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‘We went on TV to help us get buy a home – here’s what we learned’

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It’s fair to say the housing market doesn’t always seem like the most welcoming place… 

With budgets already under strain, saving a deposit is often a challenge – while industry jargon can make the process of applying for a mortgage seem complicated and confusing. 

Bec, 35, and Sam, 30, are just one of many couples wanting to buy their first home, but feeling unsure of where to start. 

So, when they were offered the chance to star on a new Channel 4 YouTube series that would help them understand their options for getting onto the property ladder, they leapt at the chance. 

Bec, 35,and Sam, 30, jumped at the chance to star on a new Channel 4 YouTube series that would help them understand their options for getting onto the property ladder

The married couple meet property guru Tayo Oguntonade, who – alongside a friendly expert at Skipton Building Society – helps them work out what kind of property they could afford and how to go about buying it.

‘We went into the process not knowing a lot – we hadn’t had any meetings with mortgage providers and weren’t sure of our budget,’ Bec says. 

‘The main area I struggled with was the jargon. I’d done a bit of research here and there, but I felt like there was a lot of complicated language that I didn’t understand.’

The pair who run a comedy sketch channel (@bamcomedyuk) and work as content creators, rented a flat in London before moving in with Bec’s parents in Herne Bay, Kent, to help them save money towards a deposit.

In the first episode of Make Your Move (the first of three from the broadcaster) Tayo takes a close look at their spending and analyses their finances. 

The couple spend 24 hours in a similar home to one they could one day afford to buy

They earn a good income as content creators and have some savings, but have been struggling to put money away, preferring to spend cash on meals out in London, as well as other expenses.

Sam says Bec enjoys spending money while he is ‘more of a saver’, adding: ‘I got annoyed at her once for booking a fancy meal without telling me.’ 

After assessing the couple’s savings and how much they could be able to borrow for a mortgage, Tayo set about finding a home that meets the couple’s requirements – a two-bedroom house in the nearby arty seaside town of Folkestone.

While most people only take a few minutes to view a property before deciding whether to buy it, Sam and Bec actually moved in for 24 hours to find out what it was really like to live in a place of their own. 

‘I felt really excited – it was exactly what we’d want from a home,’ says Bec. 

‘There was a second bedroom where we could set up our green screen and lighting for filming and a dining room where we could film our game play content.’

Property guru Tayo Oguntonade put the pair through their paces

To help make their ambition a reality, Tayo booked Bec and Sam an appointment with Skipton Building Society mortgage expert Umera Patel, who ran them through their options.

While they went in with little idea where to start, the chat left them feeling more confident of their next steps. 

‘We feel empowered to start viewing properties within our budget with the confidence that we could put in an offer and get accepted,’ Bec says. 

‘We’ve been scouring property websites and we’ve even been in contact with some estate agents to arrange our first viewings.

‘We now know we have lots of options going forward and feel really positive that our own home is well within our reach.’

Bec and Sam met with Skipton Building Society mortgage expert Umera Patel, who ran them through their options
After meeting with Umera, Bec says: ‘We now know we have lots of options going forward and feel really positive that our own home is well within our reach.’

Asked for the one main thing she took away from her discussions with Tayo and Umera, Bec cites the importance of keeping an eye on their budgeting. 

‘I learned to start watching our spending so that our outgoings don’t look so extravagant when a mortgage provider wants to see our bank statements,’ she says. 

‘I’d urge first time buyers to start saving and, if possible, put £4,000 a year in a Lifetime ISA, to make the most of the 25% government bonus available – as long as they’re not looking to buy within 12 months. Otherwise, there’s a government withdrawal charge to pay.’

Seems like the meeting with Skipton Building Society paid off!

For Sam, the experience proved the importance of asking for help so you can understand the process of buying a home and explore your options. 

He says: ‘I’d tell my friends to get mortgage advice and speak to people who have bought a home. Pick their brains!’

So will the couple follow Tayo’s advice and put his plan into action?

Watch the full episode of Make Your Move at skipton.co.uk/Make-Your-Move to find out!



Three things that could help you buy your first home

Umera Patel, a mortgage expert for Skipton Building Society explains the different kinds of mortgages available

Umera Patel, a mortgage expert for Skipton Building Society has been helping people get on (and climb) the property ladder for nine years and says there are lots of misconceptions around buying a home and getting a mortgage. 

‘You’d be surprised how many people put off applying for a mortgage,’ she says. ‘People have this idea that it’s a really scary process and they need to be fully armoured for it, when it really needn’t be.’ 

Here she explains some of the options available through Skipton Building Society and why they might be right for you.

1. Income Booster 

The Income Booster from Skipton Building Society is a joint mortgage. It allows you to add up to three extra people onto a mortgage, without making them a legal owner of the property. 

Experts will factor in all their incomes during the application, which could allow you to borrow more than if you were taking out a mortgage on your own. All borrowers then share the legal responsibility for paying the mortgage. 

Umera says: ‘This is an amazing scheme for people who are perhaps in entry level roles at work, aren’t employed full time, struggling to get a pay rise or just want to get into a bigger home quicker.’

‘You’d be surprised how many people put off applying for a mortgage,’ says Umera. ‘People have this idea that it’s a really scary process, when it really needn’t be.’ 

2. Track Record

If you’ve paid all rent for 12 months in a row, within the last 18 months, you may be able to buy with a low deposit – or even no deposit at all – by getting a Track Record Mortgage from Skipton Building Society.

You must be aged 21 or over and have no missed payments on debts or credit commitments in the last 6 months. The product is not available if you are buying a new build flat or a property in Northern Ireland.

Umera says: ‘The Track Record Mortgage we offer at Skipton Building Society has changed lives. I’m talking real life, groundbreaking, life changing stories.

‘You’ll need a deposit of less than 5%. You could even be a homeowner with a £0 down-payment. To date, Skipton Building Society has loaned £49million on the Track Record scheme to help stuck renters get into their own homes.’

3. Lifetime ISA

To get your savings off to a great start, you can open a Lifetime ISA if you’re aged 18 to 39, and save up to £4,000 tax-free each year, up to and including the day before your 50th birthday. The Government pays a 25% bonus on top of your contributions up to a maximum of £1,000 a year. 

A Lifetime ISA may not be right for you if you require access before the age of 60, other than to purchase your first home. There are restrictions around when you can take out your money without having to pay a 25% government withdrawal charge, so you could get back less than you paid in.

Umera says: ‘If you’re a first time buyer looking to buy a home with a purchase price of up to £450,000, you should definitely consider whether a Lifetime ISA could be suitable for you.’

You could lose your home if you don’t keep up your mortgage repayments.

Find out more at skipton.co.uk/make-your-move





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