The news that interest rates may rise at the beginning of next year may be welcome for savers but not so welcome for those with mortgages who have enjoyed a low interest rate for several years now.
Back in days of yore when I was a newly wed young lad, I recall taking out my first mortgage for the princely sum of £10,000. That was a huge sum in 1982 and I remember planning my finances to ensure I could pay the £85 per month mortgage payment. I managed okay but also recall a sinking feeling when I received my first mortgage statement a year later and discovering my unfailing monthly payments had been 'rewarded' with the exact same amount being charged for interest - meaning my balance had not changed a penny in 12 months. My irritation when I phoned the bank turned to embarrassment when they explained all I was paying in the early years of the mortgage was interest. I maintain to this day this hadn't been explained properly at the time I took out the mortgage but it was all part of the learning process of life.
Nowadays, of course, things are different. Banks, building societies and other financial institutions are only too keen to provide as much information as they can. For example, a handy and easy to understand 10 step guide to buying your home can cover the salient points an ensure the customer is left in no doubt about the process and legalities concerned.
Thinking back to my first mortgage in the early 1980s, it's still something of an eye-opener to think that had I remained in that two-roomed flat in the centre of Aberdeen, my mortgage would have been paid off in 2007 - and my £10,000 loan would have cost me £25,500. Of course, interest rates were sky-high during the days of the Thatcher government and the difference between then and now is startling. Equally startling is the difference in the information and guidance provided. At least that's one thing that has improved. Back in 1982 I wasn't given any steps, far less 10!
For anyone looking to get on the property market, I wish you the very best of luck. Just don't be as naive as I was after a year!