Lately, I’ve been creeping back on to Facebook, and for once I’m not overwhelmed with baby announcements but more announcements of my peers receiving keys and becoming official home-owners. I must say I’m proud, but curious at the same time.
It’s sad and frustrating to hear when people comment and tell 20-something-year-olds that the likelihood of becoming home-owners is very slim. Although, seeing my peers reach such milestones is an achievement particularly under the age of 25. I’ll admit, I began to google the locations and discovering the prices they are possibly purchasing a 1 or 2-bed house. These homes are beautiful no doubt, but most impressively very reasonably priced for anyone with the willpower to save. Yes, the majority of them are located in Essex (outside of London’s disgusting prices) so but I don’t blame them one bit and understand why moving further out of London is necessary to become a homeowner.
While spending three years at a university outside of London I had no doubt I would be moving back home. There were random moments of outbursts when I would become upset/angry and consider finding myself a place to live. The search would never be taken seriously as I realised I’d probably be able to only afford a box excl. bills which wouldn’t even compare to the bedroom I have now. All for the sake of my own place’. Now if you’ve searched and gone through the process of looking for flats or even a house in London then wow. You already know that the pricing is disgustingly high and unreasonable yet it seems that nothing is being done. Just an increase of more and more homes that are not reasonably affordable for people with disposable incomes. Even living in east London I have seen areas such as Stratford and Hackney change due to redevelopment and gentrification pushing out the communities who have lived there for years.
Becoming a homeowner for me is something I’ve always wanted to do and say I’ve achieved. Growing up I was naïve to think it was standard to become possible before 30. I wasn’t fully educated about renting, getting a mortgage and even basics such as deposits on a home. Yet, each time I begin to think about it now a new seed of doubt is placed in my mind. For some time, I began to self-doubt myself and my ability of this. So I’ve started to take on the approach to ‘speak things into existence. You will be amazed at how things can change. This approach won’t present me with a house automatically without any hard work, but it will mean that I can begin to educate myself more.
There are days when I think really will this ever happen? And if so, when? I know some people will turn and become pessimistic however, I feel I need to stay optimistic in my case. Firstly, I am lucky enough that I still have a home in London to live in. My lifestyle now is very comfortable, I enjoy my job and still travel which I love. So naturally, this is one of the next steps for me, but sadly, I feel uneducated. I believe that the government should find a way to implicate this into compulsory education.
Teaching young people about the tax system, property ladder and allowing them to be informed about general society more beneficially may even help them to be more involved when they reach the legal age to be allowed to vote in elections (which is 18 in the UK). Do any 16-20 years know what Council tax is? Coming from an open family, I can talk about almost anything and everything with my Mother or one of my siblings, but the era they grew up in is completely different.
I’m not currently at the stage where I am ready or even want to move out if I’m quite honest, but I want to know that I’ve already taken the steps so that when I am ready I can get the ball rolling. I think the government need to do more to try to help young people especially get on to the property ladder.
There are currently great schemes out there such as Help to buy where you will receive a 25% top-up from the government once you are ready to buy. Also, the new Life ISA scheme (for 18-39-year-olds) that was launched last week, which ultimately allows you to save up to £4000 in a year, and also receive the 25% bonus from the government to help either first-time buyers or saving towards your retirement. Although schemes like this are not extremely new there needs to be a new marketing strategy to make sure that the correct information is being reached towards the target audience and not just wealthy middle class or an older generation who are probably already in a comfortable position to buy a new flat/home. I’m curious to know how many 16-24 year olds really know about becoming a homeowner.
On the flip side, everyone’s circumstances are different and we must not be naive to think that in today’s society all it takes is a baby to get your own place. Some people are happy enough to rent their own place and house share as it fits their circumstances now, this doesn’t mean that it is any cheaper or even easier to do so – especially not in London. The awareness needs to be raised so that we can make the most of these schemes, and people can reach the next stage in their life when they are ready to move out.
Are you currently looking for a place? Drop me a message and let me know what your thoughts and process was at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below x