The average age for a first time buyer in the UK is now 30, as many young people struggle to raise the necessary deposit to get on the housing ladder.
Sam Brown, 25, and his partner Kelly Jones, 32, had planned to buy a home privately together before realising that it would be out of their reach for some time. He said: “We initially wanted to go straight from living with our parents to buying a house. However with the savings we had, and the money we could hope to put aside each month, it became clear that the funds required to buy a home privately would be unobtainable.”
The couple started renting a home together and reassessing their options. Sam’s sister, meanwhile, had bought a flat at Centra Living’s Waterside Reach development, in Tonbridge through shared ownership and recommended the scheme to them. The development appealed to the couple as did the idea of part rent, part buy. Sam, an IT manager, said: “The building is a nice design and it is close to our jobs and family. While shared ownership is a great idea to help people who can afford the monthly payments of a home but struggle to get the funds together to get on the ladder outright.”
The couple purchased a 40 per cent share of a two bedroom court at Waterside Reach at £104,000, and they become Sam’s sister’s neighbours. The couple received help from Sam’s parents with the £10,000 deposit. He said: “We were lucky enough to get the rest of the deposit gifted by my parents, had that not been an option it would have meant moving back in with our parents for a couple of years.”
On their future aspirations Sam said: “Buying this home means we have a real foot up on the ladder for the future. It’s also nice to know our money each month is now going towards a greater goal, rather than being wasted as was the case when we were renting.”
He adds: “It feels great to be settled in now, as moving is tough and tiring. It’s nice to finally have a place that’s ‘ours’ and it feels much more stable compared to renting.”
His advice to others in the same position would be to save as much as you can. Sam said: “If you’re fortunate enough to not live ‘paycheque to paycheque’ save as much as you can, it will be worth it in the end. For every £1 saved that’s £1 closer to your goal.”
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