Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The tricks we just used to buy our first home!

House hacks, shabby chic girly pastel bedroom
Ahh home. I've been wanting to create this post for a while, since August 2017 when we managed to purchase our first home. Here I detail the exact tricks we used for purchasing a property in the UK. Out of interest, taking a look at how much it is worth since we bought it, it's risen in value by around £200 in only a year! If you want to know the tool I used for this go to SunLife and use their calculator here. It is lovely having the security of a home, means that you have that much value to your name and potential money for the future. I wanted to put together a little guide I wished I'd had when navigating the whole house hunting process, exactly what we did to purchase ours - and what no one told me...

With the deposit and mortgage!

 This is what we did for our deposit... Our deposit was pretty huge. As much as we saved and saved, we still needed about ten times the amount we had. What we did, something that is becoming more
and more common nowadays, is taking out a private loan via family/friends. This meant that this loan would be in their names and as soon as we moved in we would provide them with the money every month to pay it. Triple check your calculations to make sure you can afford the incoming costs each month. You will be paying the loan cost plus the mortgage cost every month, on top of bills. Those two things together come to £540 for us every month and we started paying that as soon as we moved in.

 For the mortgage... we applied to two banks/mortgage places and made absolutely sure they offered mortgages for 'Affordable Housing scheme' properties. We did this first, before looking at or applying to any property. Even though the properties you apply for might not be part of this scheme, it's really handy to have that in place and the peace of mind of being able to go for those properties if we wanted to. We had a casual interview for both of these places, with questions like 'do you have a positive credit history', 'which items are you currently paying off', 'what are your essential living expenses', and a look at the ins and outs of our monthly income. It's really handy to apply somewhere with a branch in your town as you can pop in with any queries and talk to the person that will be handling your case.

One of these places offered us a fixed mortgage (one where the price you pay every month stays the same), was more expensive a month and we would pay it over 10 years. The other offered us a variable mortgage (the interest on it may go up or down and it can be more flexible, you can opt to pay it off earlier, or pay more a month if you are able, to shorten the term) that was easier to afford and we would pay it over 20 years. We chose the latter option, it was definitely the most sensible in our situation and with the costs involved we didn't want to place too much of a financial burden on ourselves.

 My advice: put a little by every month to help you financially, even before you start looking for a house, all the while you are and at any chance you can. Every little really does help and I can't recommend enough keeping some savings spare at the end of the process (around £1k+) to fall back on in case there is anything you need to do to the house, anything that needs fixing, or if costs all mount up at once and you find yourself struggling to pay your dues for the house (definitely triple check in advance that you will be able to easily afford the monthly costs. Even our total takes a huge chunk out each month and we need to budget as much as we can. I say choose the cheapest plan ;) ;) )
House hacks, shabby chic girly pastel bedroom
 Affordable housing!

 Check out flats and houses that are a part of the affordable housing scheme, this can be an absolute lifesaver when buying your first place. You will need to have lived in the area for three years, or worked in the area for two years, plus have below a certain amount of money saved, to be able to buy the property, as they are reserved first and foremost for first time homeowners and local residents only. This can be an absolute gem as you may have access to properties you never dreamed you'd be able to apply to. Just keep in mind that the restriction will be there when you choose to sell the property on, as you must sell it at a certain price. And one more thing...

 Check out which banks/mortgage lenders cater for affordable housing properties... we found that only two places in our area took part in the scheme and could offer us a mortgage. The big banks, Natwest, Lloyds, do not take part in this scheme and it is the smaller banks/building societies that are native to your area, Cumberland Building Society for us in Cumbria, that will be best to apply to.

 Once you have been approved by mortgage lenders that cater for the scheme, if you are a local resident to the area you wish to live you can apply for affordable housing! Just get the details from your local council office or website of who you need to contact. You will be sent a form to complete and it's a pretty easy process, but can take some time (weeks, months) to be approved so I advise doing this before hunting and applying for properties. It's such a great feeling to have everything in place when you do find a property you love, and you can put an offer on it, there are no delays in that department.
Looking for your dream home!

 Go to lots of viewings, even for bigger properties and the ones you think are out of budget and reach - cast your net wide and have many options. It's really great to go to tons of viewings for the experience, to get used to the routine, find out what is most important to you in a property - this will surprise you! - and get confident asking questions, know which ones you would like to ask.

 Don't be afraid to check out the bigger houses or properties or those that are a bit out of reach. We set off checking out the little two bedroom flats in our area, many of which carried the 'no pets' rule, which we felt devastated about, but willing to compromise for Oscar to have his own room. Our little house was a lot bigger than the flats we were trying to purchase, with an actual upstairs and little garden, fields and woods outside, so was completely of limits in our minds, at the bottom of our list.

We decided to place an offer on a whim, convinced that it would be already half sold to someone else or completely beyond our budget and capabilities. Somehow everything fell in to place, we placed an offer, got the property through affordable housing and the seller was so nice too.

 Use a family solicitor... there are going to be legal fees when you purchase your home, around the £1000 or so mark, something I had not even thought about or anticipated haha. We went with a solicitor that my family had used in the past and because of this it worked out a lot cheaper, plus using solicitors that my family heavily recommended meant we got A* service, everything was processed super fast.

♡ If you are moving with a partner, make sure both of your names are on the house deeds, not just the main breadwinner... really good to remember with all the other things going on haha
This all took place for us over a lot of years, it's really helpful to make notes to know where you are in the process and what you need to do. A little recap... we first calculated what we could afford to pay per month based on our income, then made sure that we could secure a loan via family/friends for our deposit. We applied to our local banks that offered mortgages for 'Affordable Housing Scheme' properties, just in case. Once we'd been approved by at least two, we then went house hunting... It seems quite intense but is easier when you break it down, stage by stage, bit by bit.

I'd love to know if you have any questions about it, I'd love to help as much as I can! Don't ever stress about when it might happen, don't bother conforming to society's pressures, live by your own rules as you have all the time in the world to think about purchasing; it is an equally fine thing to rent, and fully enjoy the freedom that comes with that. For us as a family, we desperately needed that security and space that would carry us through the years and having that value to our name (£200 since last year haha!!) but it's good to remember that everyone is absolutely and totally different! 

16 comments:

  1. I'm so proud of you for buying a house when you're so young, have a little one, and live in the super expensive Lakes! It obviously took a lot of hard work but you figured it all out and I'm really glad that you're now settled in your own lovely home, well done.

    Lyd- whatlyddid.com

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    1. Thank you so much Lyd! I honestly never thought of it like that, I thought I was so far behind and struggling with the tiredness, the things we torment ourselves with! Thank you so much for such an amazing comment :) ♡

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  2. Beautiful!

    https://julesonthemoon.blogspot.com/

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  3. There is so much that goes into buying a house, it is an absolute minefield!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Danielle! That is so true, it's a humongous process, it can take years and years and then you might have to start from scratch, at least when that happens we learn more and more about it haha :D ♡

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  4. First of all, congratulations to your new house! What a big news! I think all your tips are super useful! Thanks for sharing and I hope you will love your new home!

    Daniela
    http://www.smellofjasmine.com/

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    1. Thank you so much for this, that is so kind!! I'm so glad you liked them :D ♡

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  5. Whoa, congratulations for your new house! I'm so proud of you! What a big achievement at such a young age. I may need to start taking notes from your tips then! x

    Deborah
    https://www.reveriends.com/

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    1. Thank you so much Deborah, that is so kind! I'm so happy you liked it, I hope it is useful! :D ♡

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  6. This was such an interesting post! This is a topic that I don't know much about at all, so I'm glad you were able to give some useful info on it! Thanks for sharing! :)

    melissakacar.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Melissa!! Haha it is only from having to start from scratch so much that I picked it up!! I hope it will be useful, so that hopefully people might be able to purchase first time around or find it easier :D ♡

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  7. What a milestone that you both managed to get a house together, in this economy it's only getting harder and harder so I know this post will help so many!

    https://www.eternallyelle.com/

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    1. Thanks a million Eloise!! It absolutely sucks, strategies like going for Affordable Housing and getting required for that first help so much :D those little tricks and schemes can be lifechanging! ♡

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  8. This is such a helpful post thank you! I'm nowhere near getting my first home but reading about your experience definitely helped! xx

    franalibi.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much Fran! That is so kind, ahhh glad you liked it! ♡

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