(guest blogger – John Campbell)
It is a great feeling when you have paid the final instalment on your mortgage.
In 1970 my first mortgage was taken out with mutual Leeds Permanent Building Society ‘The Leeds’. After privatisations and take-overs this eventually became the banking business Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). The mortgage was a standard 25 year repayment mortgage and it was renegotiated for the 3 houses we bought using the same mortgage company. No brokers were used but the initial mortgage was 95% of the value so an insurance policy was purchased to protect the building society from negative equity.
During the 30+ years that the various mortgages ran there were no serious problems. Building insurance was taken out via the society and I was not offered any alternative. Over the life of the mortgage I paid a premium for this tied insurance and I wish I had known I could get a more competitive supplier of insurance.
Bringing the story up to date the last monthly payment that cleared the final balance was the best money I have spent. The house was owned ‘free and clear’ . I was not going to leave the deeds at the ‘bank’ for safe keeping. I wanted my hands on my deeds of title.
I was fortunate to get my original deeds and documents of title that traced the development of the land from a farmers field in 19th Century through various ownership transfers until the builder bought the land for development in the 1950’s. Super maps were attached with very old boundaries marked and coloured in crayon or ink. This was a piece of history I had paid for along side my purchase of the house. Now with Land registered and transferable with out deeds on the basis of a certificate I do not know what is going to happen to the wealth of personal history tied up in house deeds?
They say ‘never say never’ but I doubt if I ever want another mortgage even though the crazy tax scheme of the moment encourages older people to take on debt to reduce their estate for inheritance tax purposes. If down sizing or right sizing takes place then I hope to have new deeds to look at and covet.
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