So today Ive been for my first mortgage talk with my boyfriend and we had to face reality over buying a house near our families. I thought it would probably be a good thing to discuss with you guys as I am sure there are other people out there with situations similar to ours trying to handle getting by whilst saving for a house.
Getting onto the housing market is a daunting task for most people, but for people in their 20’s the task is terrifying. The average property in London is £484,362.00 according to the UK house price index in August 2017. The issue is the average wage for someone aged 22 to 29 is £443 a week, annually this is just over £23,000.00 a year.
Another thing to consider is not only have base interest rates risen by 0.25% which will effect the amount you have to repay on any mortgage, but the cap on borrowing is 4.5 times your wage… Looking at the figures above 4.5 times 23,000 is only £103,500.00. This is nearly 5 times less than the average house price. Something about those two figure seems slightly off am I right?
Obviously I am aware London is a massively expensive place to live and if you are looking at living outside of central the price of a property drops fairly quickly, but what are you supposed to do if you family lives there? You have two options move away to somewhere where you can afford the houses, but also lose the familiarity of the area OR scrape every penny together to try and afford the extortionate deposit.
As someone who is currently looking for a house in the greater London area I have to face up to the facts that buying near my family is going to be a stressful task, at least for the next few years. However that doesn’t take away from the fact pretty much everyone who is looking at purchasing a property goes through the same thing. Before you let the anxiety of the situation take over there are a few things I have found helpful for reducing the stress, they can be useful for saving alone or if like me you are saving with a partner.
Get your finances in order
I am assuming this will already be done if you are serious about moving in the near future, however from all the people I have spoken to very few people actually stick to their budget or have a real plan of what to do with the money saved. I used to be that way, but in all honesty after seeing the above figures I was forced to cut back on my coffees in order to save an extra £1,600.00 a year. Which takes me onto my next point…
Cut out something little
For me it was my beloved coffee and croissant in the morning on the way to work. At the time you feel as though a £3 coffee and a £1 croissant as nothing to worry about, but that money sure does add up if it is a purchase you make daily. We are all guilty of purchasing something little on a regular basis which isn’t a necessity, fortunately a little sacrifice can be a first step in saving more for your end goal.
Look into help to buy Isa’s and your eligibility
There is cap on the amount you can borrow depending on where you live however this is a valuable investment as the government will give you 25% of your savings capped at £3,000.00 once you have purchased a property. This will be a nice little bonus when you are settling into your new house and I really wish I have taken advantage of this earlier!
Take small steps with your savings
If like me the amount you need to borrow to afford your dream property is substantially less than the amount you can get on a mortgage seeing the deposit amount as one large figure can make the task of saving seem overwhelming. My suggestion is to set small goals if you need to save £200,000.00 make a smaller aim for 10,000.00 in a year or even 200.00 a month whatever works for you to keep you encouraged to save.
For the couples – DONT MAKE IT YOUR ONLY FOCUS
I would be lieing if I said I haven’t had a heated discussion or two with my partner over budgets, savings or something related to saving for a house it is inevitable. For most people this is not only going to be their most expensive purchase, but it is also moving forward with your life in a way that is so exciting it is hard to be patient. The best way I have found of dealing with this is to have set times to discuss how saving is going anything that is driving you insane and basically hash out any issues you have been having regarding this. You are both aiming for the same thing you just need to make sure it doesn’t take over!
If there are any tips I haven’t got on here that could potentially be helpful please feel free to leave them in the comments below.