Saturday, 19 January 2019

Upping Sticks and buying our first home

Late last year Stuart and I sat down and had a chat about our plans for the future. One of our main goals is to own our own house instead of renting. We currently live in Bedfordshire and have found the constant rising house prices meant that living here is just far to expensive. We decided that even though its a hard decision to move away a bit up north.  We are now in the process of purchasing our first home in Lincolnshire. 

At the moment we are currently waiting to exchange contracts and to get a completion date which we ideally want by the end of the month. We need to be out of the flat by mid February anyway so it's all systems go with decluttering and packing so you can imagine its a stressful time for us at the moment. 

With that in mind its likely that my blog is going to be on the quiet side as we are definitely going to be busy over the next month or so. At the moment I'm pretty anxious about it all but our solicitor has told us that the contract will be sent out next week. Honestly I didn't realise how sky high my nerves could be! 

I'm definitely feeling an overwhelming mixture of feelings from excitement about owning our home and exploring a new area to feeling anxious about moving away and not having family and friends as close.

We are also hoping to head up there at some point before we move to measure up and take some photos.  I'm hoping to share with you some home related posts especially as we want to decorate and there are some rooms we want to get done more sooner than others such as Blake's bedroom. We also need to sort out a new window in the attic room  and also want to get a new front door sorted.

I'll definitely be back with a house update soon.


Friday, 11 January 2019

Getting to Know the Finer Points of Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages are home loans specifically available to you when you are 62 years of age or older. Although you have probably seen advertisements telling you how beneficial they are to retirees, you may not understand the intricacies of how they work. You may also be unsure of exactly what benefits you can get from them. That is why it is important to explore the finer points of reverse mortgages and what they have to offer.

How to Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage

Qualifying for a reverse mortgage is fairly easy, as long as you meet the age requirement and own a home with a high enough amount of equity to borrow against. Your reverse mortgage lender may also require you to undergo a credit check and make sure you have enough financial stability to perform maintenance on your home and pay the taxes and other expenses you must pay as a homeowner. For the most part, the only disqualified homes are homes that are not your primary residence, are not worth enough or are large apartment complexes, but there may be some exceptions.

Types of Reverse Mortgages to Pick From
There are two types of reverse mortgages. For example, you can get such a loan from a private reverse mortgage lender. You can also get one from a government source. Government agencies market reverse mortgages as “home equity conversion mortgages,” or “HECMs.” That is because the loans allow you to spend part of your home  equity to make your retirement financially easier.

Both types of mortgages are established in similar ways. For example, a reverse mortgage calculator is used for either type to figure out how much can be borrowed. It is difficult to calculate that amount because of government regulations and the influences of market values, as well as other factors. In addition to both taking advantage of reverse mortgage calculators, both loans are long-term mortgages with no immediate payback requirements on your part. However, they do differ in the fact HECMs are more closely government monitored and insured. Nevertheless, even private reverse mortgages are subject to some government regulations.

The Terms of Reverse Mortgage Agreements

The exact terms of reverse mortgage agreements may vary, but in general your agreement will allow you to receive an amount of money equal to a percentage of your home equity. You will then be given an unlimited amount of time to pay the money back, as long as you remain in the home and continue maintaining it properly by paying taxes and other expenses. Over the duration of the loan, which may be many years, interest will accumulate. However, in the short-term you can spend the extra retirement funds without repayment worries.

Another variation in loan terms is how you choose to borrow the money. There is a lot of flexibility in how you can be paid. If you have an existing mortgage, funds from the reverse loan must be used to pay the balance right away. Fees and closing costs of the reverse mortgage will also be taken out of the amount you can borrow ahead of time. After those expenses are paid, you can receive the remainder in installments or as one payment. You can also opt for a line of credit, which will allow you to tap into your home equity as needed by extracting varying amounts. The choice you make will depend on your current retirement living expenses.


Friday, 4 January 2019

My 2019 Reading challenge

If you read yesterday's goals for 2019 post you will know that one of my goals for 2019 is to read 60 books which works out at 5 books a month. I've set my goal up on goodreads and I've now decided that I want to challenge myself with some prompts to get me reading a more diverse range.

There are so many reading challenges and I've actually found the choice quite overwhelming so instead of joining in with a particular one or few I've taken some ideas from a range of challenges and made my own prompt list up.

So here is my little challenge:

  • A vintage classic 
  • A book published in 2019
  • A fantasy 
  • A historical fiction
  • A book I wouldn't usually read
  • A book about books
  • A book about friendship
  • A fairytail retelling 
  • A self help book
  • A book by a new to me author 
  • A young adult fiction
  • A book that's been turned into A film
  • A book from a favourite author I've not yet read
  • A series 
  • A book based in another country
  • A Horror

I thought I’d also share my current TBR pile, i.e. the books that I’ve bought or been given as gifts recently and haven’t had a chance to read yet. There are currently approxamtly just under 20 unread books sitting on my bookshelves, including the following:

  • In the Dark by Cara Hunter
  • True places by Sonja yoerg
  • Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng 
  • One thousand stars and you by Isabelle Broom
  • Nine perfect strangers by Liane Moriarty
  • A spark of light by Jodi Picoult
  • The Great alone by Kirstin Hannah