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First-time buyer - Episode one

Three things to know before you start

Shannon is a first-time buyer from Dublin who recently bought her first home with her boyfriend Dan. They bought their house in Dun Laoghaire, the same town where they had their first date seven years ago. Their home needed a lot of work, so the pair decided to do a complete renovation. Shannon sat down with us to share the top three pieces of advice she would give to anyone before they started renovating a fixer-upper.

Watch episode one of Shannon’s story


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Shannon’s first three steps to buying a house are;

Tip one - Get into the habit of saving

Before buying her home, Shannon started to save a portion of her salary every month to mentally prepare for paying off her mortgage and bills. Although she found it hard initially, knuckling down and pushing through meant that she’d adapted to budgeting by the time she started to pay off her mortgage.

Shannon advises anyone hoping to buy a home to save as much as you can every month, as far in advance of buying your home as you can. If you put in the sacrifice now, you’ll take some of the pressure off down the line. If you want to begin saving but don’t know where to start, we’ve got nine tips for staying on track with your savings.

Tip two - Think about how you ‘experience’ each space

Shannon and Dan both considered what it’s like to live in the space before starting their renovations. They planned out the simple things like the location of sockets and where they wanted them placed. As a food fanatic, Shannon wanted to make sure her kitchen had a USB socket so she could charge her phone while baking.

Shannon advises first time renovators to take advantage of the blank canvas that is a fixer-upper and really customise the space for your personal tastes and wants. Need some inspo? Here are five top interior design trends for 2020.

Tip three - Always have a rainy-day fund

With a renovation, it’s always best to prepare for the unexpected. Shannon strongly advises that you always have some money put away for any surprises your renovations might throw at you. Shannon discovered when replacing her timber floors that the concrete underneath needed to be replaced too.

This was a cost she hadn’t seen coming, but she was able to dip into her rainy-day fund to cover it. By having a safety net of savings, you can have peace of mind that you’re covered. Here’s how to budget and save money without needing to make huge sacrifices.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages, where Shannon will be revealing more tips and advice from her journey. Speaking of the journey that is renovating your home, check out eight of the most common home improvement blunders and how to avoid them!

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We want to help our customers be there for whatever life throws in their way.

At Aviva, we understand just how much work goes into making a house a home. That’s why we’re committed to protecting yours. Buy Aviva home insurance online and get 15% off1. Get your quote today.

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