Business

Property Diaries: How I Bought My First Home

Women are the lead applicant in just 31% of property purchases. It’s time for financial transparency. In our new weekly column The Stack asks, “How did you get on the property ladder?”

By Hannah Karpel

5 July 2021
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uying your first home can be a daunting process and is often made to feel out of reach by the lack of financial transparency on the subject. But, whether your parents paid your deposit or it took you 10 years to save, we want to know how you did it.

This week we are profiling three first time buyers who have all purchased property across the UK, each with their own journey and challenges.

THE SAVER

"I invested around £60,000 to make the basement liveable, extend the bathroom and knock through the living and dining room"

Age when bought first home: 28

Industry: Tech

Annual Salary: £75,000

House Price: £240,250

How much was your deposit? 5% deposit at £12,000 plus additional £2,000 retention

Deposit provided by: Self

Post Code: M19, Manchester

What is your current mortgage interest rate? Fixed rate of 2.86% for two years

How much is your mortgage repayment per month? £1,000

Is this a solo mortgage? Yes

What bank did you get your mortgage approved from? Virgin Money

At 28 years old it took The Saver 8 years to put down a 5% deposit on her three bedroom terraced house in Manchester. Earning an annual income of £75,000 she was able to take out a solo mortgage with Virgin Money for a term of 25 years.

“The house needed renovating so I invested around £60,000 to make the basement liveable, extend the bathroom and knock through the living and dining room. In addition to re-plastering all the rooms and putting in a new bathroom, new kitchen, a full rewire, replumb and all new windows, the whole project has taken 11 months due to delays from COVID/Brexit/Suez Canal and shortage of resources and trades people. Regarding my mortgage, as the process started in January 2020 I had to get the mortgage offer extended but was lucky enough to keep the 5% deposit offer.”

The Saver advises getting a recommended and trustworthy solicitor and to always stay on top of the estate agent so you are constantly in the know about the progression of your chain. “If I were to do it again I would get more surveys done and negotiate more on the findings in the property”, said The Saver.

THE SETTLER

"We purchased a terraced house in Reading with three bedrooms and one bathroom for £290,000 and put down a deposit of £29,000"

Age when bought first home: 25

Industry: HR

Annual Salary: £39,000

House Price: £290,000

How much was your deposit? £29,000

Post Code: RG31, Reading

Deposit provided by: Self and partner

What is your current mortgage interest rate? 2.49% Fixed for 2 years

How much is your mortgage repayment per month? £1170

Is this a solo mortgage? No, joint with partner

What bank did you get your mortgage approved from? Nationwide

Nationwide approved a joint mortgage for The Settler and her partner based on her salary of £39,000 and they purchased a terraced house in Reading with three bedrooms and one bathroom for £290,000 having put down a deposit of £29,000.

“The bathroom was very old so we've had that redone and the garden needed work but apart from that we've just decorated and spruced it up”, she said. The Settler and her partner have a 2.49% fixed rate mortgage for 2 years and their current monthly mortgage payments sit at £1170. “It was stressful mainly because there was a chain but the actual mortgage part was fine and now we feel proud to have our own home”.

THE HIGH FLYER

"The flat is tiny - 31 sq metres but in a great location. The trade-off for me was that I could be creative about how I decorated it."

Age when bought first home: 33

Industry: Executive Search

Annual Salary: £125,000

House Price: £430,000

How much was your deposit? 15%

Deposit provided by: Self

What is your current mortgage interest rate? 2.66% Fixed for two years

Post Code: W8, Notting Hill, London

How much is your mortgage repayment per month? £1600

Is this a solo mortgage? Yes

What bank did you get your mortgage approved from? Halifax

Having saved up for the deposit herself over 4 years, The High Flyer, who earns £125,000 annually, paid £430,000 for her first studio home in W8, Notting Hill, London with the plan to renovate the property with a £35,000 budget. “For me and my friends who haven’t had guidance or financial help from families, but are high earners in London, it's been a real wake up call to how much harder we have to work to do this on our own and how difficult it is to navigate”, she said.

The High Flyer was initially declined a mortgage from her own bank, NatWest, because her credit rating had been impacted by not keeping addresses up to date and not having her electoral register and bills at the same address. In time she was able to correct this and secure a mortgage with a different provider (Halifax). “I’m so proud and happy that I did it but I’m still exhausted, the whole thing was horrifically stressful”.

“On your credit score, the best advice I can give is to get on the electoral roll. If you are on the electoral roll of where you live, then that will have the biggest impact on boosting your credit score", shared mortgage advisor, Chris Dawe in an event with Lou and Sam Teasdale last month at The Stack World

Last month we spoke to make-up artist and influencer Lou Teasdale along with her twin sister Sam, co-founder of Bleach hair salon who together have been house-flipping for over a decade as they shared their advice and tips with mortgage advisor, Chris Dawe founder and CEO of London Mortgage Partners Group. Read their invaluable tips here and become a member of The Stack World today to watch their live interview with The Stack World’s founder Sharmadean Reid on demand.

Do you want to share your property diary? Get in touch here

The Short Stack

Financial transparency is key to understanding how to get onto the property ladder and in managing expectations.

By Hannah Karpel

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