Hunting Down That Elusive Deposit

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Hunting down that elusive deposit is not the hardest thing.

  • Raising a deposit is not excessively difficult
  • You just need to use as many methods as possible

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post or on this website may be affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I only link to products or companies I consider to be of quality.

Have you tried to raise a deposit to get on the property ladder and given up?

Are you trying to raise a deposit now and finding it extremely challenging?

Raising a deposit is challenging, but it is by no means impossible.

The trick is to identify the main deposit-raising methods and then take up all of those applicable to you.

This blog sets out those main ways of raising a deposit, enabling you to choose the ones that will work best for you. And the great news is that there are many of them.

Here, at a high level, are the main ways of hunting that elusive deposit and getting onto the homeownership ladder.

1. Release equity from a property owned by a relative

2. Get a lodger

3. Reduce your current accommodation costs

4. Cut out non-essential spending

5. Reduce essential spending

6. Grow your income

7. Take advantage of the Help to Buy ISA

8. Identify ways to lower the deposit needed. 

1. Release equity from a property owned by a relative

The equity in a property is the difference between what it is worth and any mortgage on it.

Taking out equity from a property is one of the quickest and easiest ways to raise a deposit.

This method may be available to you if a close relative has a property with sufficient equity to enable part of it to be released to you as a deposit.

Equity can be released from a property by:

  • Remortgaging
  • Taking out a second mortgage
  • Getting a further advance
  • Going for equity release.

If the property is free of a mortgage, a deposit-raising mortgage can be taken out against it.

2. Get a lodger

The rent from a lodger can be a great boost to your income, especially as it is likely to be tax free.

If you are yourself a tenant, it is unlikely you will be able to lawfully get in a lodger without the permission of your landlord or their managing agent.

If your rented home lends itself to accommodating a lodger, there is no harm in speaking to your landlord or their agent. Most landlords are probably likely to say “no”, but there will be some willing to say “yes”.

If your rent is say £800 per month and you can recover £400 per month by having a lodger, that will amount to an impressive £4,800 in a year.

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3. Reduce your current accommodation costs

Your accommodation costs are likely to be your biggest monthly expenditure. By reducing those costs you should gain a significant amount to go towards your deposit.

You can reduce your accommodation costs by:

  • Opting for cheaper accommodation
  • Sharing with someone to halve your rent payment
  • Opting to live rent free with your parents or other relatives.

Such steps could do anything from reducing to extinguishing your rental payments.  Your savings are likely to run into thousands of pounds.

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4. Cut out non-essential spending

You can make big savings by eradicating or reducing non-essential or discretionary spending, spending you don’t absolutely need to make.

There is a huge list of items falling within this category including: cigarettes, alcohol, nights out, gym memberships, TV packages, branded clothes and shoes, holidays, cinema visits and takeaways.

Your savings are likely to be substantial, running into thousands of pounds.

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5. Reduce essential spending

Essential spending is expenditure on things like food, household goods, council tax, gas, electricity, water rates, insurances and travelling to work.

While you cannot usually remove these items of spending, you should look to reduce them whenever possible.

For instance, with gas, electricity and insurances, you may be able to source cheaper suppliers using price comparison sites.

Instead of using public transport or driving to work, you may be able to make savings by walking or cycling. 

Property coach module

6. Grow your income

Many people forget that saving a deposit is not only about reducing expenditure; it is also about increasing income.

Ways you can increase your income include:

  • Overtime
  • Second job
  • Setting up a simple and easy to operate home business
  • Selling unwanted personal possessions on platforms such as Ebay.

7. Take advantage of the Help to Buy ISA

If you save your deposit using a Help to Buy ISA, the government will effectively give you £50 for every £200 you save, with the maximum government contribution being a very healthy £3,000 per saver.

The scheme is available to first time buyers only. 

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8. Identify ways to lower the deposit needed

This method can be seen as “thinking outside the box”. What you are doing here is looking at unusual, indirect or not often thought of ways to make deposit raising easier.

One way is to look at Help to Buy shared ownership, where qualifying buyers can purchase as little as 25% of a property, reducing the deposit needed as a result.

Similarly, participants in the  Help to Buy equity loan scheme can borrow from the government, at low rates of interest, up to 40% of the price of qualifying properties – lowering their deposit requirements.

If you choose to purchase your home jointly with another person, that could halve the amount of deposit you require.

Remember  that you can benefit from the government’s first time buyer’s stamp duty exemption if you are a first time buyer.


Hunting down that elusive house deposit is all about being systematic and persistent.

Identify those ways to raise a deposit that are applicable to you, and look to employ as many as possible.

The more deposit raising methods you use, the faster you are likely to reach your deposit target. Above all be persistent – keep going – keep hunting that elusive deposit. The longer you keep going the more likely you are to raise the amount you need.


Are you trying to raise a deposit at the moment? How is it going? What are the biggest challenges you face? Please leave your observations or comments below.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post or on this website may be affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I only link to products or companies I consider to be of quality.

Dalton Barrett
Rebel Property Coach

About the author

London-based blogger Dalton Barrett has over 30 years experience as a property solicitor, conveyancer, investor and coach. Read about his unconventional worldview of property here

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