Saving to Buy a Starter Home


Honestly, everyone my age who I mention buying a house to, winces and we end up both joking about how we’ll never afford to buy anything more than a wooden shack – because buying a house in the UK is no joke. Gone were the days where my Grandma and Grandad bought their first house for £2,500 (insane!), and I’m currently in a situation where I’m looking at starter homes that are around £60,000 to £100,000. It’s a lot of money.

My living situation has been a bit all over the place. I lived with my parents in various countries in South East Asia till I moved back to the UK when I was 18. When I moved back to Manchester, I then lived as a lodger with a family for a year before then moving into halls of residence for university. After a year in halls, I did the typical student house thing and then moved to the place I currently am, which is a lodging/flat within a house type situation, which is a cross between being a lodger and sharing a flat. But I love it. I’ve been quite fortunate with being able to live fairly cheaply, as what I pay now per month is substantially cheaper than if I was renting an entire property for myself! However, I’m at the stage now where I’m definitely aware of the restrictions that my current place has and am anxiously looking forward to eventually owning my own place – even if it is tiny!

As I’m rather fortunate with my current living costs, my aim is to save as much as possible for the next two years and hopefully buy a house then. My current rent is all inclusive so I know exactly how much I’ll be spending on living and should be able to tuck quite a bit away! I did consider moving out and renting but with high deposits, admin fees and general costs, I wouldn’t be able to save much at all. In September, I’ll be starting at my first job after finishing my Masters, so I’m very much intending to live as cheaply as possible to save as much as I can!

With regards to house buying, I’m very much looking at the places my parents have owned – particularly with the place my mum owned before she married my dad. It was a semi-detached that she bought for £27,500 in 1987 – now that’s the amount you put down as a deposit for a family home! Obviously, it’s impossible to use this as a price guide as things have changed so much, but Sunlife has a fascinating tool that shows that over the past 20 years, the average property value in the area has increased by over £97,000! Not only is it pretty eye-opening, but it’s fascinating to see how these things change – and gives me hope that a property I may buy will increase in value!

At the moment, my maximum for buying is £100,000 and quite honestly, I don’t think I’d get much more with my salary! I’m currently browsing real estate websites and getting my eye in as I’d rather buy a cheap house in a nice area than a nice house in a cheap area! Like I mentioned, I’m about 2 years away from starting the process, but there are so many steps (including saving) that go before buying a house, that I’m starting ahead! My parents are definitely my house-buying goal as they’ve really gone in the cliché direction of moving from a tiny semi-detached to bigger semi-detached to a detached family house. I’d love to follow in their footsteps as they really do have it all covered!

Are you looking to buy a house anytime soon? Have you had a nosy and seen how much prices in your area have changed?

Ellie Dickinson