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  • FIRST POST
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 1st Jan 17, 4:24 PM
    • 773Posts
    • 4,219Thanks
    michelle09
    Plodding determinedly up a 300k mountain!
    • #1
    • 1st Jan 17, 4:24 PM
    Plodding determinedly up a 300k mountain! 1st Jan 17 at 4:24 PM
    Hi everyone! I have another thread on here but it is seriously out of date, so I figured I will start afresh. New year, new targets and all that.

    OH and I completed on our first house in May 2016. We had a sizeable deposit due to my ability to save and OH's inheritance. We could have afforded a decent flat but decided to buy a slightly rundown 3 bed end of terraced house and do it up while living in it. This seemed like a much better idea before we were living somewhere with a smashed in door, no hot water and only lighting in part of the house. So far we have plunged 20k into repairs (which sounds like a lot, but the doors, windows, bathroom, cloakroom, boiler, radiators, some of the wiring and floors are brand new). It's certainly been a character building experience, from turning up after completion to finding the old owner still living here, to getting the first batch of wiring fixed and discovering that every lightswitch in the house now turned on the kitchen light, but we are getting there slowly.

    The basic floorplan of the house we love, so once we are finished doing it up it will be brilliant. It's also in a great location, we are in London - hence the obscene price - but we are two minutes from the underground, can be in zone 1 in fifteen minutes from our front door, but can also be on the motorway out of London in the same time by car.

    We are now seeing the light at the end of the repairs, so in 2017 I want to start making a serious dent in our mortgage. I have taken on a second job and we have two friends renting our spare rooms - at mates rates - so it is a good time to start reducing the crazy interest rates!

    Figures -
    House Price: 440,000 *gulps*
    Mortgage: 259,700.00
    Student Loan: 19,103.29
    Repairs Estimate: 20k
    Monthly Mortgage Repayment: 940.87. 1.74% interest, lifetime tracker.


    I know that students loans are not a problem debt, but our aim is to try and clear the whole lot by the time OH is 40. Which gives us 13 years. This might be too much of a reach, but I would rather aim high and fall slightly low than not push. Though I may be relying on OH's lottery tickets actually paying off!

    Going to check out other diaries too, hopefully the support here will help.
    Last edited by michelle09; 01-01-2017 at 4:37 PM.
Page 2
    • yorpington
    • By yorpington 25th Jan 17, 10:00 PM
    • 244 Posts
    • 1,315 Thanks
    yorpington
    Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry. You are in my prayers x
    A debt-free homeowner thanks to MSE
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 26th Jan 17, 9:18 AM
    • 1,281 Posts
    • 7,004 Thanks
    EatingTheElephant
    Sorry for your loss x
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 26th Jan 17, 9:32 AM
    • 2,386 Posts
    • 2,867 Thanks
    chelseablue
    Very sorry for your loss x


    We have a big mortgage too, current balance 225,814 so will be following your diary!
    Mortgage starting balance 231,000
    Mortgage after Year 1 225,000
    Mortgage after Year 2 218,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 30th Jan 17, 9:12 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Sorry for your loss x
    Originally posted by EatingTheElephant
    Thanks, it's been hard. I guess I've been lucky that I've never lost someone so close to me before.

    So sorry to hear your sad news Michelle, look after yourself (& your Oh) at such a tough time. X
    Originally posted by Kittenkirst
    Thank you. OH has been so amazing - I've been fairly useless and would have completely fallen apart this week on my own.

    Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry. You are in my prayers x
    Originally posted by yorpington
    Thanks, it's been an emotional couple of weeks. Hopefully things will pick up soon.
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 30th Jan 17, 9:14 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Very sorry for your loss x

    We have a big mortgage too, current balance 225,814 so will be following your diary!
    Originally posted by chelseablue
    Thanks chelseablue. Good luck with your mortgage - will follow your diary too.
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 30th Jan 17, 9:37 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Been a difficult week here, spent the weekend with my grandmother helping her clean up the house - personally I think it's a bit early but if it's how she wants to deal with it then I will be there for her. We have the funeral booked for a couple of weeks. Next weekend we have a family weekend away, so hopefully we can keep her mind on something positive.

    Payday today thankfully, and I got a few hours overtime that I wasn't expecting. So I put it on the mortgage.

    Current Balance: 258,400.00
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 9th Feb 17, 8:34 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Into February! Spent most of the last week at work and helping organise the funeral. I think funerals have more drama than weddings. At least after next week I can go back to pretend my douchebag uncle doesn't exist.

    So far this week we have mortgage day and rent day, so we put most of one lot of rent on the mortgage as an OP. (241.48).

    It was OH's birthday and we tried out one of the rodizio places as a treat. I managed to find the restaurant on Groupon (14.50 instead of 22.95 each) and Groupon was TCB so got another 8% back there. Not bad!

    Current Balance: 257,500.00
    • CathT
    • By CathT 10th Feb 17, 11:50 AM
    • 5,503 Posts
    • 38,420 Thanks
    CathT
    So sorry for you loss Michelle. Times like this really can bring out the best and worst in people.

    I always forget to check groupon, great find!
    April 2018 -
    part 1 - 78,128
    part 2 - 45,507
    Total - 123,635
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 18th Feb 17, 12:24 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Thanks CathT - it really can. Every time we sorted something about the funeral, he would drop in, convince my grandmother that actually she wanted to do Y but then not put any effort into actually helping. The groupon was great, especially as we were going anyway!

    Funeral was on Monday and it was a lovely service, I think he would have liked it. Have learned that the hassle of a funeral plan is not in any way worth it, but local businesses are very good in difficult times and don't try to fleece you at every turn. We had the wake in a local pub, exclusive use of their dining room, a cold buffet, tea and coffee for everyone and we covered the first drink at the bar. Thirty people came and the bill was 350 (and my grandmother ended up with a plate of chicken drumsticks to take home and save her cooking that night).

    Both of our neighbours have started to ask when we're getting the back garden redone. I can see what one side are getting at as their garden is immaculate, but the other side are being a little cheeky. Ah well, maybe it means they will contribute to the fences being replaced?

    Three quotes so far for replacing all the fences and landscaping the garden. It's a gut it and start again kind of job that we're looking at. 4.9k, 5-6k (dependent on parts) and 10k. So far the 5-6k guy gave me the best feeling of the three so is my current choice. Two more contractors coming tomorrow so will discuss them all with OH and pick soon.

    Looking at April/May for the garden so will need to save. Also, we paid 2.7k to have the velux windows replaced in February, which are wonderful and I love having new rot-free frames in my windows that block out so much more noise than the old ones. (And I didn't think the old ones were much of an issue. You buy on a main road in London, next to a pub and train station you don't expect silence in the evenings. But now we have it!)

    My overall aim for 2017 is to put 30k into either the mortgage capital, repairs and OH's student loan repayments. So far we have put 2.3k into the mortgage capital and 2.7k on the velux so we are on target. Although the garden means that we won't be able to OP as much as I'd like until the summer.

    We did get 200 in OH's payslip in overtime and that has gone on the mortgage.

    Current Balance: 257,400.00
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 14th Apr 17, 1:13 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Well it's been a little while! We had a major inspection at work a couple of weeks ago (my profession's version of OFSTED/CQC) and that involved a lot of time and effort getting us up to speed. But thankfully I found out this week that a) we passed, and b) I am actually going to get paid for the 44 hours of overtime I racked up in March. Hopefully I will get that at the end of April.

    I have also been on holiday. It was a friend's wedding in the US, so I spent a week with my SiL in Boston, walking the freedom trail and seeing all the sights, and then flew to the west coast for the ceremony. I used Norwegian Airlines to get to the US because they were charging 99 each way for the transatlantic flight. I didn't end up paying for the domestic flight because the bride insisted on booking it as a thank you for helping out with her flight to my wedding. I wasn't expecting it but she wouldn't hear of me paying her back.

    For that price I had low expectations but I am happy to feed back that the flights were fine! For that price you don't get to pick your seat, check baggage or have the inflight meal/drinks, but I travel with hand luggage and find airplane food universally awful anyway - even if the gluten free is properly booked. The inflight entertainment was good (take your own headphones, they charge $3) and I had brought food from home and drinks from the airport (at $3.50 for a can, even airport prices are an improvement). On the way back from the US, I just took empty bottles through security and filled up from the plentiful water fountains after security.

    We've booked our garden/fence replacement too. They are coming the first week of May and I am so excited. It's a disaster zone right now and I am keen to have somewhere nice to go and sit during the warm weather (even if we do back onto a main road). Because of this OPs have been a little light, but I've rounded things off and will be back on track once the garden is taken care of.

    Hope everyone who is off this weekend is having a good one.

    Current Balance: 255,300.00
    Last edited by michelle09; 14-04-2017 at 1:15 PM.
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 23rd Apr 17, 5:04 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    What's this? A weekend where I am not working Saturday OR Sunday? It's amazing and I have done very little.

    This morning we did our weekly shop at Asda, and am feeling quite happy as the reduced counters were full of good stuff. Enough that we could treat ourselves at a relatively low cost! Loads of bags of veg/stirfry mixes/ beansprouts down to 30p so the fridge is a little full. I did slip and pick up a new GF Goodfella's pizza, but I like to try and support companies that branch into GF food because I want them to keep making it!

    Lodgers are both out (I haven't actually seen one of them since Wednesday) and OH is at work so I am sat on the sofa with Netflix and my craft box. I've got a few birthdays coming up and I have enough beads/cord/caps that I can handmake some nice personalised jewellery for folks.

    Current Balance: 255,300.00
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 2nd Jul 17, 2:56 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    So it's now July and were more than half way through 2017 - I'm sure I must have missed a few months somewhere. Both OH and I are emergency service workers in London so things have been a little busy lately, but at least some of it is paid overtime!

    Garden
    We finally had our garden done. 6k for new fences, new paving and replaced top soil and turf (front and back) and a shiny shed to keep the bikes in. Not cheap in the slightest but it is wonderful. We still get the odd bits of bamboo poking through but it's nothing like the old top soil that was saturated with the stuff. We've been planting fruit trees along the back fence (we back onto a main road so while we had the old unruly trees taken out, we did want something there.) I managed to get the strawberries to fruit but everything else was a little late for this year. For now we're just enjoying the grass and looking forward to filling the beds next spring.

    House Repairs
    We are down to the kitchen, rewiring, internal door replacement and a full replaster/decorate of the house. We haven't done much in the last few months inside as the money went on the garden, but we are looking to complete the major repairs early next year. We have several friends coming to visit next April and I want to try and sort it all by then.

    Bills
    I've been investigating most of our bills to try and reduce our monthly outgoings and done quite well! Renewed the house insurance - HSBC offered us 550 as a renewal but have shopped around and got insurance that covers us and the lodgers (though not the lodgers belongings) for 240 with a 36 cashback.

    We have added my grandmother to our car insurance on a multi car policy. She wasn't offered a renewal quote as my grandfather was the main driver for their whole marriage. Eventually we went with Admiral because they offered her 15 years no claims as a second driver (even though she kept insisting that it's actually been 59 years of NC). Managed to get her insurance for 400 and we will get a discount next year if we all renew together which is great.

    Our local council apparently "miscalculated" our council tax in the 2016/17 year and charged us a full year instead of 10 months (we moved in end of May) so owed us quite a bit. They wouldn't refund us in one go but our monthly payments are 15/month less than last year which is nice. I think next year will be quite painful though....

    The water company have done a meter reading and thankfully (though I'm not sure how with one of our lodgers!) we are under their estimate so we're down 5/month on the bill there too.

    Mortgage (why we're all here!)
    We've still been throwing bits and pieces on the mortgage to help knock it down. After having a long talk, OH and I decided that we're going chat to our lodgers this month and let them know that when we get the kitchen redone in early 2018 we want them to move out. So from July onwards I'm going to put all 600 rental income straight onto the mortgage so we don't notice it in our monthly funds and won't rely on it come next year.

    I also spoke to HSBC and asked them to recalculate our debt (we have a tracker with unlimited over payments) and we've knocked 12.94/month off so far in 2017, which puts us down to 928/month. Not much in the grand scheme of things but seeing the monthly figure go down always puts my mind at ease about all the money we owe!

    Current Balance: 253,100.00
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 4th Jul 17, 10:37 AM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Mortgage day and rent day #1. So I rounded the mortgage up (am I the only one who always wants to make sure that the number is a round one?) and put the rent into the account as well. So for the next few months we'll be double paying on the mortgage which is awesome.

    Cashed out my first TCB payment in a while too - with all the insurances and other bits and pieces it was 150.

    Current Balance: 252,200.00
    • CathT
    • By CathT 4th Jul 17, 10:50 AM
    • 5,503 Posts
    • 38,420 Thanks
    CathT
    Making good progress over here Michelle.
    April 2018 -
    part 1 - 78,128
    part 2 - 45,507
    Total - 123,635
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 4th Jul 17, 12:12 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Thanks CathT! We still have a very long way to go, so it's nice to get the debt recalculated to realise that we have made some progress.
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 4th Jul 17, 12:22 PM
    • 2,386 Posts
    • 2,867 Thanks
    chelseablue
    We still have a long way to go too! 222,000

    We were overpaying 400 a month, but next year we are getting married, the lease car is going back so need to buy a car, plus a holiday to Australia.

    So have stopped overpaying and saving the money for the above instead.

    Oh and just remembered our fixed rate is up in February so need to sort that out! But might have to add the fee to the mortgage as they all seem to be 999
    Last edited by chelseablue; 04-07-2017 at 12:26 PM.
    Mortgage starting balance 231,000
    Mortgage after Year 1 225,000
    Mortgage after Year 2 218,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 9th Jul 17, 7:09 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    We still have a long way to go too! 222,000

    We were overpaying 400 a month, but next year we are getting married, the lease car is going back so need to buy a car, plus a holiday to Australia.

    So have stopped overpaying and saving the money for the above instead.

    Oh and just remembered our fixed rate is up in February so need to sort that out! But might have to add the fee to the mortgage as they all seem to be 999
    Originally posted by chelseablue
    Every little bit helps though! We are making a difference - even without overpaying we knock 560 off a month.

    Oh wow, that's a lot of things to be saving for. But they are lovely things at least!
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 9th Jul 17, 7:35 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    Rent day #2! So put the 300 on the mortgage which was immensely satisfying.

    This morning we went to the Allergy Show in London. I have to follow a gluten free diet and a lot of the foods are really pricy. It's free entry and you can pick up so many samples / good deals. We picked up free packets of GF crackers on the way in (RRP 2) and I managed to get five loaves of my bread at 2/loaf instead of 3 as it is in our local Asda. The freezer is nicely stocked and we didn't need lunch as we were really full of samples from the morning.

    Current Balance: 251,900.00
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 10th Jul 17, 8:46 AM
    • 2,386 Posts
    • 2,867 Thanks
    chelseablue
    Every little bit helps though! We are making a difference - even without overpaying we knock 560 off a month.

    Oh wow, that's a lot of things to be saving for. But they are lovely things at least!
    Originally posted by michelle09
    True, didn't think of it like that. We pay off 450 a month without any overpaying
    Mortgage starting balance 231,000
    Mortgage after Year 1 225,000
    Mortgage after Year 2 218,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 23rd Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    • 773 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    michelle09
    True, didn't think of it like that. We pay off 450 a month without any overpaying
    Originally posted by chelseablue
    Which is still a lot! Even if OPing is the ideal, it is getting lower every month by itself. We're still less than two years out of renting, so I still equate it to the 1400/month that we were never seeing again.
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