Our Money Saving Journey to Buying our First House
Buying our first house has been on our radar for quite a while, but circumstances have meant that this hasn’t been something we’ve been able to do so far, but now it feels like we need to knuckle down and get this milestone ticked off our life To-Do List.
Currently we’re in a three bedroom house and we desperately need four bedrooms so that each of our children can have a room of their own. With big age gaps, it isn’t possible for any of them to share, and so Freddie is currently still in our bedroom. As you can imagine, we’re bursting at the seams and it feels like we shuffle a lot of stuff around just so that everything has a place of it’s own.
Help to Buy Scheme
In the beginning of last year we looked at the Help to Buy scheme and got very excited about a new build that was fairly local to where we are currently. The houses were to be built ready for moving in around June 2020 which seemed absolutely perfect for us.
The biggest factor of using the Help to Buy scheme was that we wouldn’t need to find a huge deposit as well as having a brand spanking new house that wouldn’t need anything doing to it. As an NHS worker, there was also an extra incentive with lots of the house builders.
The houses we were looking at were being built by Barratt Homes and they weren’t yet at the stage of having show houses available to look around, but there was another area being built near us so we booked an appointment to go and have a look at the kind of houses they offered.
The houses that we looked at were beautifully decorated, I would have happily packed up and moved in at first sight. There were two houses that we were taken around, and both of them were so lovely. One house had the perfect downstairs with an open plan kitchen opening out onto the garden with french doors, and the other house had the perfect upstairs with large bedrooms, the master being absolutely gorgeous.
If we could take the downstairs from the first and the upstairs from the second we would have literally found the perfect home.
The only thing we could fault was the really small gardens. Isabelle would have had to sacrifice her much loved 12ft trampoline which I’m guessing will be an epic battle.
chris had his sensible head on whereas I was already thinking about how soon we’d be able to move in!
We just had to wait for the site to be set up.
Then the whole coronavirus happened and building was suspended until who knows when.
We’d just have to sit tight, save up as much as we can and wait for the pandemic to end.
Then the building started and we waited to be able to book in for a viewing and start the ball rolling. We got a call from their sales team, and then the news that they were’nt building the four bedroom houses until 2022!
We were a bit gutted as the Help to Buy scheme is only available for newly built houses.
So it was back to the drawing board.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long before we found out about another development not too far from us and made enquiries. This time it was with Taylor Wimpey, but because of the pandemic we had to go through the eligibility process and accepted before we were able to go and view any of the show rooms.
We sat and went through the process over the phone and were given the news that we didn’t meet the criteria for the Help to Buy scheme.
This was because Chris has a job that pays a basic salary and the rest is commission based, but they can only take the basic salary into account even though he has proof of earnings etc.
This is the same for self-employed people, even if you have proof of earnings so it’s not accessible to all.
Poof ….. Just like that our house buying dream was taken away for the foreseeable.
We now have to go down the traditional house buying route which means we need a lot more money for a deposit, and so our saving journey begins. One thing that made me chuckle was that the mortgage broker kept referring to us looking at secondhand properties. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody calling a house ‘secondhand’ before!
I’m going to post regular updates about our journey and some insight into the things we’re doing to achieve it.
Wish us luck x