When I was earning the minimum wage as a writer, I had this hankering desire to build something tangible in my life. My friends earned incredible amounts of money in marketing and sales jobs, and I was lagging behind, living in my overdraft. So I set my heart on something bigger.
Buying a house seemed ridiculous on my salary, but I knew I could get it, with some strategic planning.
I lived with my parents
Living with my parents helped me to save a considerable amount of money each month because of the shared living costs. It was the big and little things that helped to save money like not being the only one to replace things when they ran out or not dipping into my overdraft to pay the gas bill.
I signed up to the best property finders
Rightmove and PrimeLocation are like the Instagram for housing. I was totally addicted. The best thing about setting up these alerts is that they genuinely help you to become more knowledgeable about what you want and what you could get for your money.
I set up a direct debit savings facility
I set up a savings account to take money directly out of my current account each time I got paid. It was actually an account that I couldn’t withdraw from for a year. By the end of year one, I had half of the deposit.
I bought in a cheap area
Inner London is so expensive for people on a decent salary; if you’re on minimum wage, forget it! I focused on areas just outside of London. My eye caught the attention of a beautiful, modern two bedroom apartment with a garage for a price that would only get me a one bedroom retirement home in London!
I co-owned the property
On my salary, it was a struggle to get a mortgage. So I applied for the mortgage with my sister. She (and my mum) also gave me a small contribution to help with the legal fees.
I used an independent mortgage advisor
My estate agent recommended I use their in-house mortgage advisor and she was a Godsend! She managed to get the best rate for me, as she was able to compare rates from a number of lenders.
I remained in a stable job
I didn’t chop and change jobs whilst looking for a property. This made it so much easier to get the mortgage that I wanted as it showed lenders that I could afford the mortgage repayments each month.
It took me just over two years of saving to get my flat but it was well worth it. I needed the confidence boost and the financial stability. Seven years later, my flat is worth so much more, and I love the feeling of living in a place that I own.
Written by Bridget Antwi.
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