Mortgage and me: How couple aim to become mortgage free and repay mortgage early

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Saving was a habit for Elizabeth Buko, now 33, long before she set the goal to purchase a house. “I was saving but the money didn’t really go to anything huge,” she said during an exclusive interview with

“But by 2013 it had reached a sizeable four-figure amount, and thinking about having the house was definitely something that had always been on my mind and my personal agenda.

“So that was when I started thinking about it in-depth.”

At that point, Elizabeth – who is a financial coach and the founder of Wealth From Little – wanted to be able to afford to purchase a “little flat” of her own.

She had been living in a spacious five-bedroom house share in London.

“The owner had not moved the rent in 10 years and he had the same people living in that house over and over,” Elizabeth remembered.

“I had a very good deal in finding this place,” she said.

It meant Elizabeth paid £470 in rent, utility bills and a weekly cleaner.

Thanks to the deal on her rent, and being modest in her spending on food, the financial coach was able to save a substantial portion of her income for several years.

In 2014, Elizabeth and her husband tied the knot, and the couple began living north west London while they searched for the house they wanted to buy.

To reach the 15 percent deposit that they eventually put down, the couple lived on one income, and saved around £2,000 a month from Elizabeth’s salary for three years.

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Elizabeth wasn’t aware of the Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA schemes, and instead put the money into a separate high interest savings account.

After various decisions and challenges to overcome during the house-hunting process, they found a three-bedroom house in Hertfordshire.

“I saw the house I had originally seen which I actually really did like, and it had come down in price by £15,000,” she recalled.

Since purchasing the property, the couple – who live in their three-bedroom Hertfordshire home with their two children – have set a new financial goal.

Elizabeth explained they’re now focusing on building their investment portfolio to a certain point, as well as planning to pay off the mortgage early.

“I feel like we have the energy and the ability to create more money at this age we are in, and if we can, we can put that into a 30-year or a 25-year mortgage.

“If we can, we can put that into the mortgage so in the future we are not still trying to pay something off.

“We have that flexibility and that freedom, to go, ‘Ok if I never work again, I still have a house. I still have a house that I don’t have to worry about making payments on, otherwise I would lose it.'”

The pair are hoping to pay off their mortgage in 15 years rather than 30, but they’re aware the time frame may change.

“We are flexible with the fact that we know that things don’t always go to plan,” she said.

So, how are they intending to shave so many years off their mortgage term?

“I know there are different methods to doing this,” Elizabeth said, “but what we do is we are working to save a lump sum and every time we have to remortgage, we try and pay a lump sum and then remortgage at a lower price.

“It’s still the same tactic we’ve been doing for the last few years – just saving up lump sums and reducing it that way.”

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