Creative ways to help you get that dream home

Creative ways to help you get that dream home
Beg, steal or borrow isn’t the best advice but- if getting on the property ladder this year is your aim, there are lots of creative, and legal, ways to go about it.


Recent research from The Nottingham Building Society revealed that that 63% of those looking to buy their first home plan to sell valuables in order to raise cash for a deposit.  Jewellery was the most popular, with 14% hoping to raise funds this way.

Bank of mum and dad

The same survey found The Bank of Mum and Dad is still very much alive, with 81% of would be first-timers expecting parents to cough up. One in five surveyed anticipated getting over 50% of deposits from parents or even grandparents with six out of ten of those surveyed hoping for an inheritance pay-out.

Almost everyone surveyed planned on using cash savings towards buying a home, but the research showed that most savers could be far savvier. Hefty bonuses are available via Government-backed accounts such as the Help to Buy ISA and Lifetime ISA but almost 40% of those surveyed didn’t know that they could get up to an extra £1,000 a year by opening these types of accounts. Tina Hayton-Banks says that the building society’s research ‘echoes what we hear all the time, people are exploring every available route to get on the ladder’ but she says it’s a shame that more don’t use financial products like the Lifetime ISA to help them buy. 
Help to Buy
Launched back in 2013, the Government’s Help to Buy scheme will now run until at least 2023 which is good news for first timers trying to get on the property ladder. Under the scheme, the Government lends buyers between 20% and 40% of the cost of a new build property worth up to £600,000, meaning that buyers need a smaller deposit and can get a cheaper mortgage. 

Shared ownership 

Shared ownership, a part buy, part rent scheme is another way of making home ownership more affordable. Websites such as Share to Buy explain in detail how the scheme works and lists current homes for sale available using shared ownership. A lot of confusion surrounds the scheme, but it doesn’t mean sharing your home with others. You can also buy more shares as you earn more called ‘staircasing’ with, hopefully, the aim of one day owning the entire property and paying no rent. First Time Buyer’s CEO Lynda Clark says that many of today’s first- time buyers are becoming ‘more resourceful and proactive’ in their approach to homebuying enabling them to get onto the housing ladder sooner thanks to a more positive attitude towards schemes such as shared ownership and Help to Buy. “Thankfully modern approaches to homebuying are really boosting homeownership and first-time buyers today are focused on finding new ways to buy their first home.”

Getting information

Arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible is key to getting on the property ladder. First Time Buyer runs regular events to help those thinking about buying a property where visitors can attend seminars and chat to experts on topics including government schemes and how to get a mortgage. The next First Time Buyer show is on Saturday 2nd March at The Old Town Hall, Stratford. 

Another free event, The London Home Show takes place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Westminster, SW1 on Saturday 23rd March. The show will have lots of information about shared ownership and details of current developments where you can use the Help to Buy scheme. 

Sacrificing luxuries? 

We’re always hearing about sacrificing little luxuries in order to save for a deposit but just how many avocados would you have to give up to get your dream home?  New online tool, the ‘First Time Buyer Deposit Generator’ from Really Moving lets FTBs enter the deposit they need to save, to reveal the number of luxuries such as gym memberships, lattes and avocados they’d  need to give up to save that amount. It then points them towards three new guides aimed at helping first time buyers make sensible long-term saving plans.’s Rob Houghton, says ‘ignore the hype’ about sacrificing avocado on toast, as research reveals you’d need to give up 21,700 of them in order to save a typical 10% deposit of £21,966. “This research highlights how unhelpful it is to suggest that millennials only need to sacrifice luxuries such as takeaway coffees and gym memberships to get on the housing ladder.” Instead, he advises looking at the bigger picture: “Make decisions such as moving back in with parents or downsizing, opening a Help to Buy ISA and paying in a fixed amount each month, or setting up a money saving app, to help monitor spending and saving.”

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