How I Bought My First Home On Minimum Wage

 

 

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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17 Comments
  1. A few good tips, but it seems the most influential ones do require family who can help (by letting you live with them, co-signing the mortgage for you). Very difficult if you don’t have that and, despite living in a shared house out in zone 6, are spending a large chunk of wages on rent.

  2. So inspiring! I will move out for uni this year but nevertheless I have a save account on which I put money every month – for the house I am going to buy after uni when I am sure where I want to stay and live for some years :-) xx Ana http://www.disasterdiary.de

  3. Where there is a will there is a way. I was a single mom not receiving support for my child. I worked three part time jobs, owned only used cars, walked when I could to save gas and maintenance on those cars, clipped coupons, garage sales, shopped at second hand stores. Those jobs were min wage jobs or paid a little more. I saved tax returns and bottle return money. All so I could give my child a roof over head. My child now knows as a young adult sometimes you do what you have to do. I hope when a grandchild is born my child won’t have to do what I did to make ends meet. But my child has a good head and heart. My child will make necessary scarfices as needed.

  4. This is amazing. My husband and I are currently on one income while I am pursuing writing and finishing school. We are itching to buy a house and sometimes feel like it is impossible. Thanks for these tips though! So excited about moving forward with this.

    http://www.bynicolegeorge.com

  5. Good for you! Here in the U.S. real estate prices don’t necessarily go up, oftentimes it’s the other way around… and then you lose ;(

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