Research, research, research. Do the maths to see what the maximum you are able to get as a mortgage. Consider a 95% mortgage or shared ownership scheme for new builds. Family. Don’t be afraid to say instead of a birthday or Christmas present, ask for cash. Hey I’m Oriental. We make it less vulgar by putting it in a red envelope!
The best advice I got from a friend was to buy the worst house in the best street you can afford.
You can always improve the house. You can’t necessarily improve the area, unless you know about future improvements, such as urban renewal, shops and businesses coming to the area, and really importantly, public transport links planned, e.g. Crossrail or bus routes.
Then it’s all about saving for that deposit, plus fees. e.g. stamp duty, legal, bank. But don’t forget setting aside cash for property refurbishments if it’s a fixer-upper. I just redecorated a rental home myself, because the management company quoted me close to £3,500 for painting the walls and woodwork. Cost of materials, and a week of my time = £156. I had no choice but to pay a professional for carpets which I shopped around and got for £800. With interest-free credit, it works out to be about £60 a month spread over 12 months. But I saved £180 by cutting up and disposing of the carpet and underlay, using a Stanley knife and a one hour Zipcar to the recycling centre.
Usual saving tips mean not so many holidays, making your own lunch, drinking the free drinks in the office instead of splashing out for coffee at Starbucks, walking wherever possible, timing your visits to the supermarket to pick up the discounted goods like bread and fresh food, collect your loyalty points. Don’t have to give up a social life, just moderate it, be it 2 for 1 pizzas, Easyjet flights booked three or four months in advance, etc.
Best of luck, Brenda. It will be worth it instead of being generation rent.