Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE. This week I discuss the drop in property values, and the probable recession we may find ourselves in. Also, the usual financial updates, a bit of Lego, and some good food this weekend.
I’ve spent most of the week still recovering from my op the week before. On Monday I was not feeling in a great way and I called the helpline number I was given if I had questions about my recovery. I was asked to come up to the hospital immediately for some scans. It appears that the stent I have between my kidney and bladder is causing irritation, but I can’t have the stent removed until I have the next operation. I was originally told that it would take place 2-3 weeks after the first one, but it looks like that timetable has been pushed back a week or so. The sooner it’s done, the better.
I’ve tried to get out and about for some light walks but I have no energy, and the pain and discomfort are, well, uncomfortable when I walk. I’m itching to get back to some sort of normal routine. Once I’ve got this kidney problem sorted I’ll be on the countdown to the summer, where I have a Coldplay concert and a two-week cruise around Norway to look forward to. It sometimes feels as though life is just waiting for the next thing to start, as we wait for the next holiday, the next event, the next birthday, and so on.
Speaking of birthdays, it’s Oana’s birthday this weekend. Although she’s not feeling hugely excited about getting older, I’m incredibly proud of her. She came to this country when she was just 18 years old, and having grown up in a fairly affluent household she had never had to work for anything herself. Armed with no experience, she carved out her own life, and all her successes are her own. She’s earned an undergraduate degree, postgraduate qualifications, professional qualifications such as CeMAP, and a whole list of other certificates and awards. She’s financially comfortable and independent in her own right. Everything she has done, she’s earned herself through hard work, an iron will, and a determination to stand on her own two feet. Everything she has achieved is in spite of those who’ve tried to hold her back, and despite having a lot of shit thrown her way over the years, she keeps picking herself up and moving forward. She’s my best friend, my partner, and I know she’ll continue to go from strength to strength.
We’re having a low-key weekend. We’re making some food and just going to relax as much as possible. As I write this on Saturday afternoon, we’ve had some great food. I made a butterbean, chickpea, and pearl barley soup. Oana made some French potatoes, and we made a dessert that was so good it was almost a spiritual experience. We made baked nectarines, with syrup made from orange, star anise, and cinnamon. We made an orange, honey, and mascarpone cream, and served with a pistachio crumb. See the pic below:
On Sunday my Dad is coming over and we are making enchiladas. We’ve already made a couple of desserts including lemon and raspberry pots, and chocolate tiffin. All in all, it’s been a good day for food.
I’ve had a few more Lego sets delivered this week, including the Lunar Lander, and Optimus Prime. I’ve also been assembling some of my older sets, some of which date back to the 1980s. I’m still disappointed that my Lego Rocinante could not be completed. Once I’ve organised some more of my older sets, I’ll dismantle the Rocinante and use the parts for other models. I’d like to find a design for the Donnager-class battleships from The Expanse, but the only ones I can find have mixed reviews.
Another model I’d love to build is Hillsborough stadium; home of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. A google search led me to Chris Smith, and his website, brickstand.com. He’s aiming to build The 92; the stadia of the 92 football league clubs. I’ve exchanged a few messages with Chris and he’s given me some hints and tips for building Hillsborough, but unfortunately, he doesn’t have a full set of instructions. If anyone out there has a full design for Hillsborough including a parts list, let me know as I’ll pay good money for a good design.
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What Am I Doing?
TV: If Only (Netflix). Taco Chronicles (Netflix).
Audiobook: Infinite Timeline by Jeremy Robinson, & How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie.
If Only (Spanish title: Si lo hubiera sabido) was good fun. It’s an eight-part series based in Seville and tells the story of Emma, a young woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. One night, when there’s a Blood Moon, she travels ten years back in time into her younger body. For the most part, it’s a light hearted Rom-Com which occasionally delves into darker territory. Although I really enjoyed it, I hope it’s not renewed for a second season as it’s a complete story as is. Sometimes, shows only need a single season, and if there’s no more story to tell then there’s no point dragging it out for the sake of it.
We’ve also resumed watching Taco Chronicles on Netflix. It is literally a documentary series about the different types of taco served across the different regions of Mexico. It’s really interesting, and the things that these people can do with combinations of meats, salsas and tortillas are just mindblowing. The show doesn’t just describe the different types of tacos. It also delves into the history and culture of each region, showing how and why the people devised different ways of cooking. If you like tacos, watch this show. If you don’t like tacos, watch this show and you’ll soon learn to love tacos.
I also really enjoyed How To Kill Your Family, which tells the story of another young woman, Grace, who is tracking down and murdering her estranged family. The story kept me guessing, and I found myself not wanting it to end. I think HTKYF will end up being high on my list of 2023’s favourite books.
In between books that count towards my 2023 book challenge I’ve been revisiting the Infinite Timeline by Jeremy Robinson. For those who don’t know, the Infinite Timeline is a series of a dozen or so standalone books that all come together for a big crossover event. The stories that make up the timeline are a mix of sci-fi and horror. The combination of Jeremy’s writing, and R.C. Bray’s fantastic narration is fantastic. If you like sci-fi, horror, and a good amount of humour, you should check it out.
Premium Bonds: £19,350.00 (no change).
Stocks and Shares ISA: £67,717.01 (+£1,788.61).
Fuck It Fund: £0.00 (no change).
Pensions: £57,156.86 (+£1,161.41).
Residential Property Value: £228,006.00 (-£5,983.00).
Buy-to-Let Property Value: £147,133.00 (-£3,860.00).
Total Assets: £519,362.87 (-£6,892.98).
Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).
Loans: £9,900.00 (-£100.00).
Residential Mortgage: £179,595.11 (no change).
Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £105,015.74 (no change).
Total Debts: £294,510.85 (-£100.00).
Total Wealth: £224,852.02 (-£6,792.98).
Investment Income in 2023: £137.11 (target £8,500).
For the first time since I started this project, the housing market has dropped. Both my apartment and BTL have decreased in value. It’s important to remember that these drops are only realised if, and when, it comes time to sell. I’ve already agreed on a price for selling my share of my BTL, and there are no immediate plans to sell my apartment, so these reductions only matter on paper. The market will bounce back in time.
This week has seen reports coming from the ONS about GDP in November 2022 which suggest that the UK might not technically be in a recession. This news does feel very much like a technicality and unless there are surprising figures for December, I think it’s a matter of when, not if, we enter a recession.
A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters where GDP falls. The Bank of England is concerned we could enter a recession that lasts for roughly two years, or for those using the new calendar, we are looking at a recession lasting three more Tory Chancellors.
With the global economy being more interconnected than ever I don’t think recessions in the 2020s are going to be like recessions of previous decades. Money moves around the world at the speed of light, and what used to take days or weeks to ripple through the global economy can now take just minutes or seconds. The most important thing to remember with investing is that time in the market is much more important than timing the market. Having a system in place for investing and sticking to it through the good times and the bad is, generally, much better than trying to react to market conditions. As I said, money moves at the speed of light and by the time you are thinking of reacting, it’s already too late. Have a system in place and stick to it.
We’ll probably get another month’s rent from the property before the tenants move out and the transfer of ownership is complete. What should be a simple transfer is not being helped by a legal firm that lacks even the most basic level of competence. So far they’ve had the wrong names on documents and repeatedly sent contradictory instructions for what to do with the different forms they’ve sent out. Both myself and my investment partner have years of mortgage experience, and we’re finding this a challenging process. I dread to think how those with limited mortgage experience handle this process. Hopefully, the next thing we hear will be that the transaction is ready to complete.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week ahead.
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