Dear Monzo, buying a house has always felt out of reach but I’ve been inspired to start saving

This month Laura replies to a prospective first-time buyer, who’s just starting to save up for a deposit with their partner.

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That’s the problem right there.

It would be better to manage people’s expectations so they’re not focusing on affordability for their first house in one of the top cities in the country.

That’s akin to wanting a Ferrari as my first car after I’ve passed my test. You start with a banger and then move up over the years getting closer and closer to your dream car. Otherwise I’d still be sat here today with no mode of transport.


I think you are spot on - although I think it is naturally harder for property than it is for cars.

If you have a job in a specific area you have in a way your hands tied as to where you can live, and therefore are at the mercy of the market in those areas.

Although with that being said, it would more than likely be possible to rent and not buy and work out the possible areas to eventually buy - although renting is its own problem.

Overall the housing market itself is just ridiculous and the lending/ mortgage market even more so.

It’ll likely take me another 5-6 years just to get a 10% deposit ready.

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This is why I love living where I do. You get lots of bang for your buck.

Check this:

Needs work, but at the price you’re getting a house steeped in history, with 4 bedrooms for less then you’d pay for a 1 or 2 bed flat in some parts of London / surrounding boroughs.

Not to mention 1gbps broadband speeds…


There seems to be some odd Idea that you’ll live where you grew up… Which just isn’t and shouldn’t be the case.
I’ve moved from the south to Newcastle and Um the price difference is crazy :rofl:


Still looking at £24,000 for a 10% deposit which for me right now at least is very very very far off!

Although I can’t debate the bang for your buck comment!

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I’d love to live where I grew up but that’s thanks to decades of hard work and sacrifice from my parents.

First time buyers have to start at the bottom, work hard and sacrifice things too :slight_smile: I’ve done it (my first house was in such a dodgy/high crime area) and it isn’t easy but everything that is worthwhile never is. It’s a tough life lesson!

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I also think this is the way that areas that need better development can develop well and quickly.


I agree. However, nice houses with three bedrooms can be bought for £80-100k here though.

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Oh definitely! Just using your example is all! I don’t actually think the 10% is all that bad, its an investment and you have to work for it - however it does get hard when you have to balance committed spending with saving for a future etc.

I just wish the government did a bit more to help - some of the stuff they tout as being for the “first-time buyer” is flawed - IMHO anyway.

I think the main issue for most people wanting to get on the property ladder is the min 10% deposit.

They are buying in leeds, that is far from the most expensive city in the UK.

Sadly with some jobs it is not possible to be able to choose location too freely

I had 2 jobs and it took me 2 years and a lot of sacrifice while friends were going on holidays, nights out, getting the latest phones etc.

I knew it would benefit me long term and it was only for a small part of my life - so I just stuck my head down and got on with it.

I now own a property and the majority of my friends rent. It’s swings and roundabouts, pros and cons to both my situation and theirs.


Where did you buy first time?

Jobs are not set in stone :wink:

I guess I had “long term” drilled into me when I was younger. So I’d never apply for a job in an area that I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford to live in.

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Its definitely a sacrifice = rewards thing. I would like it if lenders took more of a proactive approach rather than just touting a slightly better interest rate.

There are some innovative products (0% deposit if parents put up some security/ 0% deposit if parents put into a bank account and lock it away for 2+ years/ 5% deposits) but they all rely on one of two things:

  1. Parents being in a position to help;
  2. A fair amount of money up front

HPI hasn’t helped either (until this year) with properties continually increasing in price (far above inflation) with salaries only really following inflation and a low base rate

I think this is the thing, that people want a house without sacrifice. The same that they want high paying salaries etc without sacrifice. Life is about sacrificing sometimes.


Generally older houses are better. I’ve been a part of “modern” housing construction and it’s not the same as older houses. In South Devon it can be £300,000 for a new 3 bed plasterboard house, where I smash my head on every light bulb because new ceilings are lower and a washing line would completely fill the garden.

Across the country houses are built so fast nothing is dry, so there’s damp issues for several months after people move in. And the double glazing on lots of new houses doesn’t fit or is broken within a few years :frowning:

The issue is the house prices far out strip average wages across the last 30 plus years

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I always remember my mate raving about the build quality of his new Charles Church house and invited me over to inspect it. He’d owned the house a week when I turned up and it would be an understatement to say his face was shocked when I opened the gate and it fell straight off its hinges onto the floor.

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