First-time buyers Money Mortgages My First Home Property Tech

First-time buyer turned ‘grotty’ £225k one-bed flat into dream home for £16k

First-time buyer turned 'grotty' £225k one-bed flat into dream home for £16k

A PRIMARY faculty instructor spent 4 months – and £16,000 – doing up her first home earlier than she moved in due to the “disgusting” situation it was in.

However that was nothing on the EIGHT years that Louise Phillips, 29, from Carshalton, spent saving up for a deposit to purchase the one-bed £225,000 flat in Surrey.

 Louise spent an additional £16,000 doing up the "grotty" flat

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

Louise spent an additional £16,000 doing up the “grotty” flat

Louise, who’s single and purchased her home alone, realised that she might get extra for her cash if she purchased one thing older.

With a ton of endurance – and additional financial savings behind her – she managed to rework the “awful” flat into her dream home.

And the £16,000 funding may have paid for its self in simply 18 months because of capital appreciation.

Home costs in her space have jumped up in worth at a price of 13 per cent since 2015 and if that continues Louise’s renovations may have paid for themselves in simply three years.

Right here she reveals how she overcame the problem of doing up a home for our My First Home collection and provides her recommendations on wanting past dismal decor to get extra for your cash.

What’s your home like and the way a lot did you pay for it?

I’ve obtained a one-bed, floor flooring flat in Carshalton, Surrey not too removed from London.

I paid £225,000 for it and put down a 20 per cent deposit for it – so that is what? About £45,000.

 Louise couldn't move into the flat until four months after she got the keys so she could do the place up

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

Louise could not transfer into the flat till 4 months after she acquired the keys so she might do the place up

 The ground-floor flat has a doorway to the communal garden

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

The bottom-floor flat has a doorway to the communal backyard

 The flat reeked of smoke from the previous tenant

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

The flat reeked of smoke from the earlier tenant

The mortgage is for £180,000 and I’ve acquired 35 years to pay it again. It really works out about £500 a month.

Annoyingly, I purchased a couple of months earlier than the stamp obligation minimize so I needed to pay £1,300.

It is an 85 yr leasehold so I pay a service cost of about £90 a month.


Are you a first-time buyer who need to share recommendations on how you probably did it? E-mail us at cash@the-sun.co.uk or name 0207 78 24516. Do not forget to hitch the Solar Cash’s first-time buyer Fb group for the newest recommendations on shopping for your first home.


It is a great location for me as a result of my mother and father stay round right here too and it is about 5 minutes away from the place I work, so I can stroll there.

My flat has its personal door that opens up into the communal backyard so it has been nice in the summertime.

How do you know that this flat was “the one”?

I might seen a number of properties and this flat was by far the worst flat I checked out – it was horrendous.

It was empty on the time however the one that’d moved out has left it in such a state. It was simply horrible.

 Louise bought a whole new kitchen because the old one was so run down

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

Louise purchased an entire new kitchen as a result of the previous one was so run down

 The kitchen on the day that Louise got the keys

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

The kitchen on the day that Louise obtained the keys

 Now, Louise loves spending time in her kitchen

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

Now, Louise loves spending time in her kitchen

I seen it with my mum in the midst of winter and once we acquired there with the letting agent we realised the owner had minimize the electrical energy off.

We have been wanting round it at the hours of darkness, utilizing the torch on my telephone to see it and it was so grotty.

It completely stank of smoke and it was so bizarre as a result of despite the fact that it was so horrible I nonetheless appreciated it.

I feel it is as a result of it was greater than the opposite properties in my worth vary and the situation was higher.

It was on for determined to place in a suggestion for £240,000 however I made a suggestion for £215,000 in February anyway which was the highest of my price range.

 The person who rented the flat before had left it in a state of disrepair

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

The one that rented the flat earlier than had left it in a state of disrepair

 Louise managed to look past the cleanliness of the flat and appreciate the size of it

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

Louise managed to look previous the cleanliness of the flat and recognize the dimensions of it

The vendor accepted another person’s supply for £225,000 however that fell by means of so by the point it was Easter they referred to as up and stated did I nonetheless need it.

I might up by supply to £225,000 then as a result of I might had a couple of extra months to save lots of.

How did you get the cash collectively by yourself?

Clearly it might have been a lot simpler if I might met the love of my life and had two wages to place into it however I principally stayed dwelling at my mum and pop’s home.

Once I completed uni I moved again home and have rented ever since – so for about seven years.

I took home round £2,000 a month and I did finances. I budgeted and I didn’t go loopy and spend ridiculous quantities on garments or holidays.

What assistance is on the market for first-time consumers?

GETTING on the property ladder can really feel like a grim activity however there are schemes on the market to assist first-time consumers personal their very own home.

Assist to Purchase ISA – It is a tax-free financial savings account the place for each £200 you save, the federal government will add an additional £50. However there is a most restrict of £three,000 which is paid to your solicitor if you transfer.

Assist to Purchase fairness mortgage – The federal government will lend you as much as 20 per cent of the home’s worth – or 40 per cent in London – after you’ve got put down a 5 per cent deposit. The mortgage is on prime of a traditional mortgage however it will possibly solely be used to purchase a brand new construct property.

Lifetime ISA – One other authorities scheme that provides anybody aged 18 to 39 the prospect to save lots of tax-free and get a bonus of as much as £32,000 in the direction of your first home. It can save you as much as £four,000 a yr and the authorities will add 25 per cent on prime.

Shared possession – Co-owning with a housing affiliation means you should purchase part of the property and pay lease on the remaining quantity. You should purchase something from 25 to 75 per cent of the property however you are restricted to particular ones.

“First dibs” in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is engaged on a scheme that may prohibit gross sales of all new-build houses within the capital as much as £350,000 to UK consumers for three months earlier than any abroad advertising can happen.

Starter Home Initiative – A authorities scheme that may see 200,000 new-build houses in England to be bought to first-time consumers with a 20 per cent low cost by 2020. To obtain updates on the progress of those houses you’ll be able to register your curiosity right here.

However I used to be additionally type on myself so I wasn’t sad. Whenever you’re at home you possibly can afford to be frugal.

I needed to save greater deposit to as a result of you possibly can’t borrow as a lot when there’s just one revenue.

Did you got down to purchase a “project” and the way did you afford to do it?

No, undoubtedly not. I did take a look at some new construct flats however they have been a lot smaller and this one simply has a lot area.

I obtained a greater worth on it as a result of it was in a nasty situation nevertheless it was all fixable.

Once I purchased the flat I did not have the cash to renovated it or something however I used to be assured it will all work out.

 The primary school teacher got the bed from her neighbours who were getting rid of it

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

The first faculty instructor acquired the mattress from her neighbours who have been eliminating it

 The flat needed a lot of work doing to it before she could move in

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

The flat wanted numerous work doing to it earlier than she might transfer in

 Louise said doing up the flat was more stressful than house hunting

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

Louise stated doing up the flat was extra annoying than home searching

 She managed to furnish the flat with things that her friends and family were throwing away or replacing

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

She managed to furnish the flat with issues that her family and friends have been throwing away or changing

I stored on saving till I obtained the keys in August final yr. I carried on saving even after then however it obtained harder as soon as I began paying the mortgage.

Fortunately I might reside at home whereas the work was being finished so I might work at my very own velocity however I did not transfer in till Boxing Day – so 4 months later!

Getting it completed although was so tense. Far more traumatic than home searching.

Fortunately I had some mates that would do the work and provides me a little bit of a reduction however I nonetheless went for all the least expensive choices to save lots of money so I might get it finished.

I’ve completed up the entire kitchen, rest room, all of the partitions re-plastered, and new laminate flooring all through. It was all accomplished by the point I might moved.

Did you contemplate Assist to Purchase or Shared possession?

I did take a look at it however to be trustworthy, I had an adviser from the Mortgage Recommendation Bureau who steered me away from the Assist to Purchase mortgage as a result of it is higher to not use it for those who can afford to not.

The brand new construct locations all appear to be crammed in for the sum of money I might be paying.

 Luckily, Louise roped in mates to help her with the work

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

Fortunately, Louise roped in mates to assist her with the work

 The landlord had cut off the electricity so they viewed the flat in the dark

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

The owner had minimize off the electrical energy in order that they seen the flat at the hours of darkness

And I did not actually just like the sound of Shared Possession as a result of I’ve heard that it may be troublesome to promote it, so I used to be postpone.

How about paying for furnishings after the additional funds you wanted for the work?

Virtually all of my stuff is second hand from my mates and neighbours.

I’ve acquired my mother and father TV, my Nan made my curtains for me, my wardrobe is from my brother and my neighbour was eliminating their mattress so I had that too.

Was all of the work value it in the long run?

I need to keep right here for the foreseeable future – it was so demanding and I feel I am nonetheless making an attempt to recover from it!
However it was a tremendous feeling once I lastly received to maneuver in as a result of to took so lengthy.

 After spending £16,000 doing it up, Louise is now happy with the flat

Ian Whittaker – The Solar

After spending £16,000 doing it up, Louise is now proud of the flat

Once I did lastly transfer in I simply needed to wash every thing. I had this second in the future once I received home from work and cleaned the whole lot after which made a cottage pie and I assumed what has my life turn into?

None of my mates have carried out it on their very own. One in every of my pals has purchased someplace together with her husband however I’ve acquired two mates who needed to transfer out of the world to purchase.

I’ve acquired different pal who’s renting who simply can’t save the deposit on the similar, and one other who’s trying to transfer out of the world.

I might advocate doing up a spot too as a result of it is so value it in the long run.


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