ONLY Father Brandon Woodhouse sacrificed time with his children to work seven days a week and get on the property ladder.
He also sold unwanted clutter in his home, including a kayak, a set of dumbbells, and old clothes and shoes, to help raise the money.
The self-employed house builder, 47, had saved two and a half years when the coronavirus crisis broke out and brought his hopes of buying a house to a standstill.
Brandon, who has an 18 year old son and 10 year old daughter, had originally learned from a mortgage advisor that a 5% down payment of £ 9,000 would be enough to get a £ 175,000 mortgage.
But when Covid-19 locked the country, his bank raised the goal posts to 10% and the contractor was suddenly unemployed due to the pandemic.
When the lockdown restrictions later wore off, Brandon was dealt another blow as the estimated mortgage repayments had now climbed to an unaffordable amount.
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But by working seven days a week for three months this year, selling dozens of household items on Facebook, and continuing to live frugally, Brandon scraped the 15% deposit together.
In October, Brandon finally received the keys to his two bedroom semi-detached house in Desborough, Northamptonshire.
We met Brandon for The Sun’s My First Home series as he was preparing to move into his new home.
It was built 15 years ago and is in good condition. It was all carpeted and they let me have the blinds.
It’s over three stories, but the first floor is only up one flight of stairs to the house as there is an archway under the parking lot in the back.
The first floor is an open living room dining room that is a decent size.
There is a small fitted kitchen with a stove and stove and a toilet on the same floor. This is painted light pink so I plan to redecorate it.
On the top floor there are two double rooms, one with its own bathroom and shower, and a tiled family bathroom with bathtub.
It has a small courtyard garden with panels and a garage.
I paid £ 175,000 for the house and paid 15% of £ 26,250.
I took out a five-year fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of around 2%. Since I’m 47 and you can usually only get one mortgage until you’re 70, it’s a 22 year mortgage.
When I separated from my wife a few years ago, I was living in her house, so she kept it. I’ve rented since then.
Three years ago I broke up with my girlfriend at the time and realized that I had to buy something somewhere.
Rent is dead money. I came to the thought, “If I don’t do it this year, I never will.”
I realized that it was getting more and more expensive because of my age. When I was 70, I had to pay off a mortgage, so I had a little over 20 years to do so.
I had put money aside for two and a half years, about £ 400 a month from my income.
Earlier in the year I was told I could get a 5% deposit mortgage so I only needed £ 9,000 plus fees and got that plus a little extra. By January of this year I was £ 12,000.
Just when Covid hit the UK I was trying to get a 5% down payment mortgage. I thought it would be nice to have money in the bank as I didn’t know what was going to happen to coronavirus.
But my mortgage advisor said I need 10% now because the majority of the 5% mortgages have been removed by the banks.
The monthly payments would be £ 730 which is my rent.
When we went into lockdown, I had no work. I panicked and took out a £ 5,000 personal loan to be on the safe side in case I needed it.
I didn’t want to touch my savings because I wanted everything for my deposit.
During the lockdown, I didn’t spend any money other than rent and bills, and I made my food long lasting. I saved leftovers for the next meal and didn’t buy anything.
I then got the Government Self Employment Grant and got the full amount of £ 7,500 over three months. At the end of the lockdown I had a 10% deposit of £ 18,000.
Then the price of the mortgage rose to £ 810 a month, which would mean paying £ 9,000 in interest over five years alone.
So I decided to take a 15% deposit to get the monthly payments.
Once the lockdown was over, I worked weekends and evenings to get the £ 26,250 deposit and £ 1,500 fees.
By that point, I had found the house, which was £ 175,000, just below the maximum I could borrow. It took me about 9,000 pounds extra to get 15%.
Working an extra weekend meant I would make £ 400 after tax and £ 150 more if I worked a few evenings a week.
I only worked every other week for seven days as my daughter came for the weekend every other weekend, but several times I had to work on a Saturday that broke my heart.
I miss my daughter a lot and seeing her on the weekend is that h