Getting on the housing ladder is not an impossible dream, says Alun Thomas, a partner with Mallard Estate Agents and Surveyors.
His comments come as official Government figures suggest that first time buyers need to scrape together an average of £23,000 to get their first mortgage.
This is based on buying an average ‘entry level’ £140,000 house, for which you would need to pay £300 in stamp duty, £21,000 for your 15% deposit and approximately £2,000 in moving and legal costs.
“There’s no doubt that getting on the property ladder is harder than it was a decade ago,” says Alun. “However, it does not have to be impossible. My top pieces of advice would be to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor, and to seek the guidance of a good estate agent.
“Your Independent Financial Advisor can help you work out how much you can borrow and what amount of deposit you would require, and your estate agent can point you in correct direction to find properties that will suit you and give you advice on how to proceed.”
He added that there are several Government schemes that can help make owning your first home a reality.
These include the Help to Buy ISA, which can boost your savings by 25%, and two schemes specifically aimed at helping you buy a newly built home: the Help to Buy Shared Ownership Scheme, which enables you to own a share of your house; and the Help to Buy: Equity Loan, through which the Government lends you up to 20% of the cost of your newly built home, so you only need to find a 5% deposit, and a 75% mortgage will make up the rest.
“Once you have a plan, you can make changes to your lifestyle to help you save your deposit quicker, says Alun.
“Set up a savings plan: work out the maximum amount you can afford to live without each month and transfer it directly into your savings account on payday. Also, look for ways to maximise your savings. For instance, a third of people saving for their first house move back in with their parents.
“With determination and the correct advice and support, you will be surprised at what you can achieve.”