How can I get on the property ladder?

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

It’s almost impossible to open a newspaper today and avoid a story about the problems facing first-time buyers or those who want to move to a new home. The issues start with cost: last month, the average asking price of a UK home increased by £911 to £228,298, according to the latest figures from

Rising prices and difficulties securing a mortgage are forcing first-time buyers to look at other, more creative options, to get on the property ladder

But it’s not just the price of a new home that’s making it more difficult for buyers. The other problem is the struggle to secure a mortgage.

The double dip recession and the worsening Eurozone crisis has led the Bank of England to warn that homeowners could face higher mortgage repayments as lenders raise interest rates to recoup costs.  A repayment hike can be devastating for many homeowners on standard variable rate mortgages, who could end up paying thousands of pounds a year extra. Lenders are also passing their extra costs onto many fixed rate deals too.

The pressure on lenders to raise lending interest rates also makes the situation worse for so-called mortgage prisoners – those who can’t afford to buy a home because the change in the mortgage market means they would not be able to negotiate a new mortgage. The unfortunate effect of this could be a slowdown in transactions as lenders become even more picky about who they are willing to offer mortgages to.

But there are option for wannabe home owners – so long as they’re willing to think creatively.

For instance, new research by reveals that buying a property with friends could be the answer to many first-time buyer woes.

It turns out that three friends clubbing together to buy a three bedroom home is the most cost effective route onto the property ladder for those who are willing to share.

Not only is the average mortgage repayment for a three-bedroom house in the UK, spread equally between three occupiers, £334 per person, but the monthly repayments of this size account for an affordable 19% of the average net wage across the UK.

Buying a property with friends could also lead to a larger deposit – something mortgage lenders particularly value at the moment. It could also lower the associated costs of moving – so council tax and utility bills will be lower.

Of course there are some practical concerns to keep in mind if you take this route. Be sure to speak to a solicitor and have a contract drawn up about what should happen if one friend wants to leave the arrangement. But as a leg up into the world of property equity, sharing with friends could be a sensible first-step on the road to full home ownership.

June 8, 2012 at 9:35 AM 1 comment

Meet our Rap For A Cause winner: Charlie Chyps

This is a legacy post from the blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Kent-based children’s hospice chYps is to receive a £10,000 donation thanks to the rapping efforts of a seven-year-old boy who lost his younger brother to a rare form of cancer.

Charlie, Tony and Oscar Saunders

Scores of contestants battled it out in the online competition in which Dartford-based Charlie Saunders and his father Tony Saunders – rapping as “Charlie Chyps and Divvy Dad” – won the contest with more than 6,000 public votes. They rapped in memory of Oscar Saunders who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and passed away last year shortly before his third birthday.

The competition was held in conjunction with a recent advertising campaign in which a number of characters rapped about their property needs.

The contest was closely fought, with Leeds-based 11-year-old Dylan Broadbent – rapping as “Dylz” – in a second place. He was representing The Christie Charity which funds projects at Manchester’s specialist cancer hospital The Christie Foundation Trust.

Both raps received huge online support, including tweets of support from Russell Brand, Mick Jagger, Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr,  and comedian John Bishop.

Charlie entered the competition to raise funds and awareness for chYps, the Kent-based children’s’ hospice that looked after his younger brother Oscar during his battle with cancer. By providing homecare, chYps supported the Saunders and allowed them to spend us much time as possible away from hospitals while Oscar was gravely ill. The £10,000 prize is being donated to support chYps’ respite service.

Leigh’anne Saunders with her sons Oscar and Charlie

“Losing Oscar was an incredibly traumatic experience, but without chYps it would have been a hell of a lot more traumatic,” Tony Saunders told

“I kept saying to Charlie, if we get to number one we’re really lucky, but at least we’re doing it for the right reasons.

“If it wasn’t for chyps and the fact they provided treatment at home, we would have been at the hospital non-stop for 18 months. But instead I was still able to run my business and pay the mortgage, Charlie was still able to have a life and go to school.”

Tracie Dempster, Head of Care at chYps said the charity was thrilled to be benefitting from the competition.

“Winning this £10,000 is absolutely amazing and will support the chYps service in so many ways. Much of our service is funded through charitable donations and core services that each family needs, such as specialist nurses that deliver cancer support and chemotherapy rely heavily on monies from the public.

chYps children’s hospice helped care for Oscar Saunders at home

“This £10,000 will help fund our chYps respite service, which is offered to all families. Just imagine what a difference a trip to the seaside could have on a child at the end of their life with competent staff to look after the child for the whole day. We are so thrilled to have won the money and are so grateful to Tony and Charlie for winning it for us in memory of Oscar.”

June 1, 2012 at 12:02 AM Leave a comment

Step inside Musical Memories. Amy Winehouse’s Villa on Sale for 2.7m

10 months after the tragic death of singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse her father Mitch, who reportedly bought the property with her, has decided to sell the property.

The property, which is listed for sale on is on the market with an asking price of £2.7m and is located on Camden Square, Camden, London NW1.

According to Zoopla average property values for Camden Square are currently £871,092 so it is well above average for the street. In terms of the average property price paid on the street, this stands at £618,333 (3 sales in 12 months) and when looking at current asking prices, the average for NW1 is £1,215,611.

The property listed on Zoopla, which is being marketing by House Network is described as:

 …a substantial and impressive three double bedroom, three reception room semi detached period villa with well-proportioned private front and rear gardens, directly overlooking Camden Square and its communal gardens.

Full property details for the property can be found here.

May 31, 2012 at 12:02 PM 2 comments

Feast your eyes on these properties with retro kitchens

Retro cool or in need of modernisation?

What do you think – leave your comments below…

1. 4 bedroom detached house for sale £1,100,000

2. 3 bedroom bungalow for sale £350,000

3. 5 bedroom detached house for sale £1,595,000

4. 4 bedroom detached house for sale £550,000

5. 4 bedroom detached house for sale – guide price £625,000

6. 2 bedroom flat for sale £1,995,000

7. 3 bedroom detached house for sale £650,000

8. 3 bedroom property for sale £495,000

9.  3 bedroom terraced house for sale £200,000

May 31, 2012 at 10:09 AM 2 comments

Homes now on the market for the first time since the 1977 Silver Jubilee

On 7th June 1977 the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee and the owners of these five homes bought their properties.

35 years later and the Queen is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee and the owners of these properties are now selling their homes.

Click on the images below to see more pictures and details about each property.

1. 4 bedroom detached house for sale £795,000 Guildford, Surrey GU2

2. 6 bedroom detached house for sale £650,000 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent ME17

3. 4 bedroom detached house for sale £648,250 Green Street, Lower Sunbury TW16

4. 4 bedroom detached house for sale £489,500 Ridgeway, Tranmere Park, Guiseley LS20

5. 2 bedroom bungalow for sale Guide price £295,000 Ford Road, Marlesford, Woodbridge IP13

May 30, 2012 at 1:01 PM Leave a comment

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The Zoopla property blog is maintained and edited by the Web Content Editor @ Zoopla Property Group Ltd Myra Butterworth.


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