‘You don’t have to work full-time!’ Student, 20, buys £180k dream home – how did she do it

Phil Spencer discusses state of the property market with expert

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Sujaana Jeyaratanam, 20, bought her dream home during lockdown. The student shared her top money-saving tips after buying a property on her own.

Sujaana is a second-year biomedical science student at Coventry University who in August, bought a three-bedroom home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire.

She managed to save £180,000 for the deposit with no help. But how did she do it?

The young homeowner works part-time as a private tutor teaching young students.

She also started her own skincare business on the online platform Etsy where she sells face masks and toners.

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Sujaana worked up to 30 hours five days a week, saving the extra income for her house deposit.

“My parents were a big support for my business and always motivated me since I was a child.

“They never said my dreams were too big when others said it was unrealistic,” she said.

Sujaana, however, admitted she used part of her student maintenance loan towards her deposit.

She explained: “I stayed at home and saved up the maintenance money I got. If you save up two years of your maintenance money, you would have enough for a whole house deposit.

“You can buy a house with just maintenance money and you don’t have to work full-time. I also saved my tuition money and my side Etsy business.

“There are a lot of things you can do from home to make money, and tutoring is a really easy thing to do as a student.

“It doesn’t cost a lot to set up and there is a demand for private tutors. Sometimes people get scared of starting their own business and they think they need a lot of money to do it, but that isn’t the case.”

She continued: “I always wanted to get into real estate since I was young, I was inspired by my uncle.

“He started businesses in Sri Lanka at a young age with just a bicycle to get around. He became really big in the region, and I always wanted to become like him.

“I had the goal to buy a house at the age of 21 no matter what. I did whatever I could and thought of different ways to achieve it, and I did.”

Sujaana advised students to take advantage of discounts such as Uni Days and Student Beans.

She also recommended avoiding buying groceries at major supermarkets and instead, shop at local mini markets.

“University students think it’s impossible to buy your home. But this is the time in your life where it is possible to gain income and buy a home early.

“Try and cook yourself rather than buying takeout.

“Also, I tend to shop in markets for groceries because they are so much cheaper than big supermarkets like Asda,” she said.

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