We’re starting the 5th year in our ‘new’ house (we bought it and moved in in 2003, around August if I recall). We bought the house with a more-than-100% mortgage. We didn’t have any money for a deposit (we were renting, no plans to buy, until our landlady wanted to move back in) and we had no spare cash to cover all the costs and paying moving firms, etc. So we borrowed more than the house was worth from the mortgage company. In those days they were eager to lend us the cash.
Assuming the value of our house now is probably the same as it was 5 years ago (it went up for a bit and then has probably fallen again in the last year) we’re into positive equity now. We’ve paid enough off the mortgage and associated unsecured loan that we now owe less than the value of the property (hopefully).
This may have happened earlier, I may have just not noticed on our mortgage statements, but it’s still a pretty good feeling knowing that there’s a good chance we’re in the black on our house after having little choice but to be hugely in the red.
While we still have an overdraft I don’t want and more credit card debt than I’d like, it is another slow step in the right direction (since paying off our other unsecured loan recently).