If you’ve been following me in the last year or so, you’ll know I’ve just bought my first property. It’s been a terrifying and exciting process. It was a big ‘adulting’ milestone and if I’m being honest, I’ve never felt so much like a kid throughout it.
I had been living in London for about six years in house shares with these kinds of people:
- One girl who would get drunk and naked a lot
- A guy who would throw out plates and glasses instead of washing them (Not that he ever bought them either!)
- Someone (we’ve never worked out who) would leave a rug of body hair in the bath and not clean it up.
Tell you what, if you ever see me on the street, I’ll dish you out the real gossip on my past housemates as most of it is strictly NSFW (or my blog).
I got to the point that I knew I couldn’t do it too much longer, but we stayed there because we were saving up for a deposit on a flat.
We really wanted to buy in London (well I say ‘we’, my boyfriend would have preferred to buy in Surrey), but in my head (and yeah, this might be naive), if I could get on the property ladder in London, my financial future would be rosy.
Well anyway, here’s the problem – we needed to come up with a seriously massive deposit. The funny thing about home ownership is that often mortgage payments are cheaper than renting – it’s the initial deposit that’s an absolute nightmare to come up with.
My boyfriend had some money saved from his grandmother, we’d been saving SERIOUSLY for a long time but it wasn’t enough. Luckily, my parents offered to help us out with our deposit and give us some money. Without their help, there was no way of us getting on the housing ladder.
But I hear you – that’s alright for you eh? Your parents had spare money to give you. And yeah – I can’t deny that. I was very very lucky. I would like to point out (well, my mum would want you to know) – we weren’t super rich. I’m no daughter or a Lord and Lady. My dad was a steelworker and worked all the god given hours to help us out.
Lots of parents just don’t have the money to help out. So can your parents help out in other ways if they don’t have cash spare? Well yeah, definitely. For example, my best friend’s parents were just not able to help her out with her deposit, but – they let her live at home, rent free – giving her time to save up for a deposit. That £600 a month that would have gone to a landlord, went into the savings pot instead. Without that helping hand, she wouldn’t have her own home now.
I suppose if you’re a parent who wants to help their kids get on the property ladder, but in a way that doesn’t include giving money – it’s all about relieving the day to day costs your kids have to help them save up.
Again, my parents would look after my sister’s children when she was in work so she didn’t have to fork out for expensive childcare and put that money towards a deposit.
God, I think about all those times I’d go to mum and dad’s to get a free meal because I was skint thanks to all my saving.
Writing about personal finance in the last six years or so means I’ve heard the phrase, ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ a lot. I don’t love it to be honest – because mums and dads are so much more than that, and so many of them don’t have spare cash to go around. They do amazing things all the time to help their kids out.
If you have had/or are having help from your parents or grandparents (well anyone really!) – check out the Post Office’s Gratitude Bank. You could win £1000 if you say ‘thanks’!
*Collaborative post with the Post Office*