Money Mondays is your go-to guide for all the information you need to manage your finances. For this week’s Independent Woman’s Bank Account column, we asked a mortgage expert for tips on buying your first home solo.
We’re not going to sugar-coat it: buying a house is tough when you’re doing it with a friend or partner, and it isn’t any easier when you’re doing it on your own. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
We asked Ishaan Malhi, CEO and founder of online mortgage broker Trussle, for his advice on going it alone.
Choose your area wisely
Nope, London isn’t out of the question - but you do need to look carefully at where you hunt. There are still some great places to buy in London for those with more modest budgets, such as Croydon and Lewisham, where interest has risen thanks to successful regeneration efforts by local councils.
If you’re more flexible about where you buy, recent research by Zoopla identified the top 10 areas in the UK to buy property solo. They worked out the average asking place for a one-bedroom flat in locations across the UK and also factored in the average earnings in the area.
These were the top 10 most affordable areas:
2. North Tyneside
6. East Riding of Yorkshire
Don’t disregard ‘do-uppers’
If a place looks shabby, don’t immediately write it off. What actually needs doing? Does it need a lick of paint and a professional clean, or are more costly works required?
Are there things that friends and family could help you with (for wine and eternal gratitude), or is it a job that requires an army of pricey tradesmen? Figuring this out could feasibly save you thousands.
Use tech to save £££
Digital mortgage brokers such as Trussle use sophisticated algorithms which can scan the whole market and find you the best possible deal in seconds, for free.
Trussle also has a free lifetime mortgage monitoring service which continuously tracks the market and will alert you as soon as you could save money by switching to a more competitive mortgage deal.
Consider a guarantor mortgage
If you’re finding it tough to get a mortgage, then a parent, guardian or other close relative can guarantee one for you.
Make no mistake - this is a huge deal, and isn’t an option for many people. If you aren’t able to make your repayments, this person must pay them for you. Aldemore is one provider of this kind of mortgage.
The Post Office now offers a Family Link mortgage for first-time buyers which is 90% mortgage and 10% loan. That means you don’t need to have any savings to apply for this mortgage but the loan is secured against your parents’ house, which must be owned outright.
Images: Christopher Harris, Unsplash, Getty