Recently in the news, we have been hearing about how it’s getting more difficult for young people to get onto the property ladder. While that is definitely true, this article is about to bring some truths from a 23-year-old (me, a millennial) who owns property.
Here are the facts:
– I was 22 when I got the keys to the property
– I had only been working for a year (after university)
– I had no financial help from family
– I still earned a graduate wage (circa £19K)
– I also paid off a debt of £1500
And no, I did not win the lottery.
It was part luck, part strategy and part sacrifice. So, if you’re looking to buy a house too, here are some tips on how I got there.
I feel that people who wish to buy a property can sometimes be under this huge illusion that they can’t save money because of any number of factors that they feel they can’t control. In fact, you can do just that and actually save for a house. I had outgoings just like everyone else but the one key thing I told myself I needed to do, just for 6-8 months, was to sacrifice a few luxury things such as that daily coffee.
I moved into cheaper accommodation, which perhaps wasn’t the best, but the rent was only £200 per month including bills. This was a huge cost cutting tactic for me and the money that I would have previously spent on rent could be put into a savings account.
I stopped going out as much and spending money on unnecessary food and drink at the weekend. This wasn’t too hard for me as I don’t drink very often anyway, but cutting down spending on temporary things such as alcohol is a massive help. Find other ways to enjoy spending time with friends, pack a picnic and go on a hike – you might be surprised!
I also stopped buying clothes – that’s right for 6-8 months I didn’t buy clothes at all. You’ll be amazed how much your wardrobe can cost you; but let me tell you that you can live without a new top for six months or so. Suck it up.
One thing I did find is that, because I had a single income (rather than buying with another person), I found that larger banks wouldn’t give me four times or even five times my salary for the amount of the property. I ended up using a mortgage broker who found me a great mortgage and helped me with a lot of other things (this was an additional £250 though).
This was the part that enabled me to cut off a month or so of saving in order to buy my property.
First of all, I set up a 5% deposit account (also known as a help to buy scheme) meaning that for every £200 I put into the account a month, the government gave me £50 towards my deposit. One thing I had to learn though was that you need to have the full 5% in your account even without the government’s help as this will get added on at a later date by your solicitor.
If you’re interesting in learning more about this click here.
Next, the property I had made an offer on was part of a renovated terrace house, and my apartment was the last to be sold. Because of this I feel that the developer wanted to sell it sooner rather than later, in order to get on with other projects. Due to his rush to sell, he offered to pay for my solicitor’s fees which were around £1000. This shaved approximately two months worth of saving, meaning I could proceed with the purchase quicker.
All of these factors meant that I saved my 5% deposit and some in just 7 months.
I’m writing this post to let you know that it is possible and you can get yourself on the property ladder. Unfortunately, you do need to work harder these days and I understand that it’s difficult but if you’d like some advice, feel free to contact me on social media.