Dream Home – Living the dream

23 10 2014
825

Visit to our property with Joseph in May 2014.

 

Anyone who has been following my blog will know that my longest held ambition has been to own a home of my own.

During my absence from blogging while I was pregnant with my first son, I achieved my dream. FOMC and I found a place in November 2013 and after much paperwork and going back and forth between solicitors, agents and builders we finally exchanged on 15th September 2014.

I love my new home. It is bright and airy, clean and fresh and the perfect environment in which my boy will grow up.

I have spoken at length in the past about how much home ownership means to me  and to be sitting at my computer writing my final post about getting onto the property ladder is simply the most amazing feeling in the world. On Saturday morning I was woken by my husband with a cup of hot tea and some buttery toast. I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes as I walked into my living room to find my boys paying peek-a-boo on the floor with cartoons on the TV in the background. It made me feel really blessed and I realize that our difficulties in the journey to that idyllic Saturday morning will only make us appreciate it all the more.

 

Family on the balcony

Enjoying the view from the balcony September 2014





Dear Universe

26 11 2013

Universe

Dear Universe,

Hi there, it’s Z here. Now I don’t ask for much – I never have. I am fairly easy to keep happy. However I have been advised that in order to achieve our deepest desires all we need to do is ask you nicely, so I thought I would give it a go. That way we both know where we stand.

My deepest desire for a number of years now has been to own a house. This is not a new goal but it is becoming increasingly important to me as I will have my own child mid way through next year and I want him/her to have a safe and comfortable home to live in. So really I m not even asking for myself – I am that selfless!

I have just seen the most perfect place. As is always the case though, the deposit is a sticking point. I am trying really hard to raise as much as possible as quickly as possible but I am paying high rent and bills for my current accommodation and it is tricky. Now I understand that asking you for money is considered crass so I will simply say that I really want my own home and could you lend me a helping hand?

It could be in the form of a loan or maybe a small lottery or scratch card win, – I don’t care about the top prize on the Euro Millions but £7500 ought to do it. That isn’t a lot to ask is it? Achieving a perfect credit score would also be a small help in the right direction. And I genuinely believe that I am more deserving than another property developer who will charge high rent for another professional couple to shell out each month – no doubt preventing them raising a deposit for their own place.

So please, please, please Universe help me out.

Love and hugs Z





Christmas Shopping

30 10 2013

Christmas Shopping

In these times of austerity I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join so many of my family, friends and acquaintances who have already started their Christmas Shopping.

I know, I know, it’s October and Halloween has not yet passed us by.

However in a bid to spread the cost and avoid the last minute panic of packing and sending presents to my family in Northern Ireland, it makes sense to get a head start this year, especially as there are other things for which we need to be saving our pennies right now.

I managed to buy presents for 4 family members and have them wrapped in colourful paper ready to go under my tree when it goes up on 1st December.

Lumpy and I also managed to buy some Daddy presents – this was very exciting 🙂

I love Christmas anyway so provided I don’t go into overdrive, thinking about it a little bit earlier than usual can only enhance my experience.

However my productive trip was sullied by the necessity to make one painful purchase – flat shoes for work. Apparently stilettos are not suitable attire for pregnant ladies and whist I am sure I could continue to waddle in them successfully for a few months yet, it seemed sensible to retire my glamorous footwear for the next year, at least, and start getting used to flats.

The great news is that as it is pay day tomorrow, my credit card will not be groaning from the strain of today’s exertions for too long.

 





Dream House – viewing cancelled

12 10 2013

house_cartoonFFOMC and I were due to view a property today. It went on the market late on Thursday.

We received a call and booked a viewing at 4pm today. But by midday yesterday this was cancelled as it had already gone under offer.

Now this would potentially have been the most frustrating house viewing ever. We registered our interest in a particular development some time ago expecting the release date to be round about Christmas. As such we are not really in a position to buy right now but do not want to appear like we have lost interest. FFOMC has also not seen the actual development; I visited with my parents; saying that he trusts my judgement.

Thi was slighly better than the plots we have been looking at. It is a house rather than an appartment, came with a little garden and was only 2500 more than the most expensive appartment on offer.

Now although we are not in a position to make an offer there was a chance we could have enlisted family support etc to help with the deposit and at the very least we could have crunched the numbers and reassessed how achievable and in what sort of time period.

This property is not to be. Next time though – maybe next time.





Where did my pay cheque go?

6 10 2013

Wallet MothsI know I was paid this month.

I saw the money arriving in my bank account.

For a day or so my balance looked fairly healthy.

I do not particularly recall spending lots of money or moving it out of my account.

So…

…where did all my money go?





What it means to be poor

4 10 2013

Kevin Bridges

I have been enjoying a nght in front of the TV watching comedian Kevin Bridges. I laughed out loud at his take on the recession and the debt levels in America of 16 trillion dollars – the idea of Africa rounding up some great rock bands to stage a concert for us as (In Mr Bridges words) “It’s their round” – is comedy gold.

I often talk about my finances and how broke I am. However the reality is that FFOMC and I are comfortable and have everything we actually need. This does not mean we do not have aspirations but we can not really consider orselves to be truely poor. It made me remember a docummentary I watched some time ago about the definition of poverty in England.

As part of the program the presenter revealed the list used to determine if a family are living in poverty. Apologies for the copy and paste job but I found it really interesting and for anyone who did not see the docummentary it is worth scanning. It is surprising that some of the items have made it on to the list but depressing to think how many of the things we regard as necessities are not affordable to many families. If a family does not have access to any three of the things on this list because of financial constraints they are deemed to be living in poverty:

  • Heating to keep home adequately warm
  • Damp-free home
  • Two meals a day
  • Visit friends or family in hospital or other institutions
  • Replace or repair broken electrical goods
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables every day
  • Washing machine at home
  • All recommended dental treatment
  • Celebrations on special occasions
  • Warm waterproof coat
  • Attend weddings, funerals and other such occasions
  • Telephone
  • Meat, fish or vegetarian equivalent every other day
  • Curtains or window blinds
  • Enough money to keep your home in a decent state of decoration
  • Household contents insurance
  • Hobby or leisure activity
  • Appropriate clothes for job interviews
  • Table and chairs at which the family can eat
  • Taking part in sport or exercise activities or classes
  • To be able to pay unexpected costs of £500
  • Two pairs of all weather shoes
  • Regular savings (of at least £20 per month) for rainy days
  • Television
  • Regular payments to an occupational or private pension

 

 





Financial Reboot

3 08 2013

Financial Reboot

Two days ago I had a serious knockback with regards my savings. I was left feeling physically sick when I realised that the savings I thought were building up had not actually increased since February. This meant that my total balance was at least £2000 less than I had thought.

I have been licking my wounds since this discovery but it has forced me to reassess my position and factor in some new information.

I have found my dream development. The cost of a property is close to what I was looking at anyway but in a great area with a real sense of community. Even though family homes are being built there, the properties are mainly being snapped up by young professional couples like us so I imagine in 5 years or so this area will be occupied by young families.

The lovely lady who showed us around was able to give me very specific details of the additional costs outside of the deposit itself. I have crunched the numbers and worked out the revised total that we will actually need to acquire one of these properties for ourselves when the new blocks are released next year.

I am aiming to save 5% of the total each month which would mean that we could buy twelve months from now but I will try each month to commit to more. But at least for now I have something to aim for.

Hopefully 2014 will be our year.

I have restarted my table and will update it each month based on the revised figures.

PROGRESS TOWARDS RAISING A HOUSE DESPOSIT

DATE

% OF DEPOSIT SAVED

ESTIMATED MONTHS TILL PURCHASE

AUGUST 2013

41%

12 – August 2014

SEPTEMBER 2013

OCTOBER 2013

NOVEMBER 2013

DECEMBER 2013

 





Savings Screw Up

1 08 2013

Savings Screw Up

I have just spent the most devastating hour on the phone with NS&I talking about my savings account.

Five months ago I transferred to an account which offered telephone and internet banking to make it easier for me to manage my savings.

Unfortunately it would appear that everything changed except the monthly payments being made from my main bank account into said savings account. It would appear that although the money has left my account and paid a visit to cyber space each month – it has pinged back into my account a few days later. As a result the balance of my account which I believed was blossoming nicely has in fact not changed since February. I am not entirely sure how I failed to pick up on this but it has really knocked me.

Last month when I blogged about the progress made towards raising our deposit for our own home I believed we were getting close and that we had 77% of our target tucked away in savings. The reality today is that we actually have only 56%.

I am absolutely gutted.

However I cannot turn the clock back 5 months so moving forward – at least I have spotted this now. I have changed the standing order details so that my savings will once again start to build from the beginning of next month and I have resolved to monitor my savings account more closely to ensure that all transfers are successful. Need to have a real push forward between now and Christmas to try to make up for lost time.

PROGRESS TOWARDS RAISING A HOUSE DESPOSIT

DATE

% OF DEPOSIT SAVED

ESTIMATED MONTHS TILL PURCHASE

JULY 2012

28%

23 – June 2014

AUGUST 2012

31%

22 – June 2014

SEPTEMBER 2012

33%

21 – June 2014

OCTOBER 2012

36%

20 – June 2014

NOVEMBER 2012

42%

19 – June 2014

DECEMBER 2012

47%

17 – May 2014

JANUARY 2013

54%

15 – March 2014

FEBRUARY 2013

59%

14 – February 2014

MARCH 2013

62%

10 – January 2014

APRIL 2013

76%

                      6 – October 2013

MAY 2013

62%

10 – March 2014

JUNE 2013

73%

6 – December 2013

JULY 2013

77%

5 – November 2013

AUGUST 2013

56%

14 – October 2014





Home Improvements

8 07 2013

Home Improvements

I am getting twitchy.

The summer holiday is fast approaching. During the 6 week break I will be spending more time in my flat and I am desperate to pick up a paintbrush and redecorate my living room so I can relax in my own living space.

However I do not own the property in which I live but rent it from a private landlord. This is a bit of a sore point.

Due to a leaking roof, the wall of my living room is streaked where water streams down from cracks in the ceiling when it rains heavily. There are also patches where plaster is flaking off. Even if none of this was an issue, the paintwork itself is very much in need of a recoat.

I resent the idea of spending money on someone else’s property even if it is me who has to put up with the décor looking a little tired.

I will resist the urge to indulge my inner interior designer for now and focus on saving my pennies for my mortgage and a summer holiday with FFOMC.

 

PROGRESS TOWARDS RAISING A HOUSE DESPOSIT

DATE

% OF DEPOSIT SAVED

ESTIMATED MONTHS TILL PURCHASE

JULY 2012

28%

23 – June 2014

AUGUST 2012

31%

22 – June 2014

SEPTEMBER 2012

33%

21 – June 2014

OCTOBER 2012

36%

20 – June 2014

NOVEMBER 2012

42%

19 – June 2014

DECEMBER 2012

47%

17 – May 2014

JANUARY 2013

54%

15 – March 2014

FEBRUARY 2013

59%

14 – February 2014

MARCH 2013

62%

10 – January 2014

APRIL 2013

76%

                      6 – October 2013

MAY 2013

62%

10 – March 2014

JUNE 2013

73%

6 – December 2013

JULY 2013

77%

5 – December 2013





Buying a home – I need a garden

9 06 2013

Garden

Every month I provide an update of my progress towards buying my own home.

This is my big mission in life right now and it is something I feel very passionately about. Whilst this goal is never far from my mind; in the summer months my desire for home ownership is even stronger. When the sun is out and friends continuously populate their facebook status updates with talk of beer and BBQ’s – I really miss having a garden.

I grew up in a house with a great garden complete with swing set. When I was a teenager my Mother finally got the conservatory she always wanted and my Dad got his patio. Mum is a real opportunist when it comes to good weather and I would regularly come home from school on a sunny day to discover her mid preparation for a family BBQ.

I want that in my own life. Just to be able to step through a set of French doors into my own outdoor space to get a bit of colour on my skin would have a massive impact on my leisure time. As a teacher my main holiday is in the summer and it would be lovely if I could make better use of this time. I have not lived in a property with a garden for the last 8 years. I live in a top floor flat. It is baking hot in the summer months and very uncomfortable. In addition to the heat the other disadvantage of the summer months is that the cracks in the damaged ceiling and walls seem more noticeable than in winter.

Of course I could go out to a local park to read my book in the sun – but its not quite the same. Each month FFOMC and I creep ever closer to our goal of owning our own property but it never actually feels any closer to actually happening.

 

PROGRESS TOWARDS RAISING A HOUSE DESPOSIT

DATE

% OF DEPOSIT SAVED

ESTIMATED MONTHS TILL PURCHASE

JULY 2012

28%

23 – June 2014

AUGUST 2012

31%

22 – June 2014

SEPTEMBER 2012

33%

21 – June 2014

OCTOBER 2012

36%

20 – June 2014

NOVEMBER 2012

42%

19 – June 2014

DECEMBER 2012

47%

17 – May 2014

JANUARY 2012

54%

15 – March 2014

FEBRUARY 2012

59%

14 – February 2014

MARCH 2012

62%

10 – January 2014

APRIL 2012

76%

                      6 – October 2013

MAY 2012

62%

10 – March 2014

JUNE 2012

73%

6 – December 2013