5 Tips for First Time Buyers trying to save a mortgage deposit


For first time buyers, the idea of saving possibly tens of thousands of pounds for a deposit for a mortgage for buying a house is understandably mind-boggling. Even saving a minimum 5% deposit for, for example, a property valued at £150,000 would amount to more than £9,000.

This article examines gives you the tips you need to save for a deposit on your first home.

1. Get out of debt; overdrafts and credit cards particularly

Overdrafts, credit cards and payday loans represent extremely expensive money. It is self-defeating to attempt to save if you are - as you would be - paying a higher interest rate on debt owed than you are receiving from your savings product.

As a general rule, pay these debts off, then look at saving. 


2. Put money into a Cash ISA and/or a Help to Buy ISA

If you can leave your savings untouched for at least a year, you can benefit from tax-free guaranteed interest if you take out a Cash New Individual Savings Account or Cash NISA. These, incidentally, have replaced ISAs.

You can invest a bespoke sum every year. You have to invest by 5 April, the end of the tax year, for it to count for the whole year following. Every year, you get the extra £15,000 possible saving capacity tax-free so this allowance can accumulate nicely over a few years.

You need to be a UK resident aged 16 or more to qualify. You can remove the money but, once removed, you won't be able to add the money back to take advantage of the original tax-free allowance you received when you first invested.

There are two types of NISA, the other type being an Investment, or Stocks and Shares NISA. Because there are no guaranteed returns on Investment NISAs - returns depend on the changing value of stocks and shares, which may go down - we are not including them in this guide, out of caution.

Fixed interest savings certificates are also tax-free, with guaranteed, fixed rates of interest, as their title suggests. They have similarities to NISAs but normally offer higher rates of return.

They are, however, generally only available for longer-term periods and frequently the money is locked up for five years. (Minimum investment £100, maximum £15,000). They are also rarely issued, unlike Cash NISAs. 

Help to Buy ISAs are due to be rolled out in the forthcoming future and represent a targeted form of saving. You will be able to save a maximum £12,000 purely towards a deposit for buying a house for which the Government will give you a maximum of £3,000 additionally towards this. First-time-buyers-electoral-roll.png


3. Rent a cheaper place or move back home

While appreciating that you may be have to see out a contract with a landlord, if you are a first time buyer hoping to buy, it is definitely worthwhile considering downsizing while you assemble your assets for getting a mortgage and buying. After all, you hope to benefit ultimately from your own bricks and mortar!

If it is at all an option, moving back in with understanding parents is a good strategy. Some 4 million under-35s in the UK are doing it for various reasons anyway - mainly because of the prohibitive cost of most accommodation strategies. There should therefore be no great shame.

Your parents may let you live rent-free, may be prepared for you to do regular chores and jobs in lieu of paying rent or may at least charge you a far cheaper rent than a private landlord.  

4. Economise on spending habits wherever possible

Some ideas for this include making your own lunch for work at not shopping for food during work times.

For work travel, you could pool lifts, making a contribution to others' petrol; once again, this becomes better normally if you can share lift duties between more people. Consider walking or using a pushbike if possible.

It is probably 'teaching your grandmother to suck eggs' where the younger generation are concerned, but it is generally more cost-effective to shop online or at least research the net for the best deals prior to buying most goods.

You can no doubt think of other ways to economise that fit your own lifestyle. The more you focus on your goal, generally, the more ways will become apparent.

5. Share deposit and save half the time

Saving the full deposit on your own may be something that you might never be able to afford on your own. This is why so many first time buyers look to share buying with their friends or family. They can then share the deposit, the costs of buying and also the mortgage repayments.

Read more about how you can share a mortgage with friends or family


Join Share a Mortgage