Saving for a deposit

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Saving to buy your first property can be daunting because first-time buyers must typically save for 8 years to afford a deposit to buy a home. According to the Nationwide Building Society the average deposit is close to £20,000 and £80,000 in London. The £80,000-plus cost in London is about £30,000 higher than a decade ago.

Saving for a deposit can seem like a never-ending journey. Having a clear and realistic plan can make it feel much more achievable. Here are some ideas:

  • Reduce the amount you spend on rent

Increasing numbers of people saving for their first home are choosing to move back in with their parents. Assuming this move will mean you pay below-market rent (or even none if you’re very lucky) and spend less on bills and food, you could save hundreds every month and reach your deposit goal much faster.

  • Cut non-essential spending

Trimming down on potentially large expenses related to leisure – for example, holidays and socialising – can help you to save money for a deposit.

  • Cancel subscriptions

Having a subscription means having to make regular payments for something, even when you may not need it. Look into alternatives to regular payments you make. For example, you may find it cheaper to run in the park than pay for gym membership.

  • Saving into a Help to Buy ISA

If you deposit your savings into an ISA, they’ll remain tax-free and, if you save into a Help to Buy ISA you could also get a government bonus of up to 25% on your savings when you buy your first property. Help to Buy is a government scheme first announced in the March 2013 Budget. It is designed to help anyone struggling to save a deposit for their first home. You must be over 18 to qualify for Help to Buy, and it must be used to buy your own home on a repayment basis (not interest only). Further information on the scheme can be found in our dedicated Help to Buy blog post.

  • Help from family

If your parents are willing and able, borrowing some money to help with a deposit could help you buy your own home sooner than you would otherwise be able to.

  • A joint mortgage

A joint mortgage is in the names of two or more people. You may also want to consider buying a home together with friends or family, in order to split the costs. Further information and advice when buying with a friend or partner, read our dedicated blog post.

  • Find a guarantor

If borrowing from your parents isn’t possible, there are several mortgages on the market that allow parents (or anyone else willing) to help you buy a property without having to stump up a cash lump sum. Being a guarantor usually involves using the guarantor’s home as security for your mortgage or placing a large amount of savings in an account associated with your mortgage for a set period of time.

  • Purchase part of a property

If finding money for a deposit is holding you back from buying a property you may find a shared ownership home is a more affordable alternative. Shared ownership and shared equity schemes involve purchasing part of a property and renting the rest, and although you would not own 100% of your home right away, you will have a foot on the property ladder. You will still need a deposit to get a mortgage for a part-buy property, but you would only need to borrow 25%, 50% or 75% of the property value.

If you would like to discuss purchasing as a first-time buyer in further detail, please contact our specialist conveyancing departments today in Walsall, Great Barr Birmingham, London and Shoreham-by-Sea or alternatively email info@lplawfirm.com.

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