personal finance

Mortgage: Paramedic reveals how he saved enough to buy £196,000 house at just 22-years-old


Mortgages aren’t something which many 22-year-olds will find themselves with, with the average age of first-time buyers in the UK currently being 33. However, while saving up for a property and purchasing in one’s 20s may be quite a task, it’s something which some have managed to do.

This includes Jack Watson, 22, who is a paramedic by trade but also runs a freelance web dseign business in his spare time.

Purchasing in Liverpool City Centre, the first-time buyer purchased a two-bedroom apartment on the 13th floor for £196,000.

“I’ve spent a lot of my life coming up with new business ventures. I remember designing websites, selling specially imported shower curtains on a well-known auction site at school and even winning a local magazine distribution contract (engaging the help of friends to fulfil it),” he says.

“As fun as shower curtains were, they also helped me quickly learn the importance of money – cashflow, savings and value.”

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Saving is something which Jack is no stranger to – having begun stowing away some of his money as a young teenager.

“I got into the habit of saving when I was about 13, in relatively small numbers, of course, but I was still saving money, nonetheless,” he recalled.

“First my goal was learning to drive and owning a car, but since then it was always my aim to save up enough for a deposit and getting on the ladder.”

In order to purchase the £196,000 property, Jack put down a mortgage deposit of five percent.

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So, how did he save up for the deposit? Jack explained he opted to boost his savings via the Help to Buy ISA.

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While the scheme is no longer open to new savers, with this account, eligible people can get a 25 percent government bonus up to £3,000 on their savings.

“Saving for a house was a bit of bigger task than saving for a car, so I opened a Help to Buy ISA after hearing about them from a friend,” he explains.

“I set up a direct debit to put the maximum monthly amount into the ISA, and even moved the maximum amount I could from my existing ISA – it made sense to cash in on those government bonuses.

“Once this started ticking over, I actually got to my deposit amount much quicker than I thought I would.”

Prior to purchasing his own place, Jack rented a one-bed flat in the city centre.

He points out that while the pad had a nice view, it “came at a price”.

“The mortgage plus monthly service charge on my new two-bed flat costs the same as I used to pay in monthly rent,” he reveals.

So, how did he go about starting the mortgage process?

“Like many people I suppose, I initially made an appointment with an estate agent’s mortgage broker.

“I just wanted a rough idea of my borrowing potential – luckily it was quite a bit more than I thought was possible.

“I wasn’t really aware of five percent mortgages, and in my head, I was saving to get 10 percent. Once I found out I had enough already everything happened quite quickly.

“I chose to proceed with Mojo Mortgages. I found them much easier to deal with than a traditional mortgage broker. Plus, it can be a little embarrassing when your face-to-face with a traditional broker and they point out that Greggs/KFC keep making regular appearances on your bank statement. With Mojo, this is all done behind the scenes!”

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While Jack now has a mortgage, he explains that, at one point, he feared he may not be eligible for a mortgage.

He recalls: “I was so close to using the in-branch mortgage advisor at the estate agent. I knew their £750 fee was going to hurt, but they had promised the earth to me.

“They made it feel like they were my only hope of achieving a mortgage on this specific property, arguing high rise city centre flats are so niche that they need a city centre broker to be mortgageable.

“Before parting with the £750, I decided to have a chat with a Mojo adviser over the phone.

“He spent a lot of time listening and it was immediately obvious he was extremely knowledgeable – yes even about city centre flats, surprisingly enough!

“Plus, all of Mojo’s service is completely free, so I knew I’d save £750 straightaway.”



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