About me

Name: Lillian A.

Age: 30 (28 years old at time of purchase) Occupation: Solicitor

I purchased my property solo without any family assistance or government schemes in 2020. I seriously saved for 2.5 years, knowing that my aim was to put down a 10% deposit, plus cover all the other costs e.g conveyancing fees, furniture, etc. I tried to balance enjoyment with saving, so it didn’t seem like such a chore, but kept any treats/expenses reasonable so it wouldn’t have a big impact on my savings goals.

I was looking at properties on and off for around a year, but eventually found a newly renovated 2 double bed flat with a garden in East London (the same area where I grew up). Initially I was looking at houses, but soon realised that looking at the square footage of a property is key, as some flats and houses have a similar amount of space. Don’t be disillusioned by a property just because it’s a house, especially if it’s not your ‘forever home’.

Purchasing my home during the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge, as it slowed down the process – I made my offer in March 2020 and completed at the end of June 2020, due to the lawyers working from home. Furniture was also delayed by several months, so I didn’t move in until August 2020. Even without a pandemic, patience during the property buying process is needed.

TOP TIPS

1. Figure out what your costs are likely to be (e.g deposit, solicitors fees, furniture etc.) and divide that by your ideal timeline for buying a property (e.g 36 months). This will tell you how much you need to save each month to reach you goal.

 2. Write down your (realistic) must have’s and start your search 6-9 months before you intend to buy. Take your time!

3. Amongst other things, when searching compare the square footage, energy rating and location of the properties. These points are sometimes overlooked, but make a difference once you move in.

4. Make sure your life/finances are in order. Having a salary that will allow you to comfortably afford a mortgage plus a good credit score, will make the mortgage process a lot smoother.

5. Finding a good conveyancer can be difficult, so ask friends and family for recommendations and read as many online reviews as you can.


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