Woman spends 10 years saving money from paper round at 14 to buy £139k home

A woman revealed she bought her first home at the age of 24, having saved money from doing a paper round.

Sarah Yates was desperate to get on the property ladder but soon realised it would be difficult to do it alone.

So when she put her mind to it, she started saving money then managed to buy her first home at 24.

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She afforded a £139,000 home which her paper round at 14 helped her to afford, reports Manchester Evening News.

Now at 27, Sarah opened up about her determination as she claimed to make some sacrifices along the way.

The journalist continued her paper round up until her first year of college, but quit after the embarrassment of being spotted by one of her classmates.

Sarah said: "I've been an avid saver since I was young. When I was about 14 I had a paper round and I didn't stop doing that until I was in the first year of college.

"People used to take the mick out of me. I remember one of the boys said that they'd seen me one morning and I told him it wasn't me because I was so mortified and embarrassed.

"I then quit and I got a job at Clarks, then I got my first job as a journalist when I was 19. I've just always tried to save."

Fortunately, Sarah lived at home with her parents which helped her to put money to one side.

She started looking to get onto the property ladder when she was 24, then put an offer on a home for £120,000.

Sarah added: "It was a really gorgeous little terrace house in Hazel Grove and it even had a driveway but unfortunately I lost out on that.

"I put offers on about five different houses over the course of a year but my offers kept getting declined and that's when I realised that people were offering quite a lot more than the asking price."

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She wanted to buy her own home in the area, but realised she was being priced out with her £145,000 budget.

As she hoped to stay in the area of Stockport, she had to branch out a little bit to look at houses in Edgeley.

Then she came across a two-bed terrace house in Stockport which was rundown, but exactly what she wanted.

She offered the asking price of £140,000, but again, her offer was turned down by the owners.

Sarah claimed: "They turned me down because they wanted more, so in the end I just asked them what they would accept.

"They said £141,000 which was a no brainer as it was an extra grand which was nothing in terms of the mortgage.

"Once the survey came back there were a few issues so I ended up buying it for £139,000. I was really lucky to get it for that. My offer was accepted in March 2020 which was right at the start of the pandemic.

"I think that's one of the reasons why I got it for the price that I did because of the uncertainty at the time, people weren't sure if they could buy because they weren't sure if their jobs were safe."

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She relied on Martin Lewis' MSE site for help with her mortgage by using the calculator.

Luckily she managed to bag a rate of around 1.8% then got the keys in August 2020 and began renovating.

Over nine months, she ripped everything out and the whole house was re-plastered with new doors.

She bought whatever she needed on a budget, whether it was from B&Q or Screwfix.

"A lot of work I did myself to cut costs such as stripping walls, tiling and painting. YouTube was my best friend during the renovation," she added.

"The windows all needed resealing so I just thought rather than paying someone, I can learn how to do it myself."

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Now Sarah is extremely proud to be a solo home owner.

She said: "I just love that it's mine, I'm proud that I have managed to buy my own house and do it all up.

"Everything that's in here has come down to my choice and my decisions. It's exactly how I wanted it to be, it's homely and it's got a very clean aesthetic. I just love it.

"I reckon I will be here for another three or four years and then the plan is at that hopefully then I'll have a good deposit for a second home. I don't ever want to get rid of this, I'd like to rent it out."

Giving advice to others, Sarah concluded: "Penny-pinch and be that tight friend that everyone kind of laughs at because it will pay off in the long run when you own your own house."

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