Kevin Mountford, the co-founder of savings platform, Raisin, provides some tips on how you can save for a deposit on a house even in these uncertain times ..
In July last year the government launched a stamp duty holiday suspending stamp duty on the first £500,000 of any property sales across England and Northern Ireland. Introduced as a measure to help boost the property market in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of people took up the offer boosting the economy and securing records sales figures. But with the scheme set to expire on the 31st March Kevin Mountford, the co-founder of Raisin, an online savings solution platform offers some tips on how you can still save for a deposit on a house, even in the current circumstances.
Make a plan
Go in with a plan, never go in blind. By making a plan, you are having a document to go by. How long is it going to take you to save for a deposit? What steps are you going to take to get there? Make a timeline. Constantly refer back to this plan during the journey. Make sure this plan is realistic though. What you don't want is a plan that doesn't match your timings to your savings. You'll end up punishing yourself if you try and get there quickly. Smaller steps are better.
Don’t go looking out of your budget - there is no point. If you win the lottery, of course - the world is your oyster. If you’re on a budget for a house, stick to it. If you’re moving in with a partner, get honest about finances. How much money will you be putting in weekly or monthly? Can either of you afford the money that you are putting in?
To compromise or not to compromise?
Write a list of things you do and do not want when it comes to house hunting. Is a big garden important but not essential? Or is 3 bedrooms what you NEED and not what you want? Discuss these with your partner beforehand. Not only will this stop arguments along the way, but it will also stop you from wasting time looking at any properties that are ultimately unsuitable for you.
Have a look at your current savings
What have you done well so far? Have you managed to put money into an account and not touch it for the past 5 years? Get honest with yourself and see what you have done well and see what you could have or could do even better. If you can, move some money into your deposit account, after all, every little help.
Save smarter, not harder
There are so many saving tips online. From not buying takeaways to reducing your energy bills, there are so many ways that you can actually save even more money by saving smarter and not harder. The issue is, you might actually be spending more than you originally thought. Even by taking a look at your bank statements, you might be paying for items that you have totally forgotten about or don’t use anymore.
Try to get a deal on your current rent
It’s true, you don’t ask - you don’t get. This will probably be a no, but the biggest bill many people have is the cost of their rent. Explain to your landlord politely that you are trying to get onto the property ladder and see if they can reduce your rent by even the smallest amount. After all, even a £10 reduction per month means you can stick £120 towards your deposit for that year.