GETTING on the property ladder is supposed to be a relief for first-time buyers – but not for Glasgow lass Kimberley Manderson who was slapped with a £7,000 bill to fix a broken roof months after moving in.
The mum-of-one, now 29, bought her two-bed flat in Alexandria on her own three years ago for £53,000.
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow Kimberley bought her flat for £53,000 by herself three years ago
It took her two years, working two jobs – Monday to Friday full-time in marketing and part-time behind a bar at weekends – to save the £3,000 needed for the deposit.
Over the three years she’s lived in it, she may have made some cash on the property – the average price of a flat in the area now stands at £83,000 – but within a few months of getting the keys, she was faced with the true cost of home ownership.
Kimberley returned from a two week holiday to find water leaking through a light fitting in the hallway of her new home, and another one through her bedroom ceiling.
It turned out that the previous owner had super-glued the roof tiles instead of paying to get it fixed professionally.
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow The flat is in an old tenement building that was built 100 years ago
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow She shares a communal garden with the other flats – although one section of it is private
Strapped for cash, Kimberley had the roof temporarily fixed while she saved for another six months to pay for it to be entirely re-tiled – a job that cost her £7,000 – more than double the deposit.
Had the dodgy roof been flagged as part of the Home Report – a building building survey that’s compulsory in Scotland and paid for by the seller – she doesn’t think she would have gone through with the sale.
But three years on, Kimberley’s flat is now her family home which she shares with her husband Craig and their 18-month-old son Travis.
We sat down with Kimberley for this week’s My First Home instalment to find out what she would do differently if she had to do it all again.
What’s your house like?
I live in a two-up two-down apartment in an old tenement block in Alexandria, about 45 minutes drive away from Glasgow.
It’s got two big, double bedrooms and is split across two floors even though it’s a flat.
We also have access to a communal garden – a small section of it is actually ours.
There’s no parking as such but it’s free to leave your car on the street outside.
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow It took Kimberley two years to save the £3,000 she needed for the deposit
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow The flat is split across two levels but you still have to walk up stairs to get into it
The building itself is actually over 100 years old and was built before toilets were inside the home so each flat is different.
Over the years, different owners have renovated their flats differently to bring the loos inside!
The loo in our place is actually separate from the bathroom – they’re nowhere near each other but I think it’s quirky.
How much did you pay for it?
I bought the flat in October 2015 for £53,000 – I bought it on my own too which was a real achievement.
I put down a £3,000 deposit which was just over five per cent.
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Lenders were only just starting to open up again and offer mortgages that needed smaller deposits so I thought it was going to be hard to get one on my own.
In the end, it was far easier than I’d planned for and I ended up taking out a £50,000 mortgage over 30 years.
I now pay £280 a month thanks to locking in to low interest rates.
Did you have to make any sacrifices while you saved?
I was living and working in London but it was just way too expensive and owning my own places was only ever going to be a pipe dream if I stayed.
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow Kimberley’s flat is now her family home which she shares with her husband Craig and baby Travis
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow The toilet is in a separate room to the bathroom which Kimberley describes as “quirky”
I moved back to Scotland to live with my parents in Alexandria and planned stay there for two years while I saved, but after six months I moved out.
I totally appreciated their help but I needed my independence so I rented a one-bed flat in Glasgow.
It was so small that I could plug the hoover in the hallway and didn’t have to unplug it to do the whole flat. I was paying £469 a month to live there.
I was working full time in marketing but worked a couple of a shifts every week in a local bar where I’d earn between £40 and £100 over the weekend.
What are the different types of home surveys?A SURVEY gives a detailed inspection into the condition of a property, highlighting any major repair work that’s needed. It can also help you decide whether or not you’re paying the right amount for your home.The reports are carried out by qualified surveyors and costs vary from company to company. There are also different types of surveys depending on the depth of the report that you want and your budget.
These are the different types of surveys and their typical prices, according to the Homeowners Alliance:
Condition report, £300 or more
This gives a traffic light report to indicate the conditions of various states of the property – green for okay, orange for cause for concern.The report provides you with a sumary of defects and possible risks but won’t provide any advice or valuations.
HomeBuyers report, £450 or more
On top of everything you get in the condition report, you’ll also get a valuation and an insurance reinstatement value – which is an estimate of how much you’ll receive if the building were to burn down.
Home Condition survey, £400 to £900 These are carried out by the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) rather than the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and includes information on broadband speeds, a damp assessment and boundary issues to consider. The price depends on the valuation of the property.
Building survey, £500 or more
These are extensive reports where the surveyor will go into places such as the attic, check behind walls and look between floors and above ceilings. It will also provide advice on repairs, estimated costs and timings, and what will happen if you don’t carry out the repairs. Prices depend on the size of the property.
Home Report, free for the buyer
In Scotland, it’s compulsory for home sellers to provide buyers with a detailed report on how energy efficient the property is, a building survey and information on the council tax band and other details like flood history.
The wages from the bar work went straight into my savings, and even though it mean that some weeks I was working seven days it was worth it in the end.
I would top that up with £100 a month from the wages from my marketing job.
All in, it took me two years to save. My social life took a bit of a hit but that’s because I was working in a bar – but it was pretty sociable so it didn’t matter too much.
Over all, I saved £4,000 which would cover the deposit and furniture while my mum covered the legal fees as a gift for me, which came to about £1,000.
Did you experience any problems during the house-buying process?
Not during the process but certainly after I’d moved in.
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow Now, the second bedroom is 18-month-old Travis’ room
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow Craig moved in with Kimberley six months after she bought her home
After I got the keys, I soon came to realise that the previous homeowner was a DIY man instead of paying to get things fixed professionally.
I went on holiday for two weeks a few months after moving in and came home to a leak coming through the light fitting in the hallway and another leak in the bedroom.
It turns out that the guy who owned it before had super glued some of the broken roof tiles together and it was letting the rainwater drop through into the flat.
Luckily, my dad’s mate is a roofer so he temporarily patched it up until I could afford to get it fixed properly. I put it on my insurance as I had no spare cash.
Because my mortgage repayments were smaller than what I paid in rent, I was able to save quite quickly and by August I enough to get the roof fixed.
It cost me £7,000 in the end to have it entirely re-tiled.
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow The bathroom is in a separate room to the toilet
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow The tenement black was built 100 years ago when the toilets were outside
In Scotland sellers must pay for a Home Report – a detailed survey of the property – to give to the buyer before they make an offer.
Even though it’s quite thorough, they didn’t go up into the roof so it wasn’t flagged before I completed on it.
My advice would be to pay even more for a more serious survey because I probably wouldn’t have gone through with the sale had I known.
How did you afford to furnish it?
I’d managed to save an extra £1,000 before buying somewhere which I was planning on spending on the legal fees, but my mum offered to pay those for me.
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow Kimberley ended up paying another £7,000 to fix the roof just months after moving in
Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow The couple hope to move homes in the next two years or so
That left me with a grand to buy furniture to fill out the place – which if you actually look at how expensive furniture is is not a lot.
I got a lot of hand-me-downs and pieces of secondhand furniture because I wouldn’t have been able afford to buy anything brand new.
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It’s now your family home. Are you planning on staying there?
When I got the keys to the place, I’d been seeing my boyfriend Craig Manderson for about six months – and then half a year later he moved in with me.
Now, we’ve got an 18-month-old son Travis so my flat where I lived on my own has now become my family home.
I think in a year or two we might start looking for a proper house, as getting a pram up and down the stairs to get in is hard enough as it is.
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