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Our dream home didn’t need to cost the earth

Ian and Nicole Cornish live in Bude in Cornwall. Ian aged 53 is a self-employed painter and decorator and Nicole aged 45 is a pre-school manager.

Having previously rented, the couple were looking for a property to call their own and had looked at a few properties locally. They had a budget of around £110,000 and were happy to take on a fixer upper but hadn’t prepared themselves for what their dream home would require.

Having looked in and around the Bude area for some time, they eventually found a 19th century terraced house, but it was by no means perfect. Nicole explains, “It was the first house we saw that we loved and we both fell for it straight away. However, it’s fair to say that the house was in need of a lot TLC in order to make it liveable never mind our dream home. There wasn’t even a kitchen when we first went to see it! But it didn’t matter and we knew it was the right place for us.

Once the house was finally ours and we’d got the keys, Ian and I embarked on what turned out to be a four year renovation project, which saw us knock down walls, install a kitchen, replace the bathroom, and basically just bring the house back to life. I think like most people taking on a project of this nature we underestimated how long it would take us and how much it would cost.

Over the last four years we’ve taken on additional borrowing in order to complete all the work. It’s taken a little longer than we initially hoped but we’re there now and we’ve got the house of our dreams as a result. It really is a house that I can see us living in into our retirement.

The competition of the work coincided with our mortgage deal coming up for renewal so we went to see an adviser at Mortgage Advice Bureau. We wanted to see if we could reduce our monthly payments as were paying around £570 on our mortgage repayments and another £400 per month on the home improvement loan.

Our adviser looked at all the options available and ended up finding us a two year fixed deal with the Halifax which reduced our overall payments by nearly £400 per month without increasing the term. We can’t believe how lucky we are that creating our dream home didn’t need to cost us the earth in the long run. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get here but we’re so pleased with what we’ve created.”

Because we play by the book we want to tell you that…

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances.
The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

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