29 Dec

new year, new thought

A nice thing about the christmas holidays is that it really gives you a little time to think. In between the mad rush to visit relatives and spread joy, etc, there are sometimes quiet moments where it is possible to sit and consider the past and future.

I was considering my current circumstances and how stable they are, and decided that they are not adequate to what I really want at this age.

For instance, if I was to lose everything I own, it would take very little to get me back to a stage where I was living similarly to how I am living right now. My total possessions (apart from very minor items) include a few hundred videos, a few hundred CDs, ditto DVDs and books, some clothes and some computers. I rarely use the media anymore, as it’s all in my head, I am not happy with the clothes anyway, and I can easily replace the computers with more powerful models at a few days notice.

So – I made a decision to improve my lot this year. Call it a resolution, if you want. There are very few things that I truly want out of life. The more important ones are:

  • A house that I can call my own.
  • Transport that I can call my own.
  • No bills.

The easiest to do of the above is the first one, even if it is the most expensive. The reason for that is that it is incredibly difficult to live without bills without compromising your state of living, and no car is ever really “owned” (think insurance, tax, fuel costs, etc). A house may be very expensive, but once it is owned, I believe that’s about it.

So, my resolution this year is to try get a mortgage for a house.

A very nice thing about a mortgage is that no matter how much you spend on it, it is not “dead money”. When you pay rent, the money disappears into a black hole, and is never seen again – if you pay, say, 200 euro per week on rent, then that’s 200 per week that you will never see again.

On the other hand, when you pay 200 euro towards a mortgage, that is now 200 euro of solid property that you own. You have not lost the money; you have merely transformed it into a building.

In twenty years, with rent, you will not have accomplished anything. For about the same price per week, though, with a mortgage, you will be a quarter of a million euro (or whatever) richer.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Another nice thing is that you don’t have to stick with the house you buy through mortgage. If, for example, you can only afford an 80,000 euro mortgage, and you buy a house with that, and five years later you can afford a larger house, then you can sell up the percentage of the old house that you own, and transfer that to a new mortgage. Great, isn’t it!?

It’s a definite plan for ourselves. We live in a crummy little cottage which has ill-fitting doors, practically no electrics, a field of mud for a garden, and is two miles of walking from the nearest town. Anything would be better than this, and if we don’t like where we go, we can always get another place in five years.