Saving For A House In Your 20’s
Fancy seeing you here.. So you’ve either clicked on this link because you’re a 20-something millennial thinking of venturing onto the property ladder or some one looking for general advice on taking the plunge. Either way you’re more than welcome.. Saving for a house in your 20’s – Explained
Get your cup ready lovelies because I’m going to give you the tea on getting a mortgage earlier on in life. The good, the bad and the ugly.
“Blood, sweat, tears and starvation”. Ok well not quite starvation but on the verge.
One thing I love about the millennial generation is that we have the goal getter mentality. We are passionate and know what we want! With that being said what I’ve noticed in the last 5 years since buying my first property that the prospect of buying is slowly dwindling away.. Why? Because house prices are like 100 times our annual salary (slight exaggeration) but you get the gist. Job salary is not increasing and the inflation costs coupled with the cost of living and the ability to live a comfortable life just aren’t adding up.
Anyway, I’m here to tell you that IT IS POSSIBLE! I’m your normal average girl, not born into wealth, grew up in a inner city area. If I can do it YOU CAN . And I’m here to share with you how! Let’s make some money moves!!
Disclaimer: All information below is based on my personal experiences. It may differ from person to person.
Little back story
I brought my first home with my partner at 22. After saving for around 3 years we were able to buy. It’s funny because 1 month after we purchased I found out I was pregnant with our first child. You know that saying “New house, new baby” well…. it was exactly that! Honestly the stress of renovating a house, being pregnant and constantly having to switch from bathroom towels to nappies was enough to make me lose my shit. I honestly think I broke up with my other half about ten times during the process. Mood swings galore! Anyway..
Let’s get to to it!
Adapt your mindset to a goal getter mentally
You have to be self motivated and you have to WANT IT. Because there will be days when you just want to throw in the towel. I’ve been there! I sacrificed a lot to save, and while a lot of my friends were holidaying and shopping I was saving. Be prepared that your peers may not share your vision in your twenties but that’s fine. Just remember why you’re doing it. Create a vision board if you have to of how your perfect home would look. I used the app Houzz which gave me daily motivation. And I honestly used to envision being in my home with cute cushions, some mirrored consoles and a chandelier light. Honestly it helps.
Perfect your credit score
This is so ridiculously important, your credit score is like the milk to your Cheerios, you NEED it, isn’t it ironic that they don’t teach us in school how important it is. So first things first check your score. I used Experian and it’s free, forever. You can check your score as many times as you like. There are five indicators ranging from red to green, red being poor and green being excellent. Once you enter your details it gives you a score out of 999. However if you would like to see exactly what Is causing your credit score to be low, I would advise paying for the upgrade which gives you unlimited information. This will give you a better insight into improving your prospect of getting on the property ladder. Noddle and Equifax also allow you to check this information.
My credit is bad what can I do?
- Get on the electoral roll- The reason the electoral register may help improve your score is because it allows lenders to verify your identity, which makes you a less risky borrower. Little hint: Make sure your details you provide to the electoral roll are accurate to the ones on Experian/equifax/Noddle.
- Get a credit card- if you’ve never had credit before or have bad credit. I’d recommend investing in a credit card. Its an easy way to prove to lenders that you’re reliable and manage your own credit. I used to put my petrol on the credit card then pay it back consistently at the end of the month.
- Don’t make too many ‘hard search’ applications for credit at once – what I mean by this is applying for too much credit in a short period of time (loans, mortgage, credit cards, car finance). Hard searchs leave a foot print on your credit. So when lending always investigate whether a soft search can be completed to give you an idea of whether you’ll be accepted for credit
- Make all your payments on time- I know it sounds like common sense but consistency is key!
Remember: To get a better insight into your credit remember to use one of the checkers I mentioned earlier.
Mortgage in principle
So a mortgage in principle is also known as a (DIP) decision in principle. This a certificate from a lender, (in my case it was the bank) stating how much they may lend you based on the information YOU provide. You will have to have one of these before you put an offer out in for a property. This is handy when saving because it gives you an idea of what you can borrow which will assist you when setting a goal for saving a deposit. A few of the questions they will often ask you to determine how much can borrow, is outgoings, annual salary, and any other credit agreements. I need to add that this is also a ‘soft search’ so this won’t affect your credit.
Live like you’re poor? Nah!
Here’s the thing, you still need to have a quality of life otherwise you’ll be miserable. That’s not the aim. However you do really need to cut down on the luxuries. No popping into Top shop, Zara or Gucci on your lunch break. No last minute trip to Dubai with the girls. As long as you’re setting some savings aside each month, there’s no need to feel bad you can treat yourself but let’s limit it to once a month if we can.
When your saving, have in mind that with buying a home you need to save a deposit and fees for services including solicitors fees, valuation fees, surveys and potential stamp duty. I remember this costing me in the region of £2000 (extortion I know).
Ideally you will want to save 5% to 20% of the cost of the house you’d like to buy, which is why having a mortgage in principle will be handy to see how much you’re eligible for. Little example: for a home costing £150k you’d need a £7.5k deposit (5%).
Set a direct debt into your savings each month (make sure it’s not easily accessible)
Set yourself saving milestones. And once you get into the swing of things you’ll actually enjoy it. Seeing your savings increase is so rewarding even if it’s only a tiny bit a month. It’s a step closer. Set up a standing order so each month when you get paid you don’t see it, it goes straight into a savings account. Set yourself realistic goals so you’re not dipping into it every month. I’d advise starting with small amounts and increasing gradually.
Get on eBay babe
eBay and depop were literally my saviour when saving for a house. I had a huge clear out and just listed everything. I used to get a buzz when I heard the alert that an item had sold. I would then transfer it straight into my savings account. It may be rubbish to you, but some one will buy it! I made hundreds.
Get a side hustle
When I was saving for a house I did temping through an agency. It was a way of gaining extra money with a “no strings attached” type agreement. I did retail, waitressing and I worked in a children’s ball park which I absolutely loved. It offered me a lot of freedom and flexibility and the money I earned went straight to my savings.
Move back home
This option is unrealistic for some I know. Specifically if you have kids. I stayed at home which allowed me to save loads in a short period of time. It wasn’t ideal but it was the best decision I made. So if this Is an option for you.. Please use it. It’s a no brainer. And me and my mum didn’t end up strangling each other which is always a bonus.
Help to buy ISA/government schemes
“So the help to buy ISA is available for those who are saving for their first home”. If you open up a Help To Buy ISA (available at many banks) and save money into it, the government will boost your savings by 25% of upto £3,000. You can pay upto £200 a month into the ISA. If you’re buying with a partner, they can also activate an ISA. You cannot claim Help To Buy on funds you withdraw.
I did not use this scheme as it wasn’t available when I purchased, however I have done research which states that the 25% is not added until point of completion (basically when the mortgage has gone through and you get your keys). Do make sure you check this with your banks before opening.
Use university bursary
So I know there’s this stereotype that everyone who goes to university, is broke, starving and eating pot noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner *rolls eyes*. However when I was at university I received a bursary each term. So each time I received it, I would put some aside and save it. This was a great boost towards my final figure. So if you’re in a position to do so, I’d highly recommend it.
Look after yourself
Just remember getting a mortgage isn’t for everyone. Just because society tells us that we should go to uni, graduate, get married, buy a house and have kids. That DOES MEAN it’s the right way to do thngs. So don’t pressure yourself and make sure you have long think about if this is even for YOU. Your own happiess is paramount.
And that concludes my post lovelies. I know I’ve covered quite abit and your head is probably spinning a little (I’m sorry) but I hope this gives you an insight into starting your journey. If you have ANY questions at all please comment below or send me a message. I would love to hear from you.