What I Own: Carman, who put down a £58,000 deposit on her Essex home

Welcome back to What I Own – Metro.co.uk’s weekly series where we chat to homeowners about mortgages, deposits and more.

Last time, we spoke to Natalie who lives up in Leeds, who put down a £132,000 deposit on her five-bed home.

This week we are in Essex talking to Carman, who moved in earlier this year with her partner Chris – using money from previous properties for their deposit.

This is what she had to say about their buying experience…

Tell us about yourself Carman.

I am 32 years old, I am a secondary school teacher and I teach science. I live in a village called Great Oakley.

Where is your property? What do you think of the area? 

Our property is in Great Oakley, a village within Harwich. We love the area, it’s lovely and quiet, lots of nature, lots of walks to explore and close to the beach.

When did you move in? 

June 24, 2021.

How much does your property cost?


How much was your deposit?

About £58,000.

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

About £2,000.

How did you save up for your deposit?

We had built up equity from two previous properties we had lived in, so we didn’t need to add any of our own money to the deposit 

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

We were lucky enough to be directed towards a mortgage broker called We Are Mortgages. We did previously have a mortgage broker through the new homes group, but found Eva from We Are Mortgages to be extremely helpful.

The biggest issue we faced was that our previous fixed-term mortgage hadn’t ended, and we had an early repayment charge. This involved some serious maths to work out the most cost effective way of moving forwards. We did have to pay a £999 arrangement fee for our new mortgage. 

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

We lived in Colchester, on a large new development. This was the first property we bought together. Covid made us realise we wanted to be in nature more and be close to the beach.

What made you want to buy rather than renting? 

We were already on the housing market, it made no sense to rent.

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

On Rightmove. The property had already sold, but it came back on the market and it seemed like fate that it was meant to be ours.

How have you made the property feel like home? 

We have only been in a short period of time, but we have already bought lots of furniture, fitted lights and we are currently getting the garden landscaped.

What’s your favourite room and why? 

The kitchen. We didn’t have this kind of space in the old house and this was the key selling point for us. We spend all of our time in here entertaining, drinking coffee and listening to music.

Do you feel like you have enough space? 


Do you have plans to change the property? 

We would like to eventually have a utility room off the kitchen. Chris really likes the idea of bi-fold doors, so who knows, we may extend the kitchen or living room so he gets that.

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


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

It’s very stressful and it’s a waiting game. Get a good solicitor, they are an important part in the process, don’t skimp on this, get someone local that you can pop in and see.

Get a good mortgage broker and make sure you talk to these people on a weekly basis. Always ask them if there is anything you can do to help the process along.

Get a good removals company. Reply to emails swiftly and get paper work signed and sent back as soon as you can.

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

We hope this is our forever home.

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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