Young Couple Share How They Saved Up For A House In Six Months
To be quite honest, it's not actually that much of a secret. Most of it is living incredibly frugally, sofa-surfing at the homes of friends and family, and taking advantage of the government's Help to Buy scheme, which allows young people to get a five percent mortgage.
However, to own a house aged just 19 and 20 takes some doing. It's an impressive feat, no doubt.
20-year-old customer service worker Joshua Shaw and his girlfriend Wiktoria Zaucha, who works as a deputy manager, were inspired to get on the ladder after checking out the exorbitant rents in their area.
Now, less than a year later, they're the proud owners of a three-floor £222,995 home near Birmingham.
They cut themselves off from all of their luxury expenditures such as meals out, but eventually they saved enough cash to put down a deposit as part of the government scheme for first-time buyers.
Joshua explained: "We were sofa-surfing between parents and siblings houses and both working full time jobs plus all the overtime we could get.
"At times, we were working 16 hour days back to back. It was exhausting - but worth it.
"When we first started saving, I was earning £18,000 but with the additional overtime, Wiktoria's earnings were just over £19,000 which also helped.
"We saved a total of around £13,000 - but it came with sacrifices."
He advised: "As soon as your wages hit your bank, pay a portion, ideally 40/50 percent, into your savings. This way you'll instantly forget about it.
"It sounds obvious, but our second tip is to cut down all takeaways, nights out and spending on luxury items - this includes cancelling unnecessary subscriptions.
"I also sold my car and started walking to work or taking public transport. This helped us save so much more money."
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Through frugality, and forethought, after six months they were able to buy their home at a development called Wards Keep.
Joshua continued: "When you look at the cost of renting, it just made sense to invest in our own place, rather than someone else's home. Some people may think that buying at our age is unrealistic, but my honest opinion is that buying at 19 and 20 is completely achievable, if that's genuinely what you want.
"If you go into employment after school, like we did, and are willing to sacrifice things like nights out, holidays and takeaways for a little while, then it's definitely possible - that's exactly how we did it!
"We were also 'sofa surfing' for a while at family and friends' houses, which wasn't ideal but part of the sacrifice. We just didn't want to throw money away on expensive rent."
As well as the five percent deposit, the Help to Buy scheme also allows buyers to get a 20 percent loan that is interest-free for the first five years.
Joshua said: "I don't think we would have been able to buy so soon if it wasn't for Help to Buy.
"We didn't know a lot about the scheme before we started looking, but the process has been quite straight forward.
"We were confident that a new build house was what we wanted, mainly because they are lower maintenance than older homes. Neither of us have a lot of experience with DIY, so a new build just felt like the right fit for first time buyers like us.
"In total, it took about six to 12 months to find the perfect place.
"We happened to visit a countryside development - Wards Keep - one evening and as soon as we did we knew that was the one.
"We first saw the house and then had it reserved with a decision in principle from a broker. We had to pay a £500 deposit to have it taken off the market - we were told this would be fully refundable if the sale collapsed."
"The buying process has been very simple. As long as your credit file is in good order and you have the finances available as well as being in your job for a set amount of time, you should be fine."
There you go. It is possible after all, you just have to make the sacrifices. It'll be worth it in the end.
Featured Image Credit: Wards Keep
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