Welcome back to What I Own, our weekly series that explores getting on the property ladder.
This week we are chatting to Tom, who moved into his home three years ago.
He put down a 50% deposit and initially had a mortgage of £420 per month, which has since gone up.
This is what he had to say about his buying experience.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Tom, I’m 26 and work as a middle school teacher. I am based in Fulford, Staffordshire, near Stone.
Where is your property? What do you think of the area?
My house is in a small village called Fulford. I have lived in the area most of my life, and my parents live nearby. The area is quiet and friendly, and the surrounding countryside is beautiful – it was perfect for walks in the lockdowns.
When did you move in?
Although I got the keys in February 2019, I didn’t properly move in until September that year. There was quite a bit to do including heating/hot water, sorting the bathroom, various bits of decorating, and this was done alongside work (as a trainee teacher at that point).
How much does your property cost?
The purchase cost of my house was £190,000. Initially my mortgage was around £420 a month, but since taking on additional borrowing for an extension in 2020, my payments are now around £560 a month.
How much was your deposit?
My deposit was £95,000 (50% of the value of the house). In 2020 I borrowed an additional £30,000 to build an extension for a new kitchen/dining room.
What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?
£100-ish (although will be more in winter months) gas/electricity
£145 council tax
£25 other bits and pieces
Total: £880 per month total
How did you save up for your deposit?
I was very fortunate to be able to live for free in my parents’ house while working a job at Alton Towers for a while, enabling me to save quite a bit of money. I was also very fortunate to have been given some fairly considerable contributions from my parents and grandparents. In total my deposit was £95,000 (50% of the value of the house). In 2020 I borrowed an additional £30,000 to build an extension for a new kitchen/dining room.
I recognise that I have been very lucky with this, it is thanks to my family’s generosity rather than because I am incredibly hardworking.
What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging?
Fairly easy really, I found an advisor through L and C Mortgages, a service that was free for me as they take a commission from the lender I believe.
Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?
After finishing university (where I rented a room in a student house) I moved back into my parents’ house where I lived for around two years.
What made you want to buy rather than renting?
As I was happy to stay in the area it seemed a better move to pay off my own mortgage and take a step onto the ladder rather than paying a landlord’s mortgage for them.
How did you find this property? What made you choose it?
I happened to be browsing Zoopla, and saw it come up. Initially I wasn’t really looking very seriously but it just seemed an ideal home for me so I went for it – it was the only house I viewed. I was after a project, and something that I could make my own.
How have you made the property feel like home?
I have updated every room in the house, so everything there is something that I have chosen and created.
What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?
I don’t see the point of living in boring places, so I have just gone for colours and textures that I like. I have also filled the house with house plants and bits of furniture and decor that I like. None of it is especially expensive (apart from the piano), most things are either old or from B&M or The Range. It’s probably not to everyone’s taste – but I like it.
What’s your favourite room and why?
It would have to be my kitchen/dining room. Everything about the space is my own ideas. I fitted the kitchen myself so there is a sense of achievement in it being something that I have created. I also love how light it is with all the windows, and the view out to the garden.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Plenty of space!
Do you have plans to change the property?
I have already made a lot of changes to the house, I don’t think there is anything more I’d do now.
Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?
As with any home renovation there have been a few surprises, but nothing major really.
What do you want people to know about buying a home?
The process can be quite stressful in the waiting around stage as there is a lot to organise, and there is always the risk it could fall through until the very end. If owning a house is something you’re keen to do I’d definitely recommend going for it though.
What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? Do you plan to stay here long term?
I’m fairly sure this won’t be my forever home, but I reckon I’ll be here a while longer yet. I’d be keen to renovate another house at some point as I’ve really enjoyed doing it here.
Do you want to feature in What I Own?
What I Own is a Metro.co.uk series that takes you inside people’s properties, to take an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in the UK. If you own your home and would be up for sharing your story, please email email@example.com.
You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’ve paid to live there and how you afforded the deposit, as that’s pretty important.
If you’re renting, you can take part too! What I Own runs alongside What I Rent, which is the same series but all about renting. Again, if you’d like to get involved just email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shall we take a look around?
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