Back to all posts

How I got on the property ladder without help from Mum & Dad – Series One

Posted on 06 February, 2019

We came across an article recently highlighting people from the UK who had managed to get on the property ladder without help from their ‘mum and dad’. However, the majority of the case studies came from people purchasing properties well outside of London/Greater London.

We’ve decided to start a blog series asking an array of millennials who managed to buy a property without money from their parents for some tips and guidance on how they did it. First up we have Ebun, Hamilton & Elaine and Olly.


  • Name: Ebun Ewedemi
  • Age: 25
  • Occupation: Founder & Director at Prime Link Property Services

Since a young age, I’ve always known property would be my “thing”. I bought my 1st property at age 22, which is 1 year later than i had hoped for haha. I saved the majority of my 25k deposit whilst i was a university student.

At age 18; in the first year of university I found a well paying property job working 2 days a week part time; In the summer I would work full time. I managed to save every penny of my working wages until i finished university. Throughout my 3 year course i was able to live off of my student loans and grants alone. 

Once I finished university I started a full time job in property management. After a year of saving approx £400 per month at this job, I had saved almost 30k and was ready to apply for a mortgage. I didn’t use any government backed schemes or help to buy, these were very new at the time I was obtaining a mortgage. 

I bought a 1bedroom flat in Dartford (Kent/Outskirts of South East London). My goal was to find a property within the M25 or Greater London. The only areas that i could afford within the M25 were within Kent & Essex. I viewed at least 20 properties and kept getting priced out; It was an incredibly frustrating/stressful experience.

I finally had an offer accepted but the downside was that the property was tenanted and the tenants did not want to vacate, it was quite problematic. I decided not to walk away and eventually bought the property. It took me 2months to find and have an offer accepted on a property and an additional 4months to purchase it! 

Tips for first time buyers:

1. Save save save – You will need to make sacrifices and stay disciplined. Reduce your spending and cut out unnecessary habits like purchasing daily morning coffees at Starbucks. Increase your income by starting a business or getting a secondary job.

2. Do your research – Don’t get too excited and settle on the first property you view. Think like a property investor, not a first time buyer. Is the value likely to appreciate? Would you be able to sell on easily? Are you in a good location? Is this purchase a good investment?

3. Don’t just save for a deposit – There are other fees and costs to bear which can rack up to thousands, such as: Stamp duty, Solicitor fees, Mortgage broker fees, Moving costs, Maintenance/Redecoration costs, Furnishings & your 1st monthly Mortgage payment which can be higher than expected.


  • Name: Hamilton Nwokolo & Elaine Nwokolo
  • Age: 36 & 32
  • Occupation: Assistant Headteacher, Primary School, Head of Computing, Secondary School.

As two inner London teachers we have both been teaching for 20 years collectively so earn a decent salary as leaders in our schools.

Newly married we began the search for a property, swapped our socialising budget for house savings and visited a mortgage advisor. We made a lot of sacrifices and saved together for two years to put together a 10% deposit of £43k.

We decided to get a property that needed some work as opposed to one that was “ready to move in” and secured a 5 bedroom house at a cost of £430k in Welling, South East London. We took a huge risk buying a property in a state that many other buyers wouldn’t take a second look at but knew that it would be almost impossible to get a 5 bedroom property in London for this price any other way.

For us the mortgage advisor was one of the contributing factors to getting our property. It became clear to us that not all the mortgage deals were necessarily publicised. A mortgage advisor will look at your finances, credit and deposit and find a mortgage personalised to you. You also don’t pay anything unless they find you a mortgage. This one was in-house in Robinson Jackson, the estate agents advertising our house and only cost £250 once they find you a mortgage.

After six long months, many legal documents and a huge property risk we finally exchanged and completed on our property! This was the beginning of our journey. Buying a home in that condition was great in terms of the potential equity, but was also a huge risk as it was virtually unliveable. 
Fortunately we were able to move in with parents for a short time whilst we did the basics (cleaning, painting, flooring, putting in a kitchen). 

A year later we had an estate agent value the property – they valued it at £550k – meaning if we sold today it would give us a pre-tax profit of £120k!
We feel really proud at how far we’ve come and the home we’ve made for our kids but it’s also given us the property development bug – we’re definitely keen to do another buy, fix up and maybe this time rent out or sell. 


  • Name: Olly
  • Age: 30
  • Occupation: Senior Social Worker

I bought my first property (a 2 bedroom flat) in Grays at the age of 26. I saved for about 2/3 years and with the help to buy scheme, I was able to get on to the property ladder. The process was easy for me but was scary as I was on the journey by myself; within 2 months the paper work was completed and all I had to do was wait for the building to be built. I was very impatient during this period but loved every moment spend in what I called my first home. 

In November 2017 (age 28) I decided to sell my property as I wanted a house with a garden. I assumed it would be an easy process like the first one however I was wrong. Due to being an agency worker, it was difficult to get a lender however after a whole year of trying, crying and praying, I moved into my 3 bedroom house with a study (also grays) in December 2018. 

The advice I would give anyone thinking of getting on the property ladder is that you should do all your research before going into it especially the government schemes, speak to people who have bought properties before, remember there will be other costs aside from the deposit (lawyers fees etc) and start your savings as early as possible; you are never too young to jump on the property ladder. 


*This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published.

Need a mortgage advisor? Complete this form to get a free initial consultation with our impartial mortgage brokers Arne Grey

Need a conveyancer? – Complete this form to get a quote from our carefully selected Conveyancing partner Mullis & Peake.

This site requires cookies to function properly. You may disable cookies in browser settingsRead more