Written by Ellie-Mai, 23.
Young people are put under a huge amount of pressure by family members and society to own their own home. I decided to create my own poll on Twitter as my audience tends to be people in their 20s, to see the percentage of people who have bought a house/flat. Although there were only 40 votes, only 10% owned their own home which clearly shows the struggle of the younger generation trying to save for a mortgage.
Despite all the help and step by step guides from the older generation to buy a house, it isn't as simple as it was 30 years ago. House prices have increased and rent has gone up. It's harder to get a higher paying job and harder to afford driving lessons. Some of us have huge amounts of student debt from going to University.
Staying with friends and family to help save
The most common solution for young people to help them save is to move back in with their parents or even some friends. This offers them somewhere with reduced rent (or none at all) and most of the time, meals and laundry included. This is what my Mum offered to me. However, sometimes living at home isn’t an option. Some don’t have that safety net of a family home to turn too or friends to help them out in difficult times. Even just the need for independence is a factor that stops a lot of the younger generation from moving back home.
I've lived away from home for nearly 6 years now. 3 years at University, followed by renting my own flat with my partner once I graduated. We have started to buy our own furniture, adopted a cat and really made it into a home. Although I would save money on rent and food, moving home would still mean a huge increase in my petrol consumption due to a longer commute to work. It would also mean an increase in spending to see my friends and my partner to ensure I have the right balance of home and social life. Plus, it wouldn't be suitable for my cat Fenrir, as my parents own a dog and I wouldn't want to put either of them under any stress.
Help To Buy ISA
Something the government did bring in was the Help to Buy scheme. This allowed first time buyers to open an ISA and deposit a maximum of £200 a month into this account. For every £200 put in, the government would put £50 towards a house deposit. This is set to return in 2021 and run for 2 years. The fact that this scheme has a 2 year deadline can cause a lot of pressure for young people trying to save and I feel it should not have a time frame at all, allowing people to save at their own pace.
I recommend that you apply for one of these ISA’s
I managed to set up my own ISA with the Help to Buy scheme before they cancelled it in November 2019. However, due to the current situation of the Coronavirus, redundancies and pay cuts, I have found myself having to transfer my savings to my current account just to be able to afford rent and food. I recommend that you apply for one of these ISA’s when they are available again in 2021, as it is a great scheme for the government to get involved with and help first time buyers with their house deposits.
Going back to the poll I did on twitter, 50% of young people who answered are renting, including me. I have always wanted to live in a nice flat close to a city and me and my partner achieved that last year. As much as we are trying to save for a house in the current situation, I have accepted that it won’t happen until a good few years in the future. I love living in the city and plan to live in Manchester a few more years as there is so much to explore.
52% of first time buyers became ill due to the stress or put their personal relationships under-strain
Renting comes with its pros and cons, depending on the landlord or agency. Rent is increasing every year which makes it hard to put that extra bit of money into a savings account. Then again something breaks in the house/flat, we can call the landlord and he’ll arrange to fix it.
It doesn’t matter if it takes you 1, 5 or 10 years to save, just go at your own pace. An article I read by money wise in 2018 has said that 52% of first time buyers became ill due to the stress or put their personal relationships under-strain. If you're struggling to save, please remember to look after yourself and your health first.