Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE. This week I discuss the term “remortgage”, how words have power, and some thoughts on the base rate increase. Also, the end of the Infinite Timeline by Jeremy Robinson.
The base rate goes up, so you know what that means…..
That’s right, it’s time for anyone and everyone in the media to throw around the term “remortgage” to describe anything and everything mortgage-related, except for, you know, actually remortgaging.
Ok, once more for those at the back of the room… Remortgaging means paying off one mortgage with the funds released from another mortgage whilst using the same property as security. The most common example of this is taking a mortgage out with another lender to pay off the mortgage you have with your current lender. It does not mean *deep breath* switching interest rates, completing a further advance, changing your payment date, changing repayment type, or changing the names of the people on the mortgage.
In all seriousness, though, it’s not like their only job is to accurately report the news and use the right terminology. If only there were sources online where you could check the definition of financial terms…
“A remortgage is the process of paying off one mortgage with the proceeds from a new mortgage using the same property as security. The term is mainly used commercially in the United Kingdom, though what it describes is not unique to any one country.”
Since December 2021 we have seen eleven increases in the base rate from a historic low of 0.1% to 4.25%. One does have to question whether these increases are achieving anything. Inflation is too high, and that much is obvious, but the world is much more interconnected now than ever before. Economies are much more integrated and it’s difficult for individual countries to change things in isolation. It’s not impossible, but it’s not as simple as tweaking variable A (the interest rate) and observing a change in variable B (the rate of inflation).
I wouldn’t trust the Tory government to run the bank in a game of Monopoly, so my faith in their ability to manage our economy is as low as it can get. How long until the next election?
I’ve been getting back into the gym slowly but surely. The shockwave therapy on my elbows seems to be working. Gym etiquette, or the lack thereof, is something I find very annoying. My biggest pet hate is when people occupy a piece of equipment, crank out a few reps and then spend five minutes browsing Facebook. We all need time to rest between sets, but some people just take the piss.
We had a few interesting things happen with our BTL this week. We had a full list of viewings, of which we had four interested parties. One of them was very keen and was willing to pay more than the advertised rent to secure the property. It was a working couple with good jobs and income. We advised the agent to proceed with their application. Then, their whole story changed. It turns out the wife is not in the UK, and the husband wanted to take the property on and then add the wife to it later. We rejected the applicant, and then when our agent asked why, we explained our reasons…
The applicant lied. It’s really that simple. They got their foot in the door by claiming one thing, that it would be a joint application and both of them were employed on salaries quoted in £. However, the reality was one of them was working on the opposite side of the world and would be relocating. There would be no guarantee of work or income when they arrive. Also, the wife had not even seen the property and when she arrived in the UK she might not like it. All that aside, it comes back to the fact that they lied.
At the viewings, it was also discovered we had a gas leak, which was repaired quickly but it’s still an extra cost. Anyway, we went with our second choice applicant but upon a second viewing with both husband and wife present they decided not to go for it. So, next week we have another full list of viewings.
I really need to find a way to achieve FIRE as soon as possible. A fair few people have commented on how stressed I’ve seemed recently. The best way to explain why this is the case is to come back to the old example of spoons. There are things in my life that I have to do. These things take up spoons. Compared to a year or two ago my baseline demand for spoons has increased. Call it Spoonflation. Wait, did I just coin a new term?
So a couple of years ago, when I started the day with ten spoons, my daily life would have a minimum cost of three spoons. This left seven spoons for all the other stuff; socialising, studying, exercising, etc. Fast forward to now and much has changed. These changes have been, in isolation, small but small things can accumulate and before I knew it the basics of daily life are now costing six spoons. Also, previous stress has worn me down meaning that instead of starting the day with ten spoons, it’s now down to nine.
It seems to be a common thing with autistic adults who only realise they’re autistic in later life, that they burn out and crash hard. A lot of this comes down to trying to understand and make sense of neurotypical use of language, as a neurodivergent observer and participant. It’s exhausting, confusing, and a source of extreme stress.
You might be wondering if I’ve typed all this out whilst downing shot after shot of bourbon with a cigarette hanging from the corner of my mouth, seeing as though I’ve jumped around from one subject to another. There is, believe it or not, a common theme that links everything together. That theme is that words have power. Or, as The Buddha (may or may not have) said,
“Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”
All the points I’ve talked about so far relate to the use of words; using the term remortgage incorrectly, lying to gain an advantage, and trying to communicate clearly and effectively with people drawing on the same inventory of words but who might as well be speaking a different language.
Please don’t misrepresent my point here; I’m not making a value judgement on neurotypical vs neurodivergent use of language. I’m not saying one is better than the other. It’s like when two people with really strong accents have to talk to each other, sometimes they need to slow down and speak more clearly.
So, to summarise, don’t lie on your application for renting a property, and if you’re a financial journalist learn what the term remortgage means. Oh, and before I forgot, if you find my use of words entertaining, please buy me a coffee using the link below.
It was two years ago today that I said goodbye to the best cat, Sweep. We adopted him in late 2018 and he was already an old man at 17 years old. We had him until early 2021 and he was a shining light for me when I went through the darkest period of my life. He was my best friend and a constant source of love, affection, and humour. I miss him every day and I have his picture hanging above my desk in my home office.
If you are thinking of getting a cat, please consider adopting an older cat. They are often overlooked but they can bring so much joy to your life. Since Sweep passed we have had another two older cats; Bobby and Poppy.
Although I love them all, Sweep will always hold a special place in my heart. I miss you, bud.
The photo of me with my MIT shirt on is the first time Sweep came and sat on my lap. Over time we developed a routine where, when I was done with work for the day, I’d need time to destress. Most working days for me finish with extreme stress, headaches, and just a feeling of utter exhaustion. This is the impact of being autistic in a neurotypical world. The thing is, Sweep could tell when I was stressed. I’d go a lie down, and he’d come and either lie on my chest or curl up next to me. Sometimes I’d sleep and Oana would take a few pics to show me later. Other times I’d just pet him and he’d purr up a storm. It was such a help, and I’d like to think Sweep enjoyed those times as much as I did.
Here are a few pics of Bobby (the white cat) and Poppy (the tortie):
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What Am I Doing?
TV: The Boys (Amazon), Picard (Amazon).
Audiobook: Singularity: Infinite Timeline by Jeremy Robinson
I finished the final book in the Infinite Timeline, Singularity, on Saturday. It was emotional. Jeremy Robinson has one of the craziest imaginations I’ve experienced. He wove an interconnected universe of stories involving Ancient Greek myth, alien abductions, the Mormon church, a US 80s Special Forces team transported a thousand years into the future where they faced down the Fourth Reich, a small town transported back through time, an alien invasion of New Hampshire, a superhero with the codename Laser Chicken and that’s not even scratched the surface. This story has been unfolding for almost a decade and has explored the nature of reality, free will, the simulation hypothesis, PTSD, anxiety, and much more. This series deserves a big-budget adaptation for the screen.
Premium Bonds: £38,000.00 (no change).
Stocks and Shares ISA: £62,888.44 (-£626.41).
Fuck It Fund: £125.00 (+£25.00).
Pensions: £55,680.90 (-£145.40).
Residential Property Value: £228,006.00 (no change).
BTL Property Value: £147,133.00 (no change).
Total Assets: £531,833.34 (-£746.81).
Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).
Loans: £9,700.00 (no change).
Residential Mortgage: £178,674.86 (no change).
BTL Mortgage: £105,001.75 (no change).
Total Debts: £293,376.61 (no change).
Total Wealth: £238,456.73 (-£746.81).
Investment Income in 2023: £607.16 (target £8,500).
The stock market continues to feel the impact of the mini banking crisis. The base rate increase seems to have been a knee-jerk reaction to the recent inflation figures. As I mentioned before, I can’t see how adjusting the base rate is going to have any real impact on inflation in the short term. It feels like doing something for the sake of being seen to do something. I think what the UK needs now is a sustained period of stability where people don’t have to worry about where the next financial hit is going to come from.
I had hoped that we’d have a tenant lined up for our BTL by now, but it looks like it will rumble on for another week or two. This means that the chances of hitting my £8,500 income goal for the year is looking increasingly unlikely. It was an optimistic target, but I should still easily surpass last year’s income.
In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be paying back the money I owe to my investment partner, which will see my Premium Bonds take a sizable hit. So, here’s hoping I score a big win in the April draw.
I’ve posted before about my indecision when it comes to my ISA in the next financial year. My thoughts are starting to coalesce into a more concrete plan. I’ll be opening a new ISA with a new provider, but I’ll keep my current ISA as it is running alongside. As long as I only invest into one ISA in the financial year I’ll abide by the rules. Why keep my existing ISA? Well, there are stocks there that I’m not ready to sell and the new provider does not offer the facility to hold individual stocks.
Anyway, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading.
The views and opinions in this blog are my own, and do not represent the views or opinions of my employer, nor should they be considered advice.
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