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    • ian1246
    • By ian1246 13th May 18, 12:57 AM
    • 30Posts
    • 16Thanks
    The long march to a Mortgage Free Future/Larger Forever Home
    • #1
    • 13th May 18, 12:57 AM
    The long march to a Mortgage Free Future/Larger Forever Home 13th May 18 at 12:57 AM
    Hi Guys.
    I ve been lurking on these forums for a little while now, I've read lots of very useful advice. I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are regarding which option is best?

    Little bit of information on my personal circumstances:

    Myself and my partner are getting married in August 2018. We currently own a 3bed semi-detached house - brought November 2015 for 165,000, haven't had it valued since - but Rightmove puts it between 180,000-184,000 (Next cheapest house on our cul-de-sac sold for 178,500 in January 2016... with several others 185,000+ since then)

    I m 29, partner is 26. We currently have no dependents - although we plan to start trying for kids when my partner turns 29 (2021).

    Remaining Mortgage: 116,418 (31st December 2017) - using Excel, this will by now be somewhere in the region of 115,216 (May 2018). Mortgage due to finish November 2040.

    Mortgage interest - 2.84%. Fixed until November 2020.
    Normal Mortgage Monthly Payment: 577.49

    - Combined CurrentTake Home Income: 2727.39 per month
    - Future Combined Take Home Income by July 2021: 3215.49 per month (4 Annual Increments left for my full salary!) - excluding Future NI & Tax Changes & partner one day going part-time (when we have kids).

    - Wedding Savings: 450.00 Per Month (This will be freed up by August 2018 to go towards new house/overpayments)
    - Personal Savings: 400.00 Per Month (200.00 Each) - for holidays/financial buffer/mortgage overpayment.
    - 180.00 per month Fuel (2 Cars).
    - 120.00 per month MOT/Car Insurance/ Emergency Savings.

    - Contact Lens Subscription: 13.00 per month.
    - Mobile: 43.81 per month (2 mobiles).
    - Monthly Window Cleaning: 8.00 Per Month.
    - TV Licence: 12.50 per month.
    - House Insurance Savings: 13.50 per month.
    - Water/Sewage: 40.50 (building up a gradual surplus of credits)
    - Electricity/Gas: 74.00 (building up a gradual surplus of credits)
    - Sky: 39.20 per Month
    - Amazon Prime Subscription: 7.99 Per Month
    - BT Phone/Internet: 36.99 per Month.
    - Council Tax: 130.00 Per Month.
    - Dog Insurance: 29.93 Per Month (2 2 year Old Border Collies).

    - Food: 250.00 Per Month (including food for 2 Border Collies, 2 Chinchilla's, Snake & Taranatula). Any Surplus goes towards Disposable Income.

    Total Budgetted Expenditure (Excluding Wedding & Personal Savings): 1,576.91.
    Total Budgetted Savings: 850.00
    Current Take Home: 2727.39 per month
    "Spare" Disposable Income (For Socialising/Entertainment/further savings etc...): 300.48

    Current Non-Mortgage Debts: We both have Student Loans (Pre-2010 i.e. Plan 1), but no other debts.

    Current Financial Reserves (excluding Wedding Savings): 2000 - these would have been at 6,000.... but our back boiler decided to die and had to be replaced with a modern one in January 2018, then my Car had 2, seperate serious faults develop this month, totaling 500 (& due back in the garage for more work on Thursday!) to fix.


    Essentially the last 14months have been entirely consumed with planning and saving ready for our wedding/Honeymoon in August 2018 - unless things go catastrophically wrong, the wedding will be fully paid for with no additional debt.

    With this so close - its time to start planning for the future....

    Myself and my partner eventually want to have a 4 bed detached house in the countryside - currently this sort of house in the area we want ranges from 230,000+ (Needing Significant Modernisation) with most hovering between the 280,000-330,000+ mark.

    I ve done a bit of future budgetting - if we overpay the mortgage, factoring in my partner giving up work for 12months to have a child around about in 2021 and then only returning to work part-time (she works full time currently), we should be able to pay off the mortgage by June 2029 - this is with both of us over that same period saving 37,200 (Personal Savings) between us, which could go on things like Holidays, House-Improvements/Unplanned Emergencies etc....

    That, assuming my current 2.84% Interest Rate applies for the rest of the period, would yield Interest Savings of 23,328.21 & the mortgage being paid off 10years 6months early.

    However: Between now and 2029, House Prices are likely going to continue to rise. Even assuming a modest average 2.5% Annual Price rise, that means realistically the sort of house we want could easily be between 302,000+ (previously 230,000) to 433,000+, whilst our own house would only be around 236,000.

    Right now to buy a house at the low end (230,000) we would likely need to only take out an extra 50,000 Mortgage (230,000-180,000=50,000 Difference), whilst at the high end (330,000) an extra 150,000 Mortgage.

    By comparison.... in 2029 assuming a 2.5% Average Price Increase: At the low end a further 66,000 mortgage (302,000-236,000=66,000), whilst at the high end (433,000) an extra 197,000 Mortgage - an increase of 16,000 & 47,000 respectively vs. 2018 Mortgage levels - against which overpaying the mortgage would save us around 23,300 in Interest (vs. if we just kept it full term).

    So with the above in mind - whats the best path to get to where we want to be? Do we seek to Overpay the Mortgage and aim to buy a new property (our "forever home") in 2029 (if all goes to plan), using the equity from our current house as a substantial & large deposit (meaning our mortgage would be reasonably sized)....

    .... or we do we save up a financial-reserve to cover the costs of moving (Stamp Duty, Solicitor & Estate Agent Fee's etc....) and look to try and move in the next year or 2 - taking on a substantially larger mortgage (with all the potential negative/risky implications!), but at the same time: Reaping the benefits of the increased house value in the long run- and, of course - enjoying what would hopefully be our "forever" home.

    What are your thoughts/suggestions? I m very much aware that the next few years are when myself and partner can make a real difference to our future financial wellbeing/security, due to not yet having dependents - I m just completely torn on what the best path to take is
    Last edited by ian1246; 20-05-2018 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Edit Title.
Page 1
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 13th May 18, 2:14 AM
    • 4,473 Posts
    • 3,429 Thanks
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 2:14 AM
    • #2
    • 13th May 18, 2:14 AM
    Simple maths. If you can get a higher return on your money investing it than the mortgage interest rate you invest it elsewhere and then use it towards the deposit when you get your next home. If you can't get a better return you overpay the mortgage. That is making your money work the hardest.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 13th May 18, 2:53 AM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 46,047 Thanks
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 2:53 AM
    • #3
    • 13th May 18, 2:53 AM
    I don't think anyone can easily answer this question as it really boils down to house price rises and how much risk you are happy to take borrowing more now.

    Aside from the financial implications of moving sooner there are other factors to consider - buying a do-er upper might be a less challenging proposition before you have the kids - more time , definitely more money to go round

    My personal experience is we stretched ourselves to the limit to buy a three bed terrace in a great area in outer London, we thought we would do a bit of work on it and move up to a bigger house quickly, it never happened as prices shot up massively. I'm glad we went up to our limit to get the nicest house we could afford, we are now happy to stay here and have extended upwards.

    Best of luck!
    MFW 21

    79,000 left, target 16k in 2019
    • ben501
    • By ben501 14th May 18, 10:15 AM
    • 461 Posts
    • 749 Thanks
    • #4
    • 14th May 18, 10:15 AM
    • #4
    • 14th May 18, 10:15 AM
    Personally I'd opt for Tarambor's option.
    Overpaying also has the advantage that the money is 'spent', whereas if you put it in a savings account you could be tempted to take some out & spend it.

    Then again, if you put it all towards overpayments you may not have enough for an 'emergency' or two.
    • Lumina
    • By Lumina 14th May 18, 11:30 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 75 Thanks
    • #5
    • 14th May 18, 11:30 AM
    • #5
    • 14th May 18, 11:30 AM
    We had exactly the same discussions, to the point where we mapped out future house price increases vs our savings rate - much like you have done. We couldn't make up our mind and decided to save as much as we could for a while, lived on mainly one income and saved 40'000 in 2 years (while paying over 1000 a month in child care ).

    We got to the point where we could have been mortgage free in 2.5 years, but much like you we wanted to live in a different location. And it was all about location for us as we could have extended our current house. In the end we looked into renting to live in the location we wanted to be in - only to find that rental costs would have been 200ppm more expensive than a mortgage. And that's in the end what helped us decide. We're in the process of buying our "forever home" exactly where we want to be, with a mortgage figure that is too big for my liking, but with a very long term so that monthly payments that are very reasonable & affordable. We expect our quality of life to be better as a result of the move and be able to put down roots, rather than live in a temporary stop-gap, that doesn't feel like our home, while waiting for (the illusive) date X when you finally have achieved every step of the plan to justify the move.

    One final word of advice: You might struggle to get a very large mortgage with a reduced income + child care cost. And how would your plan cope if you ended up with twins in 2021?
    • ian1246
    • By ian1246 17th May 18, 1:13 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 1:13 AM
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 1:13 AM
    Thanks for the replies guys - lots to think about on whether to Overpay or save for a new house :-)

    Essentially if we Overpay the Mortgage, we ll have overpaid 16,150 between December 2018> November 2020 (when our fixed mortgage rate expires) & have somewhere in the region of 11,500 in personal savings.

    Alternatively, after doing a bit of maths - if instead we save and use a combination of TSB Current Account (5% Interest), Nationwide Flexi Regular Saver (5% Interest) & Tesco Current Account (3% Interest, up to 2 each) we could save around 15,900 in the "Joint" Accounts and have a further 13,300 in personal savings.

    Granted, from those "personal" savings I'd like to do the following:

    - Replace around half our double glazed windows (Frames Distorted/Seals gone - all windows are 15-20+years old) on our 3 bed semi, potentially replacing all of them if there is a good enough offer.
    - Replace our old sliding patio door with a set of modern double-doors.
    - Replace the old Backdoor (single glazed!) with a modern double glazed door with better security.
    - Replace the original internal doors (1975 build!) with some nice modern pine/oak doors, preferably fitted properly - unlike the current draughty one's!
    - Paint the whole house in modern colours (currently all wall papered and old-fashioned looking).
    - Pay for our 2019 Holiday.
    - Pay for our 2020 Holiday.

    So.... all told, by November 2020, its more likely to be 5000-8000 in Personal savings :-)

    Still.... lots to think about! I am very tempted to start overpaying the mortgage though (simply since it saves the "hassle" of managing so many bank accounts/regular savers which is what is required to save with a decent interest rate in this day & age!).
    Last edited by ian1246; 17-05-2018 at 1:16 AM.
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 17th May 18, 7:57 AM
    • 2,907 Posts
    • 14,610 Thanks
    • #7
    • 17th May 18, 7:57 AM
    • #7
    • 17th May 18, 7:57 AM
    My advice is stretch yourselves to buy the forever house now whilst you have no dependents and get through the first 2 years of finding your feet. It will get much harder once kids arrive, especially in the first few years as money can literally seep out of your accounts! That's how we did it, and i couldn't imagine the logistics of trying to move now that we have 3 under the age of 9! Difficult decisions but nice to have the choices, so well done for the position you have got yourselves in at such a young age.
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into March 2025...
    47 out of 120 Payments - Total Reduction: 50,447.88
    Current Balance: 85,552.12
    MFiT-T4 #8 - 80.74% of 41,000
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 17th May 18, 8:15 AM
    • 1,062 Posts
    • 1,312 Thanks
    • #8
    • 17th May 18, 8:15 AM
    • #8
    • 17th May 18, 8:15 AM
    if overpaying just ask the q , what is the early repayment charge and how much can i overpay w/o attracting this charge
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • ian1246
    • By ian1246 18th May 18, 12:17 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 12:17 AM
    • #9
    • 18th May 18, 12:17 AM
    if overpaying just ask the q , what is the early repayment charge and how much can i overpay w/o attracting this charge
    Originally posted by enjoyyourshoes
    Have checked it :-) - I can overpay a maximum of 10% of the remaining balance (as of the 01st January each year) before incurring charges. Thanks for raising that point

    On the plus side: *Hopefully* my car is now fixed (need to drive it a bit more to be sure), costing me only 40.00 of the 164.00 I had budgetted for it - extra 's to go into the saving pot!
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 18th May 18, 7:52 AM
    • 1,062 Posts
    • 1,312 Thanks
    Some lenders will also allow you (post overpayment) to keep the original monthly payment the same, thus by default overpaying more than the 10% of balance at anniversary date. If so don't reduce the monthly payments if they ask.
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • Shazay10
    • By Shazay10 18th May 18, 2:40 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    So I am in a similar boat myself - Save or over pay.

    At this moment I am more inclined to Overpay the mortgage as having the money in savings is not going to give me as much interest and I would save alot more with reduced interest due to the over payments.

    As far as buying the forever home is concerned if you see something then get it now so that by 2021 you will be already in your forever home as shopping for a new home and kids and doing up your home is all too much at the same. So if you can then in the next 2 years move out and use the large amount paid off current home as deposit for new home.

    • ian1246
    • By ian1246 20th May 18, 10:37 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    I m still torn on whether we should be looking to Overpay or save for a new house.

    My solution: A "sensible" compromise based pretty much on the above - come September (after the August wedding), we start to refill our Joint TSB Account up to 1000 (Interest on up to maximum 1500) by 500 a month, earning the 5% Interest. Then once that is done, in October 2018, we each open up a Nationwide Flexi Account and transfer any "personal" savings we have into them, taking advantage of the 12month 5% Interest. In addition, we then use the 2 Nationwide Flexi Accounts to open up 2 linked Regular Monthly Savers - Max of 250.00 a month, earning 5% Interest - the 500 we were then putting into the joint account each month, then goes into those (2 x 250.00), maturing in November 2019.

    Advantages: Our money would be earning 5% Interest vs. our mortgage's 2.84% & easily accessible should we decide we need it (emergency, house upgrades or new house purchase legal costs). Come November 2019... if we decide to stay where we are, we can use it to overpay the mortgage in a lump sum, or alternatively stick it into a easy-access ISA for future use to cover costs of moving/emergency fund (albeit any ISA Interest will be lower than our mortgage interest).

    Disadvantages: The Nationwide Saver's Interest is flexible - if it drops, we may have to withdraw the 's and go elsewhere. Its also not paying off the mortgage (something I m desperate to do) and the concept of spending that money (I.e. New Windows) rather than it going on Mortgage payments is.... painful.

    This should allow me to put off making a decision till Next Year!


    On the plus side: I ve identified a potential area of savings. Currently myself and partner do the food shopping using our "personal" accounts - we then calculate half of the bill and get the other to send the 's. Same applies to things like Takeaway's, Cinema, House Purchases etc... - currently our "joint" accounts exist solely for paying utility bills (Natwest Rewards Account) and Mortgage/Wedding Savings (TSB). Everything else comes out of our personal accounts.

    Result? It can get a bit complicated working out who owes what. Its also easy to loose track of whats actually been spent on "luxuries" like takeaways, meals out and other things (Cinema).

    We each have a budget of 125 for food a month - and for the actual food shop, we never come close to exceeding that (its normally between 30-40 a week, bar the tri-monthly bulk Meat Order from Muscle Food which comes to 60ish, which we then break down and freeze....) The surplus from the food budget just gets left in our personal accounts for savings/spending on other things.

    Instead of this: We re both going to just transfer an extra 125 into the TSB Joint Account at the start of the month - we ll then each ensure we have our joint account card and use this for the food shop. This should save us a lot of inconvenience working out who owes what and more importantly: The left over food budget will gradually accumulate - which will then provide the spending budget for things like Takeaways, the evening out etc... - essentially ensuring we remove the temptation to whittle away our personal savings each month on "luxuries", by instead having a set "figure" present - the left over food budget - which we can then use.... hopefully leading to better long term savings since we ll have a much better "reign" on these expenses.

    Plus: I suspect the excess food budget will likely gradually accumulate over months, providing a potential source of 's for future house upgrades or mortgage overpayments.


    Other potential extra saving: My partner is currently in the midst of switching her TSB Account to Barclays, to take advantage of the 14 per Month Blue-Card Rewards offer (11.00 per month after Account Fee's are deducted). Considering her savings are dramatically diminished after paying out for part of our honeymoon, this should net a 10+per month boost to her finances (when factoring in the loss of the 5% TSB Interest).

    Once this is done, I ll also be looking to do the same next month with my Clubs Lloyds Account - boosting my own finances by 11 a month.... that's 22.00 - which I m very tempted to discuss with her about putting towards Mortgage Overpayments.... (got to start somewhere!)


    Downside: My car's still not right. The "Check Engine" light has once again come back on... after spending 264 on replacing the EGR Valve - after the new replacement, my car then frequently stuttered, with the check engine light still coming on - and then a further 40.00 last week rectifying the stuttering and trying to fix/identify the fault leading to the check engine light. Car runs really well now... but the light has still come back after 2 days. Clearly still an issue... guzzling my hard earned 's

    Other downside: On Saturday we went a little overbudget buying my 2 best men suits for the wedding - we'd budgeted 200.00, but in the end it cost 307.80 to kit them each out with a full suit (including waistcoats). One of my best men has also asked if he can bring his new partner to the wedding (it costs 79.50 per person to attend for the day & a further 5.00 in the evening for BBQ!) - the combined result of which our projected wedding budget is now 158.21 over budget!

    Hopefully, at least some part of this can be regained via the 100 Decoration budget - we think we ll only need around half of this (just need some streamers for the ceiling, then a bunch of small colourful plants for the tables - potentially fake plants from somewhere like Poundland/B & M... oh, and love hearts for the "favours"). Plus both my best men have asked for my bank details so they can send me some of the cost for the suits (I have just said to contribute what they are comfortable with, given we have asked for them to have specific suits which match my own), so its possible the budget may yet get back on track :-)
    Last edited by ian1246; 20-05-2018 at 11:03 PM.
    • ian1246
    • By ian1246 29th May 18, 2:23 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Well, finally managed to work out how to access my Mortgage's Online Banking - I had set it up when we applied for the mortgage... and after buying the house in November 2015, completely forgot I had online banking!

    Today I have officially made my first Overpayment! ..... 2.44, nicely rounding down my bank statement to the nearest 10. Plus its sort of a test to see how long it takes to go through and show up on my Mortgage Statement. Whilst I won't be in a position to make serious overpayments for 12+months (got to save for new windows/bathroom), I figure a good way to make small overpayments will be to round down my account balance every week to the nearest 10.... transferring the "excess" to the mortgage. I ll have a chat with my partner and see if she'll do the same - it should mean we slowly make some limited headway on the mortgage, whilst maintaining our current saving plan :-)

    I m also pleasantly suprised at the remaining Mortgage Amount - 114,870.23.... on my overpayment calculator I had it at 114,911.27 for June 2018

    The Loan to Value Ratio is also showing a lot lower than I expected - 59% - albeit I m not entirely sure how they ve calculated that -we brought the house at 165,000 in November 2015, with 114,911.27 mortgage currently remaining - 69.64% by my maths - I think the 59% must be them factoring in increased house value? If so, it means they value the house at 194,764 currently - (114,911.27 / 59)*100=194,764. Not sure how accurate that actually is!
    Last edited by ian1246; 29-05-2018 at 2:31 AM.
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 29th May 18, 6:27 AM
    • 604 Posts
    • 2,526 Thanks
    Our mortgage account is the same (showing a lower LTV than I'm expecting), I reckon they do take house price increases into account. Mine does seem a little optimistic though - who knows!
    All the best!
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 29th May 18, 8:20 AM
    • 497 Posts
    • 848 Thanks
    You appear to be in a very similar situation to me and OH, right down to saving for the wedding & the income you're currently getting between you (give or take 20). Our point of view was that we can't guarantee future job security or anything in the future, so a large amount currently goes to savings (~1100), whereas comparatively little goes to OP fund (~250p/m).

    This way we have greater flexibility; should we be fortunate and our circumstances remain the same, we have the option of putting down a lump-sum on the mortgage, or doing the garden up on our property, or extending etc, or in your case using it as a deposit for a dream-house. You have to factor in your own circumstances, of course, but in my opinion the best option isn't *necessarily* the one that makes your money work the hardest (although it often is!). Good luck!
    Wedding fund - 2199.82 (4113.17)
    OP fund - 1971.13 (111.53)
    Emergency fund - 400.00
    • ian1246
    • By ian1246 30th May 18, 10:01 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Unfortunately, in my quest to map out our future financial position, I have discovered a potentially catastrophic flaw in our march to a mortgage free future - my Partner's pensions.

    I m hopefully sorted on the pension front (currently 29years old) - I'm in the emergency services and will get a salary which is half of my average career salary, provided I do the full 35years, which I should be able to just about manage if I retire at the maximum age of 60 - at current pay scales that will mean a 18,179.64 yearly pension, not factoring in future pay rises/promotions.

    My partner (currently 26years old) though? Alas... not so much She's a nursery worker with a private pension - current salary just over 20,000..... and at some point (2021+) we re going to want kids, inevitably meaning going part time and taking a hit to her career (Makes sense for her to go part-time rather than myself, given I ll be earning nearly twice hers!)

    Her employer only contributes 2% of the qualifying salary for the auto-enrolement pension (NEST), going up to 3% next year, while her own contribution will rise from 3% to 5%.

    Basically what this means in practise is her employer will be contributing a grand total of 50 a month next year (April 2018) & 33.33 a month currently.... a pitiful amount, albeit better than nothing.

    However... it basically means, assuming her income averaged out at 20,000 across the course of her career, with her retiring at 58years old (I.e. same time as me when I turn 60)... that she would have a grand total of 86,600 in her retirement pot, using NEST's retirement calculator's - which assuming none of that was taken for a lump sum, would buy her a 3,240 a year annuity - not much at all!

    Thus... our overpayment plan is going to have to be scaled back, in favour of greater pension contributions for her

    Using a bit of estimating, if we can save up and invest 24,000 into her pension pot by August 2021 (August 2018> August 2019 - rebuilding personal savings & house upgrades, August 2019> August 2021, 1000 a month Pension Contributions i.e. using what we would have been overpaying the mortgage with, plus some of our personal savings) & then maintain a minimum of 150 going into her pension every month (between her & her employers contributions), then hopefully that would give her a pension pot of 162,000, which could get her a pension annuity of 6,090 a year - or if I tick the "guarantee

    Obviously... this is all estimates. Investments fluctuate, as will her pension contributions etc....

    Either way though, it would give her at least some sort of "liveable" pension, especially when coupled with my own, making it somewhat viable for her to retire at 58years old - then when the state pension kicks in at 68years old, that would be a further 8500+ a year - bringing her pension up to a respectable 14,000+ a year.

    Alternatively, we could just sustain a minimum of 250 a month payments in total, including employer contributions (minimum of 200 a month employee contributions) across the course of her career, which would give her a 170,000 pension pot - 6,080 a year annuity.

    That would potentially allow us to start working on overpaying the mortgage a little sooner.


    Lots to think about. Anyone have any suggestions on alternatives to the huge investments needed for her (NEST) Pension?
    Last edited by ian1246; 30-05-2018 at 10:14 PM.
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