Daisy, 26, owner of a social media and digital marketing business is in the process of buying the three bedroom Victorian terrace that she's currently renting in Liverpool with partner, Ben.
Daisy and Ben's lockdown savings
"I’m Daisy and I've lived in Liverpool for almost 10 years, although I’m from Chester originally. I run a social media business with my partner and I also have a fashion and lifestyle Instagram account. My partner and I also look after a cockapoo part time and he is our pride and joy! We are currently renting the house that we will be buying from our landlords. Growing up, I was definitely taught the value of money and was really encouraged to try and purchase a property when I could.
I can’t actually put a timeframe on how long it took us to save up, as we always put some money aside for emergencies and we also knew that at some point we wanted to buy a house. My boyfriend (29) and I are both self employed so know how important it is to have funds to fall back on, especially during the pandemic. As horrible as it was, the pandemic and lockdowns actually really helped us save because there wasn’t much that you could spend your money on! We always put a bit of money aside every month and we would say to each other, this month we don’t want our bank account to dip below £X, and then we’d gradually increase that number. We managed to save around a 20% deposit for our house purchase in the end.
Working with a mortgage broker
We actually had no idea that we were anywhere near the stage of buying, but we were chatting to one of our social media clients who is actually a mortgage broker and thought we may as well have a meeting with them about buying our first home and see realistically how long it would be and what we needed to do. To our surprise they said that if we wanted to get the ball rolling then we could and they've been incredibly helpful.
Our mortgage broker has really helped us when applying for a mortgage. Honestly, we haven’t really had to do anything! They secured us our Decision in Principle, and are dealing with everything else. I think getting a professional’s help is invaluable. I’m not great with numbers, and because both my partner and I are first-time buyers we are so new to the process. Getting help is my number one tip!
How do you buy the house you're renting?
Our landlords previously lived in this house, and they moved back to Ireland to be nearer to family when they had their first born. About two years after living here, I asked our landlord if they would be interested in selling it to us as we love the house, love the area, the neighbours - everything! They seriously considered it, they had it valued and we made them an offer but they decided that they didn’t want to sell it just yet.
Fast forward a year later, they were just about to have their second baby and they got back in touch asking if we were still interested in buying it from them - of course we were thrilled. In terms of how it will work with switching over the payments, we’re still a while off from completing, but I’m hoping it will be pretty straightforward. We’ll pay rent up until completion, and then our mortgage payments will be a bit cheaper per month too which is always nice!
First-time buyer advice
My advice for other first-time buyers is don’t give up! Before we had the opportunity to purchase the house we’re renting, we went to so many viewings and put in offers to get hugely outbid every time! There was one house which we loved and we put in £10k over asking - it ended up going for around £30k over asking which was so disheartening. The housing market has been so crazy the past year, and it really did feel like we were never going to get anywhere. Just keep refreshing the search apps, go into estate agents, and try not to let it stress you out.
Your own journey...
Interested in chatting to a mortgage broker like Daisy and Ben did? We've partnered with the experts at Mortgage Advice Bureau to offer our members access to mortgage advice via our website and the app. They'll search over 90 lenders and 12,000 products to find the right deal for you and will guide you along the whole process. You never know, you might be nearer buying your first home than you think!
Plus, if you're a first-time buyer and you're looking for a boost for your deposit, find out more about the Beehive Money Lifetime ISA. Open between the ages of 18-39 with £1, online only. 25% Government bonus, maximum £1,000 bonus and £4,000 deposit per tax year. First-time buyers and retirement only. Any ineligible withdrawals will be subject to a 25% Government withdrawal charge so you may get back less than you put in.