A couple in their early 20s have revealed the secret to getting on the property ladder when the average age of a first time buyer is 35. Shanine Land
A couple in their early 20s have revealed the secret to getting on the property ladder when the average age of a first time buyer is 35.
Shanine Land and Darren Noble are childhood sweethearts who have snapped up a four-bedroom house at the ages of 22 and 24.
The pair who work “bog standard jobs” have become the proud owners of the detached £263,000 home and have now revealed their money-saving tips for aspiring homeowners.
The pair said it was always their dream to own their own house and have taken on a mortgage which will last just 20 years – although they could pay it off in as little as 13, DevonLive.com reports.
Shanine, who works in retail, said their achievement shows young people working “standard pay jobs” can save to buy their own homes to defy fears they are being priced out of the housing market.
Last year, lender Halifax said the average age of a first time buyer in the UK is 30.
Shanine, 22, said: “When we left school and started college we said one day we want to own a house.
“A lot of people I know they’ve got cars, phones, gym memberships, credit cards, but the only outgoings we’ve had is the gym and phone payments nothing else.
“People reading this may think we have high paid jobs but I work in retail. It goes to show you can save money and get a mortgage in a bog standard job.
“I know Darren has a skilled job but you can do any job and get a mortgage. We both started on minimum wages and when we were saving we both had standard pay jobs.”
On the market for £265,000, the couple’s new home in the Moorhayes area of Tiverton is in need of refurbishment.
The couple, who met at school in Tiverton, Devon, eight years ago, plan to do most of the work themselves with friends and family already lending a helping hand. Qualified plumbing and maintenance engineer Darren will be taking care of the plumbing throughout the house.
The couple said they will be concentrating on installing a new kitchen and bathroom, and giving the walls a fresh lick of paint, but keen saver Darren said they will not be rushing out to buy new furniture on credit.
He said: “I’ve always been a saver. I hate spending money. The problem with most people is they don’t understand the value of money. Say something is £100, some will say ‘that’s cheap I can buy that’ but I look at it differently.
“I look and ask ‘how many hours have I got to work to get that?’. If you’re on £7 an hour that’s a couple of days’ worth of work that I have to do to get that item.
“There is a difference between need and want. I’ve got a normal car, it’s not fast or flash, it starts and gets me places that is what I need. But what you want is £500 a month finance deals on Range Rovers, but it doesn’t pay in the long run.
“Our generation don’t help themselves when it comes to getting on the property ladder. I’ve got a couple of friends who like their cars which is fine, but if you want a house you’ve got to think of the bigger picture.”
Avoiding the temptation of renting a property and living together while they saved their deposit, the newly engaged couple opened joint bank accounts a little over a year ago.
Darren said: “We have been saving a decent amount and still having fun, we’ve been going out but not going on holidays to Florida, not buying fancy cars.
“We’ll enjoy the sun down at Dawlish, a night out with friends close to home. If you go out with your mates and you’re buying rounds and you get a kebab on the way home you could part with £100 on one night.”
Shanine said: “If people didn’t do that they could save enough to buy their own house within a year easily. Other people our age will say ‘I’m young, I’m free, I want to do this’ and then worry about buying a house later. We’ve got a 20 year mortgage plan so we’ll be in our 40s when our mortgage is paid.”
The couple will be overpaying on their mortgage but said with further overpayment they could clear their mortgage in 13 years.
Shanine said: “Both sets of our parents are chuffed to bits. We did a pre-renovation house warming so our friends came. All our friends are chuffed for us they’ve been up stripping wallpaper and helping out.
“No one has said ‘oh, can they afford it?’ they’ve all said well done because our close friends and family know we have saved hard for it.”
Shanine and Darren’s top seven tips for buying your first home:
Learn to budget:
Shanine said: “Be wary of how much you spend on monthly outgoings especially on things like catalogues for furniture, TVs and stuff. It seems good when you see it’s only £2 a week but if you order five things and have other things to pay for, by the time you get your wages it will be gone again.”
Don’t buy things on finance:
Darren said: “The worst thing you can do before you get a mortgage is to get cars or phones on finance deals because anything like that you have to declare to the mortgage company and that all comes off your mortgage amount. If I haven’t got the money in my account I don’t have it.”
Live at home:
Darren said: “Some people will rent and live with each other for a year to see how they get on but you could be paying out £700 a month in rent and you could be putting that into your own mortgage rather than someone else’s.”
Get an app:
Shanine said: “You can buy budgeting apps for your phone so you can see where you are spending your money and where you can save. Sometimes it’s worth spending that £2 or £3 for an app because you are going to get so much more out of it. If you’re unsure where your money goes each month something like that will help massively.”
Look out for deals on savings account:
Darren said: “I opened multiple accounts – at one point I had six or seven savings accounts – and each month each one was being filled. The objective was to earn enough money in the month to max out all of them. It was a £500 maximum limit at five percent so it was £6,000 a year you could put in but in £500 increments. After 12 months you got a percentage back on all of them. The banks are not expecting anyone to actually fill them all so I was getting quite a lot back in savings.”
Do your research:
Shanine said: “We researched mortgage providers, what their percentages were and customer reviews. It’s a lot of detail but it will pay off. We asked people what solicitors they had used when they bought, what mortgages, any hidden costs, TV license, council tax, we wanted to know every detail. We had to find out everything.”
Darren said: “When we went to sit down with the bank and they said ‘why should we give you a mortgage?’ I had everything in a folder printed off. Go in there to the point that if they ask you a question you have the answer. Tell them how much you want, how long for, why it’s a good investment to give you that mortgage, explain how you’ve been saving, prove to them that you can pay this mortgage. There’s nothing worse than going in unprepared. They’ll lap it up.”