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The Cheshire Cat

A Bristol Man's Tale

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As a newbie having been a constant reader for the last few weeks, I thought i'd share my experiences with everyone on the site and also as a salient reminder to those younger than me (I'm 30) about the perils of getting sucked into house buying too early, the associated loan madness that goes with it, and also how life stuff can get in the way.

Having grad'd from uni in 96 I moved to Bristol and started work from a fairly low initial salary, then, by 2001, got myself in a position to buy. Problem was I'd run up about 8K in loans at the time, which I'd gently added to in the intervening five year period - usually for wanting stuff like a car, a new stereo, a holiday, the usual bits n' pieces. Anyway, bought a house in the east of the city, up and coming area etc etc, which was true at the time. And, what do you know? Need more money to do up the house - by the time I had finished I had a 65K mortgage and an 18K unsecured debt.

Easy you'd think - MEW is the answer, after spending 6 months there, the house was now worth 90K (crazy, but true) - could do that and still have a wedge of cash. But, not if you lose your job and have to take a severe salary cut - which is what happened to me. After two years of worry, stress, anxiety and dealing with stroppy tenents, I'd had enough - plus the extension at the back of the house was coming away from the main part of the building.

After a few months more stress and worry - I managed to sell the house to a builder for £92K (when it should have sold for £110K) and proceeded to move in to a friends' gaff renting out...for a lot less and saving a little less than the same amount that I was paying him. Things have worked out - just about..in the end but it could have so much worse.

(Just as a subtext to this point, I later found out that having bought it from me, the builder sold the house two months later...for £110K - how galling is that?)

The Lessons:-

1. Do Not Have Any Or Minimal Debt When You Buy A House. If You Don't, Your In Trouble From The Off, because the bank will assume your a bunny waiting to be milked and fall over themselves to "help" you. If you need to loan, it has to be for a worthwhile reason...not when you next want a holiday.

2. Do Have As Big A Deposit When You Buy.

3. Put Three Months Mortgage And Living Costs To One Side As An Emegency Fund.

4. Do Not Think Buying And Dealing With A House Is Easy. You've Got To Look After And Run It Like A Business Sometimes. And This Includes Keeping Full Accounts Of All That Goes In And Out.

5. Stuff Happens In Our Lives That We Can't Control...Including Falling Ill, Getting The Sack...Being Made Redundant - do not assume once you have the house it will all be easy..it becomes a millstone if things go wrong.

6. Listen To Parents And Other Family Members. My old man can be a pain in the a*** sometimes, but he basically told me to "stop f****** around and sell" (his words not mine). He knew I was unhappy..was shocked at how much debt I'd racked up and couldn't believe how I'd skewered myself. He had a funny way of showing it, but he cared and in the end he proved to be right. Parents actually do know what their talking about (most of the time)

Personally, while not wishing for the majority of the house buying population to be stuffed by a crash, maybe this is what we need for people to understand how bad things can be for all of us when things go wrong nationally. We've been very lucky, for a long time, but it looks like the wheels are about to come off.

I was caught up in trying to have everything too soon - and forgot the one person who mattered - which was me. I just wasn't happy - with debts around me and a house that I'd put money into starting to crumble, literallly, in front of my eyes.

I can see me renting for the next ten years, if that's what it takes to build up a deposit for another place and for house prices to fall back to a realistic level. And you know what, I don't mind one bit. And, anyway, who really needs to own a house, with a substantial mortgage and associated shenanigans that comes with it? Please someone explain to me..and I only see this now, what difference does it make to your status if you buy or rent? Where you live is important up to a point in terms of your livelihood, job, aspirations, comfort, but when you've got a house sat in neg equity, two kids to feed and credit card bills coming out of your ears why put yourself through it?

Here endeth the lesson. Any questions? Or am I going to have to draw diagrams next time?

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Do they let you take out a high LTV mortage when you have other debts? The only time I filled out a mortgage application was 10 years ago, but I'm sure the form made you declare all other debts. Wasnt that what Peter Mandleson failed to do?

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Do they let you take out a high LTV mortage when you have other debts? The only time I filled out a mortgage application was 10 years ago, but I'm sure the form made you declare all other debts. Wasnt that what Peter Mandleson failed to do?

why did you have to mention PM ? I get high blood pressure thinking about any Nu Labour [****] but PM almost sends me over the edge,.

he makes me sooooooooooooooo angry.

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Do they let you take out a high LTV mortage when you have other debts? The only time I filled out a mortgage application was 10 years ago, but I'm sure the form made you declare all other debts. Wasnt that what Peter Mandleson failed to do?

Oh God yeah - I took my mortgage out with the same bank that I had the loan with. Had a 100% mortgage. Should have shopped around - actually shouldn't have bought anyway - just feel lucky that I sold and cleared all debts. But know better now.

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  • 341 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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