Money natters: Young property owners, Josh & Ollie share their tips.

By Kimberley Bailey

Joshua & Ollie shares their tips and explains how they got their foot on the property ladder.

Unlike your average recent graduate in the UK Ollie Gristword can boast that he's about to move into his first home and, in turn, enjoy his initial step on the property ladder. The Junior building surveyor, living in Bournemouth is working towards being a property developer is the near future and with his knowledge of the market it’s certainly no a pipe dream. Continuing to blaze the trail of young property owners, Joshua Boer, who’s tackling his final year studying International Business at Nottingham university juggles student life with his landlord duties...


Q: What did you want to be when you were kids?


Ollie: As bad as it might sound I think I actually just wanted to be rich…

Joshua: I kind of felt the opposite, weirdly. Obviously everyone wants to be rich but I was always really frugal when I was young and I just imagined that’s how I'd always be. Now I realise that spending isn’t so bad.


Q: What would you say is your ideal job and would you say you were in that now? If not, how do you guys see yourself getting there?


Ollie: I’m definitely in the industry that I want to be in but not quite in the role I aspire to. I do know I’ll get there though, I’m on the right path, it’s just a lack of experience which is holding me back right now.

Joshua: I’m a bit further behind Ollie in the sense that I haven’t graduated yet so in a very literal way it’s that which is holding me back, so my exams and stuff but I’m looking forward to entering the jobs market as soon as university is done.


Q: If you were handed £10,000 what would you spend it on?


Ollie: It’d go into investment stock shares so that I could earn even more on that to put into another property.

Joshua: I’d pay off as much of my student loan as possible! The interest is only going up… (it’s now at 6.1% to be precise)


Q: What inspires you to keep working hard in order to reach your goals?


Ollie: Money is actually a big motivator for me - when I see my work rewarded with cash in the bank it pushes me to keep progressing...

Joshua: Mine is more of a personal pride thing and not wanting to fail. Also now I’m feeling more that I want to be comfortable financially so that I can provide anything and everything for my loved ones.

Money management, attitude & goals

Q: On a scale of 1 - 10 how do you both rate yourself on being money savvy? And where is there room for improvement?


Ollie: I don't think I'm savvy with my money at all! I could definitely be better if I didn't go out so much and was wiser with my spending. I bought two tennis memberships this year… that’s how not savvy I am.

Joshua: I’d say I'm a 7 so I’m not quite as harsh on myself as Ollie. There's always room for improvement when it comes to choosing where my money goes though.


Q: How would you describe your relationships with money and where did you learn to manage?


Ollie: I'm a lot more conscious of it since I bought my own property and the responsibilities that came with that. I'd say I never really learnt about managing my finances in an in depth way… I guess my dad taught me the basics.

Joshua: Right now, like Ollie, I was say I'm very conscious but that's because I'm on a tight budget as a student. I'm also in saving-mode because I want to move to London by the end of the year. I wasn't really taught about money management either… however, my nan is super inspiring when it comes to money management because she had financial security taken away from her but she totally turned it around and was able to provide for her family.


Q: What aims do you two have financially over the next 2 years or so?


Ollie: It’s honestly all about property; I’m aiming to move into a bigger place and I want to grow my stake in the property market by firstly doing the places up to how I want them to be.

Joshua: Absolutely feel the same. The main goal is to sell the flat I have now and put it into a bigger place which will gain in value so I can move up the property ladder. Obviously the other major aim is to graduate from university and move into the career I want. As well as that I want to work towards being totally clued up on all the financial lessons I was never taught but that I find really valuable (council tax costs, stamp duty etc.)


Q: ...And the bigger picture? The life goals?


Ollie: I want to run my own business eventually and be able to retire young wearing my boat shoes in my Jag…

Joshua: I ultimately want to work for myself, and by 35 years old I want to be totally debt free.

Owning property

Q: Why did you want to own your own property?


Ollie: I just really wanted to have a place of my own without the fear of dealing with a landlord, and I really wanted the freedom of leaning on, or living with, my parents.

Joshua: For me it was more about it being a solid investment in terms of it increasing in value and would be income for me when I rented it...


Q: How did you both get on the property ladder?


Ollie: In quite a straightforward way really… I saved up a 5% deposit for a mortgage and I used help from the government to buy ISA for a bit of my deposit too.

Joshua: Well I watched the cash I had (from inheritance) just sit there losing value through inflation so I decided to put it into property as an investment which will hopefully grow!


Q: What’s one vital thing you learn when going through the process of buying or owning your homes?


Ollie: I definitely learnt that the cost of living is a lot higher than I expected. At university I didn't have to sort out all the stuff like water and energy bills or service charge. Renting places which are “all bills included” is a real bubble.

Joshua: Personally I learnt never to trust an estate agent! Do the research yourself. Be prepared for hidden fees and prepared and able to keep money aside for maintenance costs and solicitor fees. Oh and if you’re looking into buying a leasehold place check how many years are left on it (if it’s a short lease of anything below 90 years you could struggle when selling it on).


Q: What advice would you give other people in their 20s who are looking to get a place of their own?


Ollie: Don't rush into it and make sure all your research has been done thoroughly, like Joshua said. It’s also definitely worth looking into government schemes and help-to-buy programmes (just be aware which properties accept these schemes)

Joshua: Have the long-term objective in mind. Something might seem like a good idea now but you have to think about whether you want - and can handle - the commitment of owning your own property.


Q: And finally… how does it feel being a home owner?


Ollie: It is stressful at times admittedly, partly down to the fact that it’s still quite new so I'm still learning. But it is lovely too!

Joshua: I just feel really proud to say that this place is totally my own and I can pretty much do whatever I want with it!

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