Part 41

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on F.I.R.E.  This week will see the last post on Now We Live before the site is closed down and the blog moved to a new site; davidscothern.com.

Weekly Update

​This past week has all been about trying to sell our apartment.  We’ve been messed around a little by tradespeople and agents, and it’s been extremely frustrating.  One estate agent told us verbally that they would sell our property for 1% capped at £1,700.  In reality, our property will probably sell for £190,000-£200,000 based on recent sales in our development.  When the contract came through, however, they had increased the fee to 1.5% with no cap.  I queried this and the agent stated they did not remember our discussion.  I have since spoken with two other agents who are offering 1% with no cap.  I’ll probably end up paying slightly more with another agent, but integrity and honesty is everything in business.  If this agent is going to screw with us on the fee, I have no confidence that they will not try and screw us further down the line.  

I don’t have much else to report from this week as I’ve been studying relentlessly for my next exam on 18th August.  Unfortunately, my preparation for this exam has been far from ideal as my personal life continues to present new sources of stress.  Much like with the first exam, I’m just focused on passing it with little thought given to how well I do beyond that.  Under these circumstances, a passing mark is all that matters.

​One thing I have been enjoying recently is eating out and having a cold beer in the sun.  The sunsets in our area have been spectacular lately, and I’ve had some fun putting the photos through various filters, as you can see below:

Health Update

Current Weight: 114.2 (down 0.2kg from last update).

Current Body Fat: 36.5% (up 0.4% from last update).

BMI: 34.5 (no change from last update).

Weekly Goal: lose 0.75kg.

Ultimate Goal: 90kg.

Weekly Steps: 67,456.

I was concerned that I would have gained more weight this week, but fortunately I had a stable week.  It’s just a matter of getting through one day at a time until I can dedicate more mental energy to eating well, and exercising.  I’m itching to get back to the gym but all my time has been focused on selling the apartment and preparing for my exam.  Once I have completed my exam in a couple of weeks, I’m going to sign back up at the gym and start weight training again.  It’s my main source of relaxation and the best method I’ve found to reduce stress, and the last three-months have been the most stressful of my life so far.  Those of you who know me personally will attest to that.

Financial Update

​Premium Bonds: £20,350 (no change from last update).

Stocks and Shares ISA: £12,280.56 (up £672.74 from last update).

Fuck It Fund: £0.00 (no change from last update).

Property Value: £187,554 (no change from last update).

Total Assets: £220,184.56 (up £672.74 from last update).

Credit Card: £0.00 (down £1,299.01 from last update).

Residential Mortgage: £143,171.61 (down £395.89 from last update). 

Total Debts: £143,171.61 (down £1,694.90 from last update).

Total Wealth Figure: £77,012.95 (up £2,367.64 from last update). 

Investment Income in 2020: £86.36 (no change from last update) (target £2,000).

A great week which saw me finally pay my credit card off.  The funds had been in my bank all along, I just hadn’t got around to making the payment.  Also, my monthly contribution to my ISA boosted the balance alongside some minor increases in stock values.  I’m edging towards the £80,000 mark for my Total Wealth Figure and I’ll probably have a little celebration when I break through that ceiling.  

I was hoping that the second half of 2020 would see some small signs of recovery in the stock market but my suspicion is that the market is going to remain at current levels for a while longer yet, or possibly even drop further.  It’s not a big deal right now, as pound-cost-averaging means I’m getting more bang for my buck, but eventually I will want to cash in some of my holdings to put towards another property.  

Buy to Let Update

I mentioned in my last post that the valuation came back fine with just a couple of minor points.  There will be some repair work needed but we’ve budgeted for that, so it’s not a concern.  We still need to decide on an agent to manage the property for us but this should be resolved in the next few days.  My main frustration at the moment is from the solicitors.  

The firm I’m using was one I was going to use last year when I had a BTL purchase going through.  That deal fell through when the valuation highlighted one problem after another.  My impression of the firm at the time was positive, but in the course of a few emails they’ve managed to damage their image.  First of all, they got the address of the property I’m buying wrong.  Then, they managed to lose the emails I sent with all our ID and proof of address documents attached, which meant I had to send them again.  It’s not a major issue, as it’s not like they lost physical documents.  It is a pain though, and despite me raising the issue several times they haven’t clearly responded to the address issue except to vaguely confirm they’ll deal with it.  The error in the address is that they’ve stated it’s on XYZ Avenue when it’s actually XYZ Road.  However, there is a property at XYZ Avenue as well.  If they end up completing the searches against the wrong property, it’s safe to say I’ll be pissed, as I’ve pointed this out to them four times now.  

I’m going to cut this one short as I’m pushed for time with my studies.  Thank you for reading, and if you’re reading this on Now We Live, please check out davidscothern.com when you get a chance, as it will be the new home of this blog going forward.  

Final Notes

Thank you for reading this week, and I hope you have a great week ahead.  If you are following F.I.R.E. or would like to know more about it, please get in touch via Twitter (https://twitter.com/NowWeLive01) or leave a comment on this post.  

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