Wednesday 11 August 2021

Buying my first home | a diary

I want to document the process of buying my first home - mostly for myself, but also for anyone else who might be interested in the process. I'm currently in the very early stages, although that hasn't stopped me buying a pink frying pan and a cute bathroom mirror...

My background

I currently live at home with my parents; I'm 26 and work two jobs - I'm a self-employed digital marketer, working on a freelance basis, and I also work in a café/bistro 20 hours per week. Pre-covid I was working in a bar, and lost my job when the pandemic hit. This, of course, led to a sharp drop in income especially as the freelance clients I had at the time were all focused within the travel industry. Nice!

At the beginning of the pandemic I actually started saving to go on a cruise 'when this was all over'. I booked one, which you can read about here, and saved pretty much every penny I was able to earn during 2020. However, as time went on, I started thinking about buying a flat or house - so when my cruise was sadly cancelled, I actually felt slightly relieved... I was thinking about cancelling it anyway! So because of this, I had a big chunk of savings to go towards my deposit.

I am saving through Chip - an AI savings app with a 1.25% interest rate. I also already had some savings in a 'lifetime ISA' with Newcastle Building Society, which are matched by the government at 25% - for every £4,000 you deposit, which is the annual maximum, the government add £1000. Read more here!

What I want

Ideally, I want a house - 2 or 3 bedrooms with a little garden, decent sized kitchen, and a front door that can be painted yellow. A little terrace somewhere. I will settle for a large flat, but it wouldn't be my dream home... I want to stay living in Wallasey, close to my friends/family/work. 

Where I'm up to

So I have a healthy deposit, and I've been in touch with a mortgage advisor. Being self-employed, you need to provide 2-3 years of tax returns when trying to get a mortgage - so I submitted my 20/21 return as early as I could and sent over all my documents. Due to my loss of earnings during 2020, I am currently only eligible to receive a £60,000 mortgage - which means I could afford a final purchase price of around £80,000 plus fees.

Somebody I know through a friend was planning to sell a lovely 3-bed terrace not too far from me, for that lovely £80k. I'd started making big plans, but the dream was short lived. House prices in Wallasey have gone through the roof, sadly, and the house was valued at around £120k pushing it out of my price range. It wasn't meant to be, and I'm confident that someone will have a lovely life there.

So where does that leave *me*? I'm currently planning to live at home for another year, and work as hard as I can so my 2021/22 earnings are as high as possible. I'll probably continue to drop money in the Range/Wilkos/B&M, and browse cute homeware on Etsy. Fingers crossed for better affordability in 2022, and at least a slight drop in house prices round here...

If you have any tips of words of encouragement for first time buyers, drop them in the comments! Also, check out some of my other homeware content HERE!

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