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New kitchen or pay off some of the mortgage?

(79 Posts)
reastie Tue 12-Mar-13 09:19:57

I'm in the very lucky position of having inherited a bit of money. We have been planning on spending it on a new kitchen, windows and new roof (it would at a push cover all of this). We have spent months planning the kitchen/choosing specs etc. It's at the point of booking it in to be done in a couple of months time.

DH announces to me last night in an argument about money if it was up to him we wouldn't buy a new kitchen, we'd buy the windows (as they are absolutely rotten through) and spend the rest paying a lump sum on his mortgage for his property he bought before we lived together which he now rents out (rent doesn't cover mortgage though). I was shock as he's never even mentioned this before and I now have no idea what to do for the best and would appreciate some advice on this (if there's a better topic for this please let me know).

If we paid off some of his mortgage it would be about 2 years worth of payments, meaning if we then carried on as we are it would be paid off in around 5 years (DH is 35, I'm 31). We are very lucky in that we own our house outright. We don't have a huge income, DH is a gardener and I'm a PT teacher. I looked upon it as this will be the only time ever we will have a decent amount of money, we need a new kitchen so it's a great opportunity for us to get it done. Our current kitchen is over 20 years old and falling apart, but is in just about working order.

If we didn't get the kitchen redone we would still have to have some work done to the house with the inheritance (bring the washing machine downstairs from the bedroom where it shakes the whole floor upstairs, get a hard floor for the dining room where the carpet is ruined with DDs spillages) but I guess this would be on the short-medium term length with a view that the money we'd save from not paying the martgage/getting rental income from 5 years time would mean we could save for a new kitchen within the next 10 years.

I have no idea what to do now, and I realise I'm very lucky to be where I am, I just want to spend the money wisely. It's my Grandmothers life savings and I need to choose the best thing to spend it on. I can see where DH is coming from but I guess part of me sees his old house as 'his' and not mine.

minibmw2010 Tue 12-Mar-13 09:28:16

It seems to me like he sees it as his too, but he's happy to make use of your inheritance! Go with the original plan, make the house you're in comfortable and fix it up.

TakingTheStairs Tue 12-Mar-13 09:31:29

Personally I think I would stick to the plan of kitchen, roof & windows.
If you plough money into the other mortgage and suddenly the roof & windows get worse then you're left with no cash to get them sorted. They are all things that you will get immediate benefit from and will make your lives a bit more comfortable. You are close enough to your mortgage being paid off that the end is already in sight. And it's a nice to be able to have something tangible that you can say that you wouldn't have had if it wasn't for your Grandmother's savings.

I understand your feelings towards the other house being "his" but I wouldn't use that as part of the argument as it isn't constructive and may cause a whole other rake of rows.

mum47 Tue 12-Mar-13 09:33:48

What about getting the new kitchen and do other work as per your original plans, but paying off enough of the mortgage on DH's property so that the rent you get for this will cover the remaining mortgage? If DH not happy with that option I would just be going with the original plan. I know that marriage is a partnership etc etc but it is your inheritance..

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Tue 12-Mar-13 09:39:21

If you don't get the kitchen with this lump sum, how will you get it?
Remortgage? Well that will cost you fees and interest.
Leave the mortgage ticking over (pay some off if you can) and get the house bits done

Timetoask Tue 12-Mar-13 09:40:17

Are you struggling in any other way? Is the mortgage repayment on the other place having an impact on your day to day life?

If so, then I would decrease the mortgage so that the rent covers the mortgage. What would happen if you separate?

If the mortgage repayment is not having a major impact on your life, then I wouldn't pay it off because you only have 7 years to go which is not very long at all and it is unlikely you will be able to save enough money to replace the kitchen.

Tizwozliz Tue 12-Mar-13 09:59:20

What's your budget for the kitchen? Is it possible to compromise on a cheaper kitchen and still pay a lump sum off the mortgage?

reastie Tue 12-Mar-13 10:10:38

Thanks for the replies, it's nice to know people don't automatically think it's more sensible to pay off some mortgage.

can't we would fund the kitchen using the income from the rental of DHs house/money saved from having paid off mortgage to save for the kitchen, we definitely wouldn't remortgage for it. It would take us a good 3 years of saving to be able to pay for the kitchen after the mortgage is paid off (which is why I say we could get it done in the next 10 years)

Time we aren't actively struggling ATM. We don't have alot of spare cash and we are barely saving, but we have enough ATM on a daily basis to not count every penny (but still be careful IYKWIM)

Tiz we thought about that but tbh if we're going to have a kitchen I'd rather go for a decent quality (not top of the range by any means, but equally not budget cheap as we can get) so it will last and it won't be looking tatty in a couple of years which happened to our Ikea kitchen at our old place. It's a very odd shaped kitchen so it's not just a case of getting a basic kitchen which will easily fit. Kitchen budget is around £25k all inc, which includes flooring for hall and dining room and a big wall of kitchen units in the dining room too.

Tbh things like our bedroom has a leak from the room causing alot of damp. We've had scaffolding and 2 roof/chimney people in to try to fix it but no one can find it cause of it. We've spent over £1k trying to fix it but no closer. A new roof would 99% chance fix it (it would all be releaded/sealed etc) but the longer we leave it as it is the bedroom wall is getting more damaged - we have had to screw wooden boards to the ceiling to keep it held up! Things like this should be done rather than paying off DHs mortgage surely or the problem will get alot worse over time?

Tizwozliz Tue 12-Mar-13 10:18:35

Sorry, i'm with your OH. I think 25k is a ludicrous amount to spend on a kitchen when you could use the money elsewhere. How protected are you from interest rate rises on the rental property?

LavenderBombshell Tue 12-Mar-13 10:19:16

My advice would be definitely do the maintenance things - roof/chimney , windows etc first. They aren't going to get better and over time may cost more as other damage is caused.

reastie Tue 12-Mar-13 10:27:53

Tiz DH is on a fixed rate mortgage, but needs to get a new one this year, he worked out quite badly off from this mortgage on the rental house as rates have been so low. I'm not sure what type he's going for next.

Magimedi Tue 12-Mar-13 11:27:14

Definitely do maintenance.

25k seems a vast sum to spend on the kitchen to me - is this a 'forever' home?

ValentineWiggins Tue 12-Mar-13 11:31:13

I think I would put it towards the mortgage...as long as you are a joint owner of the property.

pinkje Tue 12-Mar-13 12:32:05

Why not sell his house and reinvest in something smaller that can be in both your names.

I agree with the above comments that you should improve your family home - it's where you live now that should have the priority.

reastie Tue 12-Mar-13 12:56:21

mag this is most definitely a forever home - we don't indeed to ever move so any work we have done we want to last. It was the home I grew up in as a child and moved back to it a couple of years ago when my parents moved out.

valentine DH is sole owner on the deeds of 'his' property, we are joint on this one

pink that's an interesting idea but I don't think we could get anything much cheaper around here (his house is a one bedroom house) and the cost of selling/purchasing somewhere else may make it unreasonable to do, but I'm going to have a look online at cheaper stuff locally to see.

Have spoken to parents - they think my Grandparents (whom I inherited the money from) would prefer me to buy home improvements rather than pay off DHs mortgage, I'm swaying to that but want to check the details of how much interest DH pays on the mortgage to see how much we might actually save in the long term.

If you do use the money to pay off some of his mortgage you should get your name on the deeds first.

I'd still go for the kitchen and maintenance on the house you live in if I were you.

purplewithred Tue 12-Mar-13 13:05:33

It's not DHs mortgage/property, it's yours too. As you would soon discover if you divorced. Similarly you would find 'your' inheritance is his too. Marriages are communist states.

For me
- current home necessities of roof, windows, washing machine etc
- do sums on the rental property and pay off enough mortgage for that to self-fund until the mortgage is paid off
- spend anything left on a cheap crappy kitchen that is pretty but may only last 5 years. Or maybe a nice holiday. Or some counselling.

reastie Tue 12-Mar-13 13:10:17

yes purple I realise this, it's just easier her to refer to it as 'his' home so you don't get muddled with the one we're living in. Funnily enough I am already spending some of the inherited money on some counselling for myself blush . I have issues I won't go in to!

I believe inherited money is often excluded from divorce settlements, it was in my parent's.

Xiaoxiong Tue 12-Mar-13 13:18:22

Agree with Lavender. Speaking from recent painful experience, maintenance work always costs way more than the original estimate as problems tend to reveal itself as you go, and you're right that things like leaking roofs tend to cause more damage over time.

I would apply the money to the new roof first (take estimate of roofers and add at least 50% contingency) and repair damp damage to ceiling and walls (ditto on contingency). Don't forget painting/plastering/decorating that may need to happen after that.

Then do just the absolute essential repairs to kitchen if it really is falling apart - eg. we are having our kitchen tap and rotten worktops replaced today but units below will be fine after a good scrub and newly painted doors and knobs. Even a new cooker and fridge will make the whole place feel like new for a lot less than £25k. Don't worry about it just looking tatty - if you're not planning to sell up in the next 10 years just go for function over form - and the flooring can wait unless it's actively dangerous/rotting.

If after having everything done, roof not leaking etc you still have money left over, then you can think about paying off your joint mortgage (not his, unless he's going to put you on the deeds as a joint tenant!) vs rainy day savings for the family.

Agree with pink re selling his home as well.

TheFallenNinja Tue 12-Mar-13 13:20:18

I would pay off the most expensive lending first if there is any, credit cards etc, then prepay anything like insurances for the year and see if there was anything left.

reastie Tue 12-Mar-13 13:25:38

Thanks, I think you're right, do the essentials on the house and whatever's left we can work out. The unfortunate thing with our kitchen is the existing unit cupboards are falling apart and damp, we can't just do a new worktop and fancy it up for a while, it's all or nothing.

I'm feeling so down about the whole thing. DH is being really really rude and moody with me today re: money. We need extra money to pay various bills and he's asked me for the money. I said I'll happily move the money into his account but it's coming from my savings not my inherited money and for some reason he's getting really cross about the fact I'm saying I won't spend my inheritance on bills. Am I missing something here?! I have savings and I'd rather use those than my Grandparents money. I'm really upset about ut sad . We don't usually have any money arguments and he's usually fine with things so I don't know where this is coming from but there's clearly some kind of big resentment issue of some such here.

reastie Tue 12-Mar-13 13:26:19

ninja no lending for either of us except Dhs mortgage

wendybird77 Tue 12-Mar-13 15:06:54

Does he have savings too? I wonder if he is suddenly feeling that things are quite unequal financially. I don't suggest this is a problem you need to fix, but I would agree there is some resentment. Tough one. (But hang on to your money!).

herhonesty Tue 12-Mar-13 15:17:40

Doesn't make much sense from a tax perspective to pay off mortgage quicker. And I would only do it in any case if it was joint owned.

Go with original plan, if its your forever home.

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