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Teenager who has already bought first shared ownership home reveals how she did it
You can do it too...
Megan Stafford bought her first home at 19 - a two-bed town house in Rushcliffe.
How did she do it? We get the inside tips on achieving the home buying dream.
Yorkshire Building Society state that average age of a first-time buyer has increased slightly over the past decade from 30 to 31 years old, so Megan's purchase does buck the trend.
But she had her heart set on buying a home with her partner, Dale Dickinson, 21, and her career choice certainly put her in a position to know how she could achieve her ambition.
Joining estate agents Royston and Lund as an apprentice sales negotiator, she said: "I had never even thought about going into estate agency, but I knew that it would be a great challenge for me, and Royston & Lund was the place I wanted to be."
Whilst completing her apprenticeship with the firm in 2018, Megan, who is originally from Carlton, became familiar with the process of buying a house and knowing who she would need to appoint for help along the way really benefited her.
She also found out about the shared ownership scheme and quickly realised the benefits and the step on to the property ladder that it would provide.
Shared ownership is a government-backed scheme where you can buy between a quarter and three-quarters of a property and then rent the rest at a reduced rate. Before deciding if the scheme is for you, you need to consider what you can afford, what deposit you can save and understand the monthly payment breakdown.
Megan said: "Before working at Royston & Lund I wasn’t aware of shared ownership, despite it being a help to buy scheme regulated by the government. I think the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme is much more widely advertised than shared ownership.
"One of the things that put me off as a young first-time buyer was that I thought I would need to put down a large deposit when actually I found out I could put down as little as 5%. If more people knew how much money they could save through buying instead of renting, I think it would encourage them to explore this option.”
The Nottingham couple were living at home with their parents before they decided to make the move of living together and began saving for their first home.
By saving and cutting back on non-essential items, the pair were able to put down a 5% deposit on a two-bed town house, priced at around £180,000. Moving to their new home in June this year, the couple currently own over 35% percent of the property value with the option to buy more in the future.
Megan said: “There’s no timescale on saving money for a mortgage, but it is possible. Being aware of how much you want to save from the beginning really helps you stay on track and knowing you’ll be buying a house is a great incentive.
“If we hadn’t found out about shared ownership, we would still be living with family and struggling to save for a large deposit.”
Val Shakespeare, director at Royston & Lund, said: “It’s important to know the process of buying a house and who you will need to help you during the process. Due to Megan’s job, she had the information readily available as she was immersed in the world of selling homes every day.
“For many young people who dreaming about getting on the property ladder, shared ownership might not be on their radar. However, buying your first home early is a brilliant step and can help you save money in the long run instead of trying to rent and save up for a deposit simultaneously.”
Megan said: “My advice for young first-time buyers would be to ask estate agents, financial advisors and/or solicitors as many questions as possible and make sure you shop around before you buy.”
A lot has changed for Megan and her partner - who have further plans for the future.
“Getting onto the property ladder can be difficult if you aren’t aware of what schemes are available. Many people my age are not ready to buy a property, but if you know what you want to achieve, anything is possible.”
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Royston and Lund are independent, award winning Property Specialists with branches in Ashby de la Zouch, Keyworth, West Bridgford and Wolverhampton. We are passionate about the service we offer and are proud to employ the most experienced and professional group of people in the area.
Royston & Lund Estate Agents Ltd. Registered in England. Company No: 4239895. Registered Office Address: 3 Fountain Court, Gordon Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 5LN.