Well, in the end, the Building Society wanted us to jump through one hoop too many and we have decided (after some serious counting of beans, and after getting confirmation of what we can expect of our remortgage) that we can buy the main plot without the benefit of a mortgage. It will leave us with nothing to build with… except our entire income, since we won’t be spending it on mortgage payments.
I still slightly worry about the remortgage of this house, both because we haven’t actually applied yet (though we’re told that’s just a formality and that the offer is assured) and because we will then be liable for fairly crippling payments until we manage to sell this house. And the market’s not exactly inspiring. Still, we can manage for as long as we need to, and we can knock down the price of the house, in an emergency, because we’d expect to be £50k up, if it fetches the optimistic price, so we can cut into that without actually going into the red. And at any rate, it will be convenient to have it as a base while we get the outbuildings reroofed.
In hindsight, I am much happier with this plan than with the one where we go into debt, especially with all the requirements the bank was coming up with. I really don’t want them calling the shots of how and when I build. This way, we’ll have to struggle along in a caravan (or straw caravan) for a year or so, but we can save some money through the year, if Elmo’s job continues as expected, and if we live quite frugally, and that will allow us to at least get started on one wing of the house in 2012.
It’ll all be worth it when we’ve worked our butts off for 5 years and finally built a dream and have no debt to show for it.
In other news, we spent yesterday at Barbara’s new straw bale project out in Skipsea. It’s a plot that she got for peanuts because it’s about to fall into the sea (might get 50 years out of it if she’s lucky) but the point is to build the house with donated/volunteer materials/labour as much as possible, mainly to prove it can be done and raise some awareness of straw bale community building. Elmo and Alec moved several tons of gravel while Barbara and I pegged out the site. It’s a really interesting project that I hope to dedicate some more time to. I’m setting them up with a blog which I’ll link to as soon as it’s live.