You don’t need us to tell you about the wealth gap in the UK. There’s enough about it on the news to give us all sleepless nights. But, a brief look at the current property market suggests another problem is creeping up – a divide between generations.
Once upon a time, 100% mortgages meant anyone could own a home. This was possible because house prices were lower, and the risks weren’t as high. But, a mixture of failure to pay, and rising home prices, have made the 100% mortgage a thing of the past. Now, young people have to save an average of £33,000, simply to get a mortgage. Need we remind you that a whole house cost that much not so long ago?
To make matters worse, we’re trapped in a wage stagnation situation, and young people are the worst hit. Since the recession of 2008, salaries for those aged 22-30 have fallen 7%. Add that to ever increasing house prices, and we’re trapped in an impossible situation. In many ways, it seems as though the only young people in with a chance are those who come into money.
But does this mean that the rest of us should give up? Not by any means. Though, it will take a fair amount of work to get on that first rung of the ladder. The main issue is the fact that house prices are ever changing. As little as a few years ago, you could afford to take your time saving a big deposit. Now, though, you don’t have that luxury. The issue, of course, is that the average deposit would take the majority at least three years to save. By which time, the housing market could easily have skyrocketed again. This is especially worrying with the uncertain effects of Brexit still hanging over the housing market.
Hence, you need to find a way to save a lot of money, fast. It won’t be an easy task, but keep your end goal in mind, and know that it could be now or never. To help you on your journey, we’ve put together a few fast deposit pointers.
Know how much you need
Knowing how much you need to save is essential when you start out. Without a set amount in mind, there’s no way you can keep to a set timeframe. Of course, working out the average deposit isn’t as easy as it might sound. It varies greatly from region to region. For example, prices in London average at £500,000, while that drops to £150,000 in the North-east. So, take this time to consider where your dream area would be. It may be worth opting for a cheaper postcode while you’re starting out.
Then, consider how large your deposit would need to be to afford a basic property. Bear in mind that this is unlikely to be a home which lasts forever. The trick to the property ladder is getting on it by any means necessary. Look at homes which suit your needs, but don’t push yourself for the sake of an idyllic space. If it has enough bedrooms, it’ll serve your purpose.
Your best chance of gaining an idea of prices is to keep an eye on the property market. Once you’ve gotten used to trends and pricing, make your deposit plan. Write down your set amount, and determine how much you’d need to save each month to get it in your timeframe.
Drastically reduce your spending
Considering you’re looking to save quickly, it’s time to reduce your monthly expenses as much as possible. Don’t put yourself on the breadline to do this, but accept that you may have to go without some things. If you’re currently renting, move back in with family. It’s not ideal, but they’re sure to want to help if it’s only for a year or so. Put the money you would be paying on rent straight into your savings.
Other than that, cut out small luxuries. You don’t need them, and yet they probably account for a significant amount of your budget. Stay in rather than eating out. Don’t get that monthly takeaway. You could even cut unnecessary food costs by writing a shopping list instead of winging it. Small steps like this will take you a long way towards home ownership.
Find extra earning potential
As a sideline, you could also find ways to boost your earnings with a second income. How you do this is up to you. You could opt to get a second job. If you work full-time already, consider the hours you have free. Weekend jobs, or cleaning jobs in the evenings, are always good options.
Or, perhaps you want to have more control over your second income. In that case, consider online money making methods. If you’re crafty, set up an online shop and get selling. If you have a good idea and a way with words, why not start a blog and see if you can earn that way?
Or, consider borrowing the money
If the above sounds like a sacrifice too many, consider whether you could borrow the money. If possible, borrowing from a family member is your best bet. That way, you won’t have to pay high-interest rates. If you take this route, though, make sure to keep things official. Write up a contract and a repayment plan so that you can clear the debt at a rate which suits. This will make everyone involved feel more at ease.
If you have most of the money, but your savings have been stagnating, you could opt for options like installment loans. By taking this step, you can borrow money, and set up clear repayment schemes to rid yourself of debt.
Bear in mind that the key to making this option work is to remain realistic. Consider that you’ll be paying your mortgage, and your lender. With that in mind, only borrow an amount you’ll easily be able to return. Otherwise, you could lose your home anyway.