Money Diary: Every Penny I Spent Buying My 185k Flat In Kent

Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money.
As everyone knows, we're in the middle of a housing crisis. Millennials are finding it harder than ever to get their feet on the property ladder. Many are struggling to save for a deposit, an increasing number are turning to their parents for help while the rest of us are losing huge amounts of money in exorbitant rent each month.
We decided to profile several different women who went about purchasing their house in different ways. This week, we're with a woman who, at 23, was able to buy her first flat, with help from her parents and money she was able to save living at home. She acknowledges how lucky she was to have this help and realises that, without it, she wouldn't have been able to buy.
Age: 23 when I bought the flat
Job: IT product manager
Salary: £41,000
House price: £185,500
Location: Kent, just outside London. About 10 minutes from my parents’ house and halfway between the motorway and the nearest station. I currently drive to work so I need to be near the motorway, but I knew I’d be living here a while so being near a station was important for getting into London at the weekend. In the end I paid less for a place outside of walking distance from the station but on a good bus route.
House type: It’s a purpose-built one-bedroom, one-bathroom flat. It was new about two years before I bought it off the first owner. There are a lot of new builds in my area and they’re all being done to a really high specification but that meant they were considerably more expensive.
Mortgage type: I took a standard mortgage with five years' fixed interest. I considered using Help to Buy, but I didn’t want to stretch myself with the monthly payments for a more expensive place. I wanted fixed payments for longer, though now my bank is offering much lower interest mortgages I’ll be looking at my options after two years to see whether lower payments would offset any early remortgaging fees.
Did you buy this house by yourself or with a partner/friend? I bought it myself.
Why did you decide to buy the house? I wanted to get onto the ladder as soon as I could, and family circumstances meant I had access to a good deposit. I’ll be honest though, I only looked at this flat and one other... and this one was perfect, so I made an offer and had it accepted in two days! I knew I wanted something I could afford to live in alone and without much work to be done, which there aren’t many of around here, so I jumped on it.

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