Friday, 19 October 2012

Growing Up: Buying a House!

At the age of 23 I never thought I would be making plans to save for a house, let alone consider actually buying a house!

Simon and I have had many serious conversations and we both know that one day we want to live together. But we have to be realistic too. Buying a house is a big decision, probably the biggest you'll make financially. Also, and I can only speak for the UK, buying a house is HARD over here. 

So even though we are not moving in together any time soon. We have to start saving now if we want to be able to move this time next year. However, I won't lie either, the whole process is also really daunting too. All the mortgage jargon like APR, leasehold Vs freehold, valuations, house surveys does become a little too much at times! I wish there was one way of simplifying it all.

We went and saw a mortgage advisor 2 weeks ago who made us feel so much better. He explained everything perfectly and gave us a really good financial target to work towards. So now we are more than determined to aim for it....and I know we can do it. So we are making 2013 the year of the big save!

I'm not sure what the property market is like in other countries but over here the higher the deposit on a house the smaller the mortgage repayments. Now thinking about it that must be like it everywhere else? However, banks here in the UK preferably like you to have a 20% deposit. So, in my area a simple two bedroomed house is around £170,000. So that's a £34,000 deposit!!!! (without the legal and surveyor fees). It's safe to say Simon and I don't have that sort of money  So we are aiming for a 15% deposit instead, which sets us back a little bit. I just wish house prices were a little fairer or a bit more easier to buy - especially for first time buyers like us.

In the meantime, I have been doing the fun stuff like buying little bits and pieces to get us started. I LOVE IT!!! When we do move in I want to move into a home and not live off the basics. No lie, one of my friends had deck chairs for 2 months because she could not afford a sofa! As mean as it might say, I refuse for that to happen. If I am paying back a mortgage, then I want it to be a house to live in.

I think buying little and often for our future house will put us in good stead. So that when we move in we have just the big things to sort out like a washing machine, cooker, sofa etc.

We went to Ikea and Tesco: Home to get some stuff a couple of weeks ago. It was a productive day. We have every basic thing for a kitchen apart from the large appliances!

I am also hunting for bargains for our future house too. I fell in love with this coat hook. It was £4 reduced from £20. Great buy!

So does anyone have any money saving tips? Or hints of how to make buying a house less stressful?!


Joyce said...

Buying a house is stressful...we've bought several and every single time, it's stressful. I do think it's a little more stressful on your side of the pond so my advice is to save save save. Not much help I know, but really, that's the best thing you can do. Houses are always more expensive than they seem on paper : )

It's fun to have a goal to work towards and I love the coat hook! Good luck!

Alex(andra) said...

They suggest 20% down over here too, I think! That's so exciting that you're saving now though!!

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Ugh we just wrapped ours up early September. It was a nightmare, but you're expecting that already. save save save and I know it's hard because you'd love to live while you're saving... Good luck lady! It's possible! Just keep pushing!

CrysHouse said...

Owning your own home is awesome! (Well, until something breaks...but let's face it: it's still a little awesome even then!)

My only advice for saving would be to put yourself on a cash budget according to your pay periods. For example, if you get paid every two weeks, allot yourself so much money to spend for the two week period--groceries, eating out, clothing, etc. And be a scrooge. If you can come up with a number and then cut it by $50? Do it. When it's gone...that's it. You make do with what you have until the next pay period. If you have any leftover money when you go to get your new supply, stick it in a jar and deposit it in a savings account.

You'll be surprised at how much you can save going that route. (Oh, and keep a jar for all your change. It really adds up, too!)

laura anne said...

A high interest cash ISA and putting yourself in as little debt as possible. As well as saving for your deposit, you want to save for the furniture stuff, and you can get some great bargains on gumtree and freecyle. In my flat in Aberdeen here's all the stuff I got 'secondhand' it wasn't perfect but it did me fine, and it makes you appreciate it much more when you DO get it.

-sofa bed
-coffeetable nest
-spare bed
-dyson hoover
-bread bin

10% of my earnings goes to charity, I'm aiming to also put 10% in my savings account each month too. Speaking to friends and family in advance of Christmas - doing a secret santa or having an understanding about cost limits on presents.

If I have any money leftover at end of each month I put it in my 'treat' bank account. Treats (clothes, DVDs, trips to theatre/cinema, holidays) can only be paid for from the treat account!

Using supermarket loyalty card schemes. Over last few months I've saved about £15 of vouchers for Sainsbury's which I'll use at Christmas time.

Only take advantage of 'buy one get one free' or similar offers on products you would buy anyway!

Meal plan - helps lots with only buying the food you need and are going to use.

Use skype instead of phone when you can - saves phone bill!

When you own your home, make sure you keep saving for the times when things do go wrong.

Janet said...

What a sensible young couple you are! You will find many ways to save! In South Africa we work on about a 10% deposit, but if you buy off plan you can sometimes qualify for a 100% bond! When my husband bought his first house, he got a 110% bond to cover trf costs!! The price of housing I guess is also relative! We're paying in the region of ZAR1 000 000.00 for a small house - divide that by 14.1 - you're looking at about GBP 70 000.00 odd! Good Luck young lady! I'm proud of my young bloggin pal :)

Janet said...

PS It is a little cheaper here! :) And buy the way, the fun part is collecting all the bits and pieces! Enjoy!

Jhona O. said...

That's a great goal and I'm sure you're going to have a fabulous, fun and trying year saving up. You can do it!! I love the coat hook. It's fab!

Mary-Lee Henson said...

Last November my fiancĂ© and I were looking for a home in the Ocean Reef Club. We called a few of the realtors on site and selected Bob Ecuyer as he has actually lived in the community for nearly 40 years. His team were extremely knowledgeable about the club, events and amenities. They found us a exactly what we wanted in a home. What I liked the most was his team’s desire to help us in every way. His site is

Kristen said...

All these tips are really good. The key is save save save!

Chelsea Richards said...

Well said! It is always hard to make a smart move even you already know that it going to be hard but I think in this situation we just don’t need to rush the whole thing to and make sure you’ll be getting the good deal and I think everyone deserve a good deal when it come buying a house…

SR luin said...

Nice article , want to know more about this topic.

how to buy a house

Madison Parker said...

My newlywed husband and I were looking for a elegant, tropical home in the Ocean Reef Community, to start our new beginning. We looked everywhere but couldn't find the perfect home for us. Then a colleague suggested Bob Ecuyer, we gave him a try, and he found us a breathtaking oceanfront home. Bob was so professional and knowledgeable of the community. You can find him at or call (305) 367-3600.

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