Paying off a mortgage on a freelance translation income.
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:16
Flemish to English
+ ...
Feb 6, 2010

Given the almost 0-rates, I was wondering who would risk to pay off a mortgage when your ONLY income comes from freelance translation? Could you explain why?
Money has to be there every month or you risk foreclosure.


[Edited at 2010-02-06 10:01 GMT]


 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Know your own situation Feb 6, 2010

Money has to be there every month or you risk foreclosure.


If you are relying only on your variable monthly income just to get by, you are not in a position to take out a mortgage, so don't.

Some people have savings, some people have housemates, some people have gifts from their rich uncle, some people buy their parents' old house. Everyone's situation is different.


 

Karin Walker (X)  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:16
German to English
+ ...
Know your limits Feb 8, 2010

Williamson,

I have to say, I am a bit puzzled at your question "Given the almost 0-rates, I was wondering who would risk to pay off a mortgage when your ONLY income comes from freelance translation?".

What "0-rates" are you talking about? Obviously if you charge/earn next to nothing for your work, you're not in a position to take out a mortgage. But neither are you in a position to eat, live and breathe.

It is ENTIRELY possible to have a mortgage if you
... See more
Williamson,

I have to say, I am a bit puzzled at your question "Given the almost 0-rates, I was wondering who would risk to pay off a mortgage when your ONLY income comes from freelance translation?".

What "0-rates" are you talking about? Obviously if you charge/earn next to nothing for your work, you're not in a position to take out a mortgage. But neither are you in a position to eat, live and breathe.

It is ENTIRELY possible to have a mortgage if you work as a freelance translator. Just as it it's entirely possible to pay rent, run a car and support yourself plus a family, if you have one. It will require you to earn a decent living - provide superb work, know your market, and show your clients some love so they'll keep coming back to you.

Of course a mortgage is typically a long term commitment (I know some people who have 30-year mortgages) so anyone - freelance or otherwise - considering it needs to think long and hard about whether their circumstances permit that kind of commitment. Also, depending on how conservative the mortgage market is in your country, you may not even get a mortgage - it's 25% down or good-bye.

As with most financial matters, it's a case of "if you can't afford it, don't do it", as Janet said.
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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:16
Flemish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A point of view Feb 8, 2010

Karin Walker wrote:

Williamson,

I have to say, I am a bit puzzled at your question "Given the almost 0-rates, I was wondering who would risk to pay off a mortgage when your ONLY income comes from freelance translation?".

What "0-rates" are you talking about? Obviously if you charge/earn next to nothing for your work, you're not in a position to take out a mortgage. But neither are you in a position to eat, live and breathe.


0-rates: From some postings on this website : "We can not pay more than 0.02-0.03$/p.w. In Euros, that is 0.014-0.021 at the actual low $/€-rate.
Add to that the requested X reps-reductions and the result is almost-0 eurocent per word.

Fortunately, I have found a couple of niches, where the rate of 0.12 eurocent (for an agency) and 0.16 for a direct customer are accepted.

I was just asking the question,because for many translation is an extra income, a surplus to add to their the income of their husband/wife, their pension, their income as doctor, architect, teacher or whatever other profession you can come up with. But if you are alone and derive an income from freelance translation, paying a mortgage seems rather risky.

Translation is also viable if you live in a fiscal paradise, if 0.12 really is 0.12 eurocent and nothing or almost nothing goes in the direction of a bankrupt state which pries on its citizens.
As a "citizen of planet Earth", I don't care where I live as long as the place is sunny, taxes are low to non-existant, there is no bureaucracy and people are friendly.
Unfortunately, real-estate in such places is for the wealthy. In my current situation, I will have a sum of money for a downpayment of 50% for a humble dwelling in such a place. But even if translation generates enough money, the bank will want its money every month and not after 60 days or in Italian scenarios after +90 or not after a quarrel about synonims.



[Edited at 2010-02-08 13:22 GMT]


 

Karin Walker (X)  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:16
German to English
+ ...
Still not sure I understand Feb 8, 2010

Of course there's the low end of the market, but if you have a mortgage your're not going to be at that end, are you? Also, I doubt that translators working in industrialised countries on the rates you mention have the kind of financial savvy and foresight you need to go get a mortgage in the first place.

I am not in a 'fiscal paradise' by any stretch of the imagination, but I do make a decent living off my language work, I don't have a partner who supplements my income, I do not ma
... See more
Of course there's the low end of the market, but if you have a mortgage your're not going to be at that end, are you? Also, I doubt that translators working in industrialised countries on the rates you mention have the kind of financial savvy and foresight you need to go get a mortgage in the first place.

I am not in a 'fiscal paradise' by any stretch of the imagination, but I do make a decent living off my language work, I don't have a partner who supplements my income, I do not maintain another job other than translation, and there's real estate to suit all budgets here (within reason). If you do things right and you have the right clients that appreciate your work and pay you acceptable rates, then a mortgage is not out of reach, unless of course you're heading for a luxury villa in the Caribbean. I'm not sure I understand your point.
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LucyPatterso (X)
English
Past income and savings Feb 8, 2010

Anyone taking out a mortgage is taking a risk. Even people in full-time positions of employment could lose their job. But things are slightly more dangerous when you are self-employed, so I would take a few things into account:

1. What is your average income as a translator over the past 5 years? Work out how much you can easily afford to pay the bank each month and do not overstretch your finances.

2. Save up 6 months' work of living expenses (incl. mortgage) before yo
... See more
Anyone taking out a mortgage is taking a risk. Even people in full-time positions of employment could lose their job. But things are slightly more dangerous when you are self-employed, so I would take a few things into account:

1. What is your average income as a translator over the past 5 years? Work out how much you can easily afford to pay the bank each month and do not overstretch your finances.

2. Save up 6 months' work of living expenses (incl. mortgage) before you sign your mortgage contract. Then, if you don't get a job for six entire months, you will still be OK. That's enough time to find another job as the translation work will have clearly dried up for the time being.

Does that answer your question?
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Richard Bartholomew  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:16
Member (2007)
German to English
The Serbian native, who works as a translator... Feb 10, 2010

Here's an à propos article I found at http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/08/real_estate/foreclosure_money_pit/index.htm. According to the article:

Dusan Tatomirovic found a steal when he bought a foreclosed
condo just north of Monterey, Calif., last April for $130,000.
...
The Serbian native, who works as a translator for th
... See more
Here's an à propos article I found at http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/08/real_estate/foreclosure_money_pit/index.htm. According to the article:

Dusan Tatomirovic found a steal when he bought a foreclosed
condo just north of Monterey, Calif., last April for $130,000.
...
The Serbian native, who works as a translator for the defense
department, shopped for many months before finding this property,
located in the town of Marina. He started dickering to buy it in June
2008, when the condo listed for $200,000.
...

So apparently at least some translators don't hesitate to buy real estate.
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Not a free-lancer any more Jun 19, 2011

What was not so obvious from that article is that I have a full time government job (the author of the article assumed that I am a translator since I work for the Defense Language Institute - www.dliflc.edu)

 


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