First-time buyers Money My First Home Property Tech

First-time buyers bought £270k three-bed home 85miles from their dream location to get on the housing ladder

First-time buyers bought £270k three-bed home 85miles from their dream location to get on the housing ladder

FIRST-time buyers from Essex ended up shopping for a £270,000 three-bed home a 2 and half hour drive from their dream location.  

A yr into their home search, Stephen Nicholls, 27, and his associate Maria Merricks, 30, have been pressured to widen their search or face one other three years rigorously saving.

 Stephen and Maria outside their home in Westcliff-on-Sea on moving day last year

Stephen Nicholls

Stephen and Maria outdoors their home in Westcliff-on-Sea on shifting day final yr

Home costs in Brighton – the place the couple needed to reside to be nearer to Maria’s mother and father who stay in the metropolis –  have climbed £eight,500 over the previous yr, with the common terrace home promoting for round £450,000.

With a finances of £280,000, the couple have been amongst the 63 per cent of first-time buyers who’ve had to compromise on location so as to get their foot on the property ladder, in accordance to analysis by the Publish Workplace.

As an alternative, they settled on a run-down three-bed home in Westcliffe-on-Sea, Essex, 85miles away from Brighton.

Their terrace home in the less-than-perfect space had a gap in the roof and was in want of some critical TLC.

 We caught up with Stephen for the My First Home series

East Information Press Company

We caught up with Stephen for the My First Home collection

Had they not settled, the couple reckon they might nonetheless be forking out £1,300 a month on lease for the tiny one-bed flat in London which they used to name home.

The couple have been dwelling in their home for a yr and a half now however nonetheless have their sights set on Brighton.

We caught up with Stephen this week in the My First Home collection, to discover out whether or not it was value the sacrifice to gained your personal home.

What’s your home like?

The home is a small, three-bed mid terrace home in Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex.

 The couple bought their furniture on finance with 0 per cent interest

East Information Press Company

The couple bought their furnishings on finance with zero per cent curiosity

 The couple have spent the past year making their house a home

East Information Press Company

The couple have spent the previous yr making their home a home

It has two double bedrooms and a field room which is not even large enough to match a single mattress in to be trustworthy. We use it for storage although.

There’s an open plan kitchen, which we’re presently doing work to to make it a bit extra trendy, and a front room.


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


We have got a small backyard round the again however it’s on road parking.

We bought the home in April 2017 so we have been dwelling her a few yr and a half now.

How did you determine on location?

We have been renting in Streatham in London once we first considered beginning to save to purchase someplace.

 The house needed some tender love and care before they move in

East Information Press Company

The home wanted some tender love and care earlier than they transfer in

 The house has two double bedrooms and a box room

East Information Press Company

The home has two double bedrooms and a field room

Ideally, we might have beloved to keep in London as that is the place we each labored however the home costs there are so costly we new this was unrealistic.

Our dream location is Brighton and Hove although. We thought, if we have got to depart London then that is the place we actually need to reside.

Maria’s mother and father reside in Brighton and we needed to be close to them too, reduce to once we began taking a look at what we might afford. It was ridiculous.

Our finances was round the £280,000 mark and for that we might have nearly stretched to a tiny, one mattress flat that might have wanted numerous work doing to it.

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

GETTING on the property ladder can really feel like a frightening activity however there are schemes on the market to assist first-time buyers have their personal home.

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

Assist to Purchase fairness mortgage – The Authorities will lend you up to 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 might solely be used to purchase a brand new construct property.

Lifetime Isa – That is one other Authorities scheme that provides anybody aged 18 to 39 the probability to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 in the direction of their first home. It can save you up to £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 working on a scheme that may prohibit gross sales of all new-build houses in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for 3 months earlier than any abroad advertising can happen.

Starter Home Initiative – A Authorities scheme that may see 200,000 new-build houses in England bought to first-time buyers 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 on the Starter Houses web site.

We widened our search to embrace Hayward’s Heath however we have been nonetheless getting nowhere, we simply might afford the space.

It was completely crushing once we realised that we actually cannot afford to stay there. There was completely no hope of us getting that type of deposit collectively any time quickly.

We began to look close to the place my mother and father lived in Southend in Essex nevertheless it was nonetheless fairly expensive. In the finish we settled on Westcliffe-on-Sea.

On our price range, there wasn’t many choices when it comes to location and we simply needed to purchase someplace and cease lining another person’s pockets in lease.

What’s the space like? Is it actually that dangerous?

At first we have been a bit gutted about the space however we’re studying to prefer it extra. It is nice throughout the day.

Westcliffe-on-Sea hasn’t not acquired the greatest status and is understood for being a little bit of a tough space at night time.

There are loads of homeless shelters about and it has a reasonably excessive crime price.

 The kitchen is currently being redone as the only one was old fashioned

East Information Press Company

The kitchen is at present being redone as the just one was quaint

 Stephen says the house is big enough to be a family home

East Information Press Company

Stephen says the home is large enough to be a household home

However the space we have ended up in is a bit out of it actually which is sweet and I like dwelling by the sea. Plus it isn’t far from Roots Corridor soccer stadium the place I like to go to watch a recreation.

Maria nonetheless has her considerations and does not like strolling again from the practice station late at night time, so I am going to go and decide her up.

It is the place with the closest practice line into London that we will afford to purchase.

It takes me about an hour and a half to get to work door to door and it takes Maria about two hours.

Let’s speak funds. How a lot did you pay for it and the way a lot did you save?

We paid £270,000 for the home with a 10 per cent deposit which got here out about £27,000. We took out our mortgage over 30 years and it is at present on a two-year fixed-rate.

We did not use Assist to Purchase in any respect as a result of we did not like the considered having to pay again a mortgage and a mortgage.

 Maria and Stephen still haven't given up on their dream of living in Brighton

East Information Press Company

Maria and Stephen nonetheless have not given up on their dream of dwelling in Brighton

 The third bedroom is used for storage as it's not big enough for a single bed

East Information Press Company

The third bed room is used for storage as it isn’t large enough for a single mattress

It took us three and a half years to get the funds collectively. We have been fairly strict.

Collectively, we earned about £Four,500 a month however have been paying about £1,300 a month on lease in Streatham, and one other hundred or so on practice fares.

Between us we managed to put away about £700 a month however that left us with about £80 every week to reside off after payments. We hardly went out socialising in any respect.

We additionally obtained £three,000 early inheritance which meant we might purchase about 4 months sooner than we had hoped to, and we moved again home with my mum for the last six months to maximise our financial savings.

Our mortgage repayments are £925 a month at the second which is £400 lower than what we have been paying to lease in London.

Did you’ve got any hassle with the transfer?

The home itself wasn’t in nearly as good a nick as we might like both actually.

It did not want completely renovating, however there was a gap in the roof which we’ve not received fastened but however we have been quoted about £2,000 for the work.

 The kitchen diner is currently in the process of being decorated

East Information Press Company

The kitchen diner is presently in the means of being adorned

 While the area isn't ideal, Stephen likes that it's near the football grounds

East Information Press Company

Whereas the space is not ultimate, Stephen likes that it is close to the soccer grounds

We have spent fairly a bit of money adorning it too as a result of it hadn’t been taken care of correctly by the earlier house owners.

We’ve not received a great deal of financial savings left so we’re making the modifications regularly.

Was it value giving up on dwelling in Brighton? And are you wanting to transfer?

Now that we’re right here and we’ve got the keys, sure I might say it was value it.

It was such a aid to lastly have someplace to name our personal and we might cease spending out our whole weekends traipsing round homes with property brokers.

I might say to different’s not to be afraid to look additional out. It is daunting to go someplace you do not know however when you’re there you can also make it work.

The location nonetheless is not superb and the home is not completely what we might been on the lookout for however at the very least we’re not paying lease any extra.

The dream continues to be to reside in Brighton sooner or later however proper now that is not attainable.

The plan is now, is to sit round for some time. It is large enough to be a household home so I feel we’ll keep put till we’re incomes extra money or outgrow the property.

20 Second Story: Home costs rise throughout the UK


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