Hardworking Teen Trainee Nurse Buys First Home at 19: ‘I Am a Saver at Heart’

By Caters News Agency
Caters News Agency
Caters News Agency
November 7, 2021 Updated: November 7, 2021

A teenager has purchased her first home while training to become a nurse and working weekends in a take-away.

Just weeks after she turned 19, Isabella Hunter single-handedly bought her 107,000 pound (approx. US$146,300) two-bedroom, semi-detached home.

The savvy youngster from Dearham, Cumbria, in England, stepped onto the property ladder in April and, unfazed by the renovation work needed, managed to do all the painting and decorating herself.

The qualified health care assistant wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and once she had the keys, she was excited to make the house—complete with garage and driveway—into a perfect modern home.

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(Courtesy of Caters News)

The first-time buyer opened a help-to-buy savings account when she turned 16 and saved for three years for her first place.

“I started working when I was 15, and I opened the account with my £1,000 [approx. US$1,370] savings,” she said. “The maximum I could pay in was £200 [approx. US$270] per month, so that was my target.”

Isabella, who is currently training to be a nurse and working weekends at a local take-away, added: “I am a saver at heart. When I get paid, before I spend anything, I move a set amount into a separate savings account.

“When I went to college, I had two days with no lessons, so I got a job in a GP surgery to gain experience and then I worked weekends as well.”

Isabella’s basic salary is currently just 12,000 pounds (approx. US$16,400) per year, but she takes on regular overtime to add to her rainy-day fund. She was offered a mortgage on a 40-year term and using her hard earned savings for the deposit, she was able to put down more than 17,000 pounds (approx. US$23,250) to secure her first home.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

The teenager now pays just 210 pounds (approx. US$280) per month for her mortgage and says she couldn’t rent a room for that price.

“I went to a mortgage advisor and they helped me with my options,” she said. “It has been a very exciting experience.

“I wanted a house and garden, and I viewed my house the day it came on the market and put an offer in the next day.”

Always looking to save money, Isabella made her first offer, but it was declined. However, being a first-time buyer with no chain, her second offer was snapped up by the sellers who were impressed by her age and financial position.

“It needed a new kitchen but the rest of the house just needed redecorating,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

Isabella, who lives alone and often shops secondhand products, has enjoyed furnishing her home with bargains found online.

“I got my sofa and armchair on Facebook Marketplace, and I love to shop in charity shops,” she said.

Determined to buy a home early in life, Isabella said: “I wasn’t going to university, as I’m doing an apprenticeship, so I knew I didn’t have to spend money paying for student accommodation.

“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.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

Isabella’s level-headed approach to money covers all aspects of her life. She said: “I don’t need or want the latest phone or designer clothes.

“I do love a deal and will always shop around. I get a student discount, and I have a Blue Light discount so I make sure that I am getting the best price possible.

“I am finding bills OK to manage. I did research on my utilities and bills to make sure I am paying the best price and I made a list of all my outgoings before I moved in to make sure that the house would be affordable while I am training.”

To save her deposit, Isabella did sacrifice nights out with friends. But she said the end result has been worth it.

“I went on less nights out and I would always take a packed lunch to work rather than buying food out every day,” she said. “I saved any money I was gifted for birthdays or Christmas.”

Working throughout the pandemic, Isabella was able to save more. She said: “Lockdown really helped me to work more and save more. 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.”

Isabella, who is a keen sailor and enjoys sports, said that she loves new sailing gear and likes to play netball, but even with her hobbies, she has “managed to save or make a little bit of money.”

“With netball, I am a qualified umpire so I can be paid to umpire matches, and with sailing, I helped to model some new gear which was a great opportunity as I got free kit and paid for my time,” she added.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Caters News)

The youngster doesn’t want to stop at just one property.

She said: “I love it here but it is a stepping stone and I would also like to buy a second property and rent it out. I am saving again to invest in my future.

“It has felt surreal at times, like I am playing house. It has taken a while to realize this is my own place. I own this and I have loved decorating it to my own taste, putting my photos up and adding those finishing touches.

“My friends love to come over too, it’s great to have my own space but I still like to pop over to my parents for tea.”

Isabella’s mother, Kerri Hunter, 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.

“Izzie has always been very driven and when she sets herself a goal she does everything she can to achieve it. Izzie works hard to get what she wants and it’s been quiet without her at home, but the treat cupboard seems to stay full longer these days.”

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.

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