The Expert’s Solution for Affording a Home


Give up your Netflix and Starbucks and move back in with mum and dad

Kirstie Allsopp is a presenter on one of the UK’s most popular TV programs for the property market Location, Location, Location For the last twenty years she has helped house-hunters find the perfect home in the perfect location.

From her lofty position in the public limelight she has recently expressed her anger over claims from people that they could not afford a home.

“When I bought my first property, going abroad, the EasyJet, coffee, gym, Netflix lifestyle didn’t exist,” she said. “I used to walk to work with a sandwich. And on payday I’d go for a pizza, and to a movie, and buy a lipstick. Interest rates were 15 percent, I was earning £11,500 a year.”

Note: Allsopp is the daughter of Charles Allsopp, 6th Baron Hindlip, a British peer and businessman, and a member of the House of Lords from 1993 until 1999. She bought her first property with family help at the age of 21, when the average house price in the UK was about £51,000. Adjusted for inflation that is £112,000, compared with £255,556 for the average home today.

She added that while interest rates were much lower today, there were new “drains on the finances of the young homebuyer”. She said things such as film-streaming services, overseas holidays, and regular gym visits were taken as standard parts of their lifestyle by today’s young.

Note: A first-time buyer who gave up a Starbucks latte every weekday, an ordinary Netflix subscription, gym membership, and two return flights to Europe a year on easyJet would save about £1,600 a year. The average deposit for a first-time buyer is £59,000, according to Halifax. To save that, you would need to forgo your Starbucks latte, Netflix subscription, gym membership and easyJet flights for 37 years.

As for a university education; “I do think you have to ask yourself what your degree is giving you. Could you get a job at 18, stay at home with [your] parents for three years, and save every single penny, enough for a deposit?”

Note: If they moved into their parents’ house and did not pay rent, they could save on average £7,000 a year. That would reduce the time to just under seven years (with no Netflix or Starbucks over that period).

Her final piece of advice is that if you have any family or roots in the north of the country you should buy there— prices are lower than in the south.

“I don’t want to belittle those people who can’t do it. But there are loads of people who can do it and don’t. It is hard. We’ve fallen into the trap of saying it’s impossible for everybody. I was brought up to believe owning your home is the be all and end all and in a way I still believe that… It’s about where you can buy, not if you can buy. There is an issue around the desire to make those sacrifices.”

Pearls of wisdom from a property ‘expert’ or random thoughts from an ’expert’ who hasn’t thought them through?


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