A PERSONAL trainer from Scarborough took on extra work as a Spider-Man kids’ entertainer and cocktail mixologist so he could save £10,000 for a deposit to buy his first home.
But taking on three jobs meant that Ricky Stewart, 37, worked seven days a week for a whole year.
13 Ricky Stewart moved into his home in April this yearCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
As well as earning £2,000 a month working full-time at the gym, Ricky boosted his salary with his weekend jobs hosting cocktail workshops and dressing up as a superhero for children’s parties.
That meant he earned around £500 extra every month meaning he could put up to £800 a month into his savings accounts, including a Help to Buy Isa.
In a year Ricky, who insists he loves working, saved £10,000 and used some of it for a 10 per cent deposit on his £98,000 three-bedroom flat.
But having three jobs, combined with the fact he’d never taken out a credit card, almost cost him his mortgage.
13 The flat is in a block of six flats built in the seventiesCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
After being turned down by six different lenders, Sainsbury’s Bank was the only firm to offer him a home loan.
One month on from getting the keys to his maisonette, we caught up with Ricky in this week’s instalment of My First Home.
What’s your pad like?
I live in a three-bed flat in Scarborough – it’s all on one floor but I’ve got my own front door.
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There are two double bedrooms and a single room. It’s the opposite to open-plan really.
You go through the front door and there’s a single corridor with rooms off either side.
It’s in a purpose-built block that was built in the seventies. There are six flats in total.
There isn’t a garden but it’s tucked away off a busy street – honestly you wouldn’t know it’s here – and there’s a courtyard out the front.
When did you buy it and how did you pay for it?
I bought the flat on my own in April this year and I’m so chuffed with it. I’m absolutely buzzing.
13 The flat has three bedrooms – two doubles and one singleCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 He bought the flat for £98,000 with a 10 per cent depositCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
It cost me £98,000 and I put down a 10 per cent deposit, so that’s £9,800 plus I saved a few extra thousand pounds to go towards moving costs, such as the solicitor’s fees.
I know some lenders let you put down 5 per cent but the way I’m paid is a bit complicated and so I had to put down a bit more as I seemed like more of a risk to lenders.
My mortgage covered the rest. I borrowed £88,200 and agreed to pay it back over 30 years.
How did you manage to save the deposit?
I started saving Christmas 2017 shortly after I broke up with my ex. I’d been living in her house so I had to move back in with my mum.
At the time I didn’t have any savings because I was self-employed so every year my tax bill would come along and totally wipe me out.
13 Rick boosted his salary by working weekends as a Spider-Man children’s entertainer, pictured with his cat JoeyCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 He’s also a trained mixologist and hosts cocktail-making partiesCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
I thought about renting somewhere but I just couldn’t have afforded to save to buy somewhere at the same time, so my mum agreed to let me live with her while I saved.
I was already working three jobs at the time but saving to buy meant that I definitely picked up more shifts to help me save much faster.
I am a part-time personal trainer, a mixologist, which involves running cocktail workshops, and I’m Spiderman at kids’ parties. I know, it’s a right mixture.
The year I started saving, the gym that I worked at changed the way I was paid so technically I worked there full-time and was paid overtime for the PT sessions I ran.
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.
At the time I earned around £2,000 a month after tax, depending on how many clients I had at the time.
The mixology sessions and kids’ parties meant I could earn another £500 a month but that varied massively depending on how many parties I was asked to do.
For example, I ran a lot of gin tasting and cocktail sessions in the summer when hen-parties are pretty popular so I’d earn more then.
It took me about a year to get the funds together, in which I gave up my weekends and worked seven days a week.
It was knackering but also so much fun – I basically mess about for a living.
The other good thing was that the parties would often only run for a few hours so it wasn’t like my whole weekend was taken up by work.
13 Rick’s new girlfriend keeps cuddly toys in the spare roomCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 The personal trainer only moved into his flat in April this yearCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
I put £200 into a Help to Buy Isa every month and then put between £600 and £700 a month into another savings account too.
Not paying rent really helped me. There’s no doubt that if I was paying to rent a place in Scarborough I’d still be there now.
Did you have to give anything up?
I didn’t have to give much up actually. I still managed to go on a couple of stag dos and I went on a holiday to Portugal but that was the only time off I had throughout the year.
I did have a car to pay for and my phone bill but I continued to pay for Spotify and Netflix.
I would say I became a bit more frugal, like I wouldn’t buy as many pairs of trainers or clothes as I did before or eat out as much but I didn’t have to give it up completely.
13 Rick worked three jobs while he saved for a mortgage depositCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
Working so much meant that I could save and still had some cash to spend.
I know it sounds a lot but I genuinely love my work so it wasn’t horrendous.Did working more than one job make it more difficult to get a mortgage?
Definitely. I almost didn’t get a single offer which would have been a disaster.
I’d only become employed full-time by the gym that year and I’m a self-employed mixologist and kids’ entertainer.
Because the way I was paid and how much I earned from each part of my business had changed a lot over the past few years, no lender wanted to offer me a loan.
They saw me as too much of a risk and that my income wasn’t stable enough.
13 He saved cash on furniture by buying items secondhand from Facebook Marketplace and eBayCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 The previous owners painted the flat and put down new carpetsCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
The other major issue I had was that I’d never taken out a credit card so I had no credit history, no proof that I could borrow cash and pay it back.
I did have a mortgage adviser who told me I’d been rejected by six or seven different lenders.
They were soft checks though so didn’t leave a mark on my credit score.
In the end I was only offered one loan from Sainsbury’s Bank. The interest rate didn’t seem too bad and it was affordable to me.
If I hadn’t had that accepted, I was going to have to take out a credit card to try and build up my score and come back in six months to try again.
I’ve fixed in for two years for now and then I can shop around for a better rate when I’ve got more equity in the property.
13 The block of flats was built in the seventiesCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
13 He’s also a trained mixologist and hosts cocktail making partiesCredit: Glen Minikin – The Sun
I paid between £300 and £500 for the mortgage adviser and would strongly recommend getting one. In my case, I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do without one.
Did you have any other issues with the whole house-buying process?
The flat was chain-free so it should have been simple and easy but it really wasn’t. I made the offer in December and didn’t move in for another four months.
There was an issue with the lease because it had only 54 years left on it – and mortgage lenders don’t tend to like properties with anything fewer than 80 years.
The previous owners couldn’t afford to pay for it to be renewed upfront so they had to get a contract to say that they would pay for it out of the cash they made from the sale.
That delayed the process for ages and at one point my solicitor even advised me to give up on it.
But they did manage to extend it to 99 years so it’s something I really don’t need to worry about.
What was it like when you finally moved it?
It was the most incredible feeling. I am absolutely buzzing still.
I can’t believe how much better this flat is than anything else I could find in the area, which were either too small or more expensive.
It was ex-rental too so the previous landlord gave it a lick of paint and put in new carpets so I really haven’t had to do anything.
SUPER SCRIMPER Depression sufferer lived off £100 a month to save £10k for her first home SAVVY SAVER First-time buyer used a money diary to squeeze extra £1k a month for deposit BOGGED DOWN Couple save £60k on ‘run-down’ three-bed house but it took SIX months to fix-up FULL HOUSE How I saved £32k for first house and wedding and STILL enjoyed nights out SAVVY SAVER Ditching nights out helps first-time buyer save extra £850 a month
I had a little extra cash to buy furniture because the flat was cheaper than what I had originally budgeted for.
I bought most of my stuff through Topcashback or secondhand from Facebook Marketplace.
I hope to stay here for a while. It’s only a 10 minute walk away from work and even though I still work everyday, I don’t have to save so hard.
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