June 13, 2021

ON THE LADDER How I got a 20% discount and saved £1,800 a month to buy my first home aged 24

-She was lucky to be able to live with her parents after Uni, living on just £100 a month from her £36,500 a year salary for three years.

This enabled her to save up the £29,760 deposit to buy her 198,400 one-bed first home in Barking when she was just 24 years old.

As she works for a bank, she was also eligible for an affordable homes scheme which gave her a 20% discount of the market value of the property.

We had a chat with Bolu about becoming a first-time home buyer:

Tell me about your home

I live in a ground floor one-bed apartment located in a block built by Pocket Living in Barking, London.

It’s open-plan, so the living area, dining area and kitchen are all in one room.

I have a patio outside my bedroom and living area.

There’s no parking here, but I don’t drive.

There’s one bathroom too.

It’s near the tube so it’s a great location.

How much did you pay for it?

I’m classed as an essential worker because I work in the financial services sector, so I’m eligible for affordable housing.

Because my flat is classed as an affordable home, I got a 20% discount off its market value.

So instead of paying £248,000, I paid £198,400 for it – and I got no financial help from parents or family.

I put down a 15% deposit of £29,760 to secure it, and reserved the property in September 2020.

I also used the mortgage advisor and solicitor that was recommended to me by Pocket Living to get a £500 discount off my end bill.

I took out the mortgage over 32 years at a three-year fixed rate, and my repayments are £700 a month.

How did you save for the deposit?

By using the Government’s Lifetime ISA scheme (LISA), you can get 25% interest added on top of what you’ve saved.

I put in a total of £8,000 into my ISA, and I got an extra £2,000, giving me a total of £10,000.

I then opened 10 savings accounts to put the rest of my money in to get the best interest rates possible.

My motto is “every little helps”, so I was saving anywhere possible.

My phone contract used to be £37 a month, so I switched to a SIM-only contract and now only pay £8.

That’s a saving of £348 a year – it all adds up.

When I was commuting for work, I had Spotify Premium, which costs £9.99 a month.

But when Covid hit, I was working from home and didn’t really need to download music – I just listened to music on Youtube during advert breaks.

I’ve also shared my Netflix password with my mates – saving me at least £5.99 a month.

I followed people on social media and listened to their tips to help me save and keep motivated.

There’s an American businessman on Youtube called Dave Ramsay, and his show helps people get out of debt.

So I used his mentality to help me save intensely for my goals – there was no time for luxuries.

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