My tips for saving for your first home

Getting on that ladder!

In November I will be three years in my house, I know from chatting to some of you on Instagram/snapchat that some of you are dreaming of buying your first/second home and I want to share my top tips for saving up for your deposit for your dream home. 

Let me start off by saying
"Don't let anybody tell you that you can't,
 That you are too young, 
Don't earn enough and won't be able to buy on your own
 because if I can do it so can you",




I was 25 when I purchased my house, after saving and working hard I was able to buy my home by myself, unfortunately I had more people doubting me than supporting me but nothing beat the feeling when i got my keys and I gave them all a big two fingers and an "I told you I could do it". 
I don't have a massive salary, the bank gave me a mortgage by myself at the age of 25 so don't let them doubters try and turn you off, if its your dream then you will work your arse off to get it.

So I want to share my tips for saving and what I did to get my deposit up. 

Talk to a savings advisor and come up with a plan. 
I had a lovely lady who helped me in my local bank, each year I would review how much I had saved and decide if I wanted to increase/decrease the amount I was saving. 
I highly recommend setting up your savings to come out by direct debit and putting them in a notice account so its hard to access your savings to avoid you from dipping into your hard saved cash. 
At first I started saving €500 a month and then I gradually increased it so I was saving each month what I would be spending in a mortgage and bills. 
I chose to save with my bank but you can choose to save with a credit union/post office, whichever your happy with, I went with the bank as I told the savings advisor I wanted to buy a house and she was the most helpful in coming up with a plan. 


Move home or house share. 
The rent market in Ireland especially Dublin is extortionate, I have friends paying almost €1200 in rent for apartments. 
If possible and your parents are happy to help then trial moving home for a year to give your savings a boost.
If this isn't a solution then maybe rent a home with another couple so your dividing up that rent and you can use that extra bit of money to add to your savings. 
The reason I was able to save my deposit is because I lived at home, I was so tempted to move out and rent especially after my dad passed away but I knew if I persevered I would get my deposit up in no time. 
If you are buying with a partner you will be able to save for your deposit quicker with two incomes but don't worry if you are like me and buying alone, just allow your self more time to save. 



Sell your stuff.
For the final year before I purchased my home I had upped my savings to €950 a month, at the time this was almost half my monthly salary but I really wanted to quickly boost my savings so I would have more in my deposit. 
One of the things I used to do was sell my old dresses on second hand sites and I used to get an extra €100-€200 a month from doing it so set up that Depop account and start selling, I used that extra cash to fund nights out. 


Be realistic.
Don't save so much each month that you leave yourself crippled and not living your life. Save what you can manage and if you find yourself not lasting until payday then reduce the amount you save each month.
Be realistic with your time, give yourself a time frame of when you want to buy your home, it may be 2 years or even 5 years down the line so start looking at your finances and add up how much you can save each month in that time frame. 
I started saving from the age of 20, I still went on holidays and lived I just gave myself more time to save, so when the market changed to my favour I had my deposit ready to go. 

For first time buyers the new rule in Ireland by the central bank is a deposit of 10% up to a purchase price of €220,000 and 20% on the excess over €220,000.

For people purchasing their second home you need a 20% deposit.

This should give you a rough idea for how much of a deposit you need to save, also remember to save for extra fees like solicitor, stamp duty and surveryor fees. 

Be realistic with your location, dreaming of a first home by the sea in Greystones with a €800k price tag might leave you feeling deflated.
Take time to sit down and write down the type of house you want and the locations and areas you like. Think about the long term too, don't buy an apartment just to get on the ladder if you intend on having a large family as realisticly your going to be in your first home for at least 10 years so make sure it meets your future needs as well as your present ones. 
Even though I was young at 25 buying I knew that I didn't want an apartment, I made sure that the home I bought ticked all my boxes and that I could comfortable live in it in the future too, wether I fill it with cats or kids I have enough space to do it. 

Also don't buy a house because its cheap if your going to be commuting each day for hours to work, yes you might be able to buy a beautiful 4 bed house in Drogheda but if your going to have to commute to Dublin city center each day for the next 20 years you need to weigh that up and see if this is practial for you.



Speak with a mortgage adviser.
Whilst saving I made an appointment with a mortgage adviser to get a rough idea of how much money they would give me, this gave me an idea of how much of a deposit I needed to save, also don't be disheartened with them online mortgage calculators as when I went into the bank in person I got more than what the online calculator quoted. 
Get quotes off different banks, Bank of Ireland offered me the most, some banks wouldn't give me a loan and some offered me pennies, this was really disheartening so keep trying. 
I bought in 2013 when it was harder to get a mortgage from banks so persevere.

Be patient.
The market my not be in your favour right now but be patient, when I was buying the prices were at their lowest to homes were getting snapped up by cash buyers and they were going sale agreed quickly, don't get panicked. 
I remember driving to Enfield to view a house that was in my budget as I panicked and though I would never get a house, thankfully I didn't buy it and one came up in my area and I was able to snap it up. 
Be patient and stick to your plan.

Get rid of them loans.
If you can't afford it don't buy it, this was a phrase my Dad always used, I remember buying my first car, it was €500, it was an absolute banger but It was mine, I could of easily got a loan for €5k to buy a car but I chose not to. 
When applying for your mortgage and if you have any large loans when they stress test your income it may mean you not getting approved. So if you plan on applying for that mortgage in the next year then start clearing them loans. 



Don't feel pressured. 
Wether your 25, 35 or even 55 you may decide not to even purchase a home and you may decide to rent instead and move around, this is perfectly fine, I chose to buy because of my personal circumstances and I like the thoughts of not having to worry about rent when I got older. 

I hope these tips have helped you, I would love to hear if you have any tips to add and I wish you all the best in your journey to getting your home. 

Chat soon,
Catherine.

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7 comments

  1. Such a good post! Fair play to ya getting on the property ladder so young, cray! Xo

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  2. Great post. Brilliant you got on the property ladder so young. Just goes to show you set any target and it can be achieved.

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    1. Thank you so much Carrie for reading! That really means a lot xxx

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  3. Such a good little read and good tips �� thank you! Im currently saving with my other half its hard now but it will be sooo worth it!! Thanks ��

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, very best of luck in getting your house. It really really is so worth it when they hand you them keys X

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