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First-time Buyer

The spending tactics savvy homebuyers use to get on the property ladder

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Ask any mortgage broker for tips to get on the housing ladder and one thing they’ll say is: get your spending in order.

Since the regulator introduced tougher affordability rules five years ago, lenders have taken a greater interest in applicants’ bank statements.

They’ll look for obvious things like your overdraft history. But they’ll also scrutinise your discretionary spending. Think magazine subscriptions, trips abroad, and gym membership.

But first-time buyers today have become savvy when it comes to reining in their spending ahead of a house purchase.

In fact, a survey by MoneySupermarket revealed that 58% of British homeowners made tactical changes to their spending habits in order to buy their first home.

Nearly a quarter (23%) used their credit card and cleared their balance at the end of the month to improve their profile to potential lenders, while 32% actively paid off existing debts in the run-up to their mortgage application.

To hide certain outgoings from lenders, 9% used cash more frequently.

Wannabe buyers also cut back on eating out, going on holiday, takeaways and buying clothes.

One in ten even reduced their Netflix subscription.

A survey of 1,300 mortgage holders revealed that the average homeowner saved an extra £369 a month in a bid to get on the property ladder.

Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySupermarket, said: “Buying a property is probably the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make, so every penny counts when you’re trying to build up a deposit on your first home.

“Once you’ve saved enough for a deposit, it’s definitely worth shopping around for the best possible rate on your mortgage. Doing so could mean that you save a significant amount of money over the mortgage term and ensure that all your hard-earned savings aren’t wiped out by paying over the odds on your mortgage.”