Donald MacInnes: First anxious steps towards property ladder

In The Red

I'm not on the Property Ladder. I'm not even on the Property Pavement on which the Property Ladder sits. Back in March, I "celebrated" my 15th year of living in London and, due to the preposterous amounts of cash money one needs to get one's hands on a title deed in this city, for a decade and a half, I have had no option but to pay rent to a procession of gimlet-eyed landlords and landladies, with nothing to show for it but a succession of past addresses strewn across the capital.

Having gotten married, though, I came to the realisation that the time was right (being that 50 per cent of a house is cheaper than all of it). My wife had seen an advert for one of the country's biggest high-street building society/banks that offers a 95 per cent mortgage if you save with them for a few years, so last Saturday morning we went without our usual breakfast-in-bed-while-watching-old-episodes-of-Frasier and made for our local branch.

There was a half-hour maximum on parking on the street, so the chances of us finishing our meeting and getting the hell out before John Q. Traffic-warden showed up were pretty slim.

Inside the branch, we spoke to the woman standing behind a little "meet and greet" lectern at the front door and she told us that one of her colleagues – let's call her Tracy-Louise – would see us in five minutes. We took a seat opposite a door bearing that very name and then, given the fashion for glass-walled offices, spent the next few minutes watching Tracy-Louise prepare for our meeting by updating her Facebook page. She appeared to be about 14 years old. We cast anxious glances at each other and then back at the adolescent who was about to facilitate the biggest financial transaction of our lives. Thankfully, she had by this time exited from Facebook, but was now playing Angry Birds on her phone.

Eventually, her door opened and her young face appeared. She appeared to be chewing something. "Awright?" she said. "You wanna come froo?"

I would like to tell you that we sprinted for the exit, but times is hard and 95 per cent mortgages are, well, a little thin on the ground, so we had to suck it up, ignore her Justin Bieber screensaver and sign over our salaries to her for the next 12,000 years. The upside? She said that she'll friend us on Facebook. Oh good …

Twitter.com/DonaldAMacInnes

d.macinnes@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - 6 month FTC - Central London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity f...

    Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application) - Agile

    £215 per day: Ashdown Group: Junior Project Manager (website, web application ...

    Guru Careers: Software Engineer / Software Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software Engineer / Softw...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before