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Own your own property in London? How did you do it?

There are lots of posts, unsurprisingly, about renting but I am wondering how people who own there own property in London achieved it? And how old you were, etc? | Modified: March 28, 2018 | Author:

57 Comments

Husband saved from living at home. My parents gave me money. We were in our mid twenties. Were those horrible spoilt millennial Londoners everyone hates.   [ torosintheatmosphere 3 years ago ]

What goes for average London salaries now?   [ Kesuke 3 years ago ]

Had 5-6 years of putting away 30-40% of my salary and living like a pauper, girlfriends did the same. Eventually got enough to buy a 1 bed in Peckham, terrible condition, just before it became cool. Did the place up myself by watching YouTube videos over a 2 year period. Sold it for a 25% profit, bought a 2 bed in an even worse condition and did the same again. Added a loft. Sold for a 40% profit. Now got a 5 bed house - zero parental help   [ toronado 3 years ago ]

Bought a small end of terrace house in a nice-ish part of Croydon (Addiscombe) in 2011 for 185K. I was 37. Before that I always rented (Twickenham, Ealing, Croydon). Croydon has great transport links, but zone 5 is not cheap for the trains. A shitty house in my road is up for 300K. Crazy.   [ iloveworms 3 years ago ]

Crappy area, decent winful on something, parents kicked in sum.   [ Pawn_in_game_of_life 3 years ago ]

Iv'e just started my homebuying ISA, only another 998,800 to go...   [ LucidTopiary 3 years ago ]

I earn 35k working in London. I save 1,000 a month whilst renting, and I've made good use of investments from a younger age as well as the various ISAs. I've had no help from my parents, and I'm looking to buy later this year in Redbridge.   [ tp3753 3 years ago ]

Partners dad sold some shares he had in his old company and had a fat redundancy payout, so he bought a percentage in a shared ownership flat in zone 3. Partner had saved up 10k since he was 16 so he also put money towards it, so I pay the base rent to the housing association and my partner pays bills and he pays his dad back. We probably wont live in London much longer so we should be able to buy something outright when move back to our hometown. A side note, my parents cant even afford to buy their own property, so Im extraordinarily lucky my partner has a fairly wealthy family.   [ minniemoomin 3 years ago ]

Bought at 29 - bought 25% at 26 (shared ownership) and then the rest. Did it the easy way by getting a job that paid well, so no real insights from me.   [ m50d 3 years ago ]

In the current climate saving rates are poor and borrowing is low. To buy our property now, five years later, would cost 50% more. Our savings would have never matched. We rented for over ten years and had multiple shitty landlords. They wouldnt properly repair stuff and we had to leave flats we liked as landlords wanted the property back. Renting laws arent great in this country. We have a daughter now and know we are settled and in control of our environment. Also when we were renting prices kept going up. Our two bed flat in Earlsfield was 1500pcm six years ago. Our five year mortgage fix just ran out and we have remortgaged from 1400 a month to 930 a month. Also when we retire we can be without rental costs. This assumes life doesnt throw up any awkward surprises. These are some of the reasons we were obsessed with buying.   [ molehill 3 years ago ]

I started off in Brixton, my father gave me a small loan of a million pounds.   [ NoIdea117 3 years ago ]

Don't own it properly, went via shared ownership (40%). 30-35 range. Its a mixed bag - gonna have to move eventually as its a 1bed, but as a place to live without sharing with strangers - its pretty alright. Previously was flat sharing for 4 years if not more in pretty rubbish ex council flat. It happened to be cheap, took home made lunches to work and rarely went out. Was doable to save up for a deposit... would never be able to afford 100% but for a 40%, managed to just pull it off.   [ Rsatdcms 3 years ago ]

By how much did you cut down on the avocado spend?   [ Ryan2468 3 years ago ]

36, bought at 34. Lived overseas for six years and saved up a lot over there. 2 bed in Shoreditch.   [ daveonhols 3 years ago ]

Found relatively cheap flat in zone 2 (1 bed) two years ago, GF and me had savings from working abroad in the past + saving most of our incomes for a year here in London. Got a mortgage at 85% LTV calculating mortgage payments are around the same we were paying for rent before, we could have gone for a better deal but wanted to have some spare cash as a rainy day fund. We overpaid the maximum allowed each year (10% of principal) from existing savings + earned that year. Now moving to an offset deal and shortening the mortgage length so will move all of our savings the and being down interest to a very small sum. We are lucky as combined we have a good income and spend very little so most of what we earn ends in a saving account   [ i_hate_pigeons 3 years ago ]

Bought age 29. Saved up, decent job 400k house   [ Smtn87 3 years ago ]

The feeling when you moved in (or maybe just exchanged) must have been awesome. All the discipline paid off. I thought we saved hard when my socks all had holes in and I refused to buy more but we still got the train in.   [ molehill 3 years ago ]

Shouldnt it be easier to buy a house when youre in banking?   [ chkslry 3 years ago ]

Lived in a pretty cheap & shitty flat for 3 years and saved every penny we had. For you to make an idea: we preferred to walk to work for 1h instead of taking the bus so we save 6 pounds a day. Managed to save for a 25% deposit on a small (veeeery shitty at that point) house in the same(ish) shitty neighbourhood (zone 2 yey! - the very rough edges of it). What we bought is more than we ever dreamed and even if we stretched ourself a bit more than we should've, we're not sorry for it. We had to rely on next month salaries to be able to pay the stamp duty, so we went all in and even moved in an almost uninhabitable property so we don't pay the rent anymore. And because we were completely broke, WE renovated the house ourselves (the amount of tutorials out there on how to do things in the house is overwhelming). We're both two nerds that had no idea how to do any DIY things, so that was a hard period, but it was worth it. That was 8 months ago and now we're really happy we made an effort for 3 years and we now have somewhere to call home and a mini-garden for a swing. We were 28 and 32 years old when we bought it, but we're both on salaries a bit higher than the London average salary.   [ andreeaa-alexandra 3 years ago ]

This really should be discussed more bluntly. I don't know anyone who managed it after kids. It's not just the deposit, but lenders openly consider it their biggest blackmark. You really do have to choose, as messed up as that is.   [ Dusk1983 3 years ago ]

My father gave me 400k.   [ oldmasters 3 years ago ]

Moved back into my parents after leaving uni and stayed there for 6 years. Commuted to work by bicycle to save money, parents didn't charge me anything for staying at home. Got some inheritance money and a bit from my parents and had a good amount to buy a flat. Had some specific needs of requiring somewhere which could store +5 bicycles easily and securely. So took some time finding and got a place in zone 6. Obviously fit in the mould of the typical londoner who has bought, middle class parents who could afford for me live at home without charging me anything, there had some money and some from inheritance which they had put aside for me and my sister to use at to purchase properties.   [ cyclegaz 3 years ago ]

From when I got my first role in London after graduation, every time I got a pay rise, rather than spending more I increased the standing order out of my current account into savings by the same amount as the increase (still do this). Took lunch to work 4 days out of 5. Also got made redundant once and got a decent pay out and straight into a new job. My partner was good at saving too, so we had the same to add for a deposit. We bought in zone 2 with average London salaries and a 55k deposit at the age of 27 in 2013.   [ betty163 3 years ago ]

Worked in London with OH for a few years. OH lived at home (outside London) and saved about 70k, my parents gave me 35k. Spent 10k of my own savings on the legal fees etc. Bought at the bottom of the market in 2011. So sorry, another couple who had some help in some way.   [ torosintheatmosphere 3 years ago ]

House just outside zone 6. Own a 40% shared ownership. 4 years ago house was 250000 so I paid 100000 and only needed a 10% deposit. Thinking it's about 300000 now. Disadvantage is I still need to rent and the commute is 336 per month. Rent + mortgage + council tax + train fare = 1350 which it pretty decent for a three bedroom semi with a garden. Quite small for my family though.   [ rich97 3 years ago ]

Moved to a cheap shitty flat for a couple of years. Saved up 30k between the two of us. Got a 250k 2 bed in zone 4 east London. Wages wise I was on 29k and the girlfriend 26k. Buying on my own could have been possible but the available areas to buy would have been very limited.   [ myrightbuttock 3 years ago ]

I bought in zone 3 Custom House with a friend at age 28. Always been a saver, managed to save 30k, this was massively helped as my cousin let me stay at hers for a year and pay her 300 rent. I managed to get a pay rise so I'm now in the higher rate of tax and my friend is a high earner. Ended up putting a 15% deposit down on a 436k house. Got a 20k loan from parents. Now, we rent out the other 2 rooms so mortgage payments are low, so I'm saving for the next place ideally with my girlfriend but the jumps between flats and houses also the houses she will want/ accept vs what I was willing to accept with my friend! It is tough, but definitely feel like it was worth it.   [ ket_88 3 years ago ]

I work in a large American bank for 5 years out of university. Co-lived with my brother for 3 years before getting married so now have double income in the household. Saved up a large chunk of my discretionary bonus towards a house, cut down on going out at night and drinking and generally being frugal. We leveraged the government's London Help to Buy Equity Loan of 40% to buy a 3 bed flat in North West London zone 4.   [ spatialrain 3 years ago ]

Had 10 years of getting paid pretty decently to build a deposit (also helped that 15 years ago you could do a nice flat share for 4-500 a month) and managed to buy a place in the early part of this decade before things really went stupid.   [ PolarNavigator 3 years ago ]

We bought a 2 bed house in Zone three 5 years ago. I'm so glad we did. There are 2 of us, we both had about 25k deposit and another 5k for fees and decorating/ furnishing. Basically saved a lot of money but living and working in Southend where the rent is cheap (for 2 years) and then moving back in with my parents for about 4 years. Parents never asked for rent but I gave them 300 a month and the rest of my wages were in high interest ISA or savings. Fixed rate mortgage for the first 5 years with overpayment meant that when we re-mortgaged last year, we were able to cut our mortgage down from 17 years to 11 years (or something like that) and fix again at a low rate with minimal overpayments. I don't work so hard. I just don't buy shit I don't need.   [ Ribenadrinker 3 years ago ]

My mum died when I was 24: shed owned a mortgage-free buy-to-let property which my sister and I inherited jointly. We rented it out for 5 years, used the income to help build up our savings, then sold it in 2013, split the money, and used that for a deposit for each of us to buy a flat. Without that, its a certainty Id still be renting despite my wife and I now having a joint income of over 60 grand. Most of my friends are only now getting to the point where they can buy, but theyre all a zone and a half further out than us, and buying ex-council fixer-uppers for the most part. If thats the situation for middle-class professionals in their early 30s then the situation for people further down the ladder must surely be even bleaker. The housing market is an absolute fucking mess, and the people whove profited insanely without effort (including me, to a certain extent), and at the expense of everyone else, need to pay what they owe.   [ edgillett 3 years ago ]

you are reducing the amount you owe every month which is money you get back Except for interest. You could pay off a house for 5-10 years and barely scrape the top of the principal.   [ orange_fudge 3 years ago ]

Perfect pacing, that story. Still chuckling.   [ JigsawPig 3 years ago ]

1995 was the bottom of the market after the previous crash I believe. Being mortgage free at 42 must be awesome. We often discuss extension work for ours but I would like to pay it all off as soon as possible.   [ molehill 3 years ago ]

The outrage hit me for like a quarter second before I realised   [ ken_new 3 years ago ]

The government's help to buy scheme. https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/london-help-to-buy/   [ PinkPrimate 3 years ago ]

Bought a not particularly desirable property (ex council flat) in a not particularly trendy part of London, borrowed part of the money from my dad so I could get a better rate on the mortgage (took me below 70% LTV IIRC which was the magic number at the time for getting better rates), and subsequently remortgaged and paid him back a few years later once I'd gotten some of the equity paid down by living cheaply and overpaying as much as I could afford. Probably could have managed it without his assistance, but it would have been more expensive as I'd have had to get a mortgage at more like 90% LTV and a considerably higher interest rate - still achievable, but I wouldn't have been able to over-pay the mortgage as aggressively as I have been. Plus he was happy anyway, as I was paying him more interest on what he lent me than the pittance he was getting from having it at the bank in a savings account.   [ JimboTCB 3 years ago ]

Sorry for your loss. Same thing happened to me when I was 14, it gets better I promise   [ Marmite50 3 years ago ]

Bought a 3bed ex council house in Edinburgh in 1995, deposit was 2k i think. Traded up from there, bought 50/50 with a mate in stokey for a few years was lucky in which areas I bought in going up a lot, (Newington green and then walthamstow) and when I got married we bought the new place together so I'm effectively mortgage free at 42. Complete luck, fuelled initially by the fact my parents couldn't afford to pay my rent in Edinburgh for 5 years. But it is a long game, so the earlier you can start the better.   [ mralistair 3 years ago ]

Hi I'm from the Guardian, do you mind if we use your story?   [ prongleprongle 3 years ago ]

Inheritance.   [ Nibbler812 3 years ago ]

Was impressed until the very end, why not just ask parents for the 100k (77% or your deposit) three years earlier, assumingly saving you the rise in house prices between those times?   [ AdamJay26 3 years ago ]

26 years old parents died :(   [ wlondonmatt 3 years ago ]

You had me until the end.   [ Danielhibbs 3 years ago ]

We bought 70% of a 2 bed shared ownership flat, right on the edge of Hackney, so zone 3, at the end of 2016. The gf and I received an inheritance of 10k each for the deposit. We were 33. The scheme gets a lot of flack but apparently we have "doubled" our equity in 18 months. Even if prices stagnate you usually can't lose from paying off a mortgage - you are reducing the amount you owe every month which is money you get back. It is exactly like living in your own savings account. And then, if prices do rise, you win twice. It's a pisstake, it really is. No surprise at all that people are obsessed with property in the U.K.   [ Dusk1983 3 years ago ]

First, I started in a serious relationship with someone who earned a similar middle-of-the-range salary. We started with a budget and analysed every month of spending. Where is our money going? What are we spending it on? I completed online surveys for money, and also did market research and mystery dining. With this I was able to boost our income by about 200 a month. We stayed home more often and didn't spend as much on booze. We tracked spending for a few years, lived in a place we could reasonably afford. We didn't turn the heater on hardly ever, and lived in a small zone 3 new build where bills were cheap. We worked hard at our jobs too, both getting 25% payrises by switching companies and getting promotions. After about 3 years of saving, we had 30k, so I asked my parents for another 100k and then boom, we had a house. All you need to do is stick to a budget, work hard and ask your parents for money.   [ SillyPresentation 3 years ago ]

This is the major problem. Monthly mortgage costs are affordable for most but deposits are much harder to get.   [ molehill 3 years ago ]

Have a house in zone 6. We were renting in zone 4, and saving as much as we could to get on the ladder. Had an unexpected inheritance which gave us the final push. I think it would have taken us about another ten years of saving otherwise. Would have loved to have stayed in zone 4 but could just not afford anything round there. Zone six is ok, near a couple of overground stations, and ten minutes on the train to out nearest underground station.   [ DrewBk 3 years ago ]

Are you me? Did the same, moved to the other side of london, east, where property was cheaper too. West london be cray   [ PM_ME_AMAZON_VOUCHER 3 years ago ]

Let me complain about my life/career choices and refusal to look at owning property anywhere not within certain areas of london, by blaming those whore on a better wicket than me   [ Filthy_Ramhole 3 years ago ]

Lived at home with my parents after leaving Uni for around six or seven years and managed to save enough for a deposit on a flat in zone 5, four and a half years ago.   [ RodeoRex 3 years ago ]

I am just intrigued. I actually have a friend who is a librarian who owns a flat in east London. She got a bit of inheritance and the flat was only just mortgageable. She doesnt earn a lot. There are shared ownership schemes I wondered if anyone has used them. I could have just posted whats your income thread. Although mine is actually zero at the moment. Seems harsh to tell me to fuck off.   [ molehill 3 years ago ]

Our story is almost identical. Early 30s, bought in zone 6, changed our lifestyle drastically to save as much as possible, bought a house that needed plenty of renovating. Spent every weekend over the following two years renovating. As it turned out, the wife and I were both offered opportunities to work abroad we couldn't refuse. I just had enough time to finish the house ready to rent. I was still raking the pebbles in the front driveway as the taxi was arriving to take me to the airport. I still, technically, haven't lived in my "finished" house.   [ jon_f 3 years ago ]

the fact that banks dont do mortgages in buildings over 5 floors Sorry what? You can't get a mortgage for a 6th floor flat?   [ legaladviceukthrowaa 3 years ago ]

My wife bought her flat over 10 years ago now when they actually did mortgages for buildings over 5 floors and the prices of plan were relatively cheaper. With the problems now on ground rent and the fact that banks dont do mortgages in buildings over 5 floors we would struggle to sell in this climate.   [ leighmack 3 years ago ]

Did you buy a house if you don't mind answering? Do you reckon it would be easier if someone is dead set on buying a flat?   [ blastedin 3 years ago ]

My wife and I bought our first property five years ago when we were in are early thirties. Though we did come out to zone 5 for it - no regrets on that. I was postgrad studying but my girlfriend (now wife) was on a good income so we could save the deposit, tax and fees over three years. We obviously stopped eating out, going on holiday but we knew we could achieve the goal. Most of our friends in London of similar age own property but they all got family assistance in one way or another.   [ molehill 3 years ago ]

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