Case Study - First time buyers celebrate stamp duty saving
For some couples, the Chancellor’s announcement on stamp duty was perfectly timed and saved thousands of pounds.
Jazz, a hairdresser and her boyfriend, Rob, a railway engineer, collected the keys to their first house in Romsey, Hampshire, just weeks after the chancellor stood up and abolished stamp duty for first-time buyers.
The young couple, who are both 24, paid £265,000 for a two-bedroom Victorian terrace house in the city centre. They paid zero stamp duty as it was abolished for all purchases up to £300,000 in October 2017.
Jazz said: “Literally, just a few days before we signed the contract, my dad heard on the radio the government might be dropping Stamp Duty for first-time buyers and later that day we heard that they were.”
The couple saved just over £3,000. “We already had the money for a deposit, so the money saved went towards furnishings, solicitor’s fees and Homebuyer’s Survey,” said Jazz, adding: “It meant we could move in without having to save again. It was a big help.”
How did the young couple manage to save for deposit? Jazz said: “About three years ago, my mum said I could either pay rent to stay living at home or save money for a deposit for my own place. I started by saving at least £500 as month.
“Rob has also been saving but not as much as me. He had some inheritance money from when he was younger which helped as well.”
“We took out a Nationwide 30-year mortgage, fixed for two years. They had the best going rate and £500 cash back as well which we weren’t going to turn down. As it is fixed for two years, we know what our outgoings will be each month.”
What surprised her most about buying a new house? “There is quite a lot of solicitor stuff surprised me. I am still new to it!”
Any tips for other first-time buyers? “Start saving young. Once you see money building up, you want to save more. In the end, I was saving more and more - as much as I possibly could. At first, it was a struggle because you are used to spending that money but after a while you get used to living on less. Even if you can’t move out yet, start saving!