I have previously mentioned that I own an apartment in my hometown, and today I’d like to tell you a story of how I got my foot on the property ladder at the age of 21, and whether this is something I regret doing.
My parents have always been opposed to the idea of renting and firmly believed that one should own their home. They were born during the Soviet times in Russia where renting was a foreign concept (and to some extent it still is). It became more popular to rent after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the views of the older generation have not changed. Same as not going to university after school, renting was never an option. Although my parents have also been opposed to the idea of taking out a mortgage to fund a home purchase, this was the only type of borrowing that they could justify. The times have changed and unless you had millions in cash lying around the only way you could become a home owner was to take out a mortgage. So I did.
I was lucky enough to buy my first home in 2005 (just before the credit crunch) when property prices were still very reasonable and relatively low. I ended up buying a spacious one-bedroom apartment in a new luxury apartment block in one of the nicest neighbourhoods in the city and within 15 minutes walk from the beach. Now, I do have to admit that my parents helped me step up onto the property ladder by lending me the deposit money which was 15% of the apartment price – I have since paid them back. My mortgage period is 28 years which means I have still got 20 years to go before the mortgage is paid off (unless, of course, I change my mortgage repayment plan in a couple of years’ time and start making accelerated payments).
I didn’t get to live in my apartment for very long because I moved to London, and as some of you may already know from my previous posts I am currently renting it out. The rent I get from my tenants not only covers my monthly mortgage payments but I have also got some money leftover and as from next month I will start putting it into my very own savings account (yes, I have finally opened one of those *patting myself on the back*). My apartment is now worth almost two times more than what I had paid for it.
I guess what I am trying to say is that this purchase turned out to be a great investment, and if you ask me whether I have any regrets buying a house at such a young age, I will say “no regrets whatsoever” without hesitation. Looking back at my financial life throughout the years, I can honestly say that buying a property has been my best financial decision so far. Buying a house at 21 may not be something I would necessarily advise on doing, but I am glad I did, and there is a place I can call home!