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    Social media influencer reveals she became a £200,000 home owner at 22

    Hazel Wood was just 22 when she put the deposit down on her first home

    A new study has revealed one third of Millennials will never save enough money to buy their own home but one Youtube star bought her first home at 22 without financial help from the ‘bank of mum and dad’.

    Hazel Wood, from Essex, now 23, has revealed how she saved up a deposit and wants to help other young people get on the housing ladder.

    She insisted saving up for your first property doesn’t have to mean giving up on holidays or going out with friends, saying: ‘I did have to make sacrifices but I still provided myself with a monthly allowance to spend on what I wanted like socializing or shopping.

    ‘And during my two years of saving, I had multiple holidays. I just had to budget for them in advance.

    ‘With a bit of planning, I really believe it’s possible for other young people to get on the housing ladder.’

    The social media influencer and junior financial planner said: ‘I bought my first home in July last year. I saved a £20,000 deposit within two years by myself and I covered all the associated costs with no help from family.

    It meant she became the owner of a £200,000 one-bed apartment in Witham, Essex, in July 2018 with the aid of a Help to Buy equity loan.

    Hazel, now 23, said she cut down drastically on expenditure while single-mindedly saving

    Hazel, now 23, said she cut down drastically on expenditure while single-mindedly saving

    Hazel, now 23, said she cut down drastically on expenditure while single-mindedly saving

    With the help of the government's Help To Buy scheme she is now a proud homeowner

    With the help of the government's Help To Buy scheme she is now a proud homeowner

    With the help of the government’s Help To Buy scheme she is now a proud homeowner

    Hazel's beautiful home is now expanding her interests on Youtube with many of her 85,000 followers asking her for saving or decorating tips

    Hazel's beautiful home is now expanding her interests on Youtube with many of her 85,000 followers asking her for saving or decorating tips

    Hazel’s beautiful home is now expanding her interests on Youtube with many of her 85,000 followers asking her for saving or decorating tips

    She said she and her friends would drink at home before going out, saving money and cutting down to just £10 a night having to be spent buying her own drinks in bars

    She said she and her friends would drink at home before going out, saving money and cutting down to just £10 a night having to be spent buying her own drinks in bars

    She said she and her friends would drink at home before going out, saving money and cutting down to just £10 a night having to be spent buying her own drinks in bars 

    She said it was a goal to own her own home from her teens, but that she only started saving seriously once she turned 20 – saving money by living with her parents. 

    She also assessed all her outgoings and cut out any non-essential expenditure.

    She explained: ‘In my head, I had this goal that I wanted to save £20,000 in two years.

    ‘Rather than renting elsewhere, I remained living at my parents’ house which allowed me to save a lot more. And in that two-year period, I was very strict on myself.

    ‘I reviewed all my essential expenditure such as food, phone bills and my car finance to see if I was able to reduce it.

    ‘For example, just changing my car saved me over £100 per month. Whilst switching to a SIM-only deal at the end of your phone contract can reduce costs considerably.

    She said she and her friends would drink at home before going out, saving money and cutting down to just £10 a night having to be spent buying her own drinks in bars

    She said she and her friends would drink at home before going out, saving money and cutting down to just £10 a night having to be spent buying her own drinks in bars

    She said she and her friends would drink at home before going out, saving money and cutting down to just £10 a night having to be spent buying her own drinks in bars

    A new survey reveals one third of Millennials may never own their own home but Hazel has managed it by 22

    A new survey reveals one third of Millennials may never own their own home but Hazel has managed it by 22

    A new survey reveals one third of Millennials may never own their own home but Hazel has managed it by 22

    The only help she received from her mother and father was houseroom, saving her the expense of rent and bills in another property while she saved.

    The only help she received from her mother and father was houseroom, saving her the expense of rent and bills in another property while she saved.

    The only help she received from her mother and father was houseroom, saving her the expense of rent and bills in another property while she saved.

    ‘I also cut out down on my non-essential spending. For instance, I cancelled my Spotify, Netflix and Hayu subscriptions which can save you around £25 per month. Every little counts.’

    Alongside her more drastic cutbacks, Hazel set aside a monthly allowance of £200 which allowed her to still have nights out with her friends and even go on holiday.

    She said: ‘Every month, I would automatically put a massive chunk of my salary into my savings. I definitely had to make sacrifices to do this. For example, I pretty much stopped eating out and I cut down on clothes shopping.’

    She said the £200 ‘doesn’t seem like a lot but when you’re saving, you realize £50 per week is enough to still go out with your friends or go out for a cheap meal if you really want.

    ‘Instead of going out to a pricey bar for cocktails, my friends and I would have pre-drinks at home and then go out. So I would only end up spending around £10 at a bar.

    Last summer Hazel could walk through the front door (above) of a home she owned, aged 22

    Last summer Hazel could walk through the front door (above) of a home she owned, aged 22

    Last summer Hazel could walk through the front door (above) of a home she owned, aged 22

    Yesterday she sat down with TV property expert Phil Spencer for an interview to be broadcast on his youtube channel Phil Spencer TV

    Yesterday she sat down with TV property expert Phil Spencer for an interview to be broadcast on his youtube channel Phil Spencer TV

    Yesterday she sat down with TV property expert Phil Spencer for an interview to be broadcast on his youtube channel Phil Spencer TV

    ‘Sometimes I would save up some of my allowance over a few months and go on holiday. I actually went on several holidays in the two years that I was saving!

    ‘I would scour the internet for the cheapest city break deals. I would only go away for a weekend to keep it economical and then give myself a strict holiday spending budget.

    ‘It’s certainly possible to still socialize when you’re saving. You just have to change up how you spend time with your friends – go for a walk with them or cook dinner at home together.’

    Hazel’s top five tips for saving for a house

    MAKE A PLAN: Decide how much you want to save and put a plan in place as to how long it’s going to take you to do this. Whether it will take two years or five years, getting in the mindset now and starting to save will make all the difference.

    STAY FOCUSED: Go visit potential houses and show-homes to stay focused on your goal. It’s an exciting (and free!) weekend activity that will keep you motivated.

    ASSESS YOUR OUTGOINGS: Look at your essential outgoings and see if they can be reduced. Also cut back on all non-essential spending. Do you need Spotify? Can you take your lunch from home instead of eating out? Can you go for a walk with your friends rather than going out for drinks?

    EVALUATE YOUR CAREER: Talk to your employer and see what you can do to increase your salary. Complete any employer-sponsored exams that will accelerate your career and find out what you need to do to get promoted! Every time I gained a pay rise at work, I would financially act as if I hadn’t and transfer the extra money straight to my savings. If you can’t get a pay rise, look into getting a part-time job to bump up your savings.

    REWARD YOURSELF: This is so important! Celebrate every time you’ve hit your monthly goals and treat yourself to something small. Saving for a house is a lot like being on a diet. You need to reward yourself every so often so you can stay on track and not overspend.

    Source: Hazel Wood

    Resourceful Hazel also looked into ways she could increase her income as a paraplanner – the junior member of a financial planning team. She sat all her finance exams back-to-back in her first year of saving in order to get a pay-rise.

    She also visited show homes to stay motivated, although she said looking back there were times she would kick herself for not saving enough one month, rather than celebrating what she had achieved.

    She said: ”I would advise potential homebuyers to treat themselves during the saving process. Give yourself a pat on the back for coming so far!’

    By early 2018 she had reached her £20,000 goal and put her deposit down on a one-bedroom apartment in Witham, but continues to put money aside.

    She said: ‘Despite my £20,000 deposit, I wasn’t able to borrow enough to buy a £200,000 property with it because of my income.

    ‘So I went for a Help To Buy equity loan which allows you to use a five per cent deposit whilst the government gives you a 25 per cent loan.

    ‘In the end, I only had to put £10,000 as a deposit for the property and had half of my savings left over which I then used to cover legal fees, ground rent, service charge and furniture.’

    Social media influencer Hazel has 85,000 followers across YouTube and Instagram. She said: ‘I love having my own flat. It’s enabled me to widen my YouTube content as I have an entire property to roam freely around. I can decorate it as I wish and give interior design tips to my followers.

    ‘I get lots of requests from my subscribers to talk about saving for a deposit or buying your first home. I have filmed videos on these topics and plan to continue with it.

    ‘I still try to save even now and I would love to buy another larger property in the next five years.

    ‘It would be fantastic to keep my current flat as a rental property but that’s a dream more than an actual goal at this stage.

    ‘Just having my own home right now is worth it’

    The savvy savers who are on the ladder early: how other young homeowners have done it

    Tom and Emily Hunt from Yorkshire took a risk and landed their dream home totally mortgage free by the age of 30.

    They got five per cent deposits, were disciplined with their savings and then made smart steps to move up the property ladder – eventually buying a beautiful 200-year-old converted former coach house – perfect for starting their own family.

    They bought a small house in Sheffield with a plot of land nearby and to fund the build, Mr Hunt sold his bachelors pad, clearing £30,000, while Mrs Hunt, a government economist, had £65,000 equity from her house that she could contribute. The pair were also careful with savings and took out a £40,000 loan as a top up.

    Tom and Emily Hunt took advantage of five per cent deposits, were disciplined with their savings and then made smart steps to move up the property ladder

    Tom and Emily Hunt took advantage of five per cent deposits, were disciplined with their savings and then made smart steps to move up the property ladder

    Tom and Emily Hunt took advantage of five per cent deposits, were disciplined with their savings and then made smart steps to move up the property ladder

    Outside their eco-home in 2010

    Outside their eco-home in 2010

    Outside their eco-home in 2010

    Outside their eco-home in 2010

    Outside their eco-home in 2010

    Their Shropshire dream Home the Coach House cost the pair £135,000 for the buildings and the added land that came with it.

    The sale of the eco-friendly ‘Hunt House’ realised a profit of £150,000 which was used to buy their dream family home, and because they were able to offer cash up front, they paid £35,000 below the advertised market price.

    ‘We offered £125,000 cheekily but we eventually increased it to £135,000 which was still a fantastic deal because we were able to pay in cash having done so well on Hunt House.

    ‘The renovation cost we footed with the savings we’d made in the interim along from our works,’ Mr Hunt explained.

    The Coach House appeared set-up beautifully for the next stage of their journey and so the Hunts, who had been careful with their savings over the past five years, decided they were ready to take the plunge

    The Coach House appeared set-up beautifully for the next stage of their journey and so the Hunts, who had been careful with their savings over the past five years, decided they were ready to take the plunge

    The Coach House appeared set-up beautifully for the next stage of their journey and so the Hunts, who had been careful with their savings over the past five years, decided they were ready to take the plunge

    By combining disciplined savings, calculated risks and smart money saving investments, the Hunts went from starter homes purchased with five percent deposits, to a dreamy family home and lifestyle business.

    While it wasn’t easy, and certainly required serious hard work and belief, the pair were able to pay off their mortgage and buy a house outright – and all before they both turned 31. 

    Nathan Doe and Tyla Stanworth bought their Newport home together last June, despite being just 21 and 20 and earning £30,000 between them.

    Mr Doe, 21, said: ‘We were living with my dad for a year, that was our base, but obviously had to pay him rent. We really don’t drink and don’t go out partying.’ 

    Nathan Doe and Tyla Stanworth (pictured) have managed to buy their first home, in Newport, south Wales, before the age of 21, without the help of their parents 

    Nathan Doe and Tyla Stanworth (pictured) have managed to buy their first home, in Newport, south Wales, before the age of 21, without the help of their parents 

    Nathan Doe and Tyla Stanworth (pictured) have managed to buy their first home, in Newport, south Wales, before the age of 21, without the help of their parents 

    Ms Stanworth, 20, added: ‘Deciding to buy the house did mean that we had to make sacrifices as the majority of our combined wages went straight into the savings. 

    ‘We never went out, our shopping lists consisted of noodles and beans, but in the long run it was so worth it.’ 

    The young homeowners have both been working full time since they left school, enrolling in apprenticeship programmes instead of going to university.

    The couple were handed the keys to their £220,000 detached three-bedroom home in Newport, south Wales last June. 

    Nathan and Tyla, 21 and 20, bought their Newport home together last June

    Nathan and Tyla, 21 and 20, bought their Newport home together last June

    Nathan and Tyla, 21 and 20, bought their Newport home together last June

    It meant giving up nights out and living on beans and noodles for a year, but now they have a beautiful home to call their won

    It meant giving up nights out and living on beans and noodles for a year, but now they have a beautiful home to call their won

    It meant giving up nights out and living on beans and noodles for a year, but now they have a beautiful home to call their won

    Mr Doe now works as a train planning and diagramming specialist for ArrivaTrains Wales and his partner has a job in the facilities and finance team at Qualifications Wales. 

    He said they saved for their £11,500 deposit by putting money into a Government help to buy ISA. But after stamp duty and additional costs it was more like £25,000.

    They also benefited from a help to buy equity loan – a five-year interest free loan that paid for 20 per cent of the cost of the house.      

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