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I saved £7k for my £150k home through work savings scheme

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A little-known work perk helped Alens Gindra save £7,000 towards his £150,000 first home, and he said it couldn't have been easier. Alens, 25, and his partner, Katie, 24, bought their three-bedroom house in Warrington in April this year.

Alens, his partner Katie, and their dog Fuji, moved into their home in April.

Taking advantage of a work scheme

Alens used a Sharesave, or Save As You Earn (SAYE) scheme to save up over £9,000 for a deposit and additional fees. An SAYE scheme allows you to save regularly through your employer's payroll over a three or five-year period. At the end of the scheme, you can choose to take all your savings back with interest, or use the money to buy shares in your employer. The scheme allows you to save up to £500 a month, with any interest earned being tax-free. By deducting the savings directly from your pay packet, it ensures that the money is safely saved and not easily spent.


Alens made the most of a work scheme to save up enough for a deposit.

Is the scheme right for you?

While the SAYE scheme offers a convenient way to save, the interest rates may not be as competitive as other savings accounts. It's advisable to do some research and compare rates on websites like MoneyFacts.co.uk and price comparison sites such as Compare the Market, Go Compare, and MoneySupermarket. Additionally, not all companies offer these schemes, so it's essential to check with your HR department to see if your employer has one on offer. If not, there are other accounts available, such as a Lifetime Isa, which offers a government bonus of 25% on your savings, up to £1,000 a year.

Alens' journey to homeownership

Alens and Katie are now settled into their new home and are preparing for the arrival of their first child in November. They shared their experience and tips for buying their first home:

Tell me about your house

The couple purchased a three-bedroom terraced house in Warrington. The property features an open-plan living and dining room, a separate kitchen, and a downstairs bathroom. Upstairs, there are three bedrooms, including a master bedroom, a home office, and a nursery for their upcoming arrival.

How did you decide on the location?

Being close to family was an essential factor in choosing the location, as both Alens' sister and Katie's family live in Warrington. The couple wanted to be near their loved ones and found a property that provided easy access to both sides of the family.

How much was it?

Their house was originally listed for £150,000, but they managed to secure it for £140,000. They put down a 5% deposit of £7,000 and obtained a mortgage for the remaining amount. Through the government's mortgage guarantee scheme, they secured a 95% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage with Halifax.

How did you save for your first home?

Alens began saving for his first home in September 2019 when he enrolled in a Sharesave scheme at work. He saved £260 from his monthly salary for three years, accumulating a total of £9,360. By saving regularly through the scheme, Alens found it easy to save without thinking about it. The money was deducted from his salary before it reached his bank account, making it effortless to build up his deposit.

How did you afford to furnish your first home?

Alens and Katie were able to bring several furniture pieces from their previous rented house, including appliances and their bed, which helped them save money. They also found good bargains on Facebook Marketplace, such as a brand new sofa for £100, which would have cost much more if purchased brand new.

Advice for first-time buyers

Alens recommends not overlooking small details like getting on the electoral roll, which can help boost your credit score. Additionally, taking out a credit card and using it responsibly by making small purchases and paying them off in full each month can demonstrate your ability to manage credit. These steps can make the homebuying process smoother.

Buying your first home can be an exciting and challenging journey. For more helpful tips and stories, check out our HOAR's My First Home series.

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