I’ve been meaning to write a blog post for some weeks now but the ideas weren’t flowing nor did there ever seem to be the time to actually sit down and draft something out. I’m off for a week over Easter and I finally had some time to consider what was wrong. I would like to share a few tips that I’ve used over the past few days.
The upstairs flat next to us has just been put on the market. I opened our door the other morning and there it was, the real estate agent’s sign standing tall on the fence. I let myself get a little excited as I googled the agent’s name and our street but the glimmer of hope was quickly extinguished once I saw the price. In a previous post I reflected on where we might like to live ultimately but London house prices are starting to make that decision for us.
(update: the flat sold less than two weeks later from when I posted this!)
I brushed off my disappointment at the local cafe where I take our son for my regular dose of caffeine and started checking the houses for sale on Rightmove.
Two of the terms I had to learn the meaning of in the UK when I started looking at houses and flats for sale were freehold and leasehold and I’d like to talk a little more about the difference between the two today.
I didn’t really know what to post about, afraid that I didn’t have anything interesting to share, but then considering this blog is about our journey to home ownership, this seemed particularly relevant. Sometimes you just have to celebrate the small wins.
When saving up a seriously large amount of money, like a house deposit, you may need to set yourself a few smaller goals along the way. We achieved one of these today by filling one of our Lifetime ISAs for the year. For a reminder of what that is, check my previous post on the topic.
This means that in May some time, the government will top whatever is in the account by 25% which is pretty exciting. There may be a spot of constant balance-checking over that time period!
What next? We’re going to try and fill my husband’s LISA as much as possible before the deadline of the 5th April. And then we begin saving towards the 2018/19 allowance.
Are we disappointed that we haven’t filled both this year? No! There are loads of people who haven’t even opened a regular savings account. so in that respect we’re ahead of the game.
Have you reached a savings milestone this week?
We visited my husband’s friends over weekend. I had heard a lot about the guy as my husband plays in a band with him so it was one of those situations where you feel like you already know the person despite having never met. He and his wife have a son who’s a little older than our boy. We had a lovely time watching the babies play, eating delicious food and playing board games.
*ugh, this post took far longer to write than I ever intended. Sometimes life just gets in the way!*
Earlier this afternoon we signed a contract with our new childminder who will be looking after our son three days a week starting in May when we both return to work full time. I will be applying for childcare vouchers and my husband has drafted his application for flexible working to send to his manager tomorrow.
One of our dilemmas with our house hunt has been where we want to eventually settle. We currently live in Zone 3 London however my husband’s family live about 90 minutes out of the city.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my husband and I opted for shared parental leave rather than the traditional 12 months maternity leave on offer in the UK. I went on maternity leave in May last year until December and then my husband took over from the start of this year until May.
In this post I want to go a little bit more into why we chose this for our family, how we set it up and some of the perks and challenges along the way.
Hello again. I am now back at work full time while my husband stays home to look after our son temporarily (here is some more information about Shared Parental Leave). Receiving my first full pay cheque after several months of maternity pay was a welcome relief and I made sure that we went back into full savings mode. This included a £300 lump sum into the Lifetime ISA and slowly increasing the other regular payments I make into our other savings accounts (for more information about how we’re saving for our house, see my previous post on the topic). One of those accounts is our emergency fund.
So last week, I dipped my toe into the blogging world and wrote my first post explaining how I wanted to document our journey into home ownership. For this post I’m going to go into how we’re saving and the reasoning behind it.
Updated: 28th April 2018
In the words of WordPress, thanks for joining me!
I am a big personal finance blog fan. Reading the articles selected for me by Rockstar Finance is a daily ritual. My husband has often said I should start my own blog but I’ve never had the urge to. To be honest, I never really thought my personal finance journey was one of note. I still don’t, but some of my favourite blogs are those of people who are documenting their progress to achieve a goal, be that freedom from debt, financial independence, moving to their own homestead, you get the idea.
Which is why I’ve started writing. We want to buy a house. In 2018. We have been slowly saving since before we got married in 2015 but now the lease on our rental property is up in October, we have the impetus to turn the dream into a reality. Although sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut, I feel that documenting our progress will help us stick to our goals.
We currently live in London, which has insane property prices. There are flats for sale on our street that are simply out of our price range, even if we cut out the avocado toast and fancy coffees. So part of our journey will be deciding where we want to move to.
Mortgages, and more specifically how to get one is also something else we need to learn about.
We have a baby boy too. I took seven months maternity leave and using Shared Parental Leave, my husband then took four months off from work to care for him. I’m not really sure what we would have done had we not been able to take SPL. He now goes to a local childminder, who although excellent, is quite expensive. A bit like London property prices.
So that’s where we’re are at the moment. I will continue to delve into further detail in future posts but I already feel accomplished having written this. If you have any questions about our journey, please let me know, we do love the feedback.
Talk to you next time!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton