Buying my first home  – Alana Hebenton

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First Time Buyer Stories
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Now, this is a story about how I ended up with my own little palace in Southsea. It all began a couple of years ago when I was renting a flat with my friend. Like most 20 year old, I was quite happy renting. There was no real commitment, when things went wrong I had my friendly landlord to rely on and buying somewhere just generally seemed unattainable and grown up.

However, one day my happy renting bubble was burst when my friend told me that she would be moving out to live in a house with her boyfriend. I had two options. I could go play gooseberry or I could put her room up for rent and live with a stranger.  A true believer that three is a crowd and having done my fair share of living with strangers, I wasn’t too keen on either of these.

So, I decided to go talk to my friend Matthew at YesCanDo.  I told him my situation and asked him for some advice. I half thought that, when I told him my bank balance and salary, he would laugh me out of his lovely Havant based office and tell me I was out of my blonde head if I thought buying somewhere could be an option.

To my pleasant surprise, I was wrong and Matthew explained how, with my deposit, my mortgage could actually work out cheaper than the rent I was paying. Win! All I had to do was find somewhere I wanted to buy and I could become a First Time Buyer. A very simple statement. Sadly, a not so simple action.

That night I immediately set up a million different property search alerts on Rightmove and Zoopla and began trawling the internet for flats in Southsea. Within a week I’d already done five property viewings, seeing everything from the bijou to the bonkers.

Luckily, amidst the weird and wonderful, I found somewhere I absolutely loved. It was a cute one bed flat, located just off my favourite Southsea Street, Albert Road.  I couldn’t have been happier and after sending the details through to the team at YesCanDo, he agreed it was a great choice and advised me on the next crucial step of making an offer. This advice was very welcome as up until this point my bartering experience had been limited to getting knock off designer bags on holiday. The advice worked and my offer was accepted. Could it be that I was now officially a First Time Buyer. Everything was going so well that I was beginning to wonder what everyone was going on about when they say buying a home is the most stressful thing you can do.

Sadly, I soon discovered this when I got a letter from my mortgage provider saying I’d been rejected! Distraught and confused, I rang up Matthew who immediately got on the case to find out what was going on.  Within the hour the YesCanDo team where back on the phone and explained how the mortgage had been refused as the flat was above a commercial property and it had an open plan roof that made it risky. He said YesCanDo would help me with whatever I wanted to do but it would probably be best to look for somewhere else.

Despite loving the flat, I knew he was right and with YesCanDo’s help I got back on the property search wagon. It wasn’t long before I found a flat that I loved even more and again, with the help of Matthew and the YesCanDo team, I was able to get a mortgage that was this time accepted!

I’ve now been a ‘grown up’ property owner for over a year, something I would have never thought possible without the help and support of YesCanDo.

YesCanDo chapter two (2 years later) 

So, a lot has happened in the last two years…I got a new job, I discovered my love of peanut butter and I became an actual homeowner!

Now, as exciting as the tale of my first taste of peanut butter is, today I’m going to tell you a little more about my home ownership story.  Avid readers of the YesCanDo blog will know already how their great team played a very important role in getting me from being a First Time Buyer to getting on the property ladder and becoming a homeowner.  Well, they also had a key part in continuing my home-ownership journey, helping me through the steps of renewing my mortgage.

The process began when I received a letter from my mortgage provider – Virgin Money – stating my mortgage was up for renewal. As soon as I received this, I sent Matthew an email asking him for his advice. Despite being across the pond on holiday in Las Vegas, he quickly replied almost instantly, inviting me for a meeting to discuss my options.

When Matthew had returned from his American travels, I visited him at the friendly YesCanDo offices in Havant. I was given a lot of very good news. Firstly, he explained how, after two years, my flat in Southsea had not only increased in value but because I now had a new job earning more money, I could get a much better mortgage deal. I had the option to either reduce my monthly payments or cut down the amount of years I had to pay – win!

Once we’d decided on a plan, Matthew sent me more details on the mortgage we’d chosen and asked for a copy of my bank statement and passport. My new mortgage provider, Barclays, then wanted statements for my last year’s mortgage payments in order to get the mortgage application process started. Unfortunately, this proved a little difficult as my current mortgage provider were quite hard to get hold of. Thankfully though, in the same way YesCanDo were always there to help when I had difficulties buying my property, they again went that extra mile to ensure I secured my mortgage offer.

When Barclays had all the paperwork they required, the process couldn’t have been simpler and before I knew it I was set up with my new mortgage deal, on a better rate in a property that had increased in value!

I still can’t quite believe how much I’ve achieved in the last two years, but I know it wouldn’t have been possible without the help and amazing service at YesCanDo.

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YesCanDo Money are a local Independent Mortgage Advisor based in Havant. We get to know you and your personal circumstances so that we can provide you with sound financial solutions for your mortgage, life cover wills and everything financial in between.

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