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  1. You aren't missing anything. The funds in the offset account will be fluid for you to draw as required up to e.g. £100k. The interest rate will be fixed and monthly repayments can be too, but assuming it will be a repayment mortgage you can also opt for the monthly repayments to be reduced as the principle amount comes down so that you can accumulate a bit more for the build fund! Alternatively the "overpayments" can sit on your mortgage account until you decide if you want to reduce your mortgage term instead (by keeping the monthly payments the same). If you need further borrowing most offset mortgage lenders will provide you with additional borrowing at the same rate. But I don't see any harm in borrowing a bit extra as a buffer from the outset if you can because as you say you will only pay interest on the difference and can repay the principle as permitted if you don't utilise all the borrowed funds. The only downsides I can think of are if you decide you want to reduce the principle, only 10% per annum is typically allowed, you can pay off more after the term. And I am sure you know about the early repayment charges in case you commit to a fixed term. Arrangement fees sit around the £999 - £1499 mark. You are very fortunate as offset rates are low at the moment! If you can get it with an existing lender you may even be able to avoid survey fees. Good luck.
  2. That looks amazing! I will check it out - thanks
  3. Hi I was just using design software to refine our house plans to submit an amendment to our application and thought itshare that before we appointed an architect I was drawing our house plans on graph paper and using tracing paper for floors (this was very painful when making changes!) until I came across software which is aimed at self-builder's. As a complete novice and without training (which is always available) with a bit of trial and error the software enabled me to upload a photograph of my plans and transfer them to scale, add floors, rooms and manipulate the plans to include windows (colours, types, etc) doors, room heights, wall and floor / carpet colour (with actual paint manufacturer / carpet codes), add kitchen cupboards, wardrobes, sofas, dining tables, bathroom suits actually available in the market etc. They will even add items specified not in their available catalogue under each type required to create a house visual so you can update your design in that level of detail. For a £5 a month no contract fee I found NuVuw to be invaluable. I think they have a free trial on at the moment: It even has a project management tools built in which I plan to use for our next phase.
  4. Please can you help and confirm my research? Will we be exempt from paying council tax from when we demolish our bungalow until the replacement dwelling is complete?
  5. As additional information Ecology confirmed that they would accept equity in another property to qualify for interest only.
  6. Really? I think we will be digging within 3 metres of the fence.
  7. An interim update: I spoke to our existing lender - we have opted to stay with our flexible product. Thank heavens we didn't commit to the transfer - that was close. They do not offer self-build mortgages at present, he said that could all change in the future, hopefully it can be a product transfer by the time we are ready. I called Ecology for information. The representative advised to borrow a buffer amount from our existing lender now as it will be cheaper, but if we do that now and start repaying, surely it isn't that beneficial especially as we will have to transfer the slightly reduced principle amount to a self-build mortgage when we start our project anyway. For any newbies reading this post the Ecology rep also advised that the new build would need to energy efficient with a SAP rating of 85+ which our architect would be able to advise on. They would also need the standard evidence of income, value of the plot and projected final value of the build. Arrangement takes 4-5 weeks including survey & the early repayment charge will apply before 2 years. No word from our Financial Advisor.. All of our efforts will go into saving now, the holiday cancellations / refunds from this year will help. Thank you all.
  8. The boundaries are clearly visible. And yes we are leaving them. We repaired fences both sides after discussing with both and they were fine with that.
  9. Thank you Joe90. I am looking at party wall agreements now, it looks like we will have to serve up to a year in advance of the build... being detached we won't be encroaching / or doing anything to shared walls / boundaries with either of neighbours, in fact there will be more of a gap either side. I am nervous about having to pay out for yet another surveyor of their choice in case the lady decides to dispute. Is there any sense in us to get a surveyor in to confirm the boundary from the outset? I will spend the next year forging a stronger relationship with her, we do get on well with them, particularly well with her husband. We will start a dialogue of our intentions and hopefully she won't have an issue. Thank you.
  10. Thank you - great advice and what a position for you to be in! Congratulations. I understand what you mean about the mini project. I am not sure "Mrs. Bouquet" next door would approve of a caravan, but I will definitely look into this and it would be great if we can. Hoardings would be up anyway. It would be great if we can avoid paying rent.