First-time buyer saves £10k by living off £100 a month and bought her first home at 24

First-time buyer saves £10k by living off £100 a month and bought her first home at 24

A YOUNG woman saved £10,000 to buy her first home at just 24 by living off just £100 a month after rent and bills.
It took Rachel Humphreys six years of scrimping and saving to save the money she needed to buy her £72,000 flat in West Yorkshire.
13 Rachel bought her two-bed flat for £72,000 in AprilCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
Giving herself budget of £100 to live off, she missed out on nights out, gigs and holidays with her friends, something she found “particularly hard”.
She kept a money diary too and logged everything she spent her cash on to help her live within her means, only dipping into her savings when she absolutely needed to.
Out of her monthly salary working in PR, Rachel paid her mum £300 a month rent, spent £300 a month on travel to work and £30 a month on her phone bill.
That meant she could save at least £500 a month to go towards buying her own home.
13 She used £3,500 of her savings to for a 5 per cent depositCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
Rachel bagged a bargain on her flat as the seller was desperate to move, so dropped the price by £8,000 compared to similar properties on the market in the area.
But the empty two-bed flat had been left in a “grubby and neglected” state by previous tenants and it cost Rachel £6,500 to fix-up the flooring, paint-work and furnish it.
She used £3,500 of her savings for a 5 per cent deposit and even though it was chain-free, she spent the five months chasing up the solicitors before finally getting the keys in April this year.
We caught up with Rachel for our first-time buyer series, My First Home.
What’s your home like and when did you move in?
I’ve got a ground-floor flat in a purpose-built block in Pontefract in West Yorkshire.
There are around 16 to 18 flats in the block which was built in 2004 and I’ve got my own parking space, even though I don’t drive.
13 Rachel’s spent the past few months putting her stamp on her new homeCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 Rachel has a king-size bed in her bedroomCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
It’s got two double bedrooms and, because I live on my own, I’ve got a big king-size bed in my room and I use the second bedroom as a dressing room.
My bedroom has an en suite and then there’s a separate bathroom too.
I don’t have my own garden but there is some communal green space around the building where people can walk their dogs.
It’s super near the train stations which is handy and I’ve got the same postcode to where I grew up so I know the area well.

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I put the offer in in November 2018 and completed in April this year, so I’m still settling in.
How much did you pay for it?
I bought the house for £72,000 which is what it was on the market for but that was already quite cheap.
Similar flats in the block sell for £80,000 but it had been previously rented out and the landlord was keen to get rid of it.
I put down a 5 per cent deposit – or £3,500 – and took out a mortgage for the rest over 35 years with Virgin Money.
There’s always the option for me to overpay if I have enough and want to lower it.
13 Having moved in two months ago, she’s still finding her feetCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 She spent £1,500 replacing all of the flooring in the flat before moving inCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
I’ve fixed in for two years because the rates are quite good at the moment.
I didn’t use a Help to Buy Isa. I should have done really but it just wasn’t something that I thought about.
You say the place was “gross”? How come?
It had been vacant for a while and was in a bad state – it was so gross and neglected and had been left in a bit of a state.
The floors and walls has marks all over them and it was really grubby.
I supposed you could have moved in and lived in it straightaway if you were desperate but I was living with my mum so I could afford to spend two weeks doing it up first.
It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t see the potential but it did cost me £6,500 to do up to a good standard, including all of the furniture.
13 It cost Rachel £6,500 to fix the flat and furnish itCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 The previous owner put the flat on the market £8,000 below market valueCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 There are between 16 and 18 flats in Rachel’s blockCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
I replaced all of the laminate flooring for £800 and spent £700 putting down gorgeous carpets in my room and the living room.
I spent about £300 to £400 painting the place. I tried to do it for less with budget paint but we put it on the ceiling and it was rubbish so I ended up splashing out Dulux.How much did you save in the end?
Altogether, I saved £10,000 over six years. I started saving while I was at uni because I’ve always wanted to own my own home.
I worked part-time at Lush and put all of my £300 a month wages straight into savings.
13 She uses the second bedroom as a dressing roomCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
I increased my hours when I was doing my Masters degree to 30 hours a week and tried to put away between 60 to 80 per cent of my salary, so that was about £500 to £600.
When I finished my degree, I took on a full-time contract where I earned between £800 and £1,000 a month and worked overtime when I could.
I continued to save the same amount on top of paying for my bills.
I’ve always paid my mum rent – £250 a month since I turned 18 and and then £300 a month when I finished my masters and moved back permanently.
What help is out there for first-time buyers?GETTING on the property ladder can feel like a daunting task but there are schemes out there to help first-time buyers have their own home.
Help to Buy Isa – It’s a tax-free savings account where for every £200 you save, the Government will add an extra £50. But there’s a maximum limit of £3,000 which is paid to your solicitor when you move.
Help to Buy equity loan – The Government will lend you up to 20 per cent of the home’s value – or 40 per cent in London – after you’ve put down a five per cent deposit. The loan is on top of a normal mortgage but it can only be used to buy a new build property.
Lifetime Isa – This is another Government scheme that gives anyone aged 18 to 39 the chance to save tax-free and get a bonus of up to £32,000 towards their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and the Government will add 25 per cent on top.
Shared ownership – Co-owning with a housing association means you can buy a part of the property and pay rent on the remaining amount. You can buy anything from 25 to 75 per cent of the property but you’re restricted to specific ones.
“First dibs” in London – London Mayor Sadiq Khan is working on a scheme that will restrict sales of all new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers for three months before any overseas marketing can take place.
Starter Home Initiative – A Government scheme that will see 200,000 new-build homes in England sold to first-time buyers with a 20 per cent discount by 2020. To receive updates on the progress of these homes you can register your interest on the Starter Homes website.

I was really strict. I left myself with £100 a month which made me live a super minimalist lifestyle.
I didn’t buy any new clothes unless I really had to and I had to turn down loads of nights out.
It was really hard, especially when I think about the holidays that my mates want on and I had to miss out.
I treated it like I was in debt, even though I wasn’t, and so I couldn’t afford the £1,000 holidays.
I did go to Las Vegas a couple of years ago with friends but that’s only big holiday I had in six years.
13 Rachel keeps a spreadsheet documenting when her bills need to be paidCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 There’s an en suite in the main bedroom and a separate bathroomCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
It became a bit easier to save when I got my job in PR in July last year. I bring home around £1,300 a month and managed to continue to save at least £600.
I made a money diary which really helped me keep track of everything I spend my money on too.
It made me keep in check whether I was living within my means and if I wasn’t – why wasn’t I?
What was it like when you finally got the keys?
It was really scary but so exciting – my family thought there was no way that I’d ever do it and I totally smashed it.
I’ve suffered with suicidal thoughts and depression since I was 14. It got so bad when I was a teenager I couldn’t even go into college some days.
I can understand that I might have come across as a mess but you can 100 per cent turn things around.
My mum was so proud that she cried when I moved in.
13 Rachel was scared and excited when she finally moved inCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
I’m the first one of my mates to buy their own place but to be fair they did do a lot more travelling and going out that I’ve done.
Owning my own home was so important to me. I had researched renting but it was going to cost me £500 a month for a room and now my mortgage is only £280 a month.Are you still managing to save?
Obviously my outgoings have gone up but I’m still managing to put away around 20 per cent of my salary aside just in case there’s an emergency or I need to get something fixed.
I’ve got a spreadsheet on the go logging what bills I have to pay and when so I can keep on top of my finances.
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I absolutely love living here, especially now I’ve put my stamp on it.
I’m not sure what will happen in the future, maybe my partner will move in in a couple of years.
Ideally, I’d like to keep this flat when it’s time to upsize so I can rent it out for a bit of extra income.

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