Hello Homeowner - Emma

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By Beehive Money

Emma Stevens with partner on holiday

Read Emma's story

28-year-old first-time buyer Emma achieved one of her biggest life goals by buying her three-bed semi in Derby with her partner of three years using the Lifetime ISA.

Associate Director Emma works in the market research industry and previously rented a home on her own in Hampshire before relocating to Derby to buy and live with her East Midlands based partner. The couple would previously split their time between Derby and Hampshire due to busy jobs that included a fair amount of UK travel.

Being a savvy saver

At the age of 28, Emma is around four years younger than the average first-time buyer* and would ‘most definitely’ recommend the Beehive Money Lifetime ISA as something to look into as it was a great way for her as a first-time buyer to save quicker towards getting on the property ladder. Emma and partner started saving their 13.5% deposit around three years before they were able to buy their three-bed semi-detached house. Saving came as second nature to Emma who’s “always been a saver”.

“My parents definitely taught me the value of savings and we’d spoken about how owning a home and having a mortgage works. I’m used to putting money aside on payday each month and sacrificing some things in my personal life. I put aside a minimum amount on each payday, while also using some other savings apps to gradually save smaller amounts.”

The Lifetime ISA

Emma's favourite thing about the Lifetime ISA is “the bonus, of course!” and was originally an online Lifetime ISA member of The Nottingham before moving over to Beehive Money.

“When I started saving for my first home, I was looking for a Lifetime ISA and at the time, there weren’t many on the market. I decided to go with The Nottingham as I liked the fact the brand had history. My account was moved over to Beehive whilst I was still saving and I found the Lifetime ISA was so easy to save into. I put money aside into a separate savings account then transferred in large sums throughout the year to my LISA very easily which was how I preferred to save although I know you can save into a LISA little and often if you prefer.”

The Nottingham and Beehive helped me achieve one of my biggest life goals”

Emma enjoyed tracking her progress on the app once she was a fully-fledged Beehive Money member as it helped her and her partner with the ‘action plan’ they’d already set out with their goal date of April 2022. “I really liked the goal progress tracker - it was very quick and easy to log in to see the funds against my goal.”

By tracking her progress and having her plan it was helpful when the pair had to move quickly in order to bag their ideal home.

“Having a Lifetime ISA meant we could save towards our deposit quicker than if we hadn’t saved this way as the Government bonus helped us get to our goal faster. We preferred the guaranteed returns of the 25% bonus as opposed to riskier (in our eyes!) solutions like Stocks and Shares ISAs.”

“The housing market in our area was moving at a very fast pace so we knew we had to act fast when we saw our dream house. We were very fortunate not to be outbid and being first-time buyers really worked in our favour as the owner wanted a fast sale and we didn’t have anywhere to sell that was holding us up.”

Emma’s first-hand first-time buyer tips

Emma’s happily settled in her new home in Derby and is looking forward to her usual winding down activities of keeping fit with running and an aerial silks class topped off with watching trash TV!

When asked if she had any advice for other first-time buyers, Emma explained how she liked to budget her monthly incoming and “set money aside on payday each month and account for it in your budget – budgeting helps a lot to understand how much you can afford to put aside.”

Emma also felt it was important to get your reading in! “I’d done a bit of research online, reading guides and getting a rough idea from calculators on what our mortgage repayments could look like, so I knew we were ready when we hit our savings goal. Plus, we’d both been separately spending money on rent each month and coming together meant we were spending on the same goal.”

She also recommended “make sure you save enough for all your fees but also the basics when you first move. Even if moving with furniture there’s inevitably extra stuff you’ll need to pay for! Plus, put a bit of money aside for some takeaways in those first few days – moving house is exhausting and cooking is the last thing we wanted to do!”

The maximum you can save in a LISA each tax year is £4,000. The Government will pay a 25% bonus of up to £1,000 each tax year. You can withdraw money from a Lifetime ISA to buy your first home, or at age 60 for retirement spending. Other withdrawals will usually mean a 25% Government charge, so you could get back less than you put in. Full terms and conditions are available at

Open an Lifetime ISA today.

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