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First time buyers Malcolm Ritchie (37), a paramedic from London and his girlfriend Morgan Levick (29) a flight attendant, have recently celebrated buying a spacious, two-bedroom apartment at Countryside and L&Q’s Acton Gardens development in West London, using the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme. Malcolm has been kind enough to share with us his top tips on how to save for a deposit.

How to save for a deposit - five tips from a first timer buyer - by Malcolm Ritchie

“Although overall it has taken a total of eight years to be able to put down a deposit on our new home at Acton Gardens, Morgan and I saved most of our deposit within the last two years. We both worked really hard and saved as much as possible, and would strongly suggest first time buyers do the same, whilst enjoying a limited but enjoyable social life.

Live with others

Our biggest expense was our rent, but we lived in a house with seven other people which helped to keep our costs down. If you are able, make the most of any opportunity to move back in with your parents or live in a house share, as it will really help you save money.

Add to your savings as often as you can

Save as much as you are able. We were saving monthly, so the day before pay day we would put any money in left in our accounts, straight into our savings. We also immediately saved overtime and any additional pay. Most importantly we worked out and then stuck to our monthly budget.

Make some cuts…

Holidays and weekends away were the main things that Morgan and I cut down on during the time we were saving. We always made sure that we had a good social life, but limiting the trips away really helped as they are a much bigger expense than the odd night out. We were very strict with other spending and only bought what we absolutely needed and never went beyond our means.

…but not too many

You don’t want to start resenting the fact that you’re saving, so everything in moderation works well in terms of a social life. We made sure that we spread out social events, such as festivals and nights out with friends, or just met up at house parties which was much cheaper and just as enjoyable.

It’s worth it in the end

It’s such a great feeling now that we are on the property ladder. It’s one of the best achievements we had made so far. It didn’t feel right to rent all our lives and now, if we have children, we have something to pass onto them. It’s a great feeling of contentment.

Good luck to everyone who maybe saving for a deposit, you’ll get there!”

All the best,

Malcolm Ritchie


Countryside has an experienced team that is trained to do everything they can to help you move and to take the worry out of the process. Please see the Help To Buy page on Countryside's website where you can find details of the different purchaser schemes available to help make your home buying process easier for you.

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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