Tag: firsttimebuyer

Home Owner at 21 – Part One: The Savings

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First of all I want to state that this isn’t a brag, yes i’m proud of what myself and john have achieved and want to share it but I in no means mean to boast about it. I’m writing this because I said I would be transparent in everyday life and not just the life portrayed online, which is all unicorn lattes and designer dresses. I have split this into two blog posts because its quite a long one and I think can be categorised into two sections: one being, the whole savings and the lead up to being able to make an offer for a mortgage and the second being the process of actually buying the house and the (horrific) struggle of securing it.

Buying a house is not easy, without a helping hand it is near to impossible, but I am going to share my journey at becoming a home owner at the age of 21 and as morbid as it sounds, but imma be honest (because it would be something id consider if I read this, probs cause i’m a psycho)  but no, no one had to die for me to inherit the money to buy a house. (There was many near deaths on my part during this ordeal but I can safely say no one died in the process of buying this house).

There has been a lot of news in the press about the fact that millennials nowadays are most likely never going to afford to get on the property ladder, and whilst this is vaguely true if we are stereotyping the sociological aspects of a millennial, not all young adults can be grouped by this.

In society teenagers and young adults have a typecast of living the #studentlife and whilst some people do like to ride the journey of being the labelled student, binge drinking the £1 shots every night, living out of the overdraft and relying on the words ‘I’m a student’ to justify the fact that your future is still unknown and make yourself feel better, that right now you are just enjoying life and don’t particularly have a plan. There are a vast growing majority of others who, whatever their circumstance or reasoning are having to think about supporting themselves and their families in the long run – in the right now. (I’m not saying that students don’t acknowledge their post uni life, i’m stating that in society it is stereotyped in that way.)

I have a lot of friends who, like myself, got small jobs to support themselves in their teenage years and I also have friends who haven’t worked a day in their life and focused on their education. Neither is right or wrong.

When I was turning 16 my parents forced me (quite literally would’ve dragged me if they had to) to get a Saturday job, and despite my reluctant tries at getting out of this, I ended up working at a children’s farm, in their café. If only I realised what a great job that was then, because I would be so happy to have that job now, working 6 hours amongst animals making coffee and having no pressure of anything, but yknow I was 16 and wanted to get drunk on a Friday night without the repercussions of having to get up at 7am the next day.

Since then I have worked various jobs, part time and full time in different areas of life, I didn’t go to sixth form and instead got an apprenticeship (one in which I have absolutely no use for now in life, may I add) and having been earning the dollar since 16.

It was only from around 18 that I decided to start putting little bits away, sometimes left over money at the end of the month would go into a savings account I had set up or the odd coins from a shift at the pub would go into a smash only money bank, where it was not too easy to get back to it.

I am gonna be transparent with you, I was not an introvert or a “bore”, almost every day in my late teens I would be out drinking and partying, spending money on cigarettes and overly priced burger van food and well, I can openly say I was not someone who saved money enough to let it ruin having a good time.

You don’t need to give up having a social life in order to save money. It may slow down the process in getting to your end goal, but it isn’t something that you have to forfeit just to save up what you want/need.

When I was 18 I worked 3 consecutive jobs, whilst living with ME and Crohns and maintaining a social life and enabling myself to put away a few extra pennies. I could not do this now because at the ripe age of 22 I’m a full blown grandma and my body cant even handle a once a month sesh, let alone a working one (but the progression of my medical issues are to blame for this). Monday to Friday , 10-4 I did my apprenticeship, then on Wednesdays and Fridays I would work 7 – close (note how from 4 – the start of my second job I would be in the pub because I always thought being a little merry to work made me work better, yes, I was an idiot) at my local bar. On Saturday nights and Sunday daytimes I would work for an events company, doing waitressing, wedding set ups, conferences and bar work. These were all in the same area in which I made all my friends and also did my socialising, so I was surrounded by the people I wanted to be with and earning money at the same time. However, in the long run I would not recommend doing this, the phrase ‘don’t shit where you eat’, comes to mind and this played a huge part in my undoing later in life (yes, its as dramatic as it sounds, haha).

I didn’t have a lot of outgoings, I was living with my parents and would pay them a small fee of £100 a month in rent, I had my phone bill of around £40 a month, my travel pass which was also £40 a month and then any non essentials (like a takeaway pizza or an unneeded pair of new pjs) I would pay for myself. My mom and dad still supplied me with the essentials that were household items, i.e, shampoo and conditioner, food that would be for a family meal and would treat me often to a new piece of clothing so I wouldn’t have to fork out for myself, so I lived a cushy life really. Because I was only earning around £500 a month in total it meant I had a decent amount left over every month after paying out what I needed to. I wouldn’t hold back on my spending, if I wanted to treat myself to a new top or the latest make up palette, I would do, however ive never really had majorly expensive tastes. Primark has and will always be my best friend but I can be persuaded by a Michael kors bag or god forbid I see something (EVERYTHING) in Oliver Bonas. Instead any (if any) money I had on my next pay day left over from the previous pay day I would then transfer that into my savings.

E.G:

If I received a £500 paycheck on the 6th of the month, on the 6th of the following month anything left from that original £500 (could be anything from £1 – £200, realistically) would go into another account and I would start fresh at £500 again. So the 6th of every month I had £500 in my account, no more, even if I hadn’t spent all of my previous £500. (Hopefully that makes sense)

*Because I worked separate jobs, pay days would vary but I would stick to one day in the month to round up and transfer any leftovers.

Since then, I have continued to live by the same rule, even now when I don’t have a permanent full time job I try to put away little bits that are leftover each time a new payment comes in. But instead of it being one day a month it is on a job by job basis now.

This is a slow building process but it allows that extra emergency money when you need it, whether it was to save up for a holiday or for a piece of furniture, that is the method I use in order to save up for those luxuries.

Now back to the less technical part after I’ve bored you all with finances…

I had always had this emergency money that would build up, be emptied and build up again and in January 2015 I left home to move in with my boyfriend John. John is older than myself (by a fair bit) and he already had an established career, he earnt over quadruple what I was earning (approx) and had the knowledge and wisdom that came with living life. He was renting a small two bedroom, two up, two down house in kings heath and I moved in with him there. He continued to pay the full rent but I would then pay other bills, the council tax, food shopping, and although our earnings were nowhere near equal we both looked after each other, I would pay what I could, where I could. John has never expected me to pay for something I cannot afford, he has never made me feel pressured because he earns a high wage and I cannot always maintain the same substantial amount every month to contribute but we work together and live comfortably and equally.

We had been living in this two bed house for around 6 months when things were becoming obviously a ‘waste of money,’ We could not refurbish or redecorate the house and little things were just pretty poor. The bathroom leaked and flooded everytime you had a shower, the floor was coming up and the kitchen units were not grouted or sealed in place correctly, meaning the walls were crumbling and the units were becoming mouldy. Don’t even get me started on the garden…

The cost of living in this house was extortionate, when you leave home for the first time, you know there are bills to pay that no one ever mentions or your parents don’t ever tell you they cover but you never fully realise until each day a new bill arrives. Its not just a cost of surviving, (rent, food, essentials, luxuries) its costs for things you don’t even realise you need (a tv licence, the electric bill, the wifi, the water, insurance.) Things I’d never even considered, I never even knew you had to pay for a tv licence, and the wifi I thought was paid by the magical broadband fairy. I thought water came from taps for free and I could turn on and off the lights or the heating as I pleased so when dad always followed us around switching everything back off I thought he was a mad man. But they cost money, sometimes A LOT of money.

All in all living in the 2 bed house was costing us over £1400 a month and what did we actually have? We had a nettle jungle and four plain white pebble dashed walls that we couldn’t touch. We didn’t own anything, we were paying that amount to simply live in someone else’s house and pay for the upkeep of their property. We also had some creepy neighbours who were controlled by their dog and didn’t speak to each other (but that’s a whole other story).

After a lot of conversations over too many ciders we came to the conclusion that we really needed to start saving up more a month and think about getting our own place, so in the long run our money was being put into something we could actually own. An investment. However how could we possibly save up enough money to put down a deposit on a house whilst still forking out enough to live in the meantime?

This is where our family have been incredible. And without them, it wouldn’t have been possible. We approached our families and suggested moving back home, we would cover our own expenses, give them some rent a month and live in their house with them until we could save up enough to move out again.

They crazily accepted, mom because she secretly wanted me back home (and couldn’t cook so was happy to have me back to cook her food for her, sorry mom but its true) and dad I don’t think really had a choice after mom had decided. So Monday to Friday me and john lived in my parents conservatory, which sounds lovely, but it was hard work. No nighttime, no silence, no privacy, we were sleeping in the middle of a glass room like animals on show at the circus. The adjustment to having to follow someone else’s rules again was frustrating, for myself and for my parents. I’d gotten used to buying and eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and now I was like a child again being told ‘don’t stay up too late you’ll be tired in the morning’ the standard parental lectures that ill soon be instilling on my child. On the weekends we would stop at John’s parents to give mine a bit of privacy and time to themselves.

We were now able to save up a larger amount each month and had decided that £1k a month minimum be put aside into savings to go towards buying a house. This theoretically was like continuing to pay our lifestyle back in kings heath, but instead of the money going into a private landlords pocket it was going into our own savings account.

We lived with this arrangement for 9 whole months, and that wasn’t the difficult part. The hard part of securing a mortgage, putting down the deposit and actually purchasing a house was the excruciating part.

 

End of Part one.

Make sure you are following the blog to be notified when part two is published and find out the struggle of actually buying a house as a young first time buyer.

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‘Not Social Media Perfect’

I’ve been trying to start a post for about a week now but I’m so easily distracted by the stupidest things I’ve somehow found hours past and yet no post written. I didn’t want ‘blogging’ to be a chore but as my Instagram and blog have progressed, it has become more of a business/money opportunity (which I am grateful for don’t get me wrong) and thus the hobby has turned into more of a job and well, we all know how shit I am at actually sticking at jobs…

However, 2017 offered me the amazing opportunity to turn my Instagram and blog into a small business and with that I have learned just how difficult it is to live in this ‘blogosphere, perfect lifestyle.’ I am pleased to have developed into the place I am now and hope I can continue to do what I enjoy doing, but I have to acknowledge and take my hat off to every other ‘blogger’ out there. Keeping up the ‘perfect social media life’ is more of a job than you expect it to be. You think it all sunshine and happiness, waking up to the perfect latte with an aesthetically pleasing pattern on the top and a bunch of flowers to place beside for a ‘just woke up’ Instagram shot. Followed by a brand-new delivery of clothing to wear for your ‘ootd’ and then a trip around the town snapping various locations and overpriced meals before you settle back down in some fluffy bed socks to post all about your amazing day on your brand new apple mac.  

Well in reality, it’s winter in England, and you know what that means? It means a disturbing lack of natural light followed by rain, rain, horrific wind and more rain. Any chance of a vibrant picture is a lot harder to recreate when you’re an amateur and mother nature doesn’t want you to go outside. As for the coffee, if I want it, I gotta make it myself so any attempt at a delicate latte art ends up looking like a mushed up version of luna’s turds, not to mention coffee gives me the shits anyway. And receiving promo products everyday? Nope, if you want something you gotta wait for days until you’re lucky enough to be noticed and then you have to spend a further week negotiating with them how you deserve more than a 10ml tester in return for a whole advertising package. The perfect social media life doesn’t exist, I for one wouldn’t class myself as a serious blogger, i don’t own an expensive DSLR, nor do I go location searching in a party outfit to get a good fashion shot and then spend another 5 hours editing it on photoshop because I cant deal with the bags under my eyes. But a lot of your favourite bloggers do. Turning a blog or an Instagram into a business is hard work, the whole con of making money on social media is the concept of illusion. Trying to make your life look amazing is the hardest job of all because nobody is perfect. I for one, am one of the laziest people I know, it is my biggest downfall and do you know how hard it is to complete a job when you’re lazy af? No, but seriously, if you like someone’s Instagram, or their blog post, whether they are a high flying social media star or they post every month as part of a hobby, let them know you like it, let them know you support their work because it is just like any other job, it takes hard work and a lot of effort to achieve the final ‘product’ that you see.

This all sounds like im complaining about it, which I’m not trying to do because I love where I am right now. I love that I am able to pick and chose my work and still have time to binge watch Netflix or that I can work as hard or as little as I like in-between napping like a god. But the first part of wanting to be a ‘blogger’ is stepping back and accepting that it is all an illusion, it is all fake and at the end of the day it is just work and work most commonly turns boring in the end.

So with that said, I intend to start a whole new series, thanks to a fellow blogger, Maddie, who writes and owns Mind A Moment Blog, she encouraged me when I was feeling like I didn’t have much more to give because my life isn’t social media perfect. This series is going to be ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ because I make good content when i’m not massively faking it, when I’m being my lazy self and living a great but ridiculously normal lifestyle. Maddie reminded me to focus on the things I have actually achieved at 22 and how I should be proud to share them with you, not the perfect make up deals or the incredibly fake advertisements which you mainly see on my Instagram because that is my job. Is anybody actually their job? Your job is only one persona and in this new series ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ I will be sharing (when I want to – not forcing anything) tips for real life, share my stories of my boring normalities and take you on a (probably dull) journey from Chloe Dawson, teenager, who started social media in her box room at her parents, to Chloe Dawson, adult, who now earns money on social media, has a mortgage and is starting a family but in the most unglamorous truthful way it is, in its entirety.

We Bought A House

So, by the title of this it’s pretty obvious what this little update is going to be about; moving out. It’s been 9 months…not that I’ve been counting every treacherous day being in a conservatory or anything…but we are finally at the day we are leaving what can only be described as what life would be like living in the blitz. I don’t mean that mom and dad are Nazi’s (just to clarify – debateable to Alex probably) but one minute you’re trying to sleep with the sun blazing through your eyelids in a sauna to thunderous bangs of rain on the top of a conservatory roof, wind blowing all the trees onto the windows and a blinding car light every few seconds waking you up like someone’s just shone an interrogation torch into your corneas. Needless to say, I cannot wait for a solid brick wall and a real roof.

I’d be lying if I said I won’t miss being back at home I mean I actually have to make my own cups of tea now, but it’s going to be quite lonely not being woken up at 4am as Alex comes back from some Chav bar, slamming all the doors and complaining about her lack of money despite the fact she has about £300 on her eyelids. I won’t be able to come home to find the front door wide open and my parents passed out on the floor or watch as dad gets so drunk he thinks it’s funny to start setting off paint grenades in the garden or forcing me to sniff chilli until I cry. I won’t have the power of mom to rule the tv for me every time I want to watch EastEnders or go on secret shopping trips where we end up pretending to be sophisticated ladies of leisure drinking prosecco in the middle of the day with john and dad’s bank cards. Then Margo, (who obviously I’ll miss the most) I won’t get to cuddle up to because homeLuna’s the only dog to ever hate affection or have her wipe her bloody bits over my sheets when I’ve just changed them or hump every object I own. I will miss home but knowing me I’ll be back haunting them all every weekend.

First of all, I’ve never known hell like buying a house. It has taken almost 5 months and a shit ton of money to get to the day we can finally move all the crap we (John) have hoarded. We found the house after finding what we thought was the perfect 2 bed home on a quiet road just on the Boldmere/Erdington border but when making an offer of the asking price we got rejected a mortgage. I’ve decided that for the rest of my life I am looking after my credit score more than my own life because one payment of £65 on an old Nokia phone that john lost on my 19th birthday in a drunken gay bar, lost us that house. £65.00 almost 3 years ago. I cried for hours and hours and the struggle for saving enough money for a house the same price was practically impossible, especially when to get a mortgage now we needed 15% deposit rather than the standard 10%, but as a believer that things are meant to be sometimes, it meant we found our house now. When I was in a major strop thinking id be stuck at moms forever being forced to watch Judge Rinder, I looked at houses on the market along the Birmingham train line. A house came up 0.1miles from the train station for cheaper than any house we had been looking at here in Birmingham, it just meant travelling around 10 more minutes to Birmingham centre than we were already doing from Sutton. We travelled to Burton upon Trent kind of defeated, thinking it would be pointless but nonetheless it was an easy way for john to get out of work early. But on the train we started into the countryside and I was just in awe. We looked around the house and it was huge in comparison to what we had been looking at for a higher price, 3 beds and a bathroom as big as the master bedroom, two reception rooms, a hallway, a modern(ish) kitchen, a utility and a large garden, we just fell in love. It didn’t matter that we were 20 miles away from home because the house just felt perfect. We took a whim after talking to our advisor and solicitor and offered under the asking price on the grounds the garden had no grass and there was no parking, and they accepted. I thought now y’know you sign the contract, you hand over the deposit, you get the keys, but no. It has taken so many weeks, so many signatures, searches, surveys, declarations, everything (none of which are free mind) until we have finally got the keys. It has been soul destroying, I didn’t even realise that a mining search was a thing or that you can’t be a homeowner without taking out life insurance? (Not that I’m complaining I mean I’ve watched enough crime documentaries to be able to kill john off now for a healthy profit) but honestly, I’ve never been so drained of words I have no idea the meaning of or money for someone just nodding a head in my life.

salesignThe town we are moving to is small, known as the national forest and on the river Trent, the house is in the town centre next to the church and a farmers’ market every Sunday, 5 minutes from the river Trent and more importantly a giant shopping centre. I’m so happy with the area, not knowing much about it before we took a chance and made an offer but it has definitely paid off. Jaiden loves it and I’ve already taken him to the college there, trying to convince him that it’s the best college in the world and he must attend as a matter of life or death. The house is next door to a café which sells cream teas so I know what I’ll be doing in the daytime and then a traditional old man pub (Like the good old anchor) at the end of the road which no doubt ill spend half my time looking for john in when he hasn’t returned home from work. 

I know a lot of you that follow me are first time buyers also and are into interior design so I plan on doing a post about the house once we have moved in to show you all, but right now there is half ripped up floor and wallpaper, (I’m too impatient to wait till we are actually in to get shit done) boxes everywhere and just junk from like the 1980’s john has decided he must keep.

I never know how to end posts so I’m just gonna put a disclaimer now that most of them are gonna just end abruptly to avoid me sitting here pondering over how to end it.

xo