BUYING a house is one of the priciest purchases you’ll make, but there are ways to get freebies, as first-time buyers Dylan Heath and Katie Connor found out.
Content marketing manager Dylan and children’s nurse Katie, both 22, bought their £154,000 home in Oldham in October last year – but they used a government savings scheme to get £2,400 fee.
Dylan Heath outside his house in Oldham
They saved beyond their deposit to make sure they could furnish it how they wanted
They opened a Help To Buy Isa in 2019 and got a £2,400 cash bonus
The couple got £2,400 in free cash from the government after opening a Help To Buy ISA in 2019.
The Help To Buy ISA is a savings account that allowed first-time buyers to save for a mortgage deposit and then claim a government bonus when they buy their first home.
For every £200 you save, the government pays a £50 bonus towards the purchase price of a property.
This particular government scheme closed in November 2019, although if you already have an account, you can continue paying into it until November 2029 and claim the bonus until 2030.
There are other ways house hunters can get free cash too.
The Help to Buy Isa has been replaced by the Lifetime Isa, which can be opened by anyone aged 18 to 39.
When you open a Lifetime Isa the government will add 25% to your savings, up to a maximum of £1,000 a year.
That means if you put in £4,000 a year you’ll get a £1,000 free cash bonus to put towards your first home.
Desperate to get on the ladder quicker, Katie juggled a number of part-time jobs alongside long shifts at her local hospital, where she trained as a student nurse.
Working as a care assistant, as well as at her local chippy and teaching maths and English lessons meant she pulled in up to £800 extra a month.
Meanwhile, Dylan postponed his driving lessons to help him stash away a third of his salary each month to raise money for the deposit.
We sat down with Dylan to discuss how the couple went from savers to homeowners for The Sun’s My First Home series.
Tell me about your home
It’s a two-bedroom terraced house in Oldham.
We have a bathroom upstairs, and a separate kitchen, dining room and living room downstairs.
We don’t have a driveway, but we …….