For A Young Couple That Have To Sell Their Home

How to own a home by the age of 25

For A Young Couple That Have To Sell Their Home

By Cherry Wilson BBC News

Image copyright Mark Hepburn Image caption Mark Hepburn and his partner Laura bought a house with a 5% deposit

Owning a home by the age of 25 has become an unachievable dream for many over the last two decades.

Soaring property prices mean just one in five 25-year-olds own a property, compared to nearly half two decades ago, according to one recent study.

But as the government unveils its Housing White Paper, there are some young people who have managed to buck the trend – without help from the bank of mum and dad.

Here four young homeowners – all couples – who bought properties in 2016 – reveal just how they did it.

Mark and Laura

Name: Mark Hepburn, age 23. A debt collector on £18,500 a year

Lives with: Partner Laura Starkie, age 25. An accountant on £20,000 a year

Location: Oldham, Greater Manchester

House price: £125,000 for a three bedroom semi-detached house

Deposit: £6,250 (5%) with the Help to Buy mortgage scheme (which ended in December)

Why buy a property?

We were sick of living at home with each of our parents and wanted our own space. I'd rather live in a house than just a bedroom. We discussed moving out and renting, but we both agreed it was dead money.

How did you do it?

There was a lot of budgeting. I literally know where every penny goes. I had to drill it into Laura a little bit, but she got used to it after a while. her make-up – she had to go for a cheaper brand. We were both working at McDonald's when we were saving and if there were extra shifts, we would take them.

Image copyright Mark Hepburn Image caption Mark and Laura say they had to change their lifestyle in order to save money to buy their home

Did you make any sacrifices?

There was definitely a lifestyle change when we were saving. We would buy supermarket budget stuff instead of brands. We didn't go on holiday during the time we were saving up – and that was a massive thing for Laura.

How does it feel to be a home owner?

I feel ridiculously happy. I feel proud and our friends are too because they know we worked extremely hard for it. Once you get there, you don't need to worry as much.

What if you need to move?

I recently went for a job in Bolton, which is not that close to where we are now. The salary was £27,000 per year, but I wouldn't move house for that. It would have to be significantly higher to consider jobs away from where we are now.

Image copyright Mark Hepburn Image caption Mark says you need to watch your money if you want to save up to buy a home

Reaction from friends?

I can't count how many times our friends have asked us how we've done it. We just explain you need to save, watch your money and cut back. They're happy for us and we are just trying to get it into them not to leave it too long and to start saving.

Should more young people be able to buy a home?

I have got mixed opinions. When Laura and I were at McDonald's we were on a combined salary of £23,000 and we managed to save up £7,000 between us within a year.

So I don't see how people can't do it. But then we don't have any kids. The Help to Buy mortgage scheme was a God-send.

But if you're stopping something that's so good and helping young people, it's going to cause mayhem.

Ruby and Sam

Image copyright Ruby Willard Image caption Ruby and Sam have bought a two-bedroom terraced house

Name: Ruby Willard, age 22. A recruitment consultant on £19,000 a year plus commission

Lives with: Partner Sam Bardell, age 22. An engineer on £24,000 a year plus overtime

Location: Havant, Hampshire

House price: £182,200 for a two-bedroom terraced house

Deposit: £18,220 (10%) with the Help to Buy Isa

Why buy a property?

It was a case of living at home. I moved back into the box room of my mum's house and I hated it. Sam lived with his parents too so we thought if we can, let's do it – so we decided to save and go for it. We were looking at renting but to us it was throwing away money.

How did you do it?

Being quite tight is probably the answer. When we decided we were going to buy, I thought I'm not going to spend money elsewhere when I don't need to. We did still have a nice holiday to Greece. I get commission and Sam gets overtime so we probably earn £55,000 overall, which meant we were in a position we could borrow maybe more than people on minimum wage.

Image copyright Ruby Willard Image caption The couple's home cost £182,200 and they saved up a 10% deposit

Did you make any sacrifices?

We may have not had such a big social life. We still did things, but we were conscious. What I did was save what I knew I needed to save, and lived on whatever I had left – which was usually about £200 a month. I wasn't buying lunch at work, which would save about £25 a week.

How does it feel to be a home owner?

It was weird at first. When we got the keys it was “are we on holiday?” When things started to come together it felt such an achievement. Everything we had chosen not to do, not going to the cinema one night, helped towards it.

What if you need to move?

We would be open to the idea, but we would probably look for work closer to where we bought a house, so it probably would affect future decisions. If we did decide we wanted to go somewhere else, we would probably look to sell the house and hopefully we will have made some money on it.

Image copyright Ruby Willard Image caption Ruby says owning her own home feels “such an achievement”

Reaction from friends?

It's been quite positive. I have got friends that have bought houses, but a lot of them have had big lump sums of money given to them.

Should more young people be able to buy a home?

Neither of us completed three years at university, so we probably established a career path earlier than those that do go. I speak to a lot of people that have graduated, and they cannot find jobs that will allow them to borrow enough. It takes years to save a deposit, and then house prices go up and they can't borrow enough. I think this is how it is now.

You might also …

Andrew and Kirsty

Image copyright Andrew Douglas Image caption The couple have been told they are “adulting hard” because they have bought a home

Name: Andrew Douglas, age 23. A social worker on £31,000 a year

Lives with: Partner Kirsty Lamb, age 24. A pharmacist on £35,000 a year

Location: Moredun, Edinburgh.

House price: £145,000 for a two-storey terraced house with two bedrooms

Deposit: £21,750 (15%) with the Help to Buy Isa

Why buy a property?

We decided we wanted to get on the property ladder as quickly as possible. If we get on it now, we would be able to buy what we want by the time we are older and looking to have a family.

How did you do it?

We started saving at the beginning of 2015 and were probably saving between £400 and £500 a month each. We did go on a couple of holidays, so although we've been saving, we've still been living. We weren't scrimping, but we do only spend about £30 a week on food. We check receipts and look for the best deals, so that is more thrifty than most people.

Image copyright Andrew Douglas Image caption Andrew and his partner saved around £400 a month each for their deposit

Did you make any sacrifices?

We spoke about going away for three weeks to somewhere Australia, but we thought – it's going to cost £2,000 each and we can put that towards the house now rather than waiting a few extra months.

How does it feel to be a home owner?

It feels strange. It does feel quite a lot of responsibility – I didn't realise how much. Things taking out mortgage protection. Our friends call it “adulting hard”. They're renting and not really thinking about owning a place and they're “wow, you've bought a house”.

Reaction from friends?

Lots of people think it's really good, other people say they're nowhere near that stage. I don't know if they're thinking I'm growing up too fast. It's generally been positive. I don't know anyone who has done it without a partner, so I think it would be difficult to do it on your own.

Image copyright Andrew Douglas Image caption Andrew and Kirsty bought their home with a 15% deposit

What if you need to move?

With a big move we might give it a trial, and rent out this house while we lived somewhere else.

Should more young people be able to buy a home?

I do think people complain they can't afford to buy a house but they go out every weekend, they smoke or they eat out all the time.

But property prices have also shot up in the last 20 years with more people buying second homes. There are also people who don't want to have the responsibility.

I think it's good that the government is helping with Help to Buy schemes and it needs to do more to help first-time buyers.

Rebecca and Adam

Image copyright Rebecca Thompson Image caption Rebecca bought a three-bedroom home with her boyfriend Adam in Irlam, Greater Manchester

Name: Rebecca Thompson, aged 23. An information analyst on £21,900 a year.

Lives with: Adam Drinkwater, aged 25. A bank administrator on £16,500 a year.

Location: Irlam, Greater Manchester

House price: £126,500 for a three-bedroom semi-detached house

Deposit: £6,300 (5%) with the Help to Buy mortgage scheme and Isa

Why buy a property?

We lived in a rental flat together for 18 months and realised that the amount we were paying in rent was more or less the same as we would be paying with a mortgage. When we were renting there were a lot of things we couldn't do, decorate or move anything around.

How did you do it?

It was difficult. I was working part-time in my final year at university so I saved my entire wage and lived off my student loan, which wasn't much. We didn't go on holiday that year and saved as much as we could.

Image copyright Rebecca Thompson Image caption Their home cost £126,500 with a 5% deposit

Did you make any sacrifices?

We came straight from university, where you're living on a bit of a shoe-string anyway, so we probably sacrificed but not realised, because we've not been enjoying the extra income we've had since graduating. We would have probably gone on some more holidays or gone out more and probably bought a few more clothes.

How does it feel to be a home owner?

It's brilliant. I feel it's a really secure base while I'm going on to develop my career. It's one less thing. A lot of people are aiming towards saving a deposit while I've got past it.

What if you need to move?

It would be really difficult, and it's definitely an attraction for staying where I am. In my career there are a lot of opportunities down south, but I wouldn't want to entertain it because of the house prices. It would take us five times longer to save up a deposit, and the amount of income you need to get for a mortgage is totally unobtainable for the average graduate.

Image copyright Rebecca Thompson Image caption Rebecca says there needs to be more affordable housing

Reaction from friends?

Some live in a more expensive area and I think they were surprised. It's not something that's on a lot of people's radar, owning a home at this age. Particularly if you're not in a relationship, I don't think it is affordable.

Should more young people be able to buy a home?

I think cultures have changed a bit. When my parents were growing up, their parents drilled into them 'sort yourself a house, get married and that's when your life begins'.

Now there's not as much of an emphasis. I think homes do need to be more affordable.

It's silly that the town where we live in, a lot people can afford to buy – whereas only as far south as Birmingham no-one can afford to buy a house earning what we do.

First-time buyers: The numbers

  • The average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is 30, says lender Halifax
  • The deposit paid by first-time buyers was on average more than 20% of the property price in 2014
  • The cost of a home for a first-time buyer was 4.5 times their annual income in 2014
  • The median income for a first-time buyer household in England was £43,000 in 2014/15 – £16,000 more than all households
  • Nearly a third had help from friends and family for their deposit
  • The average price of a UK home was £217,928 in November 2016 – 6.7% higher than the previous year

Source: ONS, Department for Communities and Local Government, Land Registry

Where can I afford to live?

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Leaving Home… a teenage dilemma

For A Young Couple That Have To Sell Their Home

    “An Englishman's home is his castle”; so says an old proverb. “Home” is perhaps the most important thing in a person's life – “home sweet home”, as they say. Yet in Britain's teenage culture, home has long been seen as a place to leave, rather than a place to live.

And while the age of independence is, for many young people, becoming later and later, the desire for independence is developing at a younger and younger age.

    Leaving home for the first time has always been a difficult turning point in life; today the difficulties are perhaps greater than ever before.

Click here to show vocabulary guide

(If the vocabulary guide does not show up (some smartphones), see guide at foot of this page)

Section 1      Background.


    Almost every 16-year old has thought about leaving home.
Many teens dream about leaving home: but the reality can often be much harder than they imagine.     Many have been thinking about it, off and on, for years; some have been dreaming of independence since they were twelve, or even younger.

Leaving home is part of the teenage dream.
   Recently, a survey of “Young People's Social Attitudes” asked British teenagers for their opinions about leaving home.

Forty-nine per cent of 12-15 year olds thought that teenagers should be allowed to leave home at the age of 16; another 12% said 17, and 8% said “when they want”.

Only 23% of young teenagers thought that they should be obliged to live at home until they were 18!
    Yet the teenage dream seems to conflict with the experience of real life; when the same question was put to 18 and 19-year olds, almost half replied that teenagers should not leave home before the age of 18.

    Nevertheless, leaving home is part of the process of growing up. Many teenagers leave to go and study or train or look for a job in a different town or city, returning home when the money runs out. Others leave because they just want to get out. Most, specially younger ones, are happy to go home again later; for a small number, leaving home is a definitive break.


     Every year,  thousands of young people in Britain leave home in search of a better or more exciting life; many of them go to London, attracted by the bright lights, the night life, the youth scene and the hope of finding work.

    16-year olds who leave school with few or no qualifications find it very hard to get jobs; indeed, in some British cities, particularly in the North, finding work is almost impossible for unqualified people, specially young people.

London, however, has less unemployment and more jobs; and though no one imagines that the streets of the capital are “paved with gold” (as in the legend), many teenagers make their way to the capital, hoping to set up a new home of their own.

    Though there are indeed more jobs in London than in most other cities, they are not always good jobs, and the the dream of leaving home and finding a job often turns out to be just that; a dream.     Many return home; some become homeless.

    Homelessness is not a new problem, and there are many associations that help homeless people to find somewhere to live. And although, overall, less people keep coming to London in search of a new life, the number of young people doing so has gone up sharply; their reasons for coming have changed too.

   London's biggest homeless charity, Centrepoint, reported that causes of homelessness among teenagers have changed ; instead of leaving home because of “pull factors” (the attraction of London, the hope of a job) more and more young people now leave home because of “push factors”, victims of broken homes, poverty or physical aggression.

    It's all part of our changing society. In 1961, only about 5% of children (about half a million children) in Britain lived in single-parent families; in 2013, 22% of children, that is three million children, lived in single-parent families. Single-parent families are generally poorer than traditional families.
    Even teenagers with caring parents and lovely homes dream of leaving home. Kids in poor or aggressive homes dream too; in their situation, it's not surprising that they may want to make their dreams come true.

Section 2      Teenagers speak.


“Home’s O.K!” says Simon. “In fact, as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best place to be, even if you can’t always do what you want!! If you live at home, you’ve got to obey a few rules, that’s obvious; but my parents are quite tolerant really! I s’pose it’d be different if they tried to lock me up or something, but they don’t. It’s a matter of respect.. They leave me to it; that way everyone’s happy! Besides, it’s much easier living at home if you can. You get your meals cooked and your washing done for you; and it’s far cheaper than living on your own! I’ll move out when I go to university, but I’ll come home in the vacation. Why not: It’s home, after all, isn’t it?”


    It was one evening in April that Sarah decided to leave home. It was not that she disd her home; not even that she had a lot of arguments with her parents. As a family, everyone got on quite well together; but in the small Dorset town of Crewkerne, there wasn't exactly a lot to do. Besides, Sarah didn't actually live in Crewkerne, but in a village where there was even less to do. She was fed up with school too. Though she had done quite well in her GCSE exams, she had not chosen the right subjects for “A” level and had become disillusioned.     Her parents d the village life; her father, a businessman, was always travelling, and enjoyed coming back at weekends to the peace of  Dorset; her mother had a part-time job in the town. Her elder brother was away at university, her 14-year old sister was, in Sarah's words, “a nuisance”.

    “I just wanted to get out,” says Sarah. “I felt too cooped up; and it was so boring. So I decided to come up to London. For the time being I'm selling beads, but I'm looking for a proper job too.”

    Sarah is one of the lucky ones. Her parents are giving her an allowance until she finds a job, and she lives with two other girls in a flat in Hampstead. She's artistic, she doesn't smoke or take drugs, and can talk intelligently. She'll probably get a job quite quickly.     “I'm glad I left home,” she says; “I'm 18 now, and I'm in charge of my own life. I go home quite often; but I prefer living my own life.”


    Darren claims that he was pushed his home.

    “I lived with my mum and two brothers in Bedford, but I couldn't stand it any more. My mum didn't have a job, and she was always yelling at us. I was in care for three years. Then I went back to live with my mum. In the end I just decided to quit. I don't want to go back; not for a while, anyway.”
    For the last year, Darren has been living in a hostel for the homeless, and at the moment he's doing a training course, to become a builder.
    “There's plenty of work in the building trade in London right now,” he says, “So I should get a job quite easily. Then I'll get myself a proper place to live. I'd to have my own place. A proper home of my own, so as to speak. I can't say I've really ever had a home before.”
Section 3      Living at school.
    Often in Britain, it is parents who send their children to make a new home, away from home. At school.
    For hundreds of years, “boarding schools” have played an important part in British life.
    Not for everyone, of course; far from it. But boarding schools are part of middle class culture, especially in the south of England, where almost 30% of all 17-year olds in secondary schools are in fee-paying independent schools.     Many parents (and grand parents) save money for years, in order to be able to send their children to boarding school.

    “My dad worked as a flying instructor in Saudi Arabia for ten years,” explains Nikki. “He saved as much as he could, to send me and my sister to a good school. He could have spent it on other things; for instance he could have bought a big BMW,  but we've had the same car for five years, a VW, and it was second-hand when we bought it.”

    According to classic images, boarding schools are spartan places, with cold dormitories and strict rules; but the image is no longer true.     “I started boarding when I was 14,” says William; “The worst thing about it was the first few weeks, when it was all new and strange. But now I feel much more independent.     I coming home for hols, but I it at school too. It's not it used to be, with big cold dorms and corporal punishment! You've got to obey the rules, of course; but that's part of life!”         For young people who cannot “go away” to school, university offers the chance of breaking free.     While in many parts of Europe students tend to study at universities and colleges close to home, the British tradition is very different.

    “I certainly wouldn't have wanted to go to college in my home town,” says Tom. “One of the great things about going to university is that you get away from home! Universities recruit nationally, and when you apply, you usually apply to several different universities. You choose your universities for the courses they offer, not because they're near your home.

    I go home to see my parents in the holidays, but that's all. As far as I'm concerned, I've left home now. I certainly wouldn't want to go back home at weekends! That's when everything happens!” Click here to show vocabulary guide

Alternative word guide

A levels: exams taken at the end of secondary school – allowance: some money – apply: be a candidate –
: cheap coloured stones – besides : also – board: to live at school 24 hrs a day  – a break : a complete change – broken home: a broken family – in care: looked after by the local social services – caring: who love and help their children – charity: organisation which helps people – claim : say – conflict with: contrast with – cooped up: restricted, shut in – definitive: permanent, complete – disillusioned: she had lost her hopes, lost her dreams – enjoyed: d – ever-increasing: continually growing – fed up with : tired of, unhappy with – –
fee: money – GCSE: national exams taken at the age of about 16 – grow up: become an adult – hostel: home –
: example – off and on: from time to time – overall: in general – process: system, routine –
: lines, numbers – recruit: attract students – runs out : finishes – second-hand: not new – seek: to look for – single: just one – spartan: without any luxury – survey: study – s'pose : suppose, imagine – trade: profession – unemployment: absence of jobs, people without any work – yell: shout – youth scene: the clubs, meeting places and other things that attract young people –

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Home or homeless?

Find words or expressions in the article that mean
1. To look for ………………………………. 2. Teenagers who are sixteen years old  ………………………………. 3. Who go to London  ………………………………. 4. The fact of having nowhere to live. …………… 5. Families with just one parent  …………………….

………… Read the article under the heading then say whether these statements are true or faIse.. 1. Sarah got on very badly with her parents. T/ F 2. Sarah did not do too badly at school. T/ F 3. Both of Sarah's parents were away at work all day. T/ F 4. Sarah is older than her brother and sister. T/ F 5.

Sarah does not want to continue selling beads for much longer. T/ F 6. Sarah is homeless. T/ F 7. She ought to �?nd a proper job quite easily. T/ F 8. She has not seen her parents since leaving home last April. T/ F Dave's Dog…. Dave wrote down some sentences about boarding school and university in Britain on a sheet of paper.

Unfortunately, his dog found the sheet of paper, and chewed out the middle! Can you help Dave by rewriting the middle part of each sentence, using information from the article!  1. Nikki‘s dad ………………………………………………………………………………….  …………………………. …………………………………….

…..�?ve years ago. 2. William did not ……………………………………………………………………..  at boarding school.  3. British students …………………………………………………………………… close to home. 4. Although Tom ………………………………………………………………………………

 ……………………………………………………………Edinburgh. 5; Tom comes ……………………………………………………………………………………   ………………………………………………………………………….see him.

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