Buying a house, either first time or otherwise, is a HUGE purchase and in order for you to have a good head start a deposit is necessary. When getting a mortgage the bigger the better.

As mentioned in my home buying series blog post, I will be explaining how we did it and bringing you other tips.

deposit cash

Seek mortgage advice early

Unless you are lucky enough to buy your house outright with no mortgage this is probably the one thing that really helped us to know what would be feasible.

In our case, Claire already had a mortgage on our current home and I was planning on buying the house on my own in order to avoid the dreaded ‘chain’.

No matter if you are buying on your own or in a couple go and seek some mortgage advice from a reputable and fully qualified advisor. We were recommended someone local but there are many other companies (either on the high street or online) that you can use. Make sure they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If in doubt you can search each name or company on their website.

You will be able to find out, based on your salary and outgoings, what you could be applicable for from a mortgage lender.

They will also advise you how best to improve things like credit score and how much deposit you would need based on the values of homes you might be interested in.

Deciding how much you need as a deposit

In most cases in the UK, buying a home would mean finding a minimum of 10% deposit. For some newly built homes you might be able to have 5% but the rule of thumb is to find at least 10%. The more you find for your deposit the better your mortgage interest rate will be.

For example, if you were to buy a house that was £100,000, you would need to save a minimum of £10,000 (+ any fees you need to pay for solicitors / mortgage advisors)

We decided to try and save 10% of a £160,000 mortgage and try and find something cheaper if we could giving us more deposit than required.

Saving for your deposit

To save you have to make some sacrifices and budget better.

Here are a few different ways in which I know people have saved:

  • Living on one salary and saving all the other
  • Getting rid of one car (if there are two)
  • Reducing phone contracts to Pay As You Go only
  • Meal planning and budgeting as meanly as possible when shopping
  • Finding alternatives to your normal purchases, Aldi/Lidl, Charity Shops, Car Boot Sales etc
  • Agreeing with family a limited budget for Birthday’s and Christmas
  • Reducing current bills by switching
  • Living with Family to save (if they can afford to have you!)
  • Any work bonuses or raises to save immediately somewhere else

We didn’t just save money each month, we also tried to make money including:

  • Selling decluttered items online (Ebay, Facebook etc) or at a car boot sale
  • Sponsored / Collaborative blog posts*
  • Reselling on Ebay*
  • Developing a skill you have or something you create to sell (web design, logo design, card making etc)*

We saved in other ways:

  • Joining the company share save scheme (check to see what your company offers) which guaranteed an amount at the end of the save period.
  • Taking part in different challenges like the ‘Penny a day’ challenge which helped to save over £600 (for a free printable sign up to my email subscription list)
  • Saving all the £2 coin we received as change
  • With TSB bank there is a saving the pennies function which sends any spare ‘change’ from card transactions to a savings account. This was a great way to save without thinking about it.

All of the above would need to be in consideration of your current financial situation and credit status.

There is no point saving money if you have debt. You would need to clear this first before saving as the interest rates on credit are much higher than savings. It doesn’t make financial sense to be saving for a big purchase if you are in debt.

You will need to get advice on how to improve your score if necessary. Signing up to Martin Lewis Credit Club, Clear Score and Noddle are great ways to know your credit score for free and ways to improve.

Our final deposit

After saving for a couple of years following the clearing of my debts in 2016, I was happily nearing on the 10% deposit amount. However, since Mum’s passing this has bolstered us up a little to be able to put 20% deposit down as we can now sell Claire’s house too.

Whatever your financial position, even if you have a bad credit score, seek the advice from an accredited person like we did. You might be surprised on what you can buy and how quickly your savings can add up.

Are you currently trying to save for your first home?
Have you already bought somewhere and have different ways of saving?
What would you do to save more money?

*earning declared to HMRC as self-employed