Category: Property

BEST WAY TO START SAVING MONEY FOR A HOUSE IN UK

Best way to start saving money for a house in UK

Buying a house is basically a must-do for most of us. One factor that prevents most people from becoming homeowners is money. But you don’t have to be extra rich to become a homeowner in the UK. There are ways you can start saving money to achieve this goal.

A house is ordinarily a structure meant for shelter, but to many of us, it means more than that. It is a milestone and dream come true for many.

In the UK, over 27 million people are homeowners, 24.6% are in the process of acquiring one while 86% want to buy a house.

While house prices in the real estate market keep on rising, getting your dream home may not be as hard as you think. Here are the top six ways to start saving money for a house in the UK.

a lady saving on low income

Start Saving

The mantra for anyone wanting to become a homeowner should be ‘save! Save! Save!’

While the median age of most people acquiring homes in the UK is 34 years, quite a number of people have started embracing the save early buy early mantra. This saves them quite a lot of trouble.

While most prefer to save when they are ‘financially stable enough’, saving early has been proven to be highly effective. Especially, in the acquisition of properties in the real estate market.

It does not matter the age or job, the best time to start saving is now.

 

I have a constructive article on how to start saving here and here.

Plan For It

If you do not plan, then you are writing an invitation to failure. Planning is a very important aspect of our everyday lives. You do not become a house owner by chance.

Buying a house requires even the most intricate of details. Any prospective homeowner should plan a detailed budget around the house he/she has in mind.

Details such as the price of the house should be indicated.

When you do this, you can then detail how this would be achieved.

The prospective homeowner should know what to forgo in his budget to maximize his savings.

Put Your Plan In Action.

Planning does not necessarily guarantee the actualization of your dream. Though it is the first step towards achieving this.

A lot of factors will determine how successful your plans are.

How well you stick to your budget is a necessary factor. After determining the ‘how’ part of your saving plan, putting that plan into action is one of the most important steps to take.

This however requires a high level of discipline. For instance, one could cut on the amount spent on fast food and opt for home cooking, reduce the amount spent on entertainment and subscriptions and more. That extra money should then be put into your house savings.

 

This calculator will help you calculate your monthly expenses.

saving spare money

Save Every Dime (Save Some More)

I am a minimalist. It is a habit that I picked up from my wife. But what I have found out about being a minimalist is that it makes it easier for me to save.

Sometimes being a minimalist mean I constantly overthink before I spend any money that I don’t have to.

A dime goes a long way and so does a shilling. It is crazy how much you can save when put certain money away. One plus one equals two after all. Spare change, loose change could add up over time when you think about it. Even though it is always very tempting to get rid of them.

So keep that loose change it could go a long way. It may look like nothing today, but it might be worth something tomorrow.

Get A Side Job

One plus one equals two and two jobs are sometimes better than one. Especially when they don’t have to clash.

Houses aren’t cheap to acquire and it takes commitment.

House prices are astronomically high at the moment and to save more, you might want to get a side hustle.

There are several side hustles you can choose to embark on. But most times, people tend to choose one they have prior knowledge about.

Your side hustle can either be online or offline.

For instance, one could try the freelancing market by selling services like writing, offering to teach English to non-natives, doing transcription jobs, doing odd jobs like babysitting, being a dog groomer or dog walker and much more.

If you are going for an online side job, you have several options to choose from.

 

Here are 101 side hustle ideas you can choose from.

Put Savings In A Fixed Deposit Account.

Money put in a fixed deposit account tend to earn a higher interest margin when compared to other accounts.

One could decide to lock their saving for a certain period, for instance, lock their house savings for either half a year, a year or more.

This will be highly advantageous as you will not be able to touch those saving at the same time earn huge amounts of interest.

Do A Garage Sale

We all have got stuff that we are not using but still occupy a huge amount of space in our wardrobes and garages.

Believe me when I tell you that you might have gold wasting away in your garage.

What I mean is that those junks that accumulate dust in your garage can be worth some money.

Doing a garage sale can generate some amount of income that could come in handy when wanting to save for that dream house.

There are several ways to sell these items but the two popular options are eBay and Amazon and Facebook marketplace.

get a room mate apartment sharing

Consider sharing an apartment

Rent prices are high and it might be one of the reasons why you can’t adequately save enough.

If you are considering purchasing a house soon, you should consider sharing an apartment to reduce the cost of renting.

Expenses such as food and entertainment can also be cut down by half if your apartment buddy will be sharing the costs.

Buy goods at the charity or thrift stores

Goods at the charity shop are ironically one of the cheapest, unique and high quality.

While you may prefer to do most of your shopping at the supermarket, during this period you might want to start visiting the charity store.

The one pound or two pounds saved at the charity could be a game-changer for you.

In Conclusion

Owning a home is practically everybody’s dream. Be it you are buying it as an asset or to get some privacy, or even to start your own family. Buying a house is definitely not an easy task but with these simple savings tips, you could be a homeowner in no time.

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5 Reasons why house price is high in the UK

The United Kingdom is one of the places in the world where house prices are very high. This is the reason why a lot of people ask the question why are houses so expensive in the UK?

As a first-generation immigrant living in the UK, I have been through the house buying process a couple of times. As well, I worked in a Local Government Authority Planning Department where decisions were made on where houses were built.

I thought I should use this article to give you some reasons why houses are expensive in the UK.

Planning Law

It is important to start here because planning law plays a big part in house prices in the UK.

Unlike most parts of the world, getting permission to build a house is extremely difficult. To build any house, either a single unit or multiple units like an estate, you need to apply to a Local Authority.

Before The Town and Country Planning Act 1947, it was easy to build houses anywhere you want with fewer restrictions. Since the Town and Country Planning Act 1947 came into place, planning permission is required from the Local Authority for land development.

A Planning Officer will look at your application and use a lot of criteria to judge if your application is to be approved or not.

One of the most important criteria is to check if the house you want to build is inside a “development boundary”. In plain English, this means, is your house going to be built outside an already developed area or is it going to be outside a completely separated village, town, or city?

There are other important criteria like,

These are protected areas. The first three mentioned above are areas designated as land used to protect wildlife and agricultural lands.

Also, they are lands with an amazing landscape which the government think is useful for leisure and help people connect with nature. Another important function of protected areas like greenbelt and significant gaps is to avoid towns and cities from joining together.

If developments are allowed in those areas, it won’t take long before two towns merge.

Because of strict planning permission requirements, fewer houses are built and this has a significant effect on the price of existing houses.

Expensive land makes house expensive

When you think about it properly, building a house is not that expensive. It is the land itself that is expensive in the UK and this is one of the reasons why house prices are high.

There is a general belief in the UK that there isn’t enough land to build on. While this might look like it is true because Britain is an island. However, it’s possibly a myth as mentioned in an article on BBC website.

Only about 8.8 percent of UK land is classified as built on but people still generally believe that land is a scarce asset. If something is perceived as scarce then the law of economics states that it will be expensive.

I am not saying planning law should be relaxed for the sake of providing housing.

I understand we need greenspaces, parks and gardens. However, there are house shortages in the UK, if more houses are built the price of properties won’t be too high.

Low-interest rate

Since the economic crash in 2008, the cost of borrowing to buy a house has significantly reduced. This has made it possible for a lot of people to get into the property market because it is easy to borrow money.

The interest rate in the 90s was around 15 percent. If you compare that to now it is a massive difference because the interest rate is now as low as 0.1 percent as at the time of writing this article.

The cost of getting a mortgage nowadays is generally much lower so there are more people buying houses which is pushing the price of properties up.

As well, buying a house is now cheaper than renting. This is as a result of the low-interest rates for buying a house.

This also increases the number of people who want to buy a house and the number of houses available is limited therefore increasing competition.

Buying a house is now even considered an investment opportunity, something that can’t be said with renting. This is because buying a house gives a better return on investment for investors than even shares.

When an investor considers rentable income vs mortgage interest payments, he is easily more attracted to purchasing an house as an investment.

Foreign buyer and buy to let

Yes the housing market is volatile but it hasn’t stopped it from being a good investment option. When consistency is in-play, the ROI on buying a house regularly outperforms the stock market.

This simple truth is what brought about the emergence of buy to let investors. The knock on effect is an increase in the demand for houses.

The UK has now become a haven for rich people around the world to keep their money. One of the ways to keep money is to invest in valuable assets like real estate.

London especially is a chosen location for foreign nationals like Russians and Arabs to name a couple. This is the reason why the price of houses in London have skyrocketed in the last few years.

And, a lot of UK residents who are close to retirement or planning for retirement look to properties as part of their retirement plan. They get into buy-to-let which is a good investment.

Buy-to-Let is considered by many as a less risky and reasonably safe investment option. People investing in buy-to-let do create competition in the property market in the UK and this has a significant effect on the price of properties.

British homeownership mindset

Ever heard of the phrase ‘an English man’s home is his castle.’ This is really true because British people are obsessed with homeownership.

If you compare the UK to other European countries like France and Germany, there is a big difference in peoples attitude to homeownership.

While people are quick to think about owning a home as soon as they can afford it, this is different in other European countries. In other European countries, they are happy to rent a house or apartment than to commit to borrowing money to buy a house.

Final Thought

It’s truly amazing that given the increased price of buying a house in the UK, many people still prefer this option. But can we say it’s as a result of the high cost of renting a house? Or does it have more to do with a cultural shift in the mindset of UK citizens towards owning a house.

Either way, the expensive nature of housing isn’t without its disadvantages as future rise in house price to earnings ratio is a cause for concern.

This means people will most likely take larger mortgages which will surely affect the standard of living.

While there isn’t an immediate concern about the rise of housing cost, it is surely a concern for the future.

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