Two Spendy weekends and a Flat Valuation

Cologne – Germany

I thought I’d do a quick post updating everyone on what I’ve been up to, you know, cos I lead such an interesting life and all that! I’ve had a few busy and expensive weekends and so the savings this month will no doubt take a pretty big hit.

Spendy Stag Do

The first one I went off to Cologne, Germany, for a stag do. It was a top weekend but it really hammered home how bad most people are with their money. I’m not talking about spending a lot of money on beers and so on as that is expected stag do activity and fairly unavoidable unless you want to stick out like a bore sore thumb. I’m talking about the kinds of things like people going shopping and buying stuff in the airport before we’ve even left. Do you really need another pair of trainers? I mean really?! It also made me laugh that when I looked at said pair of trainers, I noticed that approximately 50% of the other people on the stag do were wearing the same brand and style. Herd mentality at it’s finest! “You won’t reach FI any time soon with that mindset lads!” I wanted to say but clearly didn’t (Imagine the looks I’d have got! Hah!). Luckily for me I stopped caring about such nonsense around the age of twenty. Anyway mini rant over, as I said a good time was had by all, so although I spent a lot (not as much as many of the others of course!) I am not too fussed about it; money isn’t everything.

Total Expenditure: £260 (eek!)

London Show and Dog Racing

This weekend I took Mrs TFS to see a show on Friday night in the West End and we went out to the Greyhound races for a mate’s birthday on the Saturday, which was slightly less glamorous as you’d imagine! We managed to get away with a few £££ saving exercises so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, so I was pretty happy all in all!

Total Expenditure: £105

Flat Valuation!

Now for the exciting news! As most people are probably aware, the housing market seems to have gone a bit mental recently. This has not escaped our attention either and we have been keeping an eye on the local scene as our plan has always been to upgrade from our 2 bedroom flat to a moderate 3 bedroom semi or terraced house as and when we could / the need arises. We hadn’t really thought too seriously about it as we hadn’t much idea of the value of our flat, but when the flat above us got put on the market 2 weeks and and was sold within a week for £175,000 we then had a much clearer picture. So we rung the estate agent and they came round, confirming that the flat is indeed worth around the same price, if not slightly more. This was great news as it means we have some instant equity and can use that as a decent deposit to upsize… happy days! We are looking in the £230-250k range and should be able to get a 3 bedroom house fairly easily in that range in our area.

Careful now, let’s not get too excited…

The mortgage advisor said the banks would lend us up to £300k but we are not making the mistake of buying too much house that we do not need and getting lumbered with ridiculous monthly payments, which keep us fully reliant on the life support drip drip drip of a monthly career based income!

Hatching a buy to let plan

A much better plan which I spoke the advisor about was that we might be able to take some extra equity out of the move deal, combine it with some of our savings and purchase a moderately priced flat somewhere up North or out West (basically anywhere not in the South East). Once the move has hopefully gone through we should have around £20-25k sitting around which would be a nice 25% deposit on a £100k flat maybe in somewhere like Derby or Nottingham. The prices seem reasonable there from my initial brief research and it’s not too far to drive up if the sh*t really hits the fan. Anyway, these are just seedling ideas in the dense muddy thoughts that make up my brain right now, but things could move a lot quicker than I originally thought so it’s easy to start getting excited about it 🙂

I was originally scared about the thought of buying a rental property not in my local area but having read a load of FI Fighters posts on out of state investing I am getting used to the idea. I used to live in a rental property where the owners lived in Dubai for Pete’s sake and they made it work, so a 2 hour drive up the M1 should the need arise should prove easy enough for me!

Well folks, that is what I’ve been up to over the last couple of weeks! Sorry if the posts have been few and far between but I should be fairly back to normal now and so should be back on my saving and writing drive. I will should finally get round to posting my new post of the FI Planning Series this week! Oh and I need to detox again after the damn stag do and subsequent drinking and bad food binges! 🙂

What have you been up to readers?! Got any exciting news? What are your thoughts on the crazy housing market right now, why has it all kicked off again? And why are lenders dishing out huge mortgages all of a sudden!?

Any buy to let landlords out there with any tips for a first timer like myself? Do you invest locally or branch out?