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

Advertisements




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

 





ISA’s

4 05 2013

ISAIn my quest to make the most of my savings towards my house deposit I have been watching the Martin Lewis Money Show.

A recent episode has made me realise how poorly informed I am about the nature of savings (in particular ISA’s) and that my approach to savings has been as productive as an infants attempts to practice their fine motor skills by forcing square blocks into triangular holes. Since watching the show I have been in the process of moving money round all over the place to try to get the most out of the funds I have managed to raise so far.

Just over a year ago I openned an ISA account.

I knew this was considered a good option for prudent savers.

I also knew that these savings were not subject to tax.

I even knew that the tax free element has an upper limit (about £5000 when I first openned the account).

I did not know that I could continue to pay in money  after I had reached this limit.

I also did not know that if I did not remove the money from the account after the end of the tax year – that it remains tax free along with my next yearly allowance.

What a dipstick!!!!

When deciding where to put the majority of my savings I was only looking at the APR. Therefore it seemed a better option to leave my money in an account that had a higher APR rate (albeit less than 1% difference).

This decision may have cost me in the long run.

I like to think that I make good choices about how to invest my savings but I am clearly a learner in the financial world and need to pay much closer attention to the small print if I am to make the most of the savings that I have worked so hard to acculminate.

My annual tax bill has taken me back a step with my savings but at least I had savings with which to pay it rather than spending the next agonising few months paying a hefty bill and not continuing to move forward 🙂

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%

14 – April 2014





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





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