Neil and I moved in together in 2012 after two years of long distance dating. We have been renting ever since, it’s been more than five years now. We are looking to move into a property of our own in the next twelve months, but with such a big move come so many costs. I stupidly thought all that we needed was a hefty deposit, but there are so many other things to take into consideration as well: stamp duty, solicitors fees, surveys, moving costs and insurance. This post is all about how we are trying to save money on all these little things that add up to thousands and thousands of pounds.
It’s been a hard slog trying to save for a deposit whilst having rent to pay at the same time. Luckily, the government introduced the Help to Buy ISA in 2015 and for every £200 you save, they add an extra £50 on top. This has helped us hit our deposit target quicker than we ever could have imagined and we now even have more than the 5% required. The government have recently introduced LISAs which work in the same way, but the bonus is paid monthly (once you’ve had the account for more than 12 months). If you haven’t yet purchased a house I truly recommend you start saving in one of these ISAs. The 25% bonus is free and easy money!
The biggest place to make savings when buying a home is by getting the absolute best price for the property you are purchasing. Zoopla is invaluable because it shows you what houses sold for in the immediate area so you have an idea what the property is worth. In the area we are looking to purchase, most vendors add at least 20% to the value of the property so it’s important to be savvy of what the market is actually looking like.
Moving costs can really add up, especially considering all of the furniture we have accumulated over the past five years. Shiply is an online marketplace for transporting goods. You simply list items what you need to move and then receive low cost quotes from thousands of transport companies. We used this service when we moved from Altrincham to Liverpool a few years ago and it saved us hundreds on the cost of removal.
Furniture and Decor
No matter how much furniture you have accumulated over the past few years, when you move home you will inevitably need new pieces plus money to decorate your new house to your tastes. Using discount codes can save you a fortune when buying online especially on big ticket items, hotdiscountcode and dealsqueen are two of the places you can use to secure money off and I always advise using a site like TopCashBack as well.
We have always held contents insurance, but an extra cost to owning your own home is the cost of buildings insurance and ensuring we have enough protection in place to pay off the mortgage if one of us dies or becomes critically ill. I always use TopCashBack to shop around for insurance quotes then look for the provider giving the most cashback. We recently renewed our contents with John Lewis who gave us an excellent price plus £50 cashback on top. Bargain!
We will be using a trusted broker to find us the best mortgage on the market for our circumstances. Ask around, who did your friends use or do they know anyone who is a broker. What’s more, if you have anything on your credit file which isn’t too good, they can hunt out the best lenders without you wasting time applying to banks who aren’t going to accept you.
How did you save money when you bought your first property? I can’t wait until we finally own our own home and any tips on how to get there quickly are very much appreciated!