Staring at a home can be infuriating as first-time buyers Meg Trinder and Alex Williams almost found out.
But in the end, the couple still pocketed their £187,000 home and it was almost £13,000 less than the asking price.
If you’re confused, it means a rival contractor made a higher offer than you for a home – and it was accepted.
This year has given rise to many budding new buyers after reports of the horrors increased.
Meg, who works at the charity Women’s Aid, and Alex, who works at Waitrose, were nearly one of hundreds of Britons whose offers were turned down in the bidding wars up and down the country last year. .
They nearly missed out on their home when a higher bidder dropped their £180,000 bid out of the race.
Since the property was listed on the market for £199,950, the seller made a higher bid, closer to this price.
Without giving up on their dream home entirely, the couple continued to check with the real estate agent on the progress of the sale.
They discovered a second chance when they discovered the deal had failed a few weeks later.
Determined not to let the house slip through their fingers, Meg and Alex made a higher offer of £187,000.
While this was higher than their original bid, it was still £12,950 below the asking price.
Wanting a quick deal, the seller agreed – and the couple bought their first home at a bargain price last August.
They’re lucky to live with their parents to help save on rent – because they live there for free while saving.
They also put themselves on a tight budget for their home, checking their bills to cut costs on unnecessary spending on subscriptions like Amazon Prime.
Meg even spent a weekend running freelance music therapy sessions for an extra £1,750 for a deposit.
The Sun sat down with this couple to see how they brought their dream home with them My first house series.
Tell us about your home
It’s one end of a three-bedroom townhouse with a bathroom upstairs and a toilet downstairs.
The apartment has an open plan living and dining room, kitchen, conservatory and front porch extension.
Our backyard is paved and split into two floors, we also have a shed, a small front yard and off-street parking which is a real bonus.
We were lucky enough to have this size property for its price.
The previous owners took good care of the house but it is outdated. They have lived here for about fifty years so it needs some work.
With the money left in our budget, we decided to invest in renovating what we could.
We stripped all the walls, plastered the living room and put new floors down.
Although we weren’t planning on doing the bathroom, we discovered a leak in there, so we decided to renovate the room. We draw everywhere and have re-wound electricity.
We considered buying a shiny new home, but we’re really hard working and determined so we thought if we stick with it, we can make this house our own.
We managed to do the whole renovation in eight weeks.
We were very fortunate to have the support of our family to help us. Even my near 80 year old grandparents are pulling tiles off the bathroom wall and grouting.
We spent around £8,000 on the renovation – we only hired an electrician, a plumber and a plasterer because our family helped us a lot, so we saved a lot of money. Save thousands of pounds.
How did you decide on the position?
We were looking for a home in the center of Abergavenny because it was important to us to be close to family.
We don’t think that’s going to happen though, as Abergavenny is such a livable place to live we think we’ll be forced to look further.
This house is five minutes from Alex’s parents house and the same distance from my parents and grandparents, so was ideal for us.
We could also find ourselves here for a long time. It had everything we needed and it was in a nice, safe area with links to schools, which was great for job prospects for Alex who trained as a primary school teacher.
Another winning feature is the view of the mountains from every window in the house – we love the countryside.
How much did you pay?
The house is on the market for £199,950. Our first offer of £180.00 was rejected when the seller accepted a higher bid from a rival buyer.
Then we heard the deal fell through so we went back and offered a price of £187,000 – accepted.
It was like we were given a second chance and it was meant to be. We were lucky that we saved our deposit so we were able to bid very quickly and make the most of the small chance we were given.
Our offer was accepted on August 6 of last year, not too far away during the pandemic, and at the time, there weren’t really many options if you needed a mortgage deal with just a small amount of money. 10% deposit.
HSBC is the only lender that offers a mortgage at 90%, so we chose a 35 year mortgage with a fixed 5 year interest rate of 2.46% which gives us the liquidity. Monthly mortgage payment is £623.
We looked at Help to Buy a Mortgage but we didn’t like the idea of paying interest on an equity loan for five years so we decided to wait and save a larger deposit.
How did you save for it?
We started Help for ISA with a maximum deposit of £1,000 per person and then started saving £200 per month.
We’ve never been big spenders, but we’re so focused on our goals that the harder we work to save.
We sat down and budgeted, trying to see what we could cut – by cutting out all the non-essential spending we’re adding £600 a month to – increasing triple our savings.
We did this by cutting our bills and pausing our hobbies.
However, rescue during the pandemic has been a lot easier, because staying in saves us more.
Alex swapped out his dentist package to cut costs from £18 to £8 a month, saving him more than £120 a year.
He also dropped his £32-a-month phone contract and used an old handset of mine on a pay-as-you-go contract, paying only £10 every four months. That has saved him hundreds of pounds a year.
We also canceled our Amazon Prime subscription, saving us £7.99 a month.
My commuting costs are gone as we all have to work from home for most of 2020, saving me £250 a month.
We share a car, even though we’d love to buy a new one. But halving insurance, tax, MOT and cutting financing costs for a new car has saved us at least £600.
While I was studying psychology I worked 28 hours a month three jobs which saved me the initial £1,000 to join Help to Buy my ISA.
I also received a scholarship of £1,000 towards my deposit.
Living at home with our parents is also a real help. We both gave our parents money to pay the bills but we probably saved around £500 a month, compared to the cost of renting a place of our own.
Taking a side job on the weekend also saved me an extra £1,750 on the deposit. I’ve been doing freelance music therapy sessions, which earn me around £250 a month.
I have also sold items on Facebook Marketplace such as shoes I haven’t worn, used books, nightstands and old light fixtures that we have discarded, for more than £250.
How did you equip it?
To start, we borrowed some furniture from the family. We had my mother’s sofa until we bought it on our own and Grandpa lent us the coffee table he built with bricks when he was a child.
I’m a real fan of Facebook Marketplace, I’m always there looking for a bargain so a lot of the stuff in our house is from there.
My best bargain was to pick up a pair of John Lewis bedside tables for £25 that sold for over £100 each brand new and a gray oak sideboard which we got for £30 cost more than 200 pounds.
I also got a £20 John Lewis bookcase that should have been £125.
The previous owners also left behind a lot of things, such as beds and mattresses, which we used until we could afford to buy our own.
What is your advice to other first-time buyers?
Do your research. When I went to the mortgage meeting with the broker, I knew what interest rate I could get and I knew what we could afford to pay a month.
It makes us feel more confident and in control.
I would also say rely on your support system. We did not have any financial help to buy the property but we did have a lot of support from our family.
We asked for their advice, and Alex and I were honest with each other about what we enjoyed about the process and what we cared about.
Listen to your gut. We know what assets we want, we trust each other’s opinions, and we stick to our guns.
Here’s how a savvy saver saved for her first home by keeping a budget “remuneration” £50 a week.
While another couple bargain 11,000 pounds off their first home to save them from losing it.
The excitement didn’t stop two first-time buyers from shopping for their first home – this is how they did it.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/money/17002133/nearly-gazumped-13k-off-asking-price-first-home/ We were almost in awe – but ended up getting close to £13,000 off the asking price of our first home of £187,000