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.

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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





Help to Buy

1 04 2013

Help to buy

At the beginning of each month I review my progress towards raising the elusive deposit for buying my first home. I am delighted to report that my savings are continuing to build steadily but I am definitely feeling the months drag as the end goal still feels unobtainable.

On 20th March 2013 the annual budget brought included good news for potential first time buyers.

The new government scheme Help to Buy will help people who have raised 5% of the cost of a property with a maximum value of £600,000. It must be a new build.

The government will then give you an equity loan worth 20% of the house value to be repaid at anytime. This means the buyer only has to secure a deposit of 75%. The scheme will run for 3 years starting from today.

I hope I am one of the people who benefits from this scheme. We both work our socks off and deserve somewhere we can called our own.

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 2013

APRIL 2012

76%

                      6 – October 2013

 

 

I'm part of Post A Day 2013





Viewing Our Potential Dream Home

1 02 2013

house_cartoon

It’s time once more for me to reflect on my progress towards achieving my dream of home ownership.

You may have noticed that a few months ago I started including a table at the bottom of posts relating to home ownership. These posts are my way of tracking my progress towards raising a deposit and the table shows the % of the deposit we have saved and the estimated months it should take until we are able to purchase – assuming we maintain the momentum and everything continues as planned. This is by no means an exact science and a million things could happen between now and then, but I am the type of person who needs clear goals and targets but I should still explain how these numbers were generated.

One of my personal barriers to raising a deposit has been the fact that owning a home costs a lot of money. As such it is prudent to have a large amount in savings before embarking in the process of viewing properties and approaching lenders. But with no end goal or exact figures in mind, I was finding it hard to retain focus and enthusiasm as it all seemed very abstract.

I am fully prepared to make sacrifices to achieve my dreams but I needed some sort of savings target and a deadline to work towards; otherwise how would I know how much of my income to set aside each month? “Lots of it” was not specific enough for me and I was struggling to commit  with no end in sight.

I discovered a local property being sold under a government scheme for first time buyers. I took my husband to see it – it was perfect!!!

We decided to use this property as a model altough we were not in a position to purchase at that point it gave us an idea of how far our money could go and more importantly the sort of deposit we should be aiming for. I got out my calculator and did some sums.

Of course, by the time we have raised the money we hope to save, it is highly likely these properties will no longer be available or the scheme may be cancelled but we now have something concrete to work towards. What we are currently saving each month amounts to about 3% of the total deposit that we would need. My aim is to gradually increase this to 5% (because I like round numbers) but 3% is perfectly acceptable for the time being.

The important thing is that by approaching it this way home ownership feels more achievable. As long as I save a minimum of 3% of the deposit needed every month I feel a sense of achievement. Anything over this amount is obviously a bonus but I don’t feel guilty about every penny I spend that does not end up in savings.

As things currently stand we have saved a total of 59 % of the deposit we think we need and could potentially be ready to purchase in 14 months.

Watch this space for “THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

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





Working to buy a home

3 01 2013

In an earlier post I outline some of the difficulties my husband and I faced when we first started to consider home ownership. But that’s not the whole story. As well as having many knock backs we have also taken some very positive steps over the years to help make our dream a reality. We may not be there yet but it’s as important to reflect on action taken to improve our chances.

One of the most important factors is work. After all it our income that determines whether banks will give you a mortgage and for most of us the main purpose of our working life is secure a rewarding and comfortable home life.

When I finished university I drifted for some time. Although my other half has been in full time employment for as long as I have known him; the work I took on initially was always temporary. I often toured for sustained periods of time and between tours I couldn’t settle into anything that tied me down too much as I never knew when I would be away again.

I did eventually take on a permanent job role but it was not well paid so I started to look for part time work in addition to my main job. I found a number of positions including teaching social skills through Drama to adults with learning disabilities, teaching at a children’s theatre school, some private singing tuition and I started to work as a Murder Mystery actress. These positions were more flexible, meaning I could still take on any acting work that came along but they were also a significantly better rate of pay than my main job. I was of course exhausted but at least my bank balance was fairly healthy. My partner worked in retail and over time eventually received a management position and whilst we were not well off we did eventually start to enjoy greater financial stability.

However as my part time work was self employed I did have to declare my self employed earnings to Inland Revenue. You don’t really notice tax and national insurance being deducted from your salary each month but you REALLY notice when you receive an end of year bill. This created a seesaw effect in my savings account and caused problems on more than one occasion.

Five years ago I took a massive step of returning to university and I retrained as a secondary school drama teacher. This was a significant turning point. In three years I managed to double my salary. I kept on my part time work and this became the main source of my savings while I survived on my main salary – something that had never really been possible before. Despite still having some debt to pay off we were back on track and able to begin again in earnest.

Aside from a setback in July 2011 we have actually been making gradual but steady progress and have made a good start to building up our savings and its thanks to improving our working lives.

Watch this space for “POTENTIAL DREAM HOME?

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





Every journey begins with a single step

3 11 2012

ImageFollowing my earlier post “I’m a tenant get me outta here” in which I expressed my desire to own property and outlined my frustrations with the rental market, I have decided to write once a month about my ongoing efforts towards becoming a home owner and my progress.

Every story has to start somewhere. My story began ten years ago when I was renting with my boyfriend and another couple. For reasons I won’t go into, it went horribly wrong, sufficient to say when our 6th month contract came to a close we all decided to part ways.

Even then I already knew that I wanted to buy my own place and things were pretty serious with my boyfriend so it seemed like a natural choice to make plans together. We weren’t earning very much and had no savings so we decided to move in with my boyfriends Mum for a time so we could build up our savings.

CAUTION: DO NOT MOVE IN WITH YOUR PARTNERS PARENTS. I have known a number of couples who have done this and without exception it has been a poor decision and has not had a positive effect on any of the relationships involved.

Anyway, during this time we did manage to sign up for some shared ownership housing lists where you basically buy a % of the house (anywhere between 25% and 75%) and rent the rest. This enables you to apply for a lower mortgage initially & you need a lower deposit. You can gradually increase the share you own over time. It seemed like a good way for us to get onto the property ladder if we could just raise the deposit.

However in our time living with my partners Mum we did not manage to save a deposit; but we did get engaged and 6 months before our wedding we moved into the flat that we are still living in almost 9 years later.

The cost of living and renting in this area is high and despite our efforts we never seemed to make any progress with our deposit. We also went through a prolonged period of financial instability and debt which started one miserable Boxing Day when my husband’s debit card was cloned and his account wiped out. It was heartbreaking but we eventually got everything paid off and started all over again.

It is good to reflect on your circumstances and track your progress so while I am once again drafting a revised financial plan to save a deposit for my first home I am also considering how I got to where I am today. It’s important to refocus occasionally and start fresh.

Watch this space for “WORKING TO BUY A HOME”

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