SAVING for a deposit to get on the property ladder is hard – but one first-time buyer saved since she was 13 years old to buy her own flat.
Valentina Hadome bought a £400,000 flat in January this year at just 18 years old after saving five years for her £22,000 deposit.
She also used the government’s Help to Buy scheme to buy her two-bed flat in Abbey Wood, South East London quicker.
You can get up to 20% of the value of your property – or 40% if you live in London – under the scheme.
You only have to put down a 5% deposit to secure your home using the scheme – typically, buyers need to put down 10%.
She told the Mirror: “I’m so, so happy – from being very young, it was my dream to own my own place.
“My mum taught me how to save and how to invest in the right places.”
Her mortgage repayments stand at £800 a month.
While she was saving as a teenager, she invested in companies like Domino’s Pizza and tech companies.
Valentina published romance and action comics when she was 13, which helped her raise £5,000.
She also took up part-time jobs from when she turned 16-years old, including spates at McDonald’s and Primark.
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Now she works at property company JLL and earns nearly £34,000 a year as an apprentice credit controller.
What help is available for first-time buyers?
There are other ways to get help if you want to buy your first home.
Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
The government backs lenders to offer more mortgages that require a small deposit under the scheme.
It is only available for properties up to a maximum purchase price of £600,000.
But first time buyers, as well as existing homeowners, can use it to secure a mortgage with a loan-to-value of 95%.
But you’ll have to be quick if you want to get a house through the scheme, as the deadline is December 31.
You can find out more about the scheme from the gov.uk.
The First Homes scheme
The First Homes scheme was launched last year and means prospective first time buyers in England can get homes at a 30% to 50% discounted rate compared to market price.
But, if the homeowner decides to sell the property down the line, the discount on the new value will be made available to any future buyer too.
As well as being a first time buyer, you also have to be 18 or older, and able to get a mortgage for at least half the price of the home.
You also must be buying the home as part of a household with a total income of no more than £80,000, or £90,000 in London.
The Shared Ownership scheme means that you co-own your home with a housing association – you buy a portion of the property and then pay rent on the part that you don’t own.
The scheme lets you put down a deposit of just 5% for properties – so it’s helpful for first-time buyers.
Buyers must purchase between 10% and 75% of the property to use the initiative, and they can then “staircase” – buy more shares in instalments – until they own 100% of it.
You can find local shared ownership properties on the Share to Buy website, or contact your local housing association.
However, there are downsides too.
One of the issues with shared ownership is that you don’t have as much freedom when it comes to selling your home, compared to if you hadn’t used the scheme.
If you own less than 100%, your housing association will get a set period of time to find a buyer, meaning you won’t be able to accept a higher offer from someone else.
Many shared ownership leases also contain a clause that gives the housing association dibs on buying it back before offering it on the market.
There are also fewer lenders offering shared ownership mortgages compared with standard ones.
This means there isn’t much competition to offer decent rates.