Home Forums Money What are your thoughts on being a first time buyer...

Silverclarity Posted 11 months ago
What are your thoughts on being a first time buyer at 55 with no dependents? I’ve rented all my life but been left a bit of money. Enough for a 40% deposit on a small property. Good idea? Bad idea? I’m tired of giving my money to landlords.
11 likes & 51 replies
    • Vixster 1st March 2021 at 4:29 pm

      Interesting question! Property does seem to be one of the few ways you can potentially make money nowadays so you would be unlikely to lose your deposit. Do you want to keep working though to pay off the mortgage? Otherwise you could use your money for different experiences. I’ve had a mortgage since my 30s so I can’t really advise anything different!

      • Silverclarity 2nd March 2021 at 5:05 pm

        I don’t know. That is the big question. I’ve been out of work for quite a long time and about to start a new job.

        • Tim17 27th December 2021 at 5:52 pm

          I’m 56 n don’t own my own house but do have a good deposit but don’t wanna use it I say go for it n remember this u could always money out of the house to live on

    • Chris S 2nd March 2021 at 8:26 am

      Sounds like a great idea and I don’t blame you for being fed up with giving your money to landlords, but as a first time buyer at 55 you may need to shop around for a mortgage provider. By way of an example, two years ago my wife and I were looking to switch borrowers in order to take advantage of a cheaper deal. We were looking borrow about £30k, or less than 10% of the property’s value and provided them with all the usual financial info (payslips, proof of savings, bank statements, tax returns etc), but were turned down as they also required proof that we would be eligible for the state pension, since my wife was due to reach statutory retirement age while the mortgage was still running, and the fact that we have a very high credit rating and were (and still are) both working and receiving former occupational pensions – which of course is guaranteed income – cut no mustard with them whatsoever! In the end we stayed with our existing provider but the whole business left a very sour taste! I feel that lenders need to be far more accommodating to older borrowers since in many cases the next generation will need to wait until their parents pass on before being able to afford to buy, by which time they will probably be in their 50’s themselves.

    • Janmay 2nd March 2021 at 10:33 am

      If your future pension is enough to pay rent forever I guess you could use your windfall for other things like travel etc but as a home owner and now mortgage free it is a nice luxury owning your own property and you can do what you want with it with no fear of the landlord, or having to keep moving when landlords end rentals etc.

      • Silverclarity 2nd March 2021 at 5:08 pm

        I don’t think I will have a future pension as I’ve been out of work for 6 years. I’ve just got a new job and this little bit of money. I want to put it to good use, so I want to be ‘rent’ and mortgage free in 15 years time. As I’ve never had a mortgage and am on my own, it is all very scary to me – so really appreciate all the advice I can get.

        • Chris S 2nd March 2021 at 8:32 pm

          In the first instance it would be worth discussing this proposal with your own bank, since they are bound to offer mortgages, and the larger branches usually have in house mortgage advisors. They would at the very least be able to say whether you would qualify for one of the products which they offer, and also how much in principle they would be prepared to lend you. However I suspect that most lenders would want you to have been in your present job for at least three months before they would consider lending you anything, and you also need to take into account the other expenses associated with moving house such as legal fees, survey fees, stamp duty (assuming that the current holiday is not extended) and hiring a removal van; I have not bought or sold a property in over 20 years, but I would say that all this would be in the region of £2-3k depending on the price of the house or flat which you buy.

          Another thing – if you have problems in finding a suitable mortgage deal, have you thought about shared ownership ? This would allow you to purchase say 25-50% of a property with the option of buying it outright in the future. But I wish you all the best whichever you decide.

        • Debbieallen 20th April 2021 at 5:58 pm

          You will get a pension even if you’ve been out of work for 6 years. The state pension will provide you with something. HMRC tells you any years you’re covered for.

          Regarding buying property – Go for it !! You can buy a Buy Share in a property if you don’t have enough for a full property. You could also invest in land, a garage, gold, works of art. But property is good because you can also live in it ! Good luck !

    • mel 2nd March 2021 at 11:17 am

      Wishing you the very best of luck with whatever you decide – there are definitely pros and cons to both owning a property and being a tenant. If you’re looking for a mortgage, you might find this article useful: https://restless.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/mortgages-if-youre-over-50-what-you-need-to-know/

    • Toffee196 2nd March 2021 at 4:41 pm

      Think it all depends on whether you will have difficulty making the monthly payments or whether you have a long wish-list of other exciting things you would like to do in your life x

      • Silverclarity 2nd March 2021 at 5:09 pm

        I would eventually like to retire to the coast and won’t be able to afford rent there – so was thinking it would be better to have bought something by then, so I can sell and move? I’m a total novice with mortgages as rented all of my life.

        • Toffee196 2nd March 2021 at 6:10 pm

          Just be very careful Hun, as I’m sure you will. I wish you well. Suggest you document all your income, savings and outgoings to see what you can afford then speak to a no-fees broker at London & Country who will give you a good idea of the options available to you.

        • Silverclarity 2nd March 2021 at 6:23 pm

          Thank you so much. I have spoken to a broker who has told me all her advice is free until I actually choose her? She really knew her stuff too , but what do I know?

        • Caza 2nd March 2021 at 7:39 pm

          Try contact or checking out Martin Lewis money tips, he is so knowledgeable about all things financial. All the best

        • Silverclarity 2nd March 2021 at 7:51 pm

          thank you. I’ve read all his info on first time buyers.

        • John 64 10th January 2022 at 6:55 am

          Prices if Moving to the coast, have soured, I moved to Hive over 30 years ago, had no choice but to rent, even back then it was £500
          For a 3 bed house, moved from London where the price was the same, 10 years in, the landlord decided he wanted to sell and move up north, but made it difficult for us to buy the house, and kept upping the price, in the end I made one time offer or I’d remove everything we had put into the house that improved it, as he did nothing for the time we were there, my daughter and friends were local, he knew we didn’t want to move, since owning, 20 years, house prices have risen 4 fold, it’s mad, my kids are renting, and we’d like to down size, as it’s me and my partner now, but there’s nothing for what we want, so we seem stuck, our mortgage is small, just lucky we got out of the renting when we did, maybe when we retire we’d just sell up and buy a camper and travel till we drop! Good luck with all that you do 🙂

    • Toffee196 2nd March 2021 at 6:28 pm

      Just one other thing, you’ve got me started now! I used to regularly eat in a pasta restaurant in the main High Street- can’t remember the name now!) it was owned by a smashing guy who had moved down from London but I remember him being disappointed that the local folk just wouldn’t accept him, simply because he wasn’t from the local area. Something to consider if you are re-locating. Personally, I’d suggest renting for 6 months before you commit to buying in the area.

    • Globetrotter15 3rd March 2021 at 9:32 am

      As I don’t know you it’s difficult to suggest one thing or another.
      If it was me.
      My take on life is make memories.
      Eg we have a mega travel trip we want to do once this lockdown is over.
      Fly & stay in Hong-Kong for 4 days.
      Get a cruise round the fat East eg Japan China etc.
      Then fly to Bali & Borneo & hire a car for at least 2/3 weeks in each place.
      Then onto New Zealand & tour both North & South Islands
      No contest in my eyes.
      But we are fearless
      Being a property owner is not all it’s cracked up to be.
      Life is short if your happy renting & the landlord doesn’t have any plans to get rid of you.
      Why rock the boat?
      But others will probably say buy a property which is a sound investment.
      Your call.
      Good luck.
      Remember what ever you decide you can always change your mind.
      Try not to have regrets.

      • Silverclarity 4th March 2021 at 1:04 pm

        I’m on my own. Been out of work for 6 years and now going back into it. I have been volunteering for 5 charities over the past 6 years, not sitting on my arse.
        Hate the house I’m renting as it is so cold and the landlord refuses to do anything. I’ve been here 14 years and want to move – so initially I was looking to rent elsewhere. Rent is very expensive and I realised that I would still have to pay for rent until I die, so trying to work out which would give me more peace of mind. Where would I get the rent from once I retire? I’ve never been materialistic and always been a saver – have lived most of my life on very little money – so now I have some, I want to make sure I put it to good use. All advice greatly appreciated.

        • Gypsy888 29th April 2021 at 4:18 pm

          If you get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit your income and savings are not taken into account so you may get your rent paid in full by Housing Benefit. If you own your home, you won’t be eligible for Housing Benefit, but you could get support with your mortgage interest as part of Pension Credit instead.

        • Deleted User 12th July 2021 at 9:21 am

          Nothing as soul-destroying as shelling out rent to a hard-hearted landlord. We are due a dollop of inflation in the next few years so you could do a lot worse than to buy property, but be sure that if interest rates rise you can still meet the cost of the mortgage.

    • Deleted User 3rd March 2021 at 10:50 am

      Be wary of advisors I have found you can often find much better deals yourself simply by looking in the financial pages of a quality newspaper or online https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/best-buys/
      Advisors will always be steered by what’s in it for them, after all it is their livelihood.
      As to the original question I would say buy is almost always the best option instead of looking after a landlords retirement pot you will be looking after your own.

    • DillyDog 3rd March 2021 at 11:09 am

      Buy every time, but thats just me. I love the feeling of security and staying put. Good advice on this thread already given but I would personally advise chosing the area wisely. Go for the best area you can afford. You can change layouts, gardens, kerb appeal etc but you can’t change where your home is. Our cheeky neighbour knocked our door to introduce herself before she offered on the home next to us. She said later that had we been horrible (!) She would not have bought the house! She was a lady on her own so I guess neighbours could make or break her happiness. Good luck in whatever you choose.

      • Silverclarity 4th March 2021 at 1:08 pm

        That is an excellent point. I viewed a house yesterday and said to the estate agent that the viewing should include an introduction to the neighbours. She laughed, but I was deadly serious.

        I’m having to look further afield as I can’t afford to buy where I live at the moment. It’s all very scary when you are on your own and have lived in the same house for 14 years. I lost my dad two years ago and he was my advisor – so I’m feeling pretty lost at the moment.

        I’m so glad I found this group, and really do appreciate any advice you can give me.

    • swinstan 4th March 2021 at 1:29 pm

      Personally, I’d avoid the bank, your own or any other. They will only be able to advise about their own products and rules. A ‘whole of market’ mortgage broker will know far more, particularly about unusual situations – and some will advise without costs, taking income from the lender when you take out a mortgage. Our broker recently advised us that mortgages were offered by some lenders up to the age of 85.

      • Silverclarity 4th March 2021 at 1:31 pm

        How do I find one of these brokers? Yes, the one I spoke to recently told me I was young at 55! Nice to hear someone say that these days! I joined a ‘first time buyer’ advice group on FB and feel ancient!!!!!!

        • swinstan 4th March 2021 at 2:23 pm

          I haven’t checked the truth of this link yet but according to this the World Health Organisation have reclassified age, and you are still ‘a young person’ and I, at 67 years, am ‘middle aged’. I’m good with that!

          0-17 years old: underage
          18-65 years old: youth/young people
          66-79 years old: middle-aged
          80-99 years old: elderly/senior
          100+ years old: long-lived elderly


        • swinstan 4th March 2021 at 2:28 pm

          Our broker was https://www.thebuytoletbroker.co.uk/

          Not just buy- to-let. They do residential mortgages too. And our experiences last year with quite a complex situation were very positive. It was a BTL mortgage (part of the pension plan) but they sorted a 12 year mortgage which included husband, aged 74 at time of application.

        • Debbieallen 20th April 2021 at 6:01 pm

          Try London and County brokers – they’re whole of market (they don’t just sell products that sponser them) and they have given very good advice to me when I was a single parent, on tax credits with little income.

      • Deleted User 12th July 2021 at 9:24 am

        Yes, but you have to pay for the advice from an independent and if s/he does the work but for some reason you cant proceed, you may still have to pay!

    • BernSawle 11th July 2021 at 1:09 pm

      split it in 2 rent one and get a lifetime mortgage on the other

    • Ric 11th July 2021 at 4:21 pm


      You mention you dont think you will be entitled to a pension but state entitlement pension pays £135.00 per week if one has contributed a minimum of 10 years NI through previous earnings….

      When you hit 68 as its going up as minimum retirement age in 2 years time and you draw your state pension’ if you are struggling this can be topped up to £179.00per week. Check out the DWP website to get a projection on years contributed plus a fotcast of that which you can expect.

      Probably a good time to obtain a mortgage now with interest rates being low and possibly go for a 5 year fixed rate.

      Good luck .


    • Anonymous User (no longer active) 12th July 2021 at 9:56 pm

      Go for it Silverclarity. Not sure where you live but obviously some parts of the country are easier to buy in than others (north of England/Wales). I think it is a good idea to go into retirement with your own home and will make a huge difference on your standard of living then. When you do buy just make sure you are really comfortable with your repayments as many times we try and stretch our mortgages out to getting the biggest house in the best street etc.

    • Langers 17th July 2021 at 3:06 pm

      Speak to a financial advisor

    • Iva 26th July 2021 at 1:39 pm

      Did you look at possibilities of self build? It’s no mortgage. There was that program about 4 people in Brighton, all of them past their 40s I think.
      They were building their block of flats, it’s only 4 flats, local council provided them with a piece of land.
      Obviously, they were hiring professionals but it seems that the local authorities support schemes like that. I think that it is a co-operative scheme.
      Perhaps your council has something similar?

    • Lark22 27th July 2021 at 2:43 pm

      We got our house when I was 45 lucky for us mortgages were low at that time. We bought an ex council house so we’re very lucky it was in the right place. We started paying 20% extra right from the start. Lucky for us I got made redundant at 60 but with my lump some paid our mortgage off as paying extra every month we saved 7yrs made us feel very lucky. With the rest we did the house up new kitchen loft extension so no big things to be done.
      I hope it works for you but don’t take on something that takes you to your limit, remember things and life change. Good Luck

    • Anonymous User (no longer active) 15th September 2021 at 3:27 pm

      How do you feel about it? If you are happy and can and want go for it

    • Mad Ralph 15th September 2021 at 4:01 pm

      I’d definitely buy. Even if your struggling to pay the mortgage later in life you can always sell the property and everything you’ve payed up to that point would be equity, meaning it’s like putting your money in the bank as opposed to giving it to a landlord. There’s the added bonus that the property’s value will likely increase over time which is also giving you a return. It’s a win win in my opinion.

    • Ric 16th September 2021 at 10:32 am


      My advice would be to make up your national Insurance contributions for those lost years …..
      You will need minimum 10 years contributions to qualify for standard £135.00 per week paid in 4 weekly amounts from the state ,when you retire. Contribute on those years you have not to a max of 35 and the pa out becomes £179.00 per week x 4 that’s 718.40 per month.

      Not fantastic but with a mortgage in tow you will possibly be slightly better off than paying someone else’s mortgage!

      Take some mortgage advice from an independent agency who can also find you the best deal at the moment as interest rates at an all time low. Keep your eye on these rates as Boris is screwing everything up in terms of hiking taxes and national Insurance from April 2022.

      Good luck Silver – Failing that find a rich man and say I love you lots of times and live your life in complete bliss forever.

      Best Regards

      Ric B

    • Treehugger900 19th September 2021 at 6:31 am

      I was a first time buyer at 48 and love the security of owning rather than renting. Plus, as a previous poster said, it’s like a saving scheme for yourself, the money you put in you will get back when you sell, with the added bonus that your property will have gone up in value. Mine went up about £70k within a few years of buying, though has since come down a bit with Brexit and the pandemic exodus from London, but I am still up at least 50k. I too put off buying because I was scared after renting forever, but honestly wish I had done it sooner. Another thing to consider is that it may cost you less to buy rather than rent anyway – rents where I live are more than double what I pay on my mortgage every month. And Santander gave me a mortgage till age 75. Good luck!

    • Dianeliz 19th September 2021 at 11:31 am

      I understand exactly how you feel! You got a once in a lifetime lump of money that feels like more than just money and you want it to have a meaningful impact on your life. It is a big deal to go through that process for the first time without a personal friend with experience to advise.

      It does feel good to have somewhere to belong, especially as an Independent. But it does change life. You start having to make work decisions based on whether or not it pays enough rather than if you want to do it. But then also, that can challenge us! There’s nothing like a mortgage to focus the mind! I’d strongly recommend something not too old – A Victorian place has a endless maintenance and renovation costs. Possibly 60s or later..? Fixing maintenance issues anywhere can be a few thousand each time.

      Before offering on anything, get a builder to check it over, especially the roof. Get solid buildings insurance. I over-insure.
      Please don’t rely on renting rooms in your personal space to help you, you’ll work hard for that money.

      Someone here mentioned buying something else – maybe a garage or a small Airbnb-type holiday let. Perhaps thinking outside the box might help find your solution.

      That’s all I can think of that may be of help 🙂

    • Dianeliz 19th September 2021 at 11:36 am

      Oh, and if you do decide to buy, make a list of the things you pick up as stuff to remember and keep it with you! There’s lots of little details about the mortgage type etc.

    • Katie Moon 31st October 2021 at 9:43 am

      You could consider the size and type of home you create. For example a static or caravan instead of a house or flat. How easy to maintain such as outgoings and what it gives you location and enjoyment wise can also make it a good or not so good idea. Eg near nice walks or good sports facilities or transport links. Also where any sources of support live and how often you want people to stay or visit may be a consideration. It can be very fulfilling doing up a dwelling you own and enjoying for example the garden. You could always sell if you don’t like it too, especially if you add value and buy in a good location. Good luck

    • Daisy2021 14th November 2021 at 10:49 pm

      Do it and be free

    • Wolves2908 20th December 2021 at 5:10 pm

      I’m thinking Of doing exactly the same thing. Or is there a better alternative to owning property?

    • Ska 21st December 2021 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Silverclarity,
      I might be a little late to this discussion but i thought i would add my bit. Ive recently had a similar discussion with a younger sibling. I asked her to consider her retirement pot. Owning a home is a good long term investment and might serve you very well as you enter your retirement years. I expect ownership will bring you real personal satisfaction. But owning is not without its additional costs as well. Please be mindful of your current pension pot. You will not enjoy your employed lifestyle on the state pension alone. So it will be beneficial to consider an ISA or private pension contribution. Its not for everyone, and its not really exiting but its pretty interesting to explore how much some money invested safely can grow until you retire. I am not involved in any way with the financial industry. I am paying more attention to my own pension pot as i prepare to retire and thought i would share my thoughts.

    • Sallyinouralley 27th December 2021 at 4:08 pm

      I’m thinking laterally so how about one of these options: buy something at auction with a small additional mortgage and let it out to pay off the mortgage, (2) live in it yourself and do Airbnb if you’re in a nice area (3) live it in yourself and get a lodger. Legally, if you have a spare room, you can let it out and earn around £7k without having to pay tax on it.
      What a wonderful opportunity to be a homeowner. 💝🎁🎄