06 August 2010

More adult behaviour

Today, I had my first meeting ever with an investment adviser. It was good, very enlightening, very useful. A bit depressing, but not as much as I thought it would be. The long and short of it is:
  • I want to buy a house in 2012. Well, first I want to get a job, but then I want to buy a house. I would like this house to be in the UK.
  • I would also like to stay in the country indefinitely, preferably with my wife and kids.
  • The UK Home Office does not want this, at least not yet. They may give me five years leave to stay. They may give me two. Don't have any clue.
  • Lloyds TSB, my bank, is happy to give me a loan, provided I pay it back before my visa expires. None of this thirty year business.
  • A three year loan from Lloyds TSB would have an interest rate of 14% and would max out at £15,000. The mortgage rate, if I had the right visa, the golden ticket, would go up to £150,000-200,000 and be about 4%.
  • Basically, no house for Stephe-o.

Well, this is okay: it means that we will likely do shared equity and try to get something that we can pay our 30 or 40% share with in cash. Or we can, as the adviser suggested, keep our rent as low as possible, save as much as possible, and when we are granted permanent residency, buy a house like the next day and put 50% down on it, or whatever.

It did give me an impetus to do a couple of things I've been meaning to do, including getting Yoko a National Insurance number (allowing her to work) and open cash ISAs in both of our names, giving us tax free savings. We will also get credit cards and overdraft on our account, not to use, of course, but to improve our credit rating. Apparently now I am ranked as 1 on a scale of 1 to 9 on risk (1 being the least risky). These are good things.

It also makes £10 seem like nothing. We are talking about thousands of pounds. Tens of thousands of pounds. Hundreds of thousands of pounds. And I'm like, should I get shoes that fit or not. Weird, right? Ah well: I think we got to this point being very careful and will continue to improve our house ownership chances by being careful. Onward and upward.
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