What I Own: Vidhya, who put down a £7,500 deposit with Help to Buy

Welcome back to another instalment of What I Own, Metro.co.uk’s weekly property series.

Every weekend we chat to a different homeowner about their buying experience – leaving no details spared. This time it’s the turn of Vidhya, who lives in a two-bed flat in Glasgow.

She bought her home in 2016 using the government’s Help to Buy scheme.

This is what she has to say about getting on the property ladder.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a 37-year-old software consultant mainly developing and project managing web and mobile applications. I work for a global investment bank and I’ve been working from home since the pandemic. I’m also an avid traveler and DIY enthusiast.

Where is your property? 

My property is a two-bed flat in Glasgow city centre, in St Andrew’s square.

The site my flat belongs to is called the Naismith building, which is a category B-listed building that used to be the Former Home for Destitute Children in 1800s and was converted into modern flats in 1996. 

The area is quite central, in the heart of the city centre – yet so peaceful in a nice residential pocket, only a few minutes walk away from Green Park and the River Clyde.

When did you move in? 

I moved here in the summer of 2016. 

How much does your property cost?

 It cost me £150,000.

How much was your deposit? 

The deposit was £7,500. I bought under the Help to Buy scheme which allowed me to get on the property ladder with a minimum 5% deposit and Help to Buy bonus.

What is the monthly cost of living here now; both mortgage and bills?

My mortgage and bills are around £1,300 a month.

How did you save up for your deposit?

I used to live in a flat share and saved up money for years. I also used the Help to Buy government bonus. 

What was the process of getting a mortgage like for you? Did you find any parts challenging?

I always had a good credit history and I maintained the credit score. So the mortgage process was easy. 

Where did you live before this – were you renting or living with family?

I used to live in the city centre and then in a flatshare with friends.

What made you want to buy rather than renting?

I always wanted a place of my own – I like my space. Also I am an investor by birth and always wanted to get on the property ladder sooner than later. 

How did you find this property? What made you choose it?

I had been looking for months online, viewing many flats, and when I found it advertised, I loved it instantly.

When I viewed the property I fell in love and went for it. The unique layout – with the mezzanine loft and the high floor-to-ceiling windows – is what made me choose this.

How have you made the property feel like home?

I have done so much work to this flat. I redecorated recently and worked on every little aspect like light fittings, kitchen, organising, DIY etc. 

Several furniture items are hand-decorated by me, as I am interested in upcycling. This allowed me to personalise the flat according to my taste.

What’s the inspiration for your interior decor style?

I love historical properties with period charm – yet I love my space to be modern and practical. So I like a combination of contemporary and Art Deco.

What’s your favourite room and why?

The mezzanine/loft area upstairs is my favourite room. It is separate from other functional rooms and an ideal place for relaxation, entertainment and the floor-to-ceiling windows only add to the feeling of more space. 

Do you feel like you have enough space?

Yes. Although it’s a two-bed flat, the additional mezzanine area makes it even bigger, and the rooms are quite massive for a city centre flat. My master bed is a large king size.

Do you have plans to change the property?

No I don’t. I have thought of adding another bathroom but it would reduce the size of the rooms, so no.

Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?

Nothing really.

What do you want people to know about buying a home?

Save up, maintain your credit history, make use of government schemes and investments and your ideal home will find you. 

What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing? Do you plan to stay here long term?

I love this property and it fits my life as it is now. I can’t imagine a life without it.

But you never know, if my life changes, I might move on to a different property – preferably a large independent house, most likely custom-built by me.

Shall we take a look around?

Do you want to feature in What I Own?

What I Own is a Metro.co.uk series that takes you inside people’s properties, to take an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in the UK. If you own your home and would be up for sharing your story, please email [email protected] 

You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’ve paid to live there and how you afforded the deposit, as that’s pretty important. 

If you’re renting, you can take part too! What I Own runs alongside What I Rent, which is the same series but all about renting. Again, if you’d like to get involved just email [email protected]

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