We are going through the trauma of remortgaging the house. Our five-year fixed rate will expire in September and throw us at the mercy of the bank's variable rate, 3% higher than what we've been paying.
When we bought the house in 2003, we got the longest fixed rate deal we could - they don't do "whole of life" fixed rate mortgages here. Interest rates had bottomed out (the Bank of England base rate fell as low as 3.5%) and started their slow rise again and we thought we were lucky to secure a 4.39% fixed rate for five years. There were only a handful on the market. Several super-optimistic members of the peanut gallery thought we were mad: "What happens if interest rates go down again?" Of course, they never did.
This time around, there are actually some 10-year fixed rate deals around. Or should I say theoretically available. Thanks to the credit crunch and bank paranoia, the actual availability of mortgages changes on an hourly basis. It took our mortgage broker four applications to secure us a potential mortgage - the first three were withdrawn by the time he got the paperwork completed and submitted!
In theory, we have secured a 10-year fixed rate deal at 6.39%. All we need now is the survey. Which brings me to now. This minute. The surveyor is due between 10am and 12am today. It's 10.54 by the computer's clock. And I'm waiting for him to arrive. I wish he'd hurry up!
I HATE waiting.
At the best of times, this whole process has made me an emotional wreck, but the waiting around is making it worse. Everything hangs on the surveyor's visit. Absolutely everything. I won't be happy until he's been, and gone, and confirmed the valuation we want for the house. We need him to appraise the house at a quarter higher than what we paid for it - we are extending the mortgage so that we can do much needed renovations (including new gutters, a new boiler, and proper roof for the kitchen). These aren't luxuries. The flat roof over the kitchen is in a poor state. (Did you know that they use bitumen-covered felt as standard on flat roofs in this country? The life-span is 10 years.) I want to replace it with a proper, pitched roof.
Come on, Mr Surveyor! Hurry Up!