wickes that is a close enough. At the moment, the kitchen is sitting in our garage while we wait for the electrics to be redone. 
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