C4’S Great House Giveaway presenter and mortgage expert Tayo Oguntonade bought his first house at just 22 years old.
He now has an impressive portfolio of properties — and he’s still only 29.
The housing market expert — who runs online platform @brickzwithtipz — talks about his passion for property.
This is what he has to say…
How did you get interested in the housing market?
My first love was cars. I’ve always worked and been a good saver. When I studied economics at university in Portsmouth I had two jobs and was always up for any overtime — I was probably one of the only students to come out of uni with no debt.
My strategy was to build up my savings then allow myself a little splurge. Back then my treat was a new car. But cars are depreciating assets so I started to think about what I could buy that would go up in value. The answer was property.
But 22 is super-young to get on the property ladder — how did you do it?
After uni I was working in a bank and also studying to be a mortgage broker so I already had a lot of knowledge about the money market. I couldn’t afford to buy in south-east London where I grew up, so I bought a three-bedroom Victorian terrace in Sittingbourne in Kent.
It cost £150,000 and I put down a 10% deposit of £15,000, which I’d saved. It was like moving to Narnia, a faraway land, and my family and friends thought I was crazy.
But it was a popular commuter location and had good transport links to London. There was also a school nearby so I knew the property would appreciate in value as it was a family house.
Why buy a family home if you didn’t have a family?
My plan was to take one of the three bedrooms for myself and rent the other two out. I was only a couple of years out of university so I was used to house sharing.
The mortgage was about £500 a month — I got £850 in, which meant I was £350 a month in profit. It was a win-win as I didn’t have any costly rent or outgoings, plus the mortgage was being paid off so it was like putting money in the bank.
Did it prove a good buy?
Absolutely. In 18 months it went up in value, which enabled me to use the equity to buy another property. I still own that first house because it has huge sentimental value.
What advice would you give to first-time buyers?
Be prepared to move further out in order to find more affordable areas. Don’t be too fussy about it either — this house is going to get you on the first rung of the property ladder, it’s not going to be your forever home. Even if you have a car, ensure that there are good transport links close by — even if it’s just a bus stop.
A school and a superstore for shopping will also add value. Property is tangible and, yes, prices can crash, but look at it as a long-term game and remember it is also providing you with a roof over your head.
The Great House Giveaway begins on Sunday at 7pm on Channel 4 and continues weekdays at 4pm.
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