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  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/34804311/im-20-and-i-own-a-250000-four-bed-house By Rick Kelsey Newsbeat reporter For most people in their teens and 20s buying a property is a distant and unachievable dream. It often means years of saving only to scrape enough together for a small flat. But Ellie King, 20, and Rory Schurer-Lewis, 22, weren't prepared to accept the wait. And now they are proud owners of a large four-bed detached home. Newsbeat went to Cheshire to find out what they did to make it all happen. This is how they did itEllie and Rory bought their home via the government's Help to Buy scheme which meant they could borrow 20% of their deposit. They needed to raise £12,500, which was 5% of the house value, plus other fees. Ellie says they wanted somewhere they could "grow into". Critics and Labour say the scheme still doesn't help poorer people who can't afford to raise the deposit in the first place. "We both grew up in detached homes. It's hard to explain without sounding like a huge snob. We were just used to having our own space." Help to Buy in England has two different elements, although similar schemes are available in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can either use the mortgage guarantee scheme or the equity loan scheme. Mortgage guarantee means people with a small deposit get government backing on their ability to repay the rest of the loan. It enables lenders to offer young buyers a 95% mortgage. In the equity loan scheme the government lends 20% of the deposit for a house, which borrowers must pay back after five years. This opens doors to better mortgage deals because buyers can put down a 25% deposit. There is a catch - this arrangement is only available for new-build homes. They both saved £500 a monthEven with Help to Buy, Ellie and Rory still needed £18,000 in savings to cover the deposit and stamp duty. So they got saving. "It was just being really strict with myself," says Ellie. "I was on an apprentice wage last year. It was a case of always putting a certain amount away." They both saved a minimum of £500 a month and lived with parents instead of renting for over two years. Here's the really tough bit - they also restricted their social lives. Rory earned £27,000, the national average full-time wage, when they bought the house. "It took being very disciplined sometimes," he explains. "It is hard but I don't think it is impossible, as some people make out. "Being an estate agent I see plenty of first-time buyers who've just got their heads down and done the graft. "I also see plenty of people coming into rented houses complaining to me that they can't get a deposit together and I'm thinking, 'Say no to the night out mate.'" New help for homeownersFirst-time buyers can now get a Help to Buy ISA. This gives you a 25% cash boost on your savings, to help you own your own place. Anyone aged 16 and over can open one for any property costing under £250,000 (£450,000 in London) and any mortgage. You can apply through your bank: - You can save up to £1,200 in the first month, then up to £200 a month after that - The government adds 25% tax-free to what's in the ISA when you use it for a deposit - If you manage to save £10,000 over a few years then the government will pop in another £2,500 - You'll earn interest like a normal cash ISA as well as getting the bonus at the end The average age at which people are buying their first home has been getting older - it's now 31. Labour reckons more still needs to be done to make housing more affordable. "This scheme will provide a welcome help to some aspiring homeowners, but frankly the government has got to do much, much more," MP John Healey, shadow cabinet minister for housing and planning, told Newsbeat. "It's a scandal that over the last five years the number of young people owning a home has plummeted by more than 20%, while Conservative ministers have halved investment in new affordable homes to rent and buy." And there was me thinking we were in a housing bubble, clealry everything is fine, the BBC say so, so it must be true.
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