Teenager buys first home at 19 while training to become nurse and working weekends in take-away

Trainee nurse says she knew “sacrifices would be worth it”

Wednesday 09 February 2022 10:11
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<p>Isabella Hunter outside her home </p>

Isabella Hunter outside her home

A teenager earning £12,000 a year has revealed she has bought her first home while training as a nurse and working in a take-away on the weekend.

Isabella Hunter, 19, single-handedly bought and decorated a £107,000 two-bedroom semi-detached home in Dearham, Cumbria which came complete with a garden and a garage.

This week TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp stirred controversy when she suggested that a higher number of young people could afford to buy a home if they made more sacrifices.

The Location, Location, Location presenter, who bought her first home at the age of 21 with help from her family, told The Sunday Times: “When I bought my first property, going abroad [and] the easyJet, coffee, gym, Netflix lifestyle didn’t exist.”

She also said that “it’s about where you can buy, not if you can buy. There is an issue around the desire to make those sacrifices.”

But sacrifice is no stranger to Miss Hunter, who said she went on fewer nights out in her bid to save money and “would always take a packed lunch to work rather than buying food out every day”.

The trainee nurse said: “I stayed motivated because I knew what I wanted and knew smaller sacrifices would be worth it once I got a place of my own.”

Miss Hunter started working at 15 and opened a Help to Buy savings account at 16. Whilst studying at college, she took a job in a GP surgery on her free days and worked weekends.

“I am a saver at heart,” she said. “When I get paid before I spend anything I move a set amount into a separate savings account.”

The trainee nurse saved for three years before buying her home.

Her determination to save up helped her to put down more than £17,000 for her deposit on a 40-year mortgage plan. She said: “I wanted to get on the property ladder as it gives me independence and makes financial sense. It’s an asset and my mortgage is much cheaper than renting.”

With no plans to slow down, she is saving to buy a second property to rent out “to invest in [her] future”.

The teenager’s mum, Kerri Hunter, said her daughter “has always been very driven”. She said: “When Izzie got pocket money from us and her grandparents she would save up to buy something she wanted, so she understood that you have to save if you want something from a young age.”

Over the weekend, Allsopp’s remarks on saving to buy property were met by criticism by young people as well as struggling families who found her comments unsympathetic.

They also pointed to the advantage of the presenter being the daughter of Charles Henry Allsopp, 6th Baron Hindlip.

The presenter responded to the criticism on Twitter, writing: “Who thinks I have spent the last 22 years pretending to understand the needs of British homebuyers must think me a very good actress indeed. If you don’t like the shows don’t watch them.

“But I’m beyond caring what the press or social media think about me, life is too short.”

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